Colfax has an infamous past, but today it’s teeming with history, entertainment, and some unbeatable eats.
Colfax Avenue is the longest commercial street in the US, and the businesses it homes have helped shape the neighborhood into what it is today.
Whether you’re visiting West Colfax or thinking about moving here, this quick Denver neighborhood guide will give you everything you need to know about West Colfax.
Thinking about buying your first house in Colorado? Here’s the entire home buying process explained.
A Short History
The West Colfax neighborhood was originally known as Golden Road because it connected Golden and Denver. It was renamed in 1896 after Schuyler Colfax, vice-president to President Ulysses S. Grant.
In the early 20th century, West Colfax was known as No Man’s Land because it was sparsely populated, other than a few mansions of wealthy families and some scattered squatters’ shacks.
Today, the West Colfax corridor is a 26-mile-long strip that stretches from Aurora to the mountains, cutting through Denver, Lakewood, and Golden. It’s a small town with a population of around 9,500 and retains much of its quaint charm.
Top Things To Do
West Colfax is a quiet town, but there are some hidden gems to keep you busy.
Buy a vintage record
Twist and Shout is a favorite with West Colfax residents and a real trip down memory lane. The vintage record shop has something for every type of music lover, including records, band tees, and posters. You might even catch a live gig some nights.
Stroll through the farmer’s market
West Colfax holds a fresh market in the semi-circle at 2504 E Colfax Ave, west Denver. Sat in front of a pretty fountain and lawn, it’s perfect for a stroll, and you’ll find some delicious local produce and homemade treats.
Visit the largest independent bookstore in the US
Tattered Cover is a must-visit in the West Colfax neighborhood. It’s the largest independent bookstore in the United States, with so many hidden nooks to sit and read in. You’ll find people studying and sipping coffee or just enjoying a quiet afternoon with a good book.
The median home price in West Colfax is $743,000, which is 22.8% higher than it was in 2021. This makes it one of the more affordable areas to buy in Denver.
Even so, it’s only around 11 minutes from the bustling area of Downtown Denver, so you’re still close to the action.
If you’re looking to rent, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in West Colfax is just over $2,000. That’s 30% higher than it was last year.
While you’re in West Colfax, make sure to check out some of our favorite places. From creative artwork to tasty donuts, it’s a fun town to be part of.
Art + Culture
The Fillmore Auditorium was built in 1905 and has hosted live bands since 1999. It’s a beautiful old building and well worth a visit if there is a show on.
If you’re part of the art community, you’ll love the 40 West Art District. It’s a certified creative district in Lakewood on West Colfax, home to 13 art galleries and curated events year-round.
Restaurants + Bars
You have to try the tacos at Tacos Tequila Whiskey. During happy hour, it’s $2 for a cocktail, and the food is delicious.
For something sweet, Voodoo Donut is open 24 hours a day and has an amazing range of treats. Definitely try the Voodoo Doll – a donut with a pretzel stick stabbed through the chest!
There is plenty of outdoor space in West Colfax, but for adrenaline junkies, the Carla Madison Recreation Center is the place to be. It’s only been open since 2018 and has an outdoor climbing wall, a pretty large gym, and two swimming pools.
Employment & Cost of Living
The average annual household income in the West Colfax neighborhood is almost $96,000, while the median household income sits at just over $61,300 per year. This is higher than the Denver average, which is about $41,000.
West Colfax comprises white-collar workers (around 80% of its working population), while blue-collar employees make up the other 20%.
Is West Colfax Right for You?
If you’re looking for a town with history and a quaint feel, West Colfax is a great fit. It’s a shame it has a bit of a reputation for crime because it has a great community feel that makes it a great place to live.
If you’re currently researching the best neighborhoods in Denver, check out our next neighborhood guide on the unique area of The Golden Triangle.