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Sweet Cow Ice Cream
Photo courtesy Forty Degrees Photography

2018 Family Favorites: Food and Drink

As Colorado’s reputation for great dining has grown, so have the options for kids at restaurants and eateries. Healthier and more interesting kids meal offerings, room to play, and a warm welcome in previously adult-only environments, makes raising an adventurous eater in Colorado just a little easier.

Allergy-Friendly Bakery

Top Five
Winner: Allergy Free Baking Company

The Allergy Free Baking Company was started by Nicole and Jeremy Kurland whose sons had gluten and nut allergies. Feeling there had to be better tasting alternatives to crumbly allergy-friendly baked goods, Nicole experimented with recipes and eventually opened the bakery. This small, family business is dedicated to creating delicious gluten-free and nut-free bakery items including cookies, breads, pastries, muffins, and cupcakes. 14011 W. Quincy Ave., Suite J, Morrison. 720-572-7838.

Local Breakfast or Brunch Spot

Top Five*
Winner: Snooze: an A.M. Eatery

Snooze gives families a good start to the day with a hearty meal, including a range of benedicts, sandwiches, hashes, and a la carte items, as well as morning cocktails for Mom and Dad and $6 kids menu items. Creative pancake options like blueberry danish, chocolate chip, and pineapple upside down make it difficult to choose just one flavor; pick the Pancake Flight and you can sample three. Multiple locations across the Front Range.

*Tie occurred in this category

Local Family-Friendly Restaurant

Top Five
Winner: Homegrown Tap & Dough

Colorado-proud is the foundation of Homegrown Tap & Dough. Their locations capture the history and culture of Colorado through locally-sourced food and craft beers, and a dining room gondola and ski chairs. Choose from appetizers, salads, pasta, pizza, and burgers. Spacious patio seating and a vintage arcade game room add to the family- friendly atmosphere. Gluten-free pasta and pizza crust are also available. Two locations: Denver and Arvada. Denver: 720-459-8736, Arvada: 303-284-6087.

Local Kids’ Menu

Top Five
Winner: Steuben’s

With a slightly retro feel, Steuben’s offers a friendly neighborhood hangout serving upscale comfort food. Menu items include meatloaf and mashed potatoes, fried chicken, burgers, and mac and cheese, along with craft cocktails and beer. Kids meals are accompanied by healthy and colorful sides that kids and parents can feel good about. They’ll also meet gluten-free and food allergy restrictions. Two locations: Denver and Arvada. Denver: 303-830-1001, Arvada: 303-830-0096.

Local Bakery for a Birthday Cake

Top Five
Winner: Mulberries Cake Shop

Stroll past the windows at Mulberries Cake Shop and you’ll see why their colorful, creative cakes, cupcakes, and cookies have become a Denver-area party staple. Started in 2000 by husband and wife team, Kip and Kathleen Karr, Mulberries has expanded over the years into their current 5,000-square-foot shop on East Colfax, which includes space for kids’ parties. They enjoy seeing families through the stages of life, from wedding cakes to baby shower treats and kids’ birthday cakes. 2027 E. Colfax Ave., Denver. 303-282-1044.

Local Ice Cream Shop

Top Five*
Winner: Sweet Cow

Small-batch ice cream is made on-site with locally-sourced ingredients and served in all things recyclable or biodegradable at Sweet Cow locations. Rideable, bouncy cow toys (Fun Fact: the cow’s name is Howdy) are a considerate and insta-worthy touch for kiddos who might get antsy waiting for their treats. Choose from scoops, floats, and ice cream sandwiches. Watch for their Moomobile food trucks around town, too. Six locations across the Front Range.

*Tie occurred in this category

Healthy Family Restaurant

Top Five
Winner: Modern Market

Modern Market believes that eating good food makes you feel good. They serve up scratch-made meals that use whole ingredients sourced from suppliers with sustainable practices. Menu options are available for omnivores to vegans and everything in between, and kids meal options include the classics—pizza and mac and cheese—or healthier items like a build-your-own salad. 13 locations in Colorado.

Kid-Friendly Happy Hour

Top Five
Winner: BookBar Happier Hour Story Time

There’s something for everyone to be happy about during Happier Hour Story Time at this Tennyson neighborhood bookstore (Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 4-5 p.m.) Combining happy hour with storytime, adults get half off wine while kids get half off kids’ meals starting at 4 p.m. This is followed by cookies and stories read by their children’s program coordinator, Miss Marilyn, and guest storytellers. 4280 Tennyson St., Denver. 303-284-0194. 

Local Frozen Yogurt

Top Five*
Winner: Yogurt Brothers

Grab a cup, choose your flavors, create your own masterpieces, weigh it, and pay. That’s how things work at Yogurt Brothers self-serve yogurt shop. Owners Terry and Angela VanStory strive to use the freshest ingredients, shopping for them often. Most of the yogurts are non-fat or low fat, and there are many toppings to choose from. 4680 W. 120th Ave., Westminster. 303-466-6562.

*Tie occurred in this category

Local Pizza

Top Five*
Winner: Fat Sully’s Pizza

Modeled after New York style pizza, Fat Sully’s serves up slices and whole pizzas—mighty big ones. Fold your slices, there’s no other way. The place shares space with sister entities Denver Biscuit Company and Atomic Cowboy bar. Waits can be long but it’s a great place to play I-Spy to pass the time. Three locations in Denver, one in Colorado Springs.

*Tie occurred in this category

Local Burger Joint

Top Five
Winner: Park Burger

If it’s burgers your family wants, Park Burger has you covered. They offer a choice of fresh beef patties that are never frozen, as well as buffalo, turkey, or veggie patties, and the burgers are served on buns made in Denver by Aspen Baking Company. Enjoy a variety of fries or salads on the side, milkshakes, Colorado beers, wine, and cocktails. Four locations in Denver.

Family Food

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