City, O' City exterior, Denver 2009City, O’ City
206 East 13th Avenue (next to Watercourse Bakery)
13th and Sherman
Capitol Hill, Denver
Open until 2 am every night
Bus directions:take the 0 from Market Street Station to Broadway and 13th; walk east to Sherman

On an extended mosey up 13th Avenue to see the off-Colfax regions of Capitol Hill, I came upon City, O’ City. As soon as I stepped through the door I got a big welcome city-o-city-welcome-sign-denver-2009and went to sit at the bar.

I had heard this place was a hangout for the Capitol Hill crowd, but it looked far too laid-back for that. It was also fairly empty on a Saturday. And I soon realized it was a vegetarian restaurant, which I hadn’t expected at all. I must have decided in my head that it was a wood-paneled, dark, very masculine kind of place that served large helpings of meat.

I ordered one of the specials, a Garden Pie, which sounded intriguing. While dreams of quiche filled my head, I sipped my cup of Jasmine Pouchong tea, one of their top-shelf selections at $2.53 per mismatched cup and saucer.

The 10-inch Garden Pie was not quiche, of course, but a pizza unlike any I’ve ever had before:city-o-city-garden-pie-denver-2009 no cheese, drenched in the reduction, and covered with small pieces of arugula and tomatoes and asparagus and onion. When my waitress in the low-backed dress put it on the bar in front of me, it was steaming. Amazingly, despite the reduction everywhere, the crust was still crisp through the first and even the second pieces (I ate three and had to leave the rest because I didn’t want to carry it around). It was not elegantly presented, but for a salad on pizza crust, it tasted good and provided a lot of nourishment for $9—enough food for two people, or even three who wanted a light meal.

Sometime during the second piece of pizza, my leg began to go numb. I sat at the bar so I could talk to the staff, but I think a table would be more comfortable than the wobbly black-and-silver bar stools. The music, described as “down tempo” on the website, was funky and vaguely new age by turns. Behind me sat a young woman in a white beret, reading; another skinny young woman in black leather leggings came in to order some coffee.

One of the servers, who had corkscrew brown curls and was wearing a shiny red-and-black-checked shirt, city-o-city-interior-denver-2009told me that Watercourse Foods had been here until a couple of years ago, and after it moved to a new location in Uptown Denver, the owners opened City, O’ City in the old space. Right next door is Watercourse Bakery, where you can get gluten-free baked goods.

So the name has changed and the menu has (mostly) changed and a wall was knocked out, but the vibe is the same. Politicos come by for lunch or a drink and sit down with their opponents and relax. Then they go back to the Capitol and resume their battles. But it’s not just lobbyists and lawyers: the young artists who attend the Art Institute of Colorado at 12th and Lincoln like the cheap food too.

So what is City, O’ City, besides a place with a funny, vaguely poetic name? A vegetarian restaurant? A pizza joint? A coffeehouse? A bar that stays open until 2 am?

I suspect it will require more investigation.
City, O' City on Urbanspoon

Leave A Comment

  1. BernardL March 24, 2009 at 5:27 am - Reply

    It does appear to have a very enticing feel to it and the food sounds like a bargain. I caught the mismatched cup and saucer bit. 🙂

  2. Beth Partin March 24, 2009 at 7:59 am - Reply

    It was a strange place, kind of a coffeehouse vibe, kind of not. I want to check it out late at night.

    Beth Partin’s last blog post..Capitol Hill, Denver: The All-Purpose Restaurant

  3. saint facetious March 24, 2009 at 9:43 am - Reply

    Good luck finding a seat late at night. Or even after 6 or 7. Place gets too crowded. Heck, I’m surprised you found it empty on a Saturday. There must have been a hipster convention going on elsewhere in town. When it first started, it had a complete coffeehouse vibe. But as business picked up more and more, the laid back coffee house vibe began to decline and spiral. But sometimes, at strange hours, you can catch it empty enough to relax. Like when you were there. I’m no fan of the food there, and glad they started making more appetizers. The fried mushrooms aren’t bad, nor are the fries, when paired with the right sauce. They’re coffees are good. And the beer, of course, is good, if a bit pricey.

    saint facetious’s last blog post..Languages and more languages

  4. james March 24, 2009 at 10:29 am - Reply

    Nice write up – I’m not vegetarian but these two places are some of my favorites places to eat in Denver. I live nearby and stop in often

    Cheers from Denver – james…

    james’s last blog post..Walgreens vs ePassport Photo

  5. Beth Partin March 24, 2009 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    Saint, there was a lot of traffic going into Denver when I left–maybe something was going on that kept all the people out of City, O’ City. Anyway, I can stand up for an hour or two if I have to, even if I do sit on my butt all day reading. 🙂

    Beth Partin’s last blog post..Capitol Hill, Denver: The All-Purpose Restaurant

  6. Beth Partin March 24, 2009 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    James, thanks for stopping by! I tried to visit your blog but got a “Database Error” message.

    Beth Partin’s last blog post..Capitol Hill, Denver: The All-Purpose Restaurant

  7. Beth Partin March 24, 2009 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    James, actually, it seems you have a “no follow” tag on the link to your blog. Is that something that you can turn off on

    Beth Partin’s last blog post..Capitol Hill, Denver: The All-Purpose Restaurant

  8. Catherine March 25, 2009 at 7:19 am - Reply

    Hipster convention, heh. The pie looks fantastic. Have you considered adding your blog posts to google maps?

    Catherine’s last blog post..Spontaneous

  9. Beth Partin March 25, 2009 at 7:50 am - Reply

    Actually, no. How do I do that? And have you heard of something called a Schmap?

    Beth Partin’s last blog post..Capitol Hill, Denver: The All-Purpose Restaurant

  10. saint facetious March 25, 2009 at 7:58 am - Reply

    Is that like a Jewish map?

    saint facetious’s last blog post..Languages and more languages

  11. Beth Partin March 25, 2009 at 8:06 am - Reply

    No, 🙂 it’s some kind of application that lets you map all these places you’ve been–don’t know how it compares to Google maps.

    Beth Partin’s last blog post..Capitol Hill, Denver: The All-Purpose Restaurant