The Tavern Downtown (credit: CBS)
Step up to the plate, it’s baseball season. That means it’s time for a cold draft and a hot meal before the game. The Coors Field neighborhood is packed with places that offer good food, cold pours and some fun and games before the first pitch.
Mountain Ranch Club Bar and Grille
2001 Blake St.
Denver CO 80202
If you’ve never taken the Gate B elevator behind section 111 in Coors Field to the Mountain Ranch Club for a game-day bite and a beer, you are missing out. All you need is a game-day ticket to sit in style and look out over the field. The menu is finer than hot dog dining, as well as casual fare. For instance, guacamole is made tableside and the wing bar offers 12 different options like chipotle, chimichurri and Thai curry. One of the best dishes is the right-field greens, a make-your-own-salad bar with dozens of options. Reservations are available or sit at the bar or back tables.
Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs
2148 Larimer St.
Denver, CO 80205
There is nothing better before a game than a Biker Jim’s dog. Choose a dog, top it, side it and eat it, easy as that. From purists to extremists, everyone will be happy with wild boar, elk, veal, beef, duck, bison, reindeer, pheasant and, of course, all-beef dogs. The toppings are no less dramatic with sweet onions and cream cheese or harissa roasted cactus and wasabi with apple and cheddar. Save room for a side or two, including house-made fries or fried mac and cheese.
View House Eatery, Bar and Rooftop
2015 Market St.
Denver CO 80205
If views are what you crave before the game, the newest pregame spot will deliver that and more. With patios from top to bottom, View House on Market is the perfect place to get your game on. Each floor offers a new view of the ballpark neighborhood and the Denver skyline, with full bars on each landing. The menu stretches the innings with creative pub fare. For instance, the gobbler is a cranberry turkey dog with green-bean casserole and cranberry jam. Or try the short rib poutine, it’s a tasty mess of rustic fries smothered with braised short ribs and topped with pickled onions, a soft fried egg, three-cheese fondue and gravy. View House also has lawn bowling to get you warmed up for the game.
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The Tavern Downtown
1949 Market St.
Denver, CO 80202
If you want a party before the game, try The Tavern Downtown. The rooftop patio is never without something going on. There are so many HD TVs that even if you are late heading to the field, you won’t miss a pitch. The food consists of pub favorites like mac and cheese with smoked bacon, grilled chicken baked to a gooey brown, pork sliders and ham and cheese-stuffed pretzel rolls. For Sunday games, there is a full brunch with chorizo skillets and biscuits and gravy. The tap pours Titan IPA, Shock Top Belgian White, Fat Tire and Honker’s Ale. And the bar menu is a few columns wide with Tavern specials, skinny cocktails and classics.
2124 Larimer St.
Denver CO 80205
Ignite’s rooftop patio sizzles in the summer. The Larimer Street spot features wood-fired pizzas, like a prosciutto fig or a house-made mozzarella with fennel sausage and sopressato. For big appetites, there is the open-flame cast iron skillet roasted salmon, chicken, mussels and short ribs. Try the man-candy, sweet and spicy bacon. Eat it alone, on a sandwich, a burger or a salad. Ignite has a 25-percent off on its happy hour food menu, with housemade burrata with warm herbed bread and wood-fired whiskey wings, with whiskey butter and brown sugar.
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Kimberly Lord Stewart is a food author and journalist for CBS Denver local, Organic Food Reporter for Examiner.com, and the Food, Wine and Spirits editor for Denver Life magazine. Her book, “Eating Between the Lines” tells readers about the truth and myths of food labeling. Stewart is the recipient of two Association of Food Journalist awards for food news reporting and the Jessie Neal Business Journalism award. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.