Restaurant Guide–Denver

Restaurant Guide Main Index


Colorado


  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources (see bottom of page for further explanation)

Arvada

Golden Europe–6620 Wadsworth Blvd. (Czech) Dinner Tue-Sat; lunch Sat.  Seems to specialize in Czech food (which many say is the best in the Denver area). German food is also very popular, and gets good ratings. Also has Polish food (Polish plate has kielbasa and roast pork). (Temporarily closed 7-25-20)

Yak & Yeti–7803 Ralston Rd. (Nepali) Open Daily.  Some way it’s world class, some say it’s inconsistent. Has buffet, but some say the best food is found when you order from the menu. Similar to Indian food–chai, naan, and samosa are good. Vegetable korma is recommended. Has chow chow (Nepali style chow mein). This restaurant is also a brewpub. (Dining room is open 6-14-20)

Aurora

Cafe Paprika–13160 E. Mississippi Ave. (Moroccan) Closed Fri lunch & Sun.  Said to have very good tagines, but has other good items including bastilla and apricot chicken. (Temporarily closed-plans to reopen Aug 3rd. 7-25-20)

La Cueva–9742 E. Colfax Ave. (Mexican) Closed Sun.  Recommended by a reader as one of the best in Colo. Green chile recommended on Urbanspoon. Some say it is too expensive, though, and not a good value for Mexican food. (Takeout only 6-14-20)

Boulder

Amu–1221 Spruce St. (Japanese) Open daily (dinner only). Known for its dinner specials, and its sister restaurant next door (Sushi Zanmai) specializes in sushi. Ami also has sushi, though, and some say it is a “life changing experience” (and I think you have to pay big bucks for it). (Dining room is open 6-20-20)

China Gourmet–3970 Broadway St. (Chinese) Closed Sat. lunch. Top quality Chinese food. Ask for the Chinese menu (on the Internet this is the menu of “Shanghai Specials,” and about half of them are spicy). Hotpot and noodle dishes are good. Also in Longmont. (Takeout only 7-25-20)

Dushanbe Teahouse–1770 13th St. (Middle Eastern & Asian) Closed Mon.  Dushanbe is the capital city of Tajikistan, but reviewers say if they serve Tajik style food it is not emphasized (but they do have Tajikistan plov, a dish of grilled beef and rice). Instead there is an eclectic menu of Middle Eastern dishes (such as Moroccan beef) and Asian dishes (such as breakfast banh mi). Serves different styles of tea (which pair with the different types of food served). (Dining room is open 6-20-20)

Rincon Argentino–2525 Arapahoe Ave. (Argentine) Open Daily.  Reviewers find the food delicious, as an authentic ethnic restaurant should be. Empanadas are popular, but the chicken milanesa sandwich is said to be very authentic and very good. (Dining room is open 6-20-20)

The Buff–2600 Canyon Blvd. (American) Open daily 7 am to 2 pm.  Popular for breakfast–emphasis is on high quality and flavor (this is not a greasy spoon joint). Dogs are allowed on the patio. (Dining room is open 6-20-20)

Commerce City

La Casa del Rey–7035 E. 72nd Ave. (Mexican) Open daily 8 am to 8 pm.  It is hard to find a review of this place that is not five stars. Many say it is the best Mexican restaurant in Colorado. Pictures indicate that it is not totally authentic, but is “Colorado style” (if there is such a thing)–many items have green chile (probably not as spicy as in New Mexico). (Takeout only 6-14-20)

Denver

Chili Verde–2311 Federal Blvd. (Mexican) Open daily 12 pm to 8 pm.  Serves Puebla style Mexican food including mole (this mole supposedly goes better with pork than with chicken). (Takeout available, free delivery within a 3 mi. radius 6-20-20)

Hong Kong BBQ–1048 S. Federal Blvd. (Chinese) Open daily except Wed. evening  Authentic restaurant for everyday Chinese food (noodles, porridge, etc.). (Takeout only 6-14-20)

Jaya Asian Grill–1699 S. Colorado Blvd. (Malaysian) Open Daily.  Serves Malaysian & Singaporean food that is said to be authentic and delicious. Most food here is “healthy” (light, not fried, etc.). (Takeout only 7-5-20)

Kinga’s Lounge–1509 N. Marion St. (Polish) Dinner daily; lunch Sat & Sun.  The “lounge” part is because they have a large selection of beers & mixed drinks. The Polish food is said to be authentic. They make their own pierogi fresh weekly. One tip is to look for free parking on the street nearby. (Dining room is open 6-20-20)

