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Donuts & Choo-choos Downtown

Habit Doughnuts

One of ZB’s favorite words right now is “choo-choo.” We play “choo-choo” more than anything else with her Brio set just like the one I played with when I was a kid. She is always on the look out for “choo-choos” and lets us know when she spies or hears one.

RTD Light Rail: Denver’s Great Public Transportation System

RTD Light Rail Denver
RTD Light Rail Denver

A trip on the light rail seemed like a fun family adventure for ZB…planned around brunch for us. (And nap time of course.) After all she never before rode a train. We plotted our course in advance – because Josh loves any opportunity to study a map. Luckily, we also had some RTD tickets at home, which always makes life easier. (A local ticket costs $2.60 per person one-way; kids 5 and under are free.)

When we asked ZB if she would like to go on a “choo-choo,” her face lit up. “I can actually ride on a choo-choo,” she thought (or so I imagined). As we walked to the station platform, I explained to her that trains move very fast and are dangerous. She seemed to hold my hand tighter – at least I certainly hoped so because she’s normally a danger mouse. The entire process, she was mesmerized – waiting and watching other light rails and cargo trains pass us, getting onto the rail car, and seeing people buzzing around downtown.

The mile walk from Union Station to our brunch destination was full of things to admire. The bridges with cool architecture, the angel wings, Commons Park, and crossing the “mighty” South Platte River. I was glad we brought the stroller though – and ZB enjoyed pointing at every dog we encountered. There were so many! (Like they say, everyone in Colorado has a dog.)

Habit Doughnuts | Carbon Cafe & Bar
Habit Doughnuts | Carbon Cafe & Bar

Habit Doughnut Dispensary | Carbon Cafe & Bar

The Highland Bridge brought us to Platte on a pedestrian 16th Street. We easily spotted what Josh and I were searching for: coffee and food! Not just any coffee and food: donuts at Habit Doughnut Dispensary, and coffee and breakfast dishes at the adjoining Carbon Cafe & Bar.

Habit Doughnuts
Habit Doughnut – Plain

The restaurants are located in Paris on the Platte’s old home. Yes, sadly the Denver landmark closed. 🙁 In college, my friends and I always stopped at Paris on the Platte on trips from Boulder to Denver. And Josh and his friends frequented there as far back as high school.

Habit Doughnut Dispensary and Carbon Cafe & Bar seem to be filling the big shoes left behind when Paris on the Platte shut. The donut shop is to the left. And don’t be fooled by what appears to be a small coffee shop. Carbon Cafe extends out to the old Paris patio and has funky seating with lots of great nooks and art. While we enjoyed the breakfast dishes, Carbon  stays open late and serves beer, wine, and cocktails from its stylish bar.

ZB’s eyes grew heavy as the light rail swayed back and forth along the tracks. As I put her down for her nap once we were home, she whispered, “choo-choo.” And while our babe slept, Josh and I devoured the donuts we brought home. Delicious! 🙂

Habit Doughnut Dispensary | Carbon Cafe & Bar | 1553 Platte Street #130, Denver, CO 80202 | 720.428.8565

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Liz PM

Liz was fortunate enough to grow up in Steamboat Springs and is proud to have thru-hiked the Colorado Trail. These days, in addition to mountain biking, hot springing, and photographing her way through the Centennial State, Liz teaches yoga and constantly inspires others to enjoy the finer points in life!

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