Blue Island Oyster Bar & Seafood (copy)

Blue Island Oyster Bar & Seafood second location in Lone Tree opened recently at 10008 Commons St., next to the popular Snooze restaurant west of I-25 and Lincoln Avenue. (Photo by Marc Piscotty / © 2022)

A Beer Spa? Haunted house converted to "Love Bites" experience? Or just a traditional romantic dinner. 

Metro Denver residents have their choice this year. There are many restaurants and destinations to celebrate a strike from Cupid. The Denver Gazette has compiled a collection of some of the best restaurants and activities to do with a valentine on and around February 14.

Valentine’s Day traditions can get costly — The National Retail Federation stated in its most recent report for the holiday that spending is expected to reach $23.9 billion this year. More than half, 53%, of U.S. consumers planned to celebrate the holiday this year spending an estimated $175.41 per person on Valentine’s Day gifts. Candy remains the go-to staple for woo-ers: It's expected to be a part of 56% of all gifts and online shopping.

Restaurants are already receiving and taking reservations for the weekend prior and day of Valentine’s this year across Denver. Many are already booked, so don't delay

Restaurants

Urban Farmer, 1659 Wazee St., Denver, (303) 262-6070. Located in The Oxford Hotel, this chophouse focuses on sustainability and service according to its website. The downtown Union Station area location connects to a walkable area with other restaurants, bars, hotels and shops. urbanfarmersteakhouse.com

Blue Island Oyster Bar & Seafood, 2625 E 2nd Ave, Denver or 10008 Commons St., Lone Tree, (303) 333-2462 or 303-379-9108. As it says in the name, this restaurant has a raw bar, cocktails and beers among other offerings in two locations, Cherry Creek and Lone Tree. The two restaurants work with Blue Island Shellfish Farms in Long Island, New York, according to its website. “Oysters are known as an aphrodisiac so that’s always a big one for us at Valentine’s Day,” owner and operator Shawn Huggard said. “People like to come out and celebrate with us.” blueislandoysterbar.com

My Neighbor Felix, 1801 Central St., Denver, (720) 826-4880. This Mexican restaurant is located in the Highlands with 23 types of Blanco tequilas alone. The atmosphere is very modern, with LED light designs and unique wallpaper. myneighborfelix.com

Somebody People, located in the Windsor at Broadway Station Apartments, 1165 S Broadway #104, Denver, (720) 502-5681. Tricia and Sam Maher’s health-focused vegan restaurant is offering a multi-course menu and optional wine paring for Valentine’s celebrations this year. The restaurant already has 50 reservations, leaving about 35 more reservations available according to general manager Tony Marrone. somebodypeople.com

Spuntino, 2639 W 32nd Ave., Denver, (303) 433-0949. This restaurant opened in 2011 but was taken over by Chef Cindhura Reddy and General Manager Elliot Strathmann in 2014 offering scratch-minded Italian traditional dishes. Chef Cindhura Reddy and Chef di Cuisine Austin Nickel were nominated as James Beard award semi-finalists in 2021. Their restaurant has been in 5280 Magazine’s 25 Top Restaurant list in 2019, 2021 and 2022 according to the website. spuntinodenver.com

Dio Mio, 3264 Larimer St, Denver, (303) 562-1965. Located in Denver's River North neighborhood (RiNo), Dio Mio is a counter-service restaurant that serves fresh, handmade pasta at approachable prices and a relaxed atmosphere. The menu is always changing, so the website is the most up-to-date place to check what’s new. diomiopasta.com

The Bindery, 1817 Central St., Denver, (303) 993-2364. Led by Linda Hampsten Fox, The Bindery is a Highlands establishment with a goal of connecting consumers to the origins of the food they eat, according to the website. The menu consists of appetizers like smoked rabbit pecan pie and entrees such as chimichurri marinated short ribs. thebinderydenver.com

The Wolf’s Tailor, 4058 Tejon St., Denver, (720) 456-6705. If wild game and seasonal food sound appetizing, make a reservation at The Wolf’s Tailor. thewolfstailor.com

Nocturne Jazz and Supper Club, 1330 27th St., Denver, (303) 295-3333. Nocturne is all that jazz — no, really. The two-level lounge and restaurant offer live jazz, food and cocktails, according to the website. Since Nocturne is only open Wednesday through Sunday, this would be best for the weekend before Valentine’s. www.nocturnejazz.com

Guard and Grace, 1801 California St., Denver (303) 293-8500. A steakhouse concept from Chef Troy Guard, this restaurant is located in Denver and Houston. The menu includes a raw bar, charcuterie and cheese and several cuts of steak. guardandgrace.com

The Fifth String, 3316 Tejon St. #102, Denver, (720) 420-0622. Another Highlands restaurant to consider is the Fifth String, a fusion restaurant with an industrial design. the5thstring.com

Sushi Den, 1487 S Pearl St., Denver, (303) 777-0826. This is a Japanese restaurant that offers traditional Japanese plates along with internationally-inspired servings. The restaurant has been highly regarded for 28 years, according to the restaurant’s website. www.sushiden.net

Tavernetta, 1889 16th St Mall, Denver, (720) 605-1889. Located in downtown Denver, Tavernetta offers Italian cuisine from the James Beard Award-winning team of Frasca Hospitality Group. Valentine’s Day will offer a four-course chef tasting menu for $125 per person. “I think that our space is really beautiful, especially being right backed up to Union Station,” lead reservationist Hillary Grace said. tavernettadenver.com

“I think that our space is really beautiful, especially being right backed up to Union Station,” lead reservationist Hillary Grace said.

Things to Do

13th Floor Haunted House, 3400 E. 52nd Ave., Denver, (303) 355-3327. This haunted house operates beyond Halloween. The new exhibit, “Love Bites,” takes the original Halloween Haunted house and adds a twist for Valentine’s with live performers and a new theme. 13thfloorhauntedhouse.com 

Loveland’s Annual Valentine’s Day Group Wedding This year’s group wedding and vow renewal ceremony in Loveland will be held on the ice (NEW) at the Budweiser Event Center before the Feb. 14 Sweetheart Game featuring AHL hockey’s Colorado Eagles vs. Bakersfield Condors, according to a press release. www.visitlovelandco.org

Memory Mirror, Located in the Denver Art Museum, this exhibit by Lares Feliciano is an immersive installation for visitors to learn about their memory, according to Denver’s website. www.denverartmuseum.org

Heartthrob 5k, Run with your valentine at this 5K held in Johnny Roberts Memorial Park, W. 59th Avenue and Allison Street, Arvada, the Saturday before Valentine's Day, according to Denver’s website.

Valentine’s Bazaar, The Denver Bazaar is having a Valentine’s Bazaar on Feb. 10 and 11, according to their website. There will be over 60 creators, DIY workshops, food trucks and more. denverbazaar.com

The Beer Spa, 3004 N. Downing St., Denver, (720) 810-1484. While it is well known that Colorado is a producer of beer, a beer spa takes that relationship to the next level. Private “Beer Therapy Rooms” include a beer bath, infrared sauna and rain shower. There is also a tap room open to all customers that features a monthly Colorado-based brewery partner. thebeerspa.com

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