Lucy Ethiopian–7401 E. Colfax Ave. (Ethiopian) Open Daily. One of many Ethiopian restaurants in the city, and this one is said to be one of the most authentic. Vegetarian plate is said to be very good. (Takeout only 6-20-20)

New Saigon–630 S. Federal Blvd. (Vietnamese) Open Daily.  Very popular Vietnamese restaurant with an extensive menu–this is a a very rare opportunity to try a large range of authentic Vietnamese food. (Dining room is open 7-5-20)

Rioja–1431 Larimer St. (Spanish) Open daily (closed from 2:30 to 4 pm).  Upscale restaurant on the expensive side, but it’s very good. Can order small plates, get very enjoyable food, and not spend as much money. (Dining room is open 6-14-20)

Samarkand–1842 S. Parker Rd. (Uzbek) Closed Mon.  Small, family owned, authentic food. This is Middle Eastern food with some Russian dishes. (Takeout only 6-14-20)

Star Kitchen–2917 W. Mississippi Ave. (Chinese) Closed Wed.  Dim sum (everyone says it’s good). Possibly 2nd best dim sum in Denver (reviewers say Superstar is best). Has congee and other dishes that make it worthwhile even if you don’t get dim sum (but reviewers say you should get the dim sum). (Dining room is open 7-25-20)

Super Star Asian–2200 W. Alameda Ave. (Chinese) Open Daily.  Dim sum (said to be best in Denver–comparable to NY or SF). They have 3 or 4 menus (if you want something other than dim sum). I tried a clay pot dish and roast duck, both of which I thought were excellent. (Takeout only 7-25-20)

Suvipa Thai–1015 S. Federal Blvd. (Thai) Closed Tue.  Authentic Thai food in what appears to be a hole in the wall atmosphere. Cash only, and is a restaurant/grocery store combination. Has papaya salad, and appears to be northern Thai style (reviewers say the pad thai is “different,” making me think it is northern Thai style). (Takeout only 6-20-20)

Tarasco’s–470 S. Federal Blvd. (Mexican) Open daily 11am to 8 pm.  I was looking for an alta cocina restaurant that would have very good mole, but it appears that one of the best is at this hole-in-the-wall restaurant. The Westword blog said this was one of the two best moles along with Chili Verde (that was written before Zocalito opened with Oaxacan style food). Tarasco’s  is also good for fish tacos, guacamole, cactus salad, and quite a few other items. (Takeout only 6-20-20)

Work & Class-2500 Larimer St. (Latin American) Open 11 am to 8 pm daily (breakfast burritos available from 8 am).  Is a fusion between Latin American and American food (you can have either or a combination of them). Reviewers emphasize that it has such good flavor this makes it memorable. Upscale but not fine dining (so most people can afford it). (Takeout and delivery only 6-20-20)

Zocalito Latin Bistro–999 18th St. (Mexican) Dinner only (closed Sun).  Oaxacan style restaurant that moved from Aspen to Denver in Jan. 2019, and gets very good reviews. Mole and Aztec soup are said to be two of the best dishes. Pozole is also recommended. (Dining room is open 6-20-20)

Englewood

Shanghai Kitchen–4940 S. Yosemite St. (Chinese) Open Daily.  This restaurant is not in the Asian restaurant district and caters largely to those who want Americanized food, but they do have an authentic Chinese menu and it appears to be Shanghai style (reviewers say it is good). (Takeout only 7-25-20)

Golden

Sherpa House–1518 Washington Ave. (Nepali) Dinner only (open daily).  Very good reviews (except for some people’s opinion about the service). Buffet is affordable (and very good). Serves Indian food with a few specialties from Nepal (such as yak stew). Food is spicy like Indian food should be. Sampler plates are available. Has chow mein (Nepali style). Has an outside patio that looks like a Nepali garden. (Dining room is open 6-20-20)

Xicamiti La Taqueria–715 Washington Ave. (Mexican) Open 11 am to 6 pm (closed Sun).  The tacos here are said to be very delicious and very substantial (they make a very filling meal). Has has mole that is said to be very good. It sounds as if it is very authentic. (Takeout only 6-20-20)

Lafayette

Ras Kassa’s–802 S. Public Rd. (Ethiopian) Open daily 3 pm to 8 pm (closed Mon & Tue).  Food is said to be excellent, and especially good for vegetarians. Apparently the food is as good as in the Denver Ethiopian restaurants, but prices are higher here. (Takeout only 7-25-20)

Lakewood

African Grill–955 S. Kipling Pkwy. (African) Closed Sun.  Food that is authentic, and reviewers like it exactly for this reason (it is food they will not have the opportunity to find at very many places). Serves several styles of African cuisine, but seems to focus on Ghana. (Dining room is open 6-20-20)

Casa Bonita–6715 W. Colfax Ave. (Mexican) Open Daily.  This is the last remaining restaurant of the Casa Bonita chain that used to be located throughout the Southwest. I’m not really listing this because of the food, but because of the nostalgia. This is highly Americanized Mexican food that may make a good meal if you’re in the mood for this kind of thing (I know I would like to try it again). (Temporarily closed 7-25-20)

Frijoles Colorado Cuban Cafe–12095 Alameda Pkwy. (Cuban) Lunch Tue-Sun, dinner Thu-Sat.  Cuban restaurant that is probably not exactly upscale, but it gives you a real plate lunch or dinner and not just sandwiches, etc. that you usually see. (Temporarily closed 6-20-20)

Gabys Germany Eatery–245 S. Harlan St. (German) 11:30 am to 7:30 pm (and closed from 2 to 4 pm) Closed Mon.  This seems to be the best place in Denver for both authentic food and a large menu selection. Reviewers say this is like a small restaurant in Europe in many small details. I thought the food tasted fresh and home made. The schnitzel was probably the best I ever had, but there is much more on the menu that is not found at many German restaurants (the sauerbraten is excellent). (Takeout and delivery only 6-20-20)

Lao Wang Noodle House–945 S. Federal Blvd. (Chinese) Closed Mon & Tue (closed from 2:00 to 6:00 PM daily).  Xiao long bao dumplings, dan dan noodles. Said to be Taiwanese style, but the soup dumplings (xiao long bao) are from Shanghai. Customers say the restaurant is quirky–you can’t split checks, they make ask you to move to a different table, etc. (because it is very busy and they are trying to use the tables efficiently). (Takeout only 6-20-20)

Littleton

Wild Ginger–399 W. Littleton Blvd. (Thai) Closed from 3 to 5 PM, Closed Sun.  One of the most authentic Thai restaurants in the U.S. according to some (Takeout only 6-20-20)

Morrison

Cafe Prague–209 Bear Creek Ave. (Czech) Dinner only (closed Mon).  Good Czech food but there are two opinions about whether it is worth the price. Some say it’s peasant food for upscale prices, and some say it is absolutely authentic and worth it. Dumplings, stew, and streudel are good. Atmosphere is upscale here and they do have fairly high prices. (Dining room is open 6-20-20)

Westminster

Cracovia–8121 W. 94th Ave. (Polish) Lunch Fri-Sun; dinner daily.  Beet soup, mushroom gravy, goulash, potato pancakes, kielbasa, pierogie, cabbage roll. Some say they like Kinga’s better because it is more consistent (but Cracovia is cheaper and better if you don’t want to go throuth the “fine dining” routine they have at Kinga’s. (Dining room is open 6-20-20)

 

Notes About This List:

This is a “master list” of restaurants that I have seen on the Internet or other sources and would like to try, or that I think would be of interest to others.  I do not mean for this to be an exhaustive list of every good place to eat, but it should represent a good sample of the most interesting or unique restaurants, along with a few that best represent an area’s regional cuisine.  My own recommendations are in Bold.

I am not looking to include:

  • Fine dining (unless they are unique because of regional specialties)
  • Low end restaurants that are popular with locals but may not be of much interest to travelers or people in general (everyone will have to use their judgment on this one)

Extra consideration for the following:

  • The food is organic, fresh, healthy, or farm to table
  • The restaurant serves a relatively hard to find type of ethnic food and reviews are good

In addition to the regular guidelines I try to include:

  • The best Asian restaurants in the area even if they are not totally authentic
  • Particularly good Mexican restaurants (this usually means the food is from a particular state in Mexico or it is one of the best examples of a U.S. regional style)

Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.

 

Sources:

Chowhound (Denver)

City-Data (Denver Favorite Restaurants)

City-Data (Chinese Food)

Roadfood (Colorado Suggestions)

Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

Westword (Food & Drink)

Yelp (Denver)

Zomato (Denver)

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