With the Denver gaining more light rail tracks, the more outer neighborhoods of the metro area are well within reach. Once such area is historic downtown Littleton, where a variety of bars, restaurants and shops are all within walking distance of the rail station. With warm weather on its way, consider a trip to Denver’s southern suburb. How to get there? From downtown Denver, take the D Line at the Convention Center, or from Lodo take the C Line from Union Station.
Delizios Bistro & Wine Bar: A charming European cafe is dropped right in the middle of Littleton in what was once a 1920s gas station. With a style reminiscent of the street cafes of Vienna, Paris and Geneva, Delizios serves lunch and dinner, and employees a master sommelier to help diners select one of the 35 wines by the glass or 70 by the bottle. Wines can also be enjoyed in flights (2299 W. Main St.; 720-897-6550).
Karma Bar & Tapas: This tiny side street tapas house packs a punch for its size. Along with food and drink, enjoy live acoustic music, or, if you’ve got the pipes, try your hand at karaoke night (5654 S. Prince St.; 720-524-8420).
Kate’s Wine Bar: This European-style wine bar opened in June 2008 and is run by mother-daughter team of Jayne Barth and Vanessa Menke. Kate is the name of their mother/grandmother. Alongside over 40 bottles of wine, the duo also offers specialty cocktails, beer and non-alcoholic drinks (5671 S. Nevada St.; 303-999-2895).
McKinners Pizza Bar: Canadian-born Keven Kinaschuk made his way to Littleton by way of the University of North Dakota. He had run restaurants all over the country before opening this pizza bar in 2006. The drink list features Colorado brewers Dry Dock, Odell's and Oskar Blues and Colorado spirit Fireside Colorado Whiskey, Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey and Downslope Distilling (2389 W. Main St.; 303-798-8500).
Merle’s: Housed in what was once a 1930s gas station, Merle’s maintains its automotive heritage with an auto theme throughout the restaurant, featuring the original garage doors and vintage signs as decor. A 10-beers tap list is ready to pour, and Wednesdays are "Ladies Wine Night," featuring a glass of wine for $3 from 6 PM–close. Don't miss the chance to spend a summer evening on the rooftop terrace (2609 W. Main St.; 303-797-6008).
Ned Kelly’s Irish Pub: It doesn’t have to be St. Patrick’s Day to enjoy an evening at Ned Kelly’s. Named after an Irish-Australian rougue, this is one of those homey local pubs that welcomes everyone (5686 S. Sycamore St.; 720-283-8717).
Old Mill Brewery & Grill: Designated by the City of Littleton as a historic landmark, the building that houses Old Mill has been around since 1901. It was built on land homesteaded by Littleton’s founder, Richard Little. A flour mill until 1979, a series of restaurants began occupation of the building in the '80s, and in 2008, a brewery was added. Try the beers by the pint, pitcher or growler including Old Mill Pilsner, Riverside Red, Western Welcome Wheat and Downtown Littleton Brown (5798 S. Rapp St.; 303-797-2433).
The Tavern Littleton: The Tavern Littleton maintains the great food and atmosphere of its downtown Denver sister, but has a swagger all its own. Located on the corner of Main and Curtice Streets the Tavern has both indoor and outdoor seating and all the great pub food you’ve come to love. Other features include cozy lounges, indoor and outdoor fireplaces and HD TVs everywhere you look (2589 W. Main St.; 303-730-7772).
The Toad Tavern: Littleton’s home for live music, the Toad Tavern has been delighting eardrums for over 20 years. The likes of Marc Broussard, Del Amitri, Chris Daurte, Steve Poltz and many others have graced the 15-by-30-foot stage at this funky bar, which offers a food menu on show days. Located on the west side of Santa Fe Drive, you might need a cab from the Light Rail station to get here (5802 S. Federal Cir.; 303-795-6877).
Carrie Dow, Drink Denver