Chef Ludo Lefebvre, new to the Mile High City, tells us of his favorite spots in his new favorite town.

Gondola at Keystone Resort
Keystone Resort

Sunset’s Insider Guide series highlights seasonal diversions and secret travel tips from local experts. Follow along as we learn where to eat, drink, stay, and shop.

chef Ludo Lefebvre
Ludo Lefebvre.
Photo by Lionel DeLuy

Meet the insider: Chef Ludo Lefebvre, founder of Chez Maggy

“I don’t want to sound cliché, but going to Denver brings out my inner cowboy,” says chef Ludo Lefebvre, founder of Chez Maggy restaurant in Denver’s Thompson Hotel. Originally based in Los Angeles, Lefebvre is new to the Mile High City, which has no shortage of places to stay, eat, drink, and explore. So we asked for his favorite spots in his new favorite town.

WHERE TO EAT:

Hop Alley restaurant bar
Hop Alley

Chris Giovenco

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Onefold in Union Station is the best breakfast in town, Lefebvre says. He has two favorite dishes: the chilaquiles and Chinese sausage fried rice with two fried eggs. He also stops by Hop Alley for the turnip cake, made with Lap Cheong sausage and shrimp, or the La Zi Ji, which combines sichuan chili and fried chicken thighs.

WHAT TO DO:

Keystone Resort paddle boats
Keystone

Keystone Resort

“I felt like a kid in a candy store,” Lefebvre says of the first time he attended the National Western Stock Show. “The rodeo, the clothing, the ambiance. It’s fun to have a full immersion experience in the Western lifestyle.” Just an hour and a half from the center of Denver, Keystone Ski Resort also holds a special place in Lefebvre’s heart. “Our kids learned to ski at Keystone when they were 3 years old,” he says. “The ski school is top-notch, and the mountain has 128 runs.” During the summer, hike Dercum Mountain, go biking, play a few rounds of golf, or take a gondola ride.

WHERE TO STAY:

Thompson Denver Hotel lobby
Thompson Denver Hotel

Julie Soefer

“I really enjoy spending time downtown at the new Thompson Denver Hotel, home to Chez Maggy,” Lefebvre says. “It’s within walking distance to Lucchese Bootmaker, Union Station, Larimer Square, Coors Field, the Dairy Block—and the hotel has some of the best views of the city and the Rocky Mountains.”

WHERE TO DRINK:

Denver boasts some of the best breweries in the country. Oskar Blues Grill & Brew “has SO many beers on tap,” Lefebvre says. “It is fun to try and learn about different types of beers. They also have a nice selection of cider.”

WHERE TO SHOP:

Lucchese bootmaker shop
Lucchese Bootmaker

Lucchese

Lucchese Bootmaker features a variety of cowboy boots in a wide range of styles and prices. “Plus, you have to love a boot brand that has its own tequila and celebrates the purchase with a shot!!” Lefebvre says.