Sustainable City Guide: 14 Places To Stay, Eat & Shop In Denver, Colorado
Welcome To The Mile High City
Ranked as one of America’s fastest growing cities, Denver has quickly made a name for itself over the last few years, and for good reason. With microbreweries on every block, the flannel-for-any-occasion dress code, and its Rocky Mountain skyline, the Mile High City is not to be overlooked.
Moreover, Denver businesses are passionate about sustainability, the environment, and supporting local makers. So whether you’re passing through on your way to the mountains or visiting solely for the beer (yes, people do that), check out some of the most sustainable places to stay, eat, and shop while in the city.
S T A Y
Kimpton Boutique Hotels Denver
Why We Love It | With two locations in the heart of Denver, Kimpton Hotel Monaco and Kimpton Hotel Born both boast elegance, comfort, and an impressive social responsibility model to be enjoyed by business and leisure travelers alike. During wine hour, take in the Rocky Mountain views while sipping on Chardonnay sourced only from companies that support charitable causes. And at breakfast, enjoy your organic coffee from a ceramic mug rather than a paper cup. Even the smallest details, such as printing all hotel brochures on recycled paper with soy inks or placing recycling bins inside rooms, invite guests to experience and practice sustainable living. Moreover, Kimpton partners with Clean the World, an organization recycling hotel soaps and hygiene products to be redistributed through health education programs worldwide.
Where To Find Them | Downtown Denver & Union Station (Opening Aug. 2017)
The Queen Anne Urban Bed & Breakfast
Why We Love It | Built in the late 1880’s, The Queen Anne was originally occupied by the Tabor Family (a prominent Denver name) before opening its doors as a public bed & breakfast in 1987. Local community and environmental advocacy are of the utmost importance at The Queen Anne, and every detail from the bedroom art to morning coffee supports the Denver community. Eco-friendly design is also blended with the historic architecture in an effort to become a zero-waste property.
Where To Find It | North Capitol Hill
E A T
Why We Love It | An artisan food market occupying a 1880‘s brick foundry building, The Source cultivates community and gathering in support of local vendors. This includes a funky brewery, Mexican taqueria, artisanal coffeeshop, French bakery, and small-batch liquor store, among other vendors. Whether for drinks, food, or admiring the industrial space, The Source is a must-visit in Denver.
Where To Find It | River North District (RiNo)
Why We Love It | A converted gas station turned New American Restaurant, Root Down aims to connect the neighborhood to a dining experience in the same way ingredients are connected to food. By growing their own vegetables in an urban garden, recycling and composting waste, and sourcing ingredients local to Colorado, Root Down offers a sustainable and delicious dining experience in one of Denver’s most loved neighborhoods.
Where To Find It | Highlands
Why We Love It | Looking for fast-casual vegetarian/vegan cuisine? Vital Root is the spot. Founded by the same man who opened Root Down, this vegetable-focused restaurant is committed to using only real, organic ingredients sourced from local farmers and gardens. And if you love Vital Root and Root Down, check out the sister restaurants: Ophelia’s, Linger, and Root Down D.I.A. (yes, you can have a sustainable farewell meal at the airport).
Where To Find It | Berkley
The Squeaky Bean
Why We Love It | A real farm-to-table eatery, The Squeaky Bean sources all ingredients from local farms, including two of their own 6,000-square-foot year-round greenhouses named Acres at Warren Tech. They also help educate local students about the journey from soil to plate. The farm and sustainability practices will continue to expand in 2017. In the meantime, enjoy The Squeaky Bean’s weekend brunch and bingo while visiting the Mile High City.
Where To Find It | Downtown
Happy Leaf Kombucha
Why We Love It | No trip to Colorado is complete without a brew crawl (which we highly recommend), but for a healthier, non-alcoholic beverage option, check out Happy Leaf for raw, organic, non-GMO kombucha on tap. Ingredients are sourced locally and the kombucha is never pasteurized, heat treated, or filtered. The beverage can be enjoyed in the full service taproom by the glass or flight. Growlers are also available.
Where To Find It | Edgewater
The Denver Central Market
Why We Love It | A 1920s-era H.H. Tammen Curio Company building turned food hall, The Denver Central Market is less than one year old and is comprised of eleven local food merchants. A space to enjoy a meal, grocery shop, or grab take-out, The Denver Central Market is all about promoting and supporting local food vendors.
Where To Find It | Curtis Park
S H O P
Backyard on Blake
Why We Love It | Shop, work, eat, and play at Denver’s newest commercial redevelopment space. Check out the Spinster Sisters for all-natural, fair trade skincare products before participating in a workshop taught by local makers at River North Workshop Co. And if you need a vintage piece for your wardrobe, stop by La Lovely Vintage for responsibly repurposed vintage finds for modern day life. With thirteen different spaces to explore, the Backyard on Blake is a one-stop-shop for sustainable and local living in Denver.
Where To Find It | River North District (RiNo)
Sub Rosa Mercantile
Why We Love It | Supporting small artists, designers, and companies from across the country, Sub Rosa Mercantile eschews the ease of mass production in favor of small batch, handcrafted products. Browse home goods, accessories, plants, and gifts at this independent woman-owned shop.
Where To Find It | Sunnyside
Fig + Yarrow
Why We Love It | Fig + Yarrow has a self-described love affair with botanicals and various earth elements, and offers the Denver community small-batch, handcrafted, and organic health and vanity products. In addition to sourcing ingredients responsibly, all products are formulated for efficiency and pleasure. Creations are free from cruelty, GMO, gluten, paraben, petroleum, and synthetic ingredients, among other things. What we love most? Flight-friendly sizes to bring home on the plane.
Where To Find It | Highlands
Why We Love It | Sacred Thistle is a mother + daughter duo floral shop that sources its inspiration from nature, the seasons, and domestically-grown flowers. Influenced by the Japanese way of Wabi-Sabi (embracing imperfection), flowers are not wasted but rather celebrated as living, flawed, and beautiful. Greens are often found in their own backyards and stems are handpicked from wholesalers. Warm up your hotel room with a lovely bouquet or just stop by to admire the beautiful arrangements.
Where To Find It | Golden Triangle
Knotty Tie Co.
Why We Love It | Founded in 2013, Knotty Tie Co. sells custom, made in the USA ties, bowties, pocket squares, and scarves. More importantly, the company works closely with Denver Refugee Resettlement organizations to offer dignified employment opportunities for resettled refugees.
Where To Find Them | Lincoln Park
The Artisan Center
Why We Love It | A Denver landmark and community gathering place since 1977, The Artisan Center is a woman-owned storefront for local candles, textiles, jewelry, pottery, and more. If you find yourself overwhelmed while wandering the Cherry Creek Mall, stop by The Artisan Center for a smaller, local business vibe.
Where To Find It | Cherry Creek