Denver > Austin

Denver is better than Austin. To us, of course. LOL!

Denver people love Austin, even if they have never been. And they should, the two cities are very similar. “Stuff’-wise, we have all the same stuff that’s in every city: Target, Costco, Aveda Institute (though I couldn’t go to the one in Austin and the one here is close/convenient)

Things that are from one or the other:

Lots of Austin (or Texas) things are in Denver.

  • Alamo Drafthouse
  • (and pre-Pandemic) Master Pancake Theater, which is now on Twitch and has a very entertaining chat, for a completely different experience! #FuckGregAbbott
  • Hopdoddy Burgers
  • Eddie V’s Prime Seafood
  • Freebirds
  • Torchy’s Tacos
  • Lustre Pearl
  • Voodoo Donut
  • Star Bar
  • Black Swan Yoga
  • Chuy’s
  • Whole Foods, of course
  • “Eeeeewchi”–a “dining experience” (who shall not be named on our blog) where you’ll drop $200+ to barely eat dinner. [We haven’t been to Soto, but have it on two very good authorities that it’s the best sushi in the Austin area.]
  • Yeti
  • Colorado Springs has a Rudy’s
  • The north side of Denver is getting a you-know-the-one beaver store (But they treat their employees like garbage, so I’m hoping it’s not the easiest for us to use since our RV that lives up there. I really don’t want that guilt.) (based in Lake Jackson)
  • Saltgrass Steakhouse (based in Houston)
  • Perry’s Steakhouse (based in Houston)
  • Pappasito’s, Pappadeaux, (based in Houston)
  • Jason’s Deli (based in Beaumont)
  • Maggiano’s Little Italy (based in Houston)
  • Fuzzy’s Tacos (based in Fort Worth)
  • Pei Wei (based in Irving)
  • Top Golf (based in Dallas)
  • Bar Louie (based in Addison)
  • Dickey’s Barbecue Pit (based in Dallas)
  • Chili’s (based in Dallas)
  • Schlotzsky’s (originally from Austin, but now based in Atlanta)

There are also some Denver-based businesses that have locations in Austin.

  • Infinite Monkey Theorem
  • Snooze
  • Einstein Bros. Bagels
  • Punch Bowl Social
  • Smashburger
  • Oskar Blues
  • Tuff Shed
  • Denver Mattress / Furniture Row
  • Red Robin (but who TF cares???)
  • G33ks Who effin’ Dr!nk – ew!

We miss

  1. our friends, more than anything else
  2. HEB (so much!!!)
  3. Tacodeli (also so much!!!)
  4. our mugs at The Local and other favorite bars
  5. 24-hour places for late-night snacking
  6. beer and wine in the grocery store
  7. big, loud, Texas thunderstorms
  8. Whataburger (but one just opened in Colorado Springs)
  9. bluebonnets (and yellow roses being a thing), other wildflowers, mountain laurel, but we are excited for the spring wildflowers in Colorado, many of which are blue/purple
  10. Rainey Street (but we miss old Rainey) and 6th Street to some degree
  11. I miss the wineries, but we didn’t go very often
  12. Austin also has the LBJ Presidential Library and the The Bullock Texas State History Museum, both of which are fantabulous

We don’t miss

  • The Redneckery® a.k.a. Texas’ politics.
    #FuckGregAbbot #FuckTedCanCruz #FuckDanPatrick #FuckGQP #FuckSexismAndPatriarchyAndRacism
    If you are still a GOP voter at this point, you should be very ashamed. If you have any humanity about you, you should have been embarrassed to the liberal side when the deranged cheeto was nominated. And if you are still GOP, then admit your bigotry/racism/sexism, and GTF off our blog. You know who we are….and so does your Jesus.
  • Live music. Yes, it’s an unpopular opinion. When live music is everywhere–in the neighborhood pub in a suburb, at the airport, in every dinky little bar in three counties–you are exposed to a lot of bad live music. There are a lot of good musicians in Austin, but there are a lot more wannabes. And, because they are “musicians” who think turning it up to 11 makes it better, they are all deaf, so it’s ear-splitting and migraine-inducing everywhere you go.
    It’s not just live music, either. We got scolded one time for covering a speaker with a jacket when we were the only group in the room! We were at one table during the dinner hour and couldn’t talk.
    We have never been to SXSW Music, ACL, or any other Austin music festival. Even at Oktoberfest/similar events, you’ll find us way out on the edge away from the noise. To us, a good DJ knows to keep the volume low enough for everyone to hear each other. We are there to socialize. If we want a concert experience, we’ll go to a concert. Guess what we never do?
  • Cedar gotdayum Fever!
  • One hundred degrees for one hundred days a year, every year.
  • humidity
  • Sunday/blue laws
  • And I’d like to miss: the emergency alerts from WilCo, but they don’t have an Unsubscribe or Stop feature. I get they don’t want people to abuse it, but I no longer need to know if there is a freeze warning in Georgetown, TX. I marked them as spam. Serves them right.


Several things about the two cities are the same.

  • State capitol
  • major university, smaller ones too, and all of that related sports/culture
  • Major League Soccer
  • State Supreme Court
  • lots of breweries – Denver has more in the city, Austin’s tend to be more rural
  • blue city
  • tech district
  • large urban park
  • botanical gardens
  • super dog-friendly city
  • community acupuncture
  • WordPress meetups
  • large convention center
  • weed is common (and pretty safe, even in Austin if you are rich enough and white enough)
  • homeless problems (and they are the same problems; Austin might be handling this a tiny bit better)
  • car washes are still hard to find, especially if you specifically want either a DIY/wand or a drive-through; they all have the monthly rate for unlimited washes (and up here, we might end up needing that)


Denver metro feels more like a real city than Austin metro ever did…and for darn good reason. The Denver city limits is pretty small, but the metro area is quite a bit larger. It’s also laid out in a grid instead of along a waterfront, so it’s denser.

city limitsmetro area
Austin950,8072,227,083 (and losing 30K per year to Denver)
Denver705,5762,932,415 (and gaining 30K per year from Austin)
population comparisons between Austin and Denver

Denver also has some pretty big things that Austin does not.

  • legal weed (an entire industry that Texas mostly lacks)
  • federal/bankruptcy court (the one for Texas is in Houston)
  • nearly every restaurant has a full bar
  • a US Mint
  • a Federal Reserve (Texas has one in Dallas)
  • Major League Baseball – the Rockies
  • NBA Basketball – the Nuggets
  • NHL Hockey – the Avalanche
  • NFL Football – the Broncos
  • a real zoo (and another GREAT zoo in Colorado Springs, a must-do if you are there)
  • Red Rocks Amphitheatre
    (think of the one in Palo Duro Canyon, but with an audience of 9,545)
  • arts districts
  • theater district
  • highly-customizable traffic alerts for all major highways and 511 for that same info
  • more museums and galleries
  • real seasons – they are still a little jonkady™, but far more predictable
  • blue state
  • liquor stores open on Sundays

Not everything is bigger (or better) in Texas.