Esquire spotlights 2 Colorado businesses in Best Bars in America 2024

DENVER (KDVR) — After a year of visiting new bars across the country, Esquire magazine compiled a list of the Best Bars in America in 2024.

Many of the bars featured in the list are in California and Hawaii, or big cities like New York City, Chicago and Las Vegas. However, two Colorado bars stood out and were named as some of the best in the country this year.

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Traveling Mercies — Aurora

Traveling Mercies is an oyster and cocktail bar in the Stanley Marketplace in Aurora, located at 2501 Dallas St. The restaurant opened in late December and is run by Food & Wine Best New Chef Caroline Glover and co-owner Nelson Harvey.

The menu is rich with seafood, particularly oysters, but also features other options like wedge salads, seasonal rice pudding and small plates like the soft egg with tonnato or mussel escabeche toast.

The restaurant makes rum-based cocktails to complement the seafood and specifically pairs meals with drinks — whether that be a go-to wine option or one of its signature cocktails.

Visitors can find Traveling Mercies on the third floor of Stanley Marketplace toward the west side (Unit 311). Esquire said the room used to be an observation deck for an airport runway.

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Esquire recommends foodies try a salty, sake-infused oyster shooter, a bone-dry sherry-and-gin martini, a dozen oysters and a cold shrimp cocktail before heading downstairs to the owners’ sister restaurant, Annette, for a main meal.

Sunday Vinyl — Denver

Sunday Vinyl, located at 1803 16th St. in Denver, describes itself as a “joyful sanctuary of food, wine and vinyl.” It is a sister restaurant of Frasca Hospitality Group’s Frasca Food and Wine, Pizzeria Alberico and Tavernetta, also on 16th Street.

Frasca Food and Wine opened in 2024 and has historically been closed on Sunday evenings so that founder Bobby Stuckey and his wife Danette could spend time together with a carefully selected vinyl record and a bottle of wine, according to the restaurant’s website.

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“The name Sunday Vinyl honors this ritual of slowing down and connecting with your loved ones over great music, delicious wine and wonderful food,” the website states.

Inside the restaurant, visitors can see a large, floor-to-ceiling display of numerous different wines and hear music playing on bespoke turntables and hand-built speakers.

The menu includes a variety of dishes that pair well with a long, diverse list of wines. Some food items include oysters, Kaluga caviar, mussels, wagyu beef tartare, croquettes, seasonal plates, desserts and more. The restaurant also serves a variety of cocktails, beers, spirits, digestive and non-alcoholic options.

For any Denver foodies looking to try a new, local restaurant or bar, or who simply need an excuse to get out on the town, perhaps consider supporting these award-winning local businesses.

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