To the Wind
3333 E. Colfax Ave., City Park
This bistro on Colfax is super tiny—the 628-square-foot space has only about 20 seats—but it’s worth the (usual) wait. Run by chef Royce Oliveira and his wife and pastry chef Leanne Adamson, the restaurant definitely has a family-run feel; you can expect extra-hospitable service and even a friendly chat with the chefs, if you’re lucky enough to snag a seat at the chef’s counter. The menu is updated daily, depending on available produce and also the popularity of the dishes the night prior—entrées range from buttermilk chicken with creamed quinoa, spinach, and hazelnuts to bison pastrami with gnocchi, cheddar, and sauerkraut. They also have a strong beer selection, with about ten local beers, plus some well-chosen wines and spirits. Note: Despite its size and propensity to fill up quickly, To the Wind doesn’t take reservations, but you can call in advance night-of.
1475 E. 17th Ave., City Park
A relative newcomer to Denver’s taco scene, Dos Santos is among the best: Whether you choose their grilled steak, slow-roasted pork, or chicken tinga tacos, you won’t be disappointed. Our favorite is the O.M.F.G., a bib lettuce-wrapped offering filled with raw tuna, lime cilantro aioli, pickled onion, avocado, and cabbage. (Their guacamole is just as inspired: If you’re so inclined, you can try it with fresh fruit and bacon, or with pumpkin seed, nopal, and roasted tomatillos.) Cement floors, exposed brick, and colorful chairs add to the taqueria’s charm—as does a nice selection of local and Mexican beers, plus amazing margaritas.
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
2001 Colorado Blvd, City Park
One of the better nature and science museums we've visited, the scientists at DMNS lead globally significant work, including the excavation of an important archaeological site at nearby Snowmass Village, called the Snowmastadon Project, where they excavated thousands of fossils, including the bones of a Columbian mammoth. In addition to the requisite planetarium, gems and minerals collection, fossils, mummies, and taxidermy, they also have one of the region's only IMAX theatres. In 2014, the museum completed the brand-new Discovery Zone, a totally interactive space for kids ages 3-5, where littles can excavate fossils, play with water features, and create art projects.
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