Stroll the cobblestone sidewalks and tree-lined streets of Denver's South Pearl neighborhood, and you'll discover fab eateries offering creative cuisine.
Before leaving, pick out a flavorful scoop of organic ice cream or a thick malt at one of its newest attractions ― PBC (Pajama Baking Co.) Market. Then take a jaunt through the park to welcome spring.
From downtown, take I-25 south to exit 206 and go west on E. Louisiana Ave. to S. Pearl St. Or take the light rail (from $1.75 one way; 303/299-6000) to the Louisiana-Pearl Light Rail Station, on E. Louisiana Ave. between Buchtel Blvd. and I-25, about one block east of S. Pearl St. For a neighborhood map and more information, visit the Old South Pearl Street Association.
Gaia Bistro In a restored Victorian home, try crêpes made with herbs and veggies grown in the garden out back. INFO: $; breakfast and lunch Tue-Sun, dinner Tue (reservations required); 1551 S. Pearl St.; 303/777-5699.
Izakaya Den The new sibling of Denver's popular Sushi Den is already a hit, with chilled sake and Japanese-fusion small plates to share on the serene patio. INFO: $$$$; 1518 S. Pearl; 303/777-0691.
Mulberries Cake Shop Even if you're not buying, it's fun to gape at the whimsical cake designs. INFO: Closed Sun-Mon; 1570 S. Pearl; 303/282-1044.
5 Green Boxes Though the store is full of home accessories (hand-dipped candles, patio lanterns), the real stars are one-of-a-kind appliquéd furniture pieces. INFO: 1705 S. Pearl; 303/282-5481.
PBC Market A foodies' playground is scheduled to open this month, with prepared comfort foods, artisanal breads, sundries from Colorado companies, and housemade ice cream (one exotic flavor is black truffle and caramelized pear). INFO: $; 1595 S. Pearl; 303/733-3622.
Platt Park Stroll through the 3.7-acre park two blocks west of the shopping district, or rest on a bench and watch the season come into bloom. INFO: Bounded by E. Florida Ave., E. Iowa Ave., S. Grant St., and S. Logan St.; 720/913-1311.
The Village Cork Order a wine flight with three varietals ($12), and practice pairing with small plates like smoked salmon with ginger-peach sauce. INFO: $$; closed Sun; 1300 S. Pearl; 303/282-8399.
Check out this month's First Friday Art Walk (4-8 Apr 4; free; 303/282-7343), a tradition in many Denver neighborhoods and art districts, when stores and private galleries open their doors for browsing, socializing, and aperitifs.