A Unique Guide to Denver
We toured Denver to find the best, most nutritious restaurants the city has to offer. Here's a unique guide to good eating and great exercise for hungry travelers.
How we did the math:
This series is meant as a fun guide to experiencing a city through the Cooking Light lens. All calculations are rough estimates and should be seen as a starting point for your own adventure.
Calorie burns were estimated using this calculator. The approximations are based on how vigorous the activity level is for a 150-pound woman—for example, a stroll around a farmers’ market was calculated at a lower burn than when we tell you to pick up the pace.
We estimated steps at an average of 2,000 steps per mile walked.
All calorie calculations for the meal selections we recommend were rough estimates based on inputting similar dishes and ingredients into this calculator.
Early: Red Rocks Run
Start your day with a solid workout at Red Rocks Amphitheatre just a short, 20-minute ride from town. Though a music venue isn't your typical spot for a workout, this is no typical music venue. Nestled among giant sandstone formations that create a natural, acoustically perfect setup, the stunning theater hosts early-morning joggers running the stairs and yoga or boot camp champs on the main stage.
Burn: up to 765 calories
Morning: Breakfast at the Station
Once back in town, it's time for breakfast at Mercantile, located in the lovely, historic Union Station building, which still functions as a train station. In addition to a plethora of fresh cheeses, charcuterie, and accoutrements (grab a bag of sprouted-grain granola for future snacking needs), you can tuck into the potted oatmeal with fruit, nuts, and spices, along with a glass of fresh-pressed carrot and ginger juice to replenish your Red Rocks energy exertion. Make a loop through Union Station on your way out; then grab a steaming cup of locally roasted coffee from Pig Train to fuel the next leg of your adventure.
Burn: 68 calories
Eat: 748 calories
Lunch: Take Your Pick
Step out onto the streets of Lower Downtown to wander through its historic buildings, breweries, and shops. Cross the South Platte River via one of its many pedestrian bridges, landing at Avanti Food and Beverage, a conglomeration of seven dining options housed in repurposed shipping containers—think of it as a hipster food court. Try the roast pork sandwich with broccoli rabe from The Regional. Pair it with a local IPA, and hit the rooftop patio for a view of downtown as you dine.
Burn: 68 calories
Eat: 748 calories
Afternoon: Play Ball
Head to Coors Field, home to the Colorado Rockies, who are in season April through September. Take your own seventh-inning stretch. A lap around the stadium helps steps stack up. Then it's time to quench your thirst with a Denver Microbrew Tour. The 1-mile trek in RiNo (River North Art District) begins at Ratio Beerworks and tours the budding warehouse district, home to small craft breweries, coffee roasters, and riotously colorful murals.
Burn: 272 calories
Drink: 378 calories
Dinner: Old Meets New
When you're ready to rest your feet, check out one of Denver's hottest spots, Acorn, where chef Steven Redzikowski dreams up vegetable-driven dishes like kale and apple salad with candied almonds, Parmesan, and Togarashi pepper; cumin-spiced carrots with ancho chile and raisin jam; and grilled eggplant with romesco sauce and feta.
Eat: 957 calories
Nightcap: One Final Toast
Your last stop is Bar Fausto, with its welcoming vibe and amazing cocktail program. Try the frosty Fernet-Branca soft-serve. This dessert-meets-drink is the perfect toast to all the miles you've clocked in the Mile High City today.
Drink: 213 calories
TOTAL BURNED: 1,258
TOTAL EATEN: 3,019
TOTAL STEPS: 14,000
[NET CALORIES: 1,761]