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Things to do in River North, Denver




Updated May 25, 2022 by Thiago Khoury

River North it’s Denver’s version of Miami’s Wynwood: the neighborhood of graffiti and street art, craft beers and food halls full of incredible options that make you wonder for hours where to eat.

As I once said, a sunny day in River North makes the time calculated in “selfies per minute”, so get your phone ready!

The name is River North Art District, but you can call it Rino

the full name is River North Art Districtbut we call it River North and they, the locals, call it rhinothe district where “art happens”.

I arrived by Uber, but those staying in Downtown, whether in the upper part of 16th Street or on the outskirts of Union Station, can walk without thinking twice.

The secret is to follow Larimer Street until you pass the Denver Central Market, the neighborhood’s anchor market. It is from it that Rino spreads out in the four directions.

Tips for where to eat in River North, Rino

It’s hard not to recommend Denver Central Market to a first-timer in River North. This is the type of place I like to visit the most, because it’s a market full of suppliers, so everyone will find something they like.

I suggest you arrive hungry and willing to be surprised by what you see along the way – I saw the stand of a chocolate shop that sold mirrored chocolates (from three dollars) with very different ingredients, such as jalapeño and ginger.

I remember having a pulled beef rib sandwich for lunch at a place called The Local Butcher. It could have been better, the sandwich didn’t have any sauce, but the meat was delicious.

Another amazing market and food hall is The Source, but it is not 100% ready yet due to the preparations that will also transform it into a hotel.

The Source It’s a great choice for after dark.

This Denver Central Market is so beautiful…
Denver Central Market on River North
… is a food hall full of different places to choose where to have lunch and drink. These two photos are by James Florio for Visit Denver

Other tips on where to eat

Sushi-Rama (Japanese food): it’s right before the DCM and it’s one of those Japanese restaurants with conveyor belts, so the plates pass by the tables and you only get what you want. The value is calculated according to the color of the chosen dish and the number of dishes that were removed from the conveyor belt.

Il Posto (Italian food): on the same block as the DCM, is probably the most famous restaurant in Rino. Italian food made by chef Andrea Frizzi. The menu changes according to the availability of food, always fresh.

Food (Mexican food): It’s The Source’s Mexican. Ordered quesadillas and had Mexican Coke!

The Source at River North
This is The Source, super tip in Denver
The Source at River North: Acorn Restaurant
This is Acorn…
The Source at RiNo: Comida Restaurant
… and this is Food, seen from the inside. These three photos are from Adam Larkey for Visit Denver

The Populist (international food): what a charming little place! Program for those who go at night. International food served at communal tables and in small portions, so prepare your English to chat with the neighbor next door.

The Preservery (international food): I don’t know this one, but I wish I had! It feels like a younger (and live music) version of The Populist. Whoever it is, please come back and let us know how it went!

Cart Driver (pizzeria): another young and super popular place, Cart Driver is located inside a shipping container and is famous not only for its pizzas, but also for the sparkling wine menu sold by the glass (in fact, a glass of prosecco costs 5 dollars during happy hours). hour). They also serve seafood, including oysters.

The Populist in RiNo
Look at the open air part of The Populist…
The Infinite Monkey Theorem in RiNo
…and the open-air part of The Infinite Monkey Theorem, which I’ll talk about later. Both photos of Adam Larkey for Visit Denver

Brewery tips in River North, Rino

How stupid of me to suggest breweries in a place where the best pastime is just discovering them!

Well, I’ll mention the one I don’t know first: Blue Moon, probably the only one from Denver that exports to the whole world (and it’s the farthest from them, so I ended up not going).

Ratio Beerworks: it was the one I most wanted to see because it is the biggest one on the main street, Larimer Street. The funny thing is that it has a very punk vibe, so if you want a quieter environment this might not be the best choice.

10 Barrel Brewery: 10 Barrel was born in Portland, but is spreading across the United States – this one in Denver opened in mid-2016 and is run by a “bad ass” brewmaster, as they say. If you have to choose one to sit and stay, I think 10 Barrel is the best option, both inside the shed and on the rooftop.

Tips for bars, distilleries and happy hours

rhino was already famous for beer, now with the explosion of gin in the United States, and with the arrival of The Infinite Monkey Theorem, an urban winery in the middle of Larimer Street, River North it is the destination for drinks, distilleries and happy hours, which until then were only popular in the Highlands, the neighborhood on the other side of the bridge.

The Infinite Monkey Theorem (winery): look, I didn’t go there to enjoy it, I just made a technical visit, but the place is very nice, the decor is beautiful, it must be great to spend the night there (but it ends early, it usually closes before ten). They serve wine by the can too, it’s pretty cool.

Bar Fausto: Fausto is an Italian bar, it’s not a restaurant, it’s the king of bruschetta. The menu has spirits, drinks with gin and tequila, wines, sparkling wines and… Ponche, that drink that appears in American film fraternities. Great tip to share with friends.

Other bar tips are the ones from up there: The Preservery, The Populist…

Street Art and Graffiti in River North
I could never tell where these photos were taken, I walked around the neighborhood and stopped at different walls
Street Art and Graffiti in River North
There are some that are easier to remember: this one was in a garage in front of Denver Central Market…
Street Art and Graffiti in River North
… this was in the Alley – by the way, thank you Claudinha @aprendizdeviajante_ who was in charge of taking these and all the other two thousand photos that didn’t make it into the post
Thiago Khoury, Renata Araújo, Claudia Beatriz and Carla Lencastre
These were my traveling companions on my first time in Rino: Renatina from You Must Go, Claudinha from Aprendiz and Carlinha from every magazine you can imagine

What else to do in River North, Rino

River North It’s a neighborhood to be explored, so don’t do like me who, on my first day, thought walking to The Source or Blue Moon would be too much work: wear good shoes and drink a little in each place.

Even on Saturday afternoons, there is a free shuttle that passes through several addresses.

During the night, the tip is to go out with a certain destination and enjoy a one destination night. The first Friday of each month is special and most bars and restaurants offer special promotions, invite musicians and graffiti artists, it is worth following this calendar.

Two other events worth keeping an eye out for is the bazaar with local fashion, dance and music producers that takes place on Thursday and Friday nights (each night is a different event, that’s why I said there are two). Call Denver Bazaar and this year they rotate almost 250 brands!

I’ll put once again the compilation of Stories recorded in Rino:

Lastly, be sure to stop by all the colorful walls for the best photos – and don’t forget the Alley, the alley behind Denver Central Market.

Keep an eye out for CRUSH, the annual street art festival that literally paints River North, it’s like a skin change. It usually takes place in the first week of September.

Other blog tips for planning your trip:

Already know where to stay in Denver? To do everything on foot, the tip is to stay on the outskirts of 16th Street or Union Station. I stayed at the Hilton Denver City Center and highly recommend it!

Have you already purchased travel insurance? Insurance is essential in the United States, especially in times of covid! The Insurance Promo comparator offers at least 10% off for blog readers and even pay on the card!

Can you travel without a cell phone? Do not forget to leave Brazil with your American SIM card with real unlimited internet – and through the blog link you will take at least 15% off and free and unlimited calls to Brazil!

For rent a car in the usa for the lowest price search all rental companies at once on Rentcars. They have an office in Brazil with service in Portuguese!

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