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Discovering Federal Blvd Denver: A Guide to the Best Hidden Gems in Denver

These days, Denver is sprawling. You might think that a sprawling city filled with transplants is ripe for chains and franchises, but not if this generation has anything to say about it. We prefer small local businesses with delicious food and unique ideas in up-and-coming neighborhoods. Hidden gems, if you will. One of my favorite spots to find hidden gems in Denver is Federal Boulevard. 

Federal Blvd Denver runs North to South from Broomfield to Littleton and cuts right through the West side of the city. Unfortunately, Federal tends to receive a bad rep with poorly maintained roads and run-down buildings that once hosted failed auto and insurance businesses. However, near the highlands neighborhood in the heart of Denver, it is becoming more of a hot spot. I truly have found some of the best food with incredible deals on Federal and I just needed to share it with the rest of you Denverites. 


  • Hours: Mon-Tues: 7 am-7 pm, Wed-Fri: 7 am-9 pm, Sat: 9 am-9 pm, Sun: 9 am-3 pm
  • Price: $$
  • Location: Speer & Federal

Nurture was the inspiration for this list of hidden gems in Denver. It is defined as a “WellCare marketplace” that features various wellness providers, services, and retailers. Not to mention Nest Cafe and ReWild bar that serve up an incredible brunch. You can spend an entire day at Nurture. Start with a fitness class, get a massage, try out sound healing, go to counseling, grab a coffee and a bite to eat, WFH, and finally buy all of the self-care products you need. The best way to experience Nurture is to sign up for their membership program. With it, you’ll get unlimited & discounted access to movement classes, recovery services, meal credits and so much more! Once you experience Nurture, you will literally want to spend every day here. I wish I could drink the stress relief latte every day.

Chili Verde

  • Hours: Sun-Thurs: 12 pm-9 pm, Fri-Sat: 12 pm-10 pm
  • Price: $$
  • Location: Federal and 23rd 

Chili Verde is our favorite Friday night happy hour. It’s a chill hang with great deals and some of the best Mexican food I’ve had in Denver. As a true hidden gem in Denver, Chili Verde is in an unassuming strip of buildings that you’ve probably driven by a thousand times. Behind the restaurant is a sibling duo from Puebla, Mexico whose goal is to keep their parent’s cooking alive while bringing authentic Mexican Cuisine to Denver. Down to their plating, each dish is designed with this authenticity in mind. The food genuinely comes out looking beautiful. Some of our favorite dishes include fajitas, anything mole, and their $3 happy hour tacos. We’ve only done dinner here, but you can also head there for brunch and lunch. Happy hour is on weekdays from 3-6 pm. 

Petunia Bakeshop

  • Hours: Thurs-Sunday: 8 am-3 pm 
  • Price: $
  • Location: Federal and 23rd

Right across the street from our beloved happy hour spot, is the cutest of these Denver hidden gems. Petunia Bakeshop opened its doors in January 2022 and has since become a staple in the Jefferson Park neighborhood. The bakery is owned by a couple who have spent their careers in the bakery biz. Petunia makes it all from a full coffee bar and pastries to custom cakes. We love to grab their savory croissants with some coffee to kick off weekend mornings. You can keep it simple with a ham and cheese croissant + black coffee or go for more elevated with a quesabirria croissant + horchata latte (recs from @workfromdenver on Instagram).


  • Hours: Tues-Wed: 11 am-9 pm, Thurs-Sat: 11 am-10 pm, Sun: 1-8 pm
  • Price: $$
  • Location: Federal and Speer 

What started as an award-winning Latin, Asian & American food truck in Denver has now become its very own brick-and-mortar restaurant that opened last spring. You might ask yourself why a well-known food truck is making this list of hidden gems in Denver. I’ll give 5 reasons. First, Taco Tuesday and live comedy on the last Tuesday of every month. Next, $1 wings Wednesdays from 4 pm-7 pm. Number three, salsa dancing on Thursdays. Then, live music on Fridays and Saturdays from 7-10 pm. And finally, $1 wings and happy hour all day on Sunday. The deals and entertainment are endless. First and foremost, however, is the delicious food that started it all. Taco Tuesday, the incredible green chili cheese fries + a comedy show is our favorite combo where you can get laughs and tacos for $2, $3, and $4.

Federal Bar and Grill

Federal Blvd Denver: Fed Bar
  • Hours: Tues-Sat: 11 am-10 pm, Sun: 11 am-9 pm 
  • Price: $$
  • Location: Federal and 25th

Federal Bar and Grill is the quintessential neighborhood bar that everyone hopes for. A laid-back atmosphere with great food, friendly staff, and a large beer list. In my opinion, neighborhood bars in-and-of themselves become hidden gems in Denver. Think about it, everyone has that go-to spot that we can walk to on a lazy Friday night and it becomes our best-kept secret. Fed Bar is the perfect setting for sports games and summer nights hanging on their patio. You can head to Fed Bar for happy hour M-F from 3-6 pm or on a Tuesday for all-day happy hour. 

My Thai Cafe

Federal Blvd Denver
  • Hours: Tues/Thurs: closed, Mon, Wed, Fri: 11 am-9 pm, Sat-Sun: 12 pm-9 pm
  • Price: $$
  • Location: Federal and 25th

Right next to the Fed Bar on Federal Blvd in Denver, is this hidden gem. My Thai Cafe is not your typical Thai takeout. The restaurant hosts a beautifully cozy dining room with a full bar while providing an insanely large menu. You’ll probably see the owner while you’re there too. She’s always around taking care of the place that she has clearly put so much passion and love into. This shows in My Thai’s fresh ingredients and delicious dishes. While Thai food can be a dime a dozen in a large city like Denver we have absolutely found our favorite in My Thai.

This list is just scratching the surface of all the incredible food and small businesses that you can find on Federal Blvd in Denver. Not to mention, Federal Blvs is definitely not the only up-and-coming spot in Denver. As I said before, this city is sprawling, and the hidden gems in Denver are endless. So, don’t count anything out, be open to new experiences, and keep your eyes peeled for some Denver hidden gems.

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