Breakfast King may be gone, but Denver diners carry on. Here are some of our favorites.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

Ed and Marv have been eating at the Breakfast Inn on Evans Avenue for 30 years. Virginia Village, Jan. 26, 2022.

Ed and Marv have been eating at the Breakfast Inn on Evans Avenue for 30 years. Virginia Village, Jan. 26, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Desiree

When the news hit that Breakfast King, a Denver diner staple in the Overland neighborhood, was set to close, social media wept.

“Rumor has it that the Breakfast King is closed for good….Totally bummed about this news.”

“Bummer.. tell me it’s not true….”

“What?! No! I was just there. Please say it ain’t so!”

‘Tis so, and Breakfast King isn’t the only diner to shut down in recent years. Tom’s Diner. The Denver Diner.

Barbara Dey and Debra Fawcett finish up coffee at Tom's Diner on East Colfax Avenue. North Capitol Hill, Aug. 15, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Barbara Dey and Debra Fawcett finish up coffee at Tom's Diner on East Colfax Avenue. North Capitol Hill, Aug. 15, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

In the Denver Foodies Facebook group, someone recently posted a picture with a caption that read, “Post a restaurant that isn’t around anymore that you miss.” It has about 215 comments.

The ongoing pandemic has been a strain on local favorites.

“Since COVID, our sales have dropped,” said Alejandro Landa, a manager at Javier’s Diner on Tennyson Street in Berkeley. “We have customers who’ve been coming here for six, seven years, but COVID’s been affecting us. Especially on weekends. We used to have a wait on weekends, but now… we haven’t had a wait outside for over a year.”

Javier’s has served classic diner dishes with a Mexican twist for about 16 years. Landa said neighbors have shown their support, but with mask mandates and COVID variants, he understands that people want to keep their distance.

A chocolate milkshake at Sam's No. 3 on Curtis St. downtown. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)  food; milkshake; dessert; diner; sam's no. 3; denver; colorado; kevinjbeaty; denverite;

A chocolate milkshake at Sam's No. 3 on Curtis St. downtown. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) food; milkshake; dessert; diner; sam's no. 3; denver; colorado; kevinjbeaty; denverite;

At the Breakfast Inn on Evans Avenue in Virginia Village, Shelby Doggett, the general manager, said COVID has definitely forced restaurants to adapt. But she also blamed the demise of diners on simple choice.

“The market is saturated with places to eat, so people forget about diners,” Doggett said. “We have a strong following of guests, and we’re really thankful to have survived. We never like to see local people having to close down.”

Ed and Marv have been eating at the Breakfast Inn on Evans Avenue for 30 years. Virginia Village, Jan. 26, 2022.

Ed and Marv have been eating at the Breakfast Inn on Evans Avenue for 30 years. Virginia Village, Jan. 26, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

The Breakfast Inn has been around for 47 years, serving neighbors chicken-fried steak and, Doggett’s favorite, chile rellenos.

Doggett said the difference between a diner and the average Denver restaurant is the feel and atmosphere: no frills, just comfort. Hopefully more Denverites start to look for that when they dine out.

“All we can look forward to is growth,” Doggett said. “New people finding us and those same people staying. And keeping our guests coming back with home cooked meals and healthy portions. Family, friends and comfort: That’s what a diner represents.”

Alexa Wynschenk and Saba Teklu finish breakfast at Tom's Diner. Dec. 21, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Alexa Wynschenk and Saba Teklu finish breakfast at Tom's Diner. Dec. 21, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

If you’re looking for your next go-to breakfast spot, here’s a list we’ve put together. Think eggs, pancakes, potatoes and, of course, green chile. If we forgot your favorite, let us know at tips@denverite.com! We’ll continue to update this list.

Annie’s Cafe and Bar

3100 E Colfax Avenue
Serving up huevos rancheros and biscuits and gravy for over 40 years. Oh, plus cozy, kitschy vibes.

Breakfast Inn

6135 East Evans Avenue
Dingy on the outside, delicious on the inside.

Breakfast Inn on Evans Avenue in Virginia Village. Jan. 26, 2022.

Breakfast Inn on Evans Avenue in Virginia Village. Jan. 26, 2022.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Butcher’s Block Cafe

1701 38th Street
Homemade cinnamon rolls. That’s the pitch.

Dozen’s

236 W 13th Avenue
Reader recommended. “Not so old, so greasy, or so dingy but excellent food, reasonable prices, and a true Denver approach where fresh food is fresh and the folk are friendly.”

Javier’s Diner

3801 Tennyson Street
Northside goods. Chilaquiles or chicken and waffles.

Lookin’ Good

66 Sheridan Boulevard
Simple Greek, American and Mexican diner.

Moonlight Diner

6250 Tower Road
A tin-can spot with a shiny exterior and a throwback interior.

Pete’s Kitchen

1962 E Colfax Avenue
Classic Greek diner food. Pete’s, named after Pete Contos, who passed away in 2019, has been flipping pancakes and wrapping gyros for decades.

A portrait of Pete Contos, printed on a Colfax Avenue banner, hangs inside Pete's Kitchen, May 13, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

A portrait of Pete Contos, printed on a Colfax Avenue banner, hangs inside Pete's Kitchen, May 13, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Sam’s No. 3

1500 Curtis Street
No diner is complete without a 400+ page menu, and Sam’s has that. Sam’s is a mix of Greek, American and Mexican diner flair with supposedly the best green chile in town.

Here are some spots outside of Denver:

The Breakfast Queen: 3460 S Broadway, Englewood

Davies’ Chuck Wagon Diner: 9495 W Colfax Ave, Lakewood

Hits the Spot Diner: 5637 W Colfax Ave, Lakewood

Davie's Chuck Wagon Diner on West Colfax Avenue. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)  colfax; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado; food; restaurant; lakewood;

Davie's Chuck Wagon Diner on West Colfax Avenue. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) colfax; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado; food; restaurant; lakewood;

Rosie’s Diner: 14061 E Iliff Ave, Aurora

Stephanie’s Diner: 7691 Brighton Blvd, Commerce City

Sunrise Sunset: 1424 S Wadsworth Blvd, Lakewood

Hits The Spot Diner on West Colfax (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)  denver; colorado; denverite; kevinjbeaty; littleton; food; breakfast;

Hits The Spot Diner on West Colfax (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) denver; colorado; denverite; kevinjbeaty; littleton; food; breakfast;

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