Denver Guide to events, bars and restaurants for Big Air, Snow Show

Denver Convention Center

Denver and Colorado are rocking for Snow Show in Denver (Jan. 27-30). So let us show you some of the events of note as well as a guide to eating, drinking and getting around during your visit.

  • Check out Denver Big Air on Tuesday and Wednesday. It’s the first time a Big Air competition has been held in North America. Even better: it’s held in Civic Center Park in the heart of downtown Denver. Complete guide.
  • The Ski Channel Film Festival is a GREAT addition to Snow Show. Watch films Thursday-Sunday at the Convention Center.
  • Want music? Icelantic skis will host a concert by Big Boi on Friday.
  • The Transworld Rider’s Poll Awards also are on Friday, followed by a concert by Rebelution. Tickets.
  • Find more events at the Mile High Snow Fest web site.
  • Once you’re done at Snow show, head to the X-Games in Aspen.

To help you start planning more of your visit now, here’s a Denver Guide guide that highlights Bars, Restaurants and Getting Around.

BARS

Nothing makes us happier than recommending good watering holes. Just remember this piece of advice: While it’s important to drink more fluids at high altitude (and we ARE at 5,280 feet), too much alcohol at altitude can be a killer for a flatlander. Consider yourself warned. Denver and the Front Range have a well deserved reputation as one of the country’s microbrewing hubs. Here are some great places to explore foam on the range.

  • The Wynkoop Brewing Company was the first in Lower Downtown and in many ways remains the best. It’s a huge place (pool hall upstairs), with a great selection of beer (start with Railyard Ale) and decent grub.
  • You’ll find Breckenridge Brewery a few blocks away, just past Coors Field. Also large and comfortable, start with an Avalanche Amber Ale.
  • You want insane variety? Falling Rock Tap House has a wall (we’re not exaggerating) of taps to choose from and the bartenders know their stuff.
  • You just have a nasty thirst and need to DRINK? Nallen’s is for you, a spartan joint a few blocks from the Convention Center that is probably the city’s most authentic Irish bar (which doesn’t mean it’s cuddly).

All hotels have bars, but most hotel bars aren’t the best place to hang out. A couple worth noting, though.

  • Our favorite is the tiny Cruise Room in the Oxford Hotel. From the cool art deco design to the killer martinis, it’s almost worth the crush of people.
  • The Corner Office in the Curtis Hotel, just a block from the Convention Center, has a hip vibe and a good crowd.
  • Katie Mullen’s Irish Pub in the Sheraton Hotel on the 16th Street Mall, while hardly authentic, is a perfectly good place to find some good beers (and stronger stuff) while also accommodating a bigger crowd, often a necessity at a trade show.

Others to consider: El Chapultepec has been serving up live jazz, cold beer and hot green chile longer than just about anybody. It’s small, generally overcrowded and pretty fun. The Bannock Street Garage (please, call it The Garage) in the Golden Triangle is a five-minute cab ride from downtown that delivers you to a comfortable, divey (but not a dive)  local watering hole. Have a few, then walk a couple blocks to Cap City Tavern for some food (and more drinks, of course)

DINING

We don’t have time or space to give you all the good restaurants in and around Downtown. Use the following list and the links above and you’ll have no trouble finding good grub. And don’t just believe us, see customer reviews for Lodo and other Denver locations at Yelp:

Lower Downtown: The neighborhood at the north end of the 16th Street Mall is loaded with bars and restaurants, consider:

Larimer Square: This historic block (on one of Denver’s first streets a few blocks from the Convention center) has become a high-end restaurant mecca in the past decade. You’ll spend more here, you’ll also find some of Denver’s best restaurants, including:

Mexican: The folks at Chipotle didn’t invent the burrito, but they have made it into one of the tastiest and fastest growing restaurant concepts in the country. You’ll find them just off the 16th Street Mall at California Street, among many other places in Denver. Visit the chain’s very first location at 1644 E. Evans Ave. (a 10-minute cab ride from Downtown) to buy a T-shirt that says “I’ve Made the Pilgrimage to Evans.”  Anything good always gets copied, and the folks at Illegal Pete’s on the 16th Street Mall have some great burrito and tacos of their own, as do the gang at Wahoo’s Fish Taco in LoDo. For REALLY authentic Mexican, take a short cab ride to northeast Denver and Taqueria Patzcuaro.

GETTING AROUND

Denver has an easily walkable downtown; renting a car isn’t really necessary unless you plan to drive to outlying neighborhoods or the mountains to ski. Many of you will be within a few blocks of the Colorado Convention Center. For those in downtown hotels that aren’t as close, use the FREE 16th Street Mall Shuttle (get off at Stout Street and walk two blocks to the exhibition hall). The pedestrian mall serves as the spine for downtown, so most hotels are within a block or two of the mall. It starts running early and completes its last route about 1:30 a.m., so it’s useful if you’re out late (and we know you’ll be out late). Staying outside downtown? See if you’re close to an RTD Light Rail Route. The train stops right in front of Civic Center Park, where Big Air will be contended, as well as a block from the Convention Center, where Snow Show will be held. It runs until 2 a.m.

Looking for a cab? The city has three main companies: Yellow Cab (303-777-7777; they also handle Super Shuttle); Metro Taxi (303-333-3333); and Freedom Cab (303-444-4444). And keep an eye out for the city’s growing fleet of pedicabs. If the weather’s warm, a bike cab can get you to various locations downtown faster than a car.

Finding your way isn’t difficult if you use the 16th Street Mall to navigate the city grid. The Lower Downtown area (better know as LoDo) is one of Denver’s most popular places to find dinner, drinks, live music and more fun. It’s a mix of high-end restaurants, brewpubs and affordable eating. Here’s a list of Lodo restaurants.

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