Eat, What, Wear: Neighborhood Guide: LoDo
AUTHORED & PHOTOGRAPHED BY: Chelsea Nattiel Sherman, The Avant Grand Tour
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Welcome to the first of many Neighborhood Guides. I will be sharing my favorite places in each neighborhood of Denver to eat and drink and showcasing outfits that will have you fitting in to each hood seamlessly. Follow along twice per month to get all the deets on the best food and the raddest outfits that you should try now!
LoDo, or Lower Downtown is the epicenter of Denver. Filled with bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and fancy office buildings, this is the neighborhood for professionals, tourists, students, and the like. I oftentimes, and I don't think I am alone in this, believe that LoDo is commercial and unappealing to the non sports fan or suit-clad fellow. However, there are some hidden gems and some of the best food and drinks in the city and I am excited to share them with you if you are not yet aware!
Daytime in LoDo can be classy, put-together, and a little bit edgy. I wanted to show the diversity of a lace bodysuit by wearing it plain with a leather jacket or under a shirt with a low-cut neckline. The outfits themselves aren't overly complicated and make it easy to step into a fine-dining establishment or heading to a show with friends.
Breakfast and Coffee: The Market, located on Larimer Square is basically incredible for any meal of the day. The desserts also look incredible as most have a giant pile of whipped cream on top, but their breakfast and coffee is amazing. Their coffee bar serves the traditional drinks along with old school favorites like cream sodas. This is where you can pick up a gigantic blueberry and cream cheese muffin which is to die for. I don't like muffins but this is not the usual suspect. I also highly recommend their Vegetarian Breakfast Burrito if I've been out too late the night before. The atmosphere is relaxing and casual enough to feel good about working on your computer or just people watching. Truly one of my all time favorite places in this city.
Lunch: If you have been walking around Union Station looking for lunch and have not yet tried Zoe Ma Ma, you are missing out. They have a location in Boulder as well and they are a great restaurant to grab a quick lunch. Sometimes you will event see their mom cooking in the kitchen. All of their noodle dishes are great but I highly recommend their Cool Noodle dish which is light, healthy and refreshing plus they have a huge selection of hot sauce which is always the key to my heart.
Dinner: Dinner in LoDo can be tricky because there are a lot of nice-looking restaurants, but not all of them follow through on the service or the food. When I first tried Panzano, I immediately fell in love. I haven't been there for a while but my original experience still lasts in my memory as one of the best meals I have ever had. The wait staff was so helpful and friendly, I never felt out of place or uncomfortable. Then the food came and that was even better. Just the homemade bread and dipping oil before the meal were enough to win my heart. I recommend any and all of their pastas and trying whatever is seasonal on the menu, you can't go wrong.
Cocktails: Finding a great cocktail that isn't overpriced and underwhelming in LoDo is difficult. However, when you step inside the doors of Union Lodge No.1, you will feel transported and relieved. This bar is stripped down to the historic essentials with a cool backstory and an even cooler atmosphere. This is a place that feels like you could spend hours without watching people waste their lives away or witnessing too many uppity hipsters walking in. Here you can get a great cocktail with old fashioned roots and fabulous ingredients and they always have a list of seasonally changing cocktails that their mixologists create. Their Gin Fizz is a production to see and can double as dessert, and I always like to ask the bartender to create their favorite.
For the evening look in LoDo, I aim to dress with a little bit of class, some simply jewelry, and definitely some sex appeal. A lot of people go out at night in this area and I find that showing a little skin, but in a clean way can make me feel like I can stand out in a crowd without drawing attention in a bad way. Wearing comfortable shoes that can walk a few block but still look great with a dress is key and I typically go for an edgy black boot.
Date Night Spot: Union Station is such a beautiful building inside and out, I could spend hours there. That's why Terminal Bar is the perfect place to come for a date night or simply killing time. Their booths and space are stunning and comfortable and they have the drinks to make the night come alive. Light and Wily M.D. was the delicious vodka, ginger, and lemon cocktail I tried and their inventive, but not over-the-top menu promises to showcase some delightful treats. Plus when you are sitting in a booth inside the bar, you can spy on all the interesting people who wander in and out of the station, making their way to their various destinations.
Dessert or Treat: I am a firm believer that dessert does not need to be saved for the end of the day, but if you happen to be in the neighborhood and are craving something sweet, do not miss Milkbox Ice Cream. They have an amazing range of flavors and happen to carry a Vegan one, all from Little Man Ice Cream! You can have them create a sundae for you, a milkshake, or even a milkshake with booze! I don't know about you but I could not resist that last one.
Thank you to the amazing restaurants and businesses who helped this guide come alive!
Outfit Details From the Top: Coraline Coral Hat, Goorin Bros, $170 | Green Leather Jacket, Hailee Grace, $120 | Grey Lace Bodysuit, Hailee Grace, $45 | Denim, Hailee Grace, $59 | Necklace, Hare and Hawkeye, $50 | Boots, Freebird
Buck Canyon Grey Hat, Goorin Bros, $160 | Grey Lace Bodysuit, Hailee Grace, $45 | Black Top, Hailee Grace, $66 | Denim, Hailee Grace, $59 | Boots, Freebird
Dark Red Dress, Hailee Grace, $86 | Lace Choker, Hailee Grace, $15 | Gold Choker, Hailee Grace, $25 | Hand Chain, Hare and Hawkeye, $54 | Boots, Freebird
White Top, Hailee Grace, $66 | Denim, Hailee Grace, $59 | Hand Chain, Hare and Hawkeye, $54 | Boots, Freebird
Model: Chelsea Sherman | @nattiel
Regina Stransky | @ginamms