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