Neighborhood Guide: East Colfax, Denver
East Colfax spent many years with the reputation of being the place to satisfy any vice. However, remnants of those seedy, bygone days are (almost) all but gone. Today, East Colfax is a cultural and culinary hotspot. It boasts some of the most popular and innovative businesses Denver has to offer. If you love easy access to entertainment, food, and a bit of quirkiness, East Colfax might just be the perfect place to look for your next home.
Where is it?
“East Colfax” is the stretch along Colfax Avenue from Civic Center Park to approximately Colorado Boulevard. This section of Colfax, along with its eastern and western counterparts, is the longest avenue in the country. It stretches east from Aurora all the way to the foothills of Golden. It used to be the main thoroughfare to get to the mountains before I-70 was finished and is the reason you’ll see so many iconic 1950’s-era hotels dotting the strip - though these are quickly being replaced with modern apartment buildings.
The parts of Colfax to the east and west of this area aren’t as commercial and exciting. However, the various neighborhoods north and south of this east-west road are full of lovely parks, historic homes, and tons of opportunities for fun. One of Denver’s proudest open spaces is the enormous City Park just north of East Colfax. There, you can visit the Denver Zoo, the Museum of Nature and Science, or just enjoy miles of trails, scenic lakes and ponds, fields and courts for sports of all kinds.
What’s there to do?
A fan of literature and live performances? The Tattered Cover Bookstore, Sie FilmCenter and Twist and Shout Records - all within the same building - are the media meccas of Denverites who love books, film, or music. These stores are usually the first in the city to host author visits, special musical performances or film festival screenings. East Colfax also plays host to the famous Fillmore, Ogden, and Bluebird Theaters - many residents’ preferred place to see their favorite bands live.
For some amazing food, grab a margarita at Tacos Tequila Whiskey, a gyro at Greek Town, a chocolate-drizzled dinner at Chocolate Lab, or a bacon-covered donut at Voodoo Donuts. But those are just the famous spots. Make sure you hit up the dozens of hole-in-the-wall international joints offering amazing Ethiopian injera, Vietnamese boba, or Thai spring rolls.
For a fun day out, get a drink and play vintage games at the grown-up arcade, 1Up, or visit the City Park Esplanade Farmers Market in front of the beautiful East High School.
Where would you be living?
There are many affordable apartments just off of East Colfax. You'll find buildings oozing with charm from the early 1900’s as well as some fun, mid-century mod versions. Scattered between apartments, there are also many single-family, quintessential Denver Foursquare-style homes that owners keep in tip-top shape. The area is popular with young people, as well as young families who thrive in a downtown setting, despite the crowded streets and often rowdy weekends.
It is surprising how quiet the streets get just a block or two away from the main drag, but parking can be tight, and during the wrong time of day, traffic on these narrow streets can move like molasses.
Is East Colfax Right for You?
If you can envision yourself walking to your favorite band’s concert, with a drink at a dive bar afterward, and then stopping by Voodoo Donuts at 2 a.m., you might just love living in always-surprising East Colfax.