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Photo courtesy Ace Eat Serve

2017 Family Favorites: Food and Drink

Whether you’re searching for allergy-friendly bakeries, wholesome takeout, or a great spot for the family to hang out, our readers know exactly where to go.

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Allergy-Friendly Bakery

Top Five

Beet Box Bakery & Café

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Gluten Escape

Gluten Free Things

Great Harvest Bread Company

Mermaids Bakery

The Winner

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Great Harvest Bread Company

Four metro locations | greatharvest.com

The folks at Great Harvest know that real food tastes really good. That’s why they use simple ingredients and fresh-milled flours in wholesome, homemade breads and treats. Individual franchises are encouraged to bake up regional breads with local ingredients, and Colorado storefronts have begun incorporating organic and gluten-free options into their rotating daily menus.

Healthy Family Restaurant

Top Five

MAD Greens

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Modern Market

Panera Bread

Sweet Tomatoes

True Food Kitchen

The Winner

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Panera Bread

Dozens of metro locations | panerabread.com

Panera Bread’s mission is all about delivering delicious food that’s better for customers. The national chain serves up a mouthwatering menu of kid-approved sandwiches, soups, salads, and pastas. You won’t find artificial preservatives, food colors, or sweeteners at Panera. What you will find are fruits, vegetables, and whole grains packed into an expansive menu capable of accommodating most dietary restrictions.

Kid-Friendly Happy Hour

Top Five*

Ace Eat Serve

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Farm House at Breckenridge Brewery

Happier Hour at BookBar

Homegrown Tap & Dough

Lowry Beer Garden

Maddie’s Biergarten

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*Tie occurred in this category

The Winner

Ace Eat Serve

501 E. 17th Ave., Denver | 303-800-7705 | aceeatserve.com

With three distinct spaces nestled into the 9,000-square-foot repurposed garage, Ace Eat Serve is a perfect place for your next kid-friendly happy hour. Even without its 11 Ping-Pong tables and stellar patio, the space would still wow most guests with music, Asian-inspired grub, and recycled industrial décor incorporating shipping containers and airplane scraps.

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Local Bakery for a Birthday Cake

Top Five

A Cake Occasion

Azucar Bakery

Cakes by Karen

Mulberries Cake Shop

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Sugarmill Desserts

The Winner

Mulberries Cake Shop

2027 E. Colfax Ave., Denver

303-282-1044 | mulberriescakeshop.com

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Round and sheet cakes are made-to-order at this City Park bakery, and come in ten flavors, including marble, almond poppy, and butter pecan. Stuff your cake with any of the shop’s 16 fillings (chocolate pudding, anyone?) and top it off with five varieties of icing. Mulberries also stocks 6-inch “ready now” cakes and cupcakes and hosts cake decorating parties.

Local Breakfast or Brunch Spot

Top Five*

Four Friends Kitchen

Jelly Café

Lucile’s Creole Café

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Sam’s No. 3

Snooze: An AM Eatery

Toast Fine Food & Coffee

*Tie occurred in this category

The Winner

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Snooze: An AM Eatery

Five metro locations | snoozeeatery.com

There’s a reason families line up outside of Snooze on the weekends. This legendary breakfast joint features an expansive seasonal menu filled with omelets, tacos, burritos, benedicts, and the best pancakes in the region. The sauces and pure Vermont maple syrup from Slopeside are legendary. Snooze cooks up its delectable fare daily.

Local Burger Joint

Top Five

Crave Real Burgers

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Larkburger

Park Burger

Smashburger

TAG Burger Bar

The Winner

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Park Burger

Five metro locations | parkburger.com

The American classic gets an upgrade with fresh beef and buffalo patties, turkey or veggie patties, plus a kids” mini-burger. Order a burger with traditional fixings, or try a specialty burger like The Royale, topped with caramelized onions, blue cheese, and bacon. Add a salad or sweet potato fries as a side, and grab a craft beer or shake, too.

Local Family-Friendly Restaurant

Top Five

Lucky Pie Pizza & Taphouse

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Merle’s of Littleton

Sam’s No. 3

Steuben’s Food Service

White Fence Farm

The Winner

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Steubenís Food Service

523 E. 17th Ave., Denver and 7355 Ralston Rd., Arvada 303-830-1001 and 303-830-0096 | steubens.com

The locally owned and independent restaurant specializes in recreating American regional classics. Start with deviled eggs or crispy Brussels sprouts, and then move on to simple-yet-scrumptious six cheese béchamel macaroni and cheese. Each 12-and-under kids” menu item comes with a variety of healthy and hearty sides.

Local Frozen Yogurt

Top Five

Goozell Yogurt & Coffee

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Nella’s Frozen Yogurt

Nova Yogurt Co.

Smart Cow Yogurt Bar

Yogurt Brothers

The Winner

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Nellaís Frozen Yogurt

8086 W. Bowles Ave., Littleton

720-350-4820 | facebook.com/nellasfroyo

This hip Littleton dessert spot makes going out for fro-yo an especially enjoyable experience, with colorful walls, clean counters, indoor-outdoor seating options, and a welcoming vibe. The self-serve at Nella’s Frozen Yogurt comes in 16 delicious, rotating flavors, and customers can choose from 50-plus toppings ranging from fresh fruit to caramel cups, cookie dough, and coconut.

Local Ice Cream Shop

Top Five

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Bonnie Brae Ice Cream

Glacier Homemade Ice Cream & Gelato

Little Man Ice Cream

Scrumptious

Sweet Cow Ice Cream

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The Winner

Bonnie Brae Ice Cream

799 S. University Blvd., Denver

303-777-0808 | bonniebraeicecream.com

If your kids haven’t experienced the joy of eating an ice cream cone under the red-and-white awning at this Denver mainstay, it’s high time you visited. For more than 30 years, this neighborhood shop has been scooping up dozens of varieties of homemade ice cream. Cakes and pies are also on the rotating and imaginative handwritten menu.

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Local Kids Meal Menu

Top Five

Ace Eat Serve

Merle’s of Littleton

Steuben’s Food Service

TAG Burger Bar

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White Fence Farm

The Winner

Steubenís Food Service

523 E. 17th Ave., Denver and 7355 Ralston Rd., Arvada

303-830-1001 and 303-830-0096 | steubens.com

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Steuben’s 12-and-under kids” menu has everything you’re expecting: burgers, chicken, macaroni and cheese, and noodles, along with grilled cheese, hot dogs, and PB&J. Each supper comes with carrot sticks and cucumbers, edamame beans, fresh berries, and a side: slaw, tomato soup, veggies, or potatoes served mashed or fried. Allergy menus are on-hand, too, for children with intolerances.

Local Pizza

Top Five *

Anthony’s Pizza & Pasta

Beau Jo’s Colorado Style Pizza

Fat Sully’s New York Pizza

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Lil” Ricci’s NY Pizzeria

Lucky Pie Pizza & Taphouse

Pizzeria Locale

The Winner

Pizzeria Locale

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550 Broadway, Denver and 3484 W. 32nd Ave., Denver 720-508-8828 and 303-302-2451 | pizzerialocale.com

Pizzeria Locale’s pies are made the southern Italian way, with simple recipes and fresh, local ingredients. Pizzas cook in two minutes flat, in a custom-made oven set to 1,000 degrees. The menu features a solid lineup of 11-inch classic reds plus a few white pizzas, along with build-your-own options, salads, and appetizers. After dinner, try one of the Nutella “zas.

Editors' Picks