Denver’s City Park West neighborhood guide

Scenes from City Park.ciytscape; skyline; city park; lake; goose; geese; denverite; denver; colorado; kevinjbeaty
Scenes from City Park. ciytscape; skyline; city park; lake; goose; geese; denverite; denver; colorado; kevinjbeaty
City Park. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Like Cheesman Park, its neighbor across Colfax, City Park West often gets lumped in with other neighborhoods. The little square of city bounded by Colfax to the south, 23rd Avenue to the north, Downing Street to the west and York Street to the east sometimes thought of as part of Uptown or even Capitol Hill.

But City Park West is packed with so much good stuff, it deserves its due as a neighborhood. For one, obvious thing, it borders what is arguably Denver’s best park. For another thing, you will never go wanting for a good meal here.

And there’s more. Let’s take a look:

Population: 4,583 (according to American Community Survey five year estimates)
Percent white: 68.6 (northern Census tract), 73.9 (southern Census tract)
Percent black: 18.1 (north), 16.3 (south)
Percent Hispanic: 18.5 (north), 14.8 (south)

Food and drink

A denver February brunch. Bill's Sports Collectibles, Feb. 20, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) sports; bill's sports collectibles; retail; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado; south broadway; overland;
A Denver February brunch at The District. Feb. 20, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Happy hours

Las Margs Tavern, 1521 N. Marion St.

Monday: 2-for-1 drinks from 3 p.m. to close and half-off all tequila and margaritas.

Tuesday through Saturday: $4 mouse margaritas, $2.50 draft beers, $3 well drinks 3-7 p.m.

Tuesday through Sunday: 2-for-1 on all drinks except bottled beer 10 p.m. to close.

The Irish Snug, 1201 E. Colfax Ave., #100

2 for 1 select beers, well drinks and house wines 3-7 p.m. and 10 p.m.-close daily.

The District Bistro, 1320 E. 17th Ave.

3-6 p.m. and 10 p.m.-close daily.

Thursday: Half-price bottles of wine all day.

The Three Lions, 2239 E. Colfax Ave.

3-7 p.m. and 10 p.m.–2 a.m. daily.

7–11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Best restaurants, according to me
Las Margs on Marion Street near Colfax Avenue. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) vegetarian; food; restaurant; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado;
Las Margs on Marion Street near Colfax Avenue. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

For a nice lunch or dinner: Humboldt Farm Fish Wine, 1700 Humboldt St.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the Brussels sprouts here are incredible. The rest of the menu is pretty great (and well-rounded) too, and they’ve got a fun cocktail selection.

For tacos: Las Margs Tavern, 1521 N. Marion St.

Simple, tasty and relatively cheap.

For craft beer and good grub: Vine Street Pub, 1700 Vine St.

I haven’t found a bad thing on Vine Street’s menu yet, but I really recommend the Speakeasy Steak Sandwich for meat eaters and the Boom Boom Sandwich for vegetarians.

Note: They only take cash here, so come prepared or suffer the ATM fees.

Best breakfast

Syrup City Park, 1875 York St.

Syrup isn’t all that different from any other trendy breakfast spot in Denver, but this one has park-proximity going for it. Plus, the experience of going to Syrup right on the edge of a park is at least 80 percent better than going to Syrup in the lobby of building downtown.

Waffle Brothers, 1707 N. Lafayette St.

Waffles!

Onefold, 1420 E. 18th Ave.

For a more quaint breakfast experience.

Best coffee shops
Weathervane Café. (Ashley Dean/Denverite)
Weathervane Café. (Ashley Dean/Denverite)

Weathervane Café, 1725 E. 17th Ave.

The adorable Weathervane got the highest coziness ranking in City Park West in our Coffee Shop Coziness Index, and it’s the highest score of any coffee shop we’ve visited so far.

The other two below also well. Here’s why.

St. Mark’s Coffee House, 2019 E. 17th Ave.

Caffe Sanora, 1201 E. Colfax Ave.

Parks

Ferril Lake in City Park. skyline; cityscape; city park; ferril lake; pond; water; clouds; landscape; denver; colorado; denverite; kevinjbeaty;
Ferril Lake in City Park.
City Park

You could very easily make the argument that City Park is Denver’s best park (though I have one major complaint we’ll get to in a moment). It’s got everything, including two lakes, two playgrounds, a historical monuments, the City Park Golf Course, tennis courts, baseball, football and soccer fields. It’s the staging site of road races, including the Colfax Marathon, and home to festivals like City Park Jazz. Oh, and also the Denver Zoo and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

You could have quite a day without ever leaving the park.

City Park’s big problem: There’s water, which means there are geese, which means just about every square foot of this park is dotted with goose poop. Don’t wear your white sneakers.

Transportation

A biker blows through a four-way stop on 16th Street in City Park West. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) bike; sixteenth street; 16th street; city park west; kevinjbeaty; colorado; denver; denverite;
A biker on 16th Street in City Park West. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Walk score73, very walkable, most errands can be accomplished on foot.

Transit score: 55, good transit, many nearby public transportation options.

  • The 10 runs 22nd Avenue through the length of the neighborhood before turning up to 23rd and into City Park.
  • The 15 runs Colfax Avenue on the southern border.
  • The 20 runs 17th Avenue heading east and 18th Avenue heading west.
  • The 24 runs York Street on the eastern border.
  • The 12 runs Downing Street on the western border.

Bike score: 97, biker’s paradise, daily errands can be accomplished on a bike.

There are dedicated bike lanes on 16th and 22nd avenues, and on a small piece of 20th Avenue through the hospital campus. There are shared lanes on 21st Avenue, Franklin Street and part of Vine Street to the south and Lafayette Street to the north.

There are five B-Cycle stations:

  • 1100 E. 17th Ave.
  • 2001 E. 17th Ave.
  • 2045 Franklin St.
  • 1550 E. 17th Ave.
  • 1551 Lafayette St.

And one just outside the boundaries:

  • 1490 Gaylord St.

Crime

There were 889 crimes recorded in City Park West throughout 2016, or 1661.68 per square mile, according to the Denver Police Department. That makes the neighborhood No. 9 for crimes per square mile, right behind neighboring Cheesman Park.

Ashley Dean

Author: Ashley Dean

Ashley Dean covers dining and nightlife, and other odds and ends. She previously covered music and did some copy editing for the Denver Post, the Colorado Daily and the Daily Camera. She's from New York, likes her bourbon straight and has strong opinions about Kanye West. She can be reached at adean@denverite.com, 303-502-2804 or @AshleyDean.