3 Cafes with Excellent Avocado Toast

Yes, I’m a millennial, and yes, I love avocado toast. I suppose I’m a cliche but let’s be honest, avocado toast is one of the few luxuries we have these days. None of us can afford to have a kid or buy a house, so can you just let us enjoy our avocado toast? Anyways, here are a few places in and around Denver that serve great avo toast:

Thump Coffee

Photo by Thump Coffee

1201 E. 13th Ave. and 601 N. Broadway, Denver

Starting with my favorite, Thump Coffee which started in Bend, Oregon with two locations there and having expanded to Denver with two locations here, has insanely good toast. The bread is by Jackson’s Corner sourdough bread— aka you can taste the freshness and that it’s crafted with care and expertise. Then it’s coated with quality butter, smashed avocado, sea salt, and Aleppo crushed red pepper. It melts in your mouth  it’s so simple yet so flavorful. You can also add a poached egg, but I’d argue it’s better plain.

Alpine Modern Cafe

Photo by Alpine Modern

904 College Ave. and 1048 Pearl St., Boulder

I recently visited its College Avenue location, which I was drawn to by its beautiful facade and area with great views of the neighborhood and the Flatirons. Alpine Modern is just like its name  a modern, Nordic-style cafe. If you’re a lover of avocado toast, you must try this place. The menu consists of several varieties of tartine: prosciutto, smoked salmon, egg, nut butter, and of course, avocado. The avocado tartine is served with shaved radish, fresh dill, smoked paprika, and drizzled with a healthy serving of olive oil. Pair it with a CBD-infused coffee, and savor every last bite. 

Port Side

Photo by Bridget Douglas

2500 Larimer St., Denver

Port Side is one of the coffee shops in the hip RiNo neighborhood alongside Stowaway Kitchen, Crema, and Denver Central Market. It is a small space serving local Huckleberry Roasters coffee, quality lattes, and boozy drinks like mimosas and white Russians to go with your breakfast or lunch. And the food is the winner here with creative breakfast and lunch sandwiches, and more. The avocado toast is hearty and delicious, served on sourdough with lots of avocado smash and covered with radish and togarashi. It’s a must-try.

A Guide to Fried Chicken Sandwiches In Denver

I consider myself a pretty healthy eater, but I have my vices   fried chicken sandwiches being one of them. It’s strange because when I was a kid, I thought fried chicken, in general, to be gross. (One thing I’ve always disliked and will always dislike is hot dogs.) But nowadays, I’ve found fried chicken sandwiches to be one of my favorite things to eat when I’m feeling careless. Luckily, today there are many restaurants and even chains that source locally farmed chickens which are healthier for people and the environment. Rather than eating Popeye’s, KFC, or Chick-Fil-A, eating at local institutions that aren’t using factory-farmed chicken is a much better alternative.  So here is the lowdown on good quality chicken sandwiches, specifically in the city of Denver:

Birdcall

Photo by Bridget Douglas

Various Locations: Five Points, University & the Union Station Whole Foods, Denver

My love for hot chicken began at this lovely establishment. I live near one of the locations, so I’ve had it more times than I’d like to say. My take on Birdcall is a high-quality, futuristic fast food joint. You go in, and it has kiosks where you put in your order on the screen and pay there as well. Some would say that seems anti-social, but the employees there are amicable and helpful. But on to the sandwich, it has several varieties, but I’ve only ever had the Original and the Nashville Hot. Its base is a nice buttery aspen bun with dill or sweet pickles and some juicy, crispy chicken breast. The french fries are great, too  some might say similar to McDonald’s but way better quality. I will say, though, it’s not always perfectly served, but 95 percent of the time, it is. 

The Budlong

Photo by Bridget Douglas

81 S. Pennsylvania St., Denver

The Budlong started in Chicago, a long-established foodie city, and this eatery lives up to its foodie roots. The specialty at the Budlong is Nashville hot chicken featuring sandwiches, tenders, wings, and more. I had the coveted Hot Chicken sandwich (it’s perfect). It has the right amount of heat, a slather of its flavorful ‘comeback’ sauce, and a heap of coleslaw to cool it down. It comes on a brioche bun, too, which is always good.

Chicken Rebel

Photo by Chicken Rebel

3618 Tejon St., Denver

I have yet to try Chicken Rebel, but I’ve heard many good things. It started as a food truck regularly housed at Finn’s Manor, a bar with a back patio that houses a few food trucks. It gained such popularity that it got a spot as a vendor in Avanti F&B, one of Denver’s first food collectives with an amazing upstairs patio with great views of the city. After a few month’s stint there, they decided to open their own brick-and-mortar location. It’s an all-out restaurant with a full bar and wait service. Its chicken sandwiches are unique because they are beer-battered and come in several creative variations like the Hometown Rebel with bacon, guacamole, and its ‘rebel’ sauce. You bet your bottom dollar I’m going to be trying this soon.

Lou’s Hot and Naked

Photo by Bridget Douglas

701 Grant St. and Denver Milk Market, 1800 Wazee St., Denver

Denver chef Frank Bonnano owns several restaurants in the city and recently opened a big downtown food hall near Union Station. The Denver Milk Market is grandiose with tons of food vendors, bars, a pasta maker, a butcher, and more. One of the food stalls is Lou’s Hot and Naked, which was inspired by a trip Bonnano made to Nashville trying all of the city’s infamous hot chicken. Milk Market is a lively and fun place  I went and, of course, had to try the hot chicken. I got the ‘Lou’s sandwich,’ which is just a potato roll, crispy chicken breast, and pickles — you can request naked, medium, or hot; I got the hot. It was solid, definitely the most like Chick-Fil-A, but slightly better. This past summer, it also opened a separate brick and mortar, Lou’s Food Bar in Capitol Hill. 

Lucky Bird

Photo by Bridget Douglas

Edgewater Public Market, 5505 W. 20th Ave., Edgewater

Denver’s newest food hall and the largest one in the city, Edgewater Public Market, is home to tons of unique food stalls. It has everything from Ethiopian to lobster rolls  and a fried chicken spot  Lucky Bird. It started as a food truck and still is, but has now expanded to have a physical space at the Edgewater hall. It’s not your average chicken; it has an Asian twist, though it does have some standard American offerings. I ordered the Spicy Bird, which comes on a potato bun with a healthy-sized fried chicken breast, gochujang butter, and house pickles. Gochujang is a Korean chili paste that is both sweet and spicy. If you enjoy Asian or Korean flavors, I would recommend, if not, try the Big Bird with mustard slaw and cheddar.