How to Spend the Perfect Day in Cherry Creek

The best places to eat and shop

Cherry Creek, North Italia
••• A chef prepares food at North Italia in Cherry Creek. North Italia

The upscale Cherry Creek neighborhood is one of Denver's best destinations for shopping, dining and a classy night on the town. If you're visiting Denver, Cherry Creek is a must see.

But with way more than 100 different shops spread across a beautiful walking district and shopping center, it can be hard to narrow down the options. 

Here are a few of our top picks for a full-day excursion in Cherry Creek.

 

Breakfast: Snooze 

The Snooze chain is easily Colorado's most beloved breakfast obsession, and one taste of the sticky toffee pudding French toast or the wide selection of benedicts, and you'll know why. 

If you don't mind venturing about a mile outside of Cherry Creek, Devils' Food is a vintage-style bakery with freshly made pastries and a scrumptious classic breakfast menu. Because it's old-school, no cell phone usage allowed. Don't panic; it's a great way to start the day. 

After breakfast, browse the unique shops on Cherry Creek's walking mall. Make sure you don't miss the Artisan Center in Cherry Creek North. Here, you'll find the most gorgeous local jewelry and one-of-a-kind gifts to take back home. 

Lunch: True Food Kitchen

True Food Kitchen is totally Colorado, with super healthy, organic offerings served with a gourmet spin. What makes True Food stand out from the many other healthy restaurants in the area is it works closely with Dr.

Andrew Weil, who created the anti-inflammatory diet as a guide to mindful eating, where you don't have to compromise taste. For a more casual experience, the Cherry Cricket has a cult-like following. This casual, former trucker bar has been filling Denver's belly with beer and burgers since 1945. It's a breath of fresh air in the neighborhood that can feel a little uppity – and it's well known for serving up the best burgers in the area.

 After lunch, the nearby Cherry Creek Shopping Center is full of top-notch shops if you want to fill more bags – including 40 stores exclusive to the area, such as Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., and Burberry. In the summer, the mall is the home to farmers markets. In the winter, warm up in the movie theater.  

Or if you're all shopped out, for a unique afternoon of creative entertainment, check out La Piccola Venezia (250 Steele St., Denver), a chic art bar where you can paint and decorate Venetian-style masks, assisted by professional artists and perhaps a glass of wine. 

Dinner: North Italia

North Italia redefines Italian comfort food. Although they specialize in handmade pasta and pizza, you can get totally full and satisfied here without touching the carbs. Start with the grilled artichoke, plump and packed with sea salt, truffle, lemon aioli and Grana Padano cheese. Another highly recommended shared appetizer is the Chef's Board, a beautiful spread of prosciutto di parma, artisan cheese, roasted pepper, olives, almonds, and eggplant. 

For the main course, the Diver Scallops served with risotto, shallot, and pancetta gremolata, are an easy win. And for a taste of the fresh-made pasta, you will love the Strozzapreti: chicken, roasted mushroom, and spinach in a parmesan cream sauce.

 Wash it down with great cocktails, like the Quiet Italian Gentleman and Molto Fresco. 

The atmosphere here is unbeatable, too. Somehow, it perfectly balances sexy with sophisticated and hip with intimate. Expect top-notch service, plenty of open space around the tables and a sprawling view of the bustling mall. You can watch the chefs, too, in the exhibition kitchen made out of repurposed wood and galvanized metals and brick.

Although Cherry Creek is packed with popular restaurants, North Italia rises above the rest and remains our all-time fave. 

For dessert, Cucina Colore's Cherry Creek North is the place to go – specifically for its peach bread pudding. This is worth a drive to Cherry Creek, in and of itself. Yes, dessert can be good enough to bring tears to your eyes. Nothing compares to this sweet, melty heaven.