Each year Sasha and I visit Colorado over Thanksgiving to visit his family and get some time in the mountains and snow. During our most recent visit, we decided to check out River North (locally known as “RiNo” (pronounced like “rhino” (Nevada is already taken) – they’ve even adopted a rhinoceros for their logo!) RiNo is the up and coming arts district, filled with breweries, small batch coffee shops, sustainable furniture stores, and food market halls with a general attitude of supporting local and imbibing frequently. RiNo is the perfect mixture of urban charm and industrial revival, as many of the eateries are situated inside old brick buildings that were repurposed into what is now one of the hip areas of the Mile High City.
Because we live on Oahu and good Mexican food is virtually non existent, we began our day with a meal at Los Chingones, where we had chorizo guacamole, smoked tequila, and lots of tacos…
RiNo is known for its street art scene where you can go mural hunting! Each year they host an event called Crush, where artists come together to create eclectic wall murals, livening up the neighborhood and adding a splash of color to the otherwise bland landscape. The purpose of this event is to embrace graffiti as a positive medium, giving artists a dedicated space to express themselves.
So how do you get to the art? One way is directly from Los Chingones Restaurant; just exit onto the street and turn left at the corner. On your right you will see a long alley and that’s where it begins! You can also download a map of all the mural locations HERE.
We had so much fun taking our time walking down the alley, checking out all the different styles of art.
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The colorful contrast went well with the deep blue sky. Some of the walls change weekly, so don’t get too attached to one piece!
Even with snow and ice on the ground, walking around all the color made it feel somehow warmer, even in late November.
Once you’ve seen enough murals (is that really possible though?) you can check out the other awesome parts of RiNo, including all the eateries and breweries!
1) Crema Cafe – they use local Bhakti Chai for their chai lattes, and artistic decor fills the wall space in this cozy cafe.
2) Denver Central Market – basically an indoor farmers market filled with food stalls serving various types of ethnic cuisines.
3) 14er Brewing Company
For other eateries, breweries and cafes in the RiNo area, check out Eater.
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