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Denver area breweries and distilleries

Here are some of my recommendations for the Denver area (i.e. excluding Boulder, Ft. Collins, Longmont, etc.):
- Hogshead
- River North
- Renegade
- Strange Brewing
Not sure if any of them offer tours but they all do great beer!!

I don't think Leopold Bros. doest tours unless it's a special engagement or set-up (e.g. we visited through a special tour through the Marczyk's grocery store). However, you could go to Stranahan's

May 11, 2013
ivandwu in Mountain States

Short Trip To Colorado...Any tips??

I agree with juliejulez re: D Bar - I've never really been that impressed with the food there. Also, as rovingfoodie mentions, Rioja (Best Chef SW) and Frasca (Wine Program, I think?) both recently won JBF awards.

For Denver, I'd say you should nix Sam's No. 3. It's fine but I don't consider it "special" enough for a 1-day visit to Denver. Lola may be in the same category. Maybe also consider Squeaky Bean, Il Posto, The Kitchen (also a location in Boulder) or Ethiopian (if you want to head out to the burbs a bit, there's a place called Nile that's good for food but sometimes a little lackadaisical on service).

For Boulder, there's the aforementioned Frasca, Pizzeria Locale or The Kitchen.

Have fun!!

May 11, 2013
ivandwu in Mountain States

Pork Roll In Denver?

Hadn't even heard of it before. Is it like Spam? Gonna have to try it. :)

May 11, 2013
ivandwu in Mountain States

Denver downtown spot for group dinner

I think those are all good choices but, personally, I'd probably nix Elway's and Panzano but I guess it depends on who would have the space/availability for your group at a reasonable time! :D

Apr 21, 2013
ivandwu in Mountain States

Denver: New Saigon & More

Thanks for the report on Denver.

I've really only done Panzano's for Happy Hour - a good deal for some decent food. . .not earth-shattering but not typical hotel food with hotel margins.

Love Tacos y Salsas but haven't been to the one downtown. The other ones are probably just like the downtown location - simple, inexpensive and tasty. I expect the ones outside of downtown are, as you noted, are better but it's nice to have a taqueria option in downtown, I guess. :)

Right on with New Saigon. I've always enjoyed their food and haven't found much that I haven't liked there. Sad to hear about the smell. . .never noticed it myself but maybe it was a one-off day or something happened within the past 3-4 months.

I admit that I felt the same way about Euclid Hall the first couple times I visited. Solid beer selection but the food seemed a bit "unrefined" (for lack of a better term at this moment). However, after spending some time eating there, you've got to respect the wide range of housemade sausages and variety of meat dishes (outside of burgers, grilled chicken, steaks, etc.) with a tilt towards nose-to-tail eating. Not saying it's the best restaurant out there but I'll support a restaurant that has a solid concept and executes on it. . .albeit a bit "unrefined".

May have to try Bones again. I just seem to have a problem spending $22 (after tax & tip) on ramen. However, I probably should give it all another try with Bonano making it as a James Beard semifinalist for "Best Restaurateur". :)

Apr 21, 2013
ivandwu in Mountain States

Pozole in Denver?

I haven't had the posole at Tarasco's but I really like the place and find their food to be pretty solid generally speaking. Most of the posole I've eaten/ordered has been in menudo and there are plenty of places along Federal & East Colfax that have menudo on the weekends. :)

If that fails, it's a simple dish to make at home and high-quality ingredients for the dish are pretty readily accessible here in Denver.

Apr 21, 2013
ivandwu in Mountain States

If a hound were moving to Denver, what neighborhood is chowest?

blythe, more of an FYI but Rodney's recently (back in Sept 2012) closed.

Apr 21, 2013
ivandwu in Mountain States

coffee in Shanghai

So sad. I'm sitting here in Shanghai jonesin' for a great cup of coffee. So far, the random bakeries, etc. we've visited haven't had anything worthwhile. :(

Can you recommend great Mexican markets in Denver?

I like Colorado Ranch Market (a.k.a. Azteca Ranch Market, although their bags say CRM) in Aurora off Colfax. Huge store with a great meat section and pretty good produce, dried chiles, etc. That's my go-to for Mexican (even over the Federal location).

Dec 13, 2012
ivandwu in Mountain States

Where can I buy Okra in Denver?

I've seen it on and off at Sprouts or H-Mart. . .I think it depends on whether they get a fresh shipment.

Nov 25, 2012
ivandwu in Mountain States

Fresh Octopus in Denver

You might be hard pressed to find fresh. All I've seen is frozen or pre-frozen (they had thawed ones at POM on Federal).

Two suggestions:
1) Maybe call Seafood Landing in Highlands as he's told me that he can get special orders into his distributors and he's pretty knowledgable about what's available in Denver,
2) Pacific Mercantile in Sakura Square, or
3) order online (found a couple options when I Googled it.

Good luck!

Nov 04, 2012
ivandwu in Mountain States

Denver/Boulder restaurant itinerary

Novo closed all their coffee shops but will be opening 2 (I think?) new locations soon. There are quite a few places where you can get brewed Novo but no Novo-specific shop until the 2 shops open up. The roasting facility does a Friday cupping at Noon but no cofee service outside of that weekly event. In addition to RobynS' places, I know they have it as an coffee option at the Denver Bike Cafe in Uptown.

Nov 04, 2012
ivandwu in Mountain States

Ti & Taro leaves in Denver?

I'm planning on making lau lua in the next couple weeks (or months). Does anyone know of a place where I can get Ti leaves and Taro leaves for the recipe. I'm guessing I'll need to find a place that has frozen leaves but haven't looked/noticed these at any place in Denver before.

I know I can use banana leaves and I know where I can get those but I'd prefer to use the traditional leaves if possible.

Oct 29, 2012
ivandwu in Mountain States

Duck in Denver area?

I've got 4 wild ducks sitting in my freezer - although, