What to do in Denver when you're...at a conference.

My husband is going to Denver for five days to exhibit at a conference. He’ll have a couple of nights free, and isn’t sure what to do those nights. He’s staying at the Residence Inn City Center (which I assume is downtown) and will not have a car. He’s looking mainly for someplace good to eat that’s near his hotel, for Saturday and possibly Wednesday evenings. He’s on a modified primal diet, but if a place is South Beach diet friendly, it can probably accommodate his needs.

He’s also a bit concerned about the fact that he’s going to have to be doing a decent amount of lifting for a presentation at this conference, and he currently has a hernia (can’t get into the surgical consult until he’s back). They said that if he exhibits certain symptoms while he’s out of town, he should get to a hospital. He doesn’t want to end up at some horrid ghetto hospital, so he figures he should probably know which ones are bad and which ones are good.

Any suggestions from the Denver natives?

I very rarely ate downtown, but there are a slew of restaurants with decent reputations on Larimer south of 16th (about five blocks from his hotel) and also out toward Union Station and 16th (about another five blocks). Check Westword for recent reviews.

St. Joseph’s Hospital is around a mile east of downtown on 18th, and was good when I lived there. (It’s where I went for care.)

There is a free shuttle that runs up and down 16th that will help him get around. that makes the entire downtown area accessible with minimal walking.

For restaurants, I recommend The Paramount and the Wazzee Supper Club.

There is a most excellent Japanese “country style” restaurant called “Domo” near I25 & Colfax. Lunches there are very reasonably priced.

The Butterfly Pavillion on 104th a few blocks west of I25, the Denver Zoo and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science are all great.

The Denver Art Museum is worth checking out. There’s TONS of great restaurants in downtown Denver - I’ve recently eaten at Venice Restaurante (upscale Italian) and Bayou Bob’s (cajun), but there are many many more. Limelight at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts is great, as is Prima in the Hotel Teatro.

Check out the afore-mentioned Westword for information on shows, concerts, plays, and other events that will be happening the nights that he is here. Also, the DCPA website has information about stuff going on those days.

He’s going to be at 17th and Champa, which is right downtown, about six blocks from the convention center. If it’s a big convention there might be a shuttle bus to the center, but if not it’s an easy walk. One block over from his hotel is 16th street, which is a pedestrian street, although they allow buses. There is a free shuttle that runs up and down the street all day and late into the night. The street is filled with shops and restaurants and bars.

At the far end of the mall is the lower downtown area known as Lodo. Coors Field is there, so it is filled with bars as well. If he’s doing the protien thing, there is a Brazilian steakhouse called Rodizio Grill just a block from the stadium where he can get his fill of various protiens for a fixed price. Also in the area is Jax Fish House, a great place with a young professional crowd. The winner of Top Chef two seasons ago worked in the Boulder Jax, although he spent a lot of time in the Denver restaurant as well. If he likes classic bars, the Cruise Room at the Oxford Hotel is a can’t miss. Opened the day after prohibition ended, it hasn’t changed one iota since. The Wynkoop Brewery is one of the earliest brewpubs in the U.S. and is owned by the Mayor of Denver, soon to be Colorado’s next Governor. All these places are within two blocks of the 16th street mall.

I don’t know about hospitals, but there really isn’t one in Denver that has a bad reputation. He might try to get a referral before he comes out. There are several in the downtown Denver area.

There’s two strip clubs within walking distance of downtown. That ought to take care of his free time.

What is your husband interested in doing? And when is he likely to be here?

He will be within easy walking/free shuttle bus distance of:
The Denver Center for the Performing Arts - It’s not Broadway, but there are usually half a dozen shows at any one time. If he likes theater he should be able to find something he might enjoy. There are several other theaters and performance venues nearby as well including The Paramount and The Mayan (Arts and Foreign Films).
Denver Art Museum - This is a quality, if a bit unfocused museum. If he is an art aficionado he will probably enjoy himself quite a bit here.
The US Mint - Gives interesting tours, but you need to make advanced reservations.
The Molly Brown House - An interesting view of life at the turn of the previous century. Probably only for the more historically bent.
The Pepsi Center - Home to the Nuggets (Basketball), Avalanche (Hockey), Mammoth (Lacrosse), and large venue concerts etc.
Coors Field - Home to the Rockies (Baseball).
And there are literally hundreds more places I could recommend. As mentioned Westword is a great resource for restaurants and events.

As for hospitals. I’ve not really heard anything particularly bad about any of those close to downtown. But I can’t say I’ve really heard anything good either. The closest is probably Denver Health. So if you are concerned you may want to do a search of reviews there.

I’m always bewildered when people ask for recommendations for restaurants and things to do in the evening when they will be in a town for a conference or the like, and get a laundry list of things to do in the daytime.

It’s possible that Drain Bead’s husband can sneak away from his exhibition for an afternoon to the zoo or the butterflies or the art museum (which is actually pretty much downtown) (and, lest my point be mistaken, they are all well worth visiting), but he will not be in Denver on vacation, he will be there to work. If he’s anything like me, after he is done working he will not want to trek to a (closed in the evening) Denver Zoo, or a (closed in the evening) Butterfly Pavilon, he wants a nice dinner and/or a drink or three.

The Cruise Room is a good idea for the latter, and if he likes seafood McCormicks (in the same building) used to be good, and for all I know still is good. A ball game, if the Rockies are at home that week, is an great idea. Coors Field is a wonderful ball bark, and the team should be good this year.

The Denver Art Museum is open until 10 p.m. on Friday nights, just FYI.

I didn’t know that–My two or three visits were always during the day.–although it doesn’t seem that “Saturday and possibly Wednesday evenings” will work for him.

Ah, I missed that part of the OP.

My husband thanks you all for your suggestions. The Brazilian steakhouse sounds like a good one–I introduced him to those, as my family is Brazilian and I’ve actually been to a rodizio in Rio, and he loves them. He may feel like a touch of a glutton eating there alone, but it works for the diet, that’s for sure!

Carnitas at d’corazon are not to be missed, though the rice and beans may be off the diet.

1530 Blake Street, Denver, CO 80202-1336

Do you want to see if I can hook him up with a date for the dinner?