Jan 28, 2024 - News

Your guide to South Pearl Street in Denver's Platt Park neighborhood

Old South Pearl Street sign in front of Stella's Coffee Haus Photo: Hyoung Chang/Denver Post via Getty Images

The Old South Pearl Street sign in front of Stella's Coffee Haus. Photo: Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images

One of Denver's most vibrant neighborhoods is Platt Park, south of downtown.

State of play: Platt Park's hub is South Pearl Street with its popular farmers markets and street fairs, as well as top-notch restaurants and shops.

  • The tree-lined streets with classic architecture on either side of the commercial strip draw residents that include a former governor, social media influencers and city leaders.
  • It stretches from Broadway east to South Downing Street and is bordered at the top by Interstate 25 and by Evans Avenue to the south.

Catch up fast: Platt's first boom came in the 1890s when a tramway ran down South Pearl, and now it's one of the best-connected neighborhoods to downtown thanks to a nearby light rail station.

  • It retains elements of old Denver as home to a Duffeyroll Bakery & Cafe, the Fleming Mansion, the Colorado Potters Guild and the Denver Folklore Center.

Yes, but: Platt Park's charm is at risk as new condominiums and apartments replace former mill houses, and bungalows are scrapped for modern Lego-block houses.

  • It's also pricey. The average home price is $789,000, according to Zillow, while other real estate data puts the figure even higher.

What to watch: The neighborhood is evolving right now, particularly at the north end where the former Hanson's bar, Lincoln's Roadhouse and 7-Eleven are poised for redevelopment.

Mark your calendar: The draw each summer is the Sunday Farmers Market, as popular for a promenade as it is for fresh veggies. It runs 9am-1pm from early May through mid-November.

The best places to eat

  • Sushi Den is the neighborhood's crown jewel and one of the country's best sushi and Japanese restaurants.
  • Izakaya Den is the sister restaurant next door with global cuisine and the glass-roofed Sky Bar.
  • Ototo is the more casual cousin across the street, also owned by the Kizaki brothers, with a great sake list and amazing small plates.
  • Chook is Alex Seidel's Australian-style rotisserie chicken spot with an elevated comfort food vibe that's great for lunch and dinner.
  • Park Burger is the family-friendly corner restaurant.

Of note: For a casual bite or takeout, try Sexy Pizza, Uno Mas, Kaos Pizzeria and Gates Deli.

Where to get coffee

  • Steam Espresso Bar on the south end of the street is one of the city's best coffee shops with an expansive, dog-friendly patio.
  • Lavender Coffee Boutique is the newest addition, just off Buchtel Boulevard, and exudes a hip vibe with inventive drinks like a fig latte.
  • Stella's Coffee Haus in the middle of South Pearl is an old house popular with University of Denver study groups and client meetings.

Don't miss these spots

  • Tokyo Premium Bakery is worth the frequent lines out the door to try the milk bread and other sweet Japanese treats.
  • Sweet Cow on the south end and Stir Pan Creamery on the north end offer ice cream bookends, each different and tasty.
  • Platt Park Brewing is the neighborhood gathering spot with good lagers and a wide-ranging menu to please everyone in the group.
  • Hazel is an art bar with tasty cocktails, featured artists and DIY art kits that make more than the average watering hole.

Best places to shop

  • 5 Green Boxes is the perfect place to pick a special greeting card or shop for gifts and home decor you didn't know you needed.
  • The Ruffly Rose is so much more than a floral shop with its colorful vibe.
  • Campus Cycles on Evans Avenue is a welcoming bike shop that carries all kinds of bikes and accepts the city's e-bike rebates.
  • Melrose and Madison is one of a handful of women's clothing boutiques on the street where you can find a unique look.

Fairy scavenger hunt

A small purple fairy door
One of the fairy houses hiding in plain sight along South Pearl Street. Photo: John Frank/Axios

Between the shops and restaurants on South Pearl Street, you can find a village of fairies.

What's happening: A magical miniature world, created by a group of artists, is hiding in plain sight between Louisiana and Jewell avenues.

  • 22 fairy-sized colorful doors are positioned along its buildings, small enough that most miss them.

Be smart: If you need a cheat sheet, you can find a map on South Pearl Street's website.

Of note: Not all the doors on the map still exist.

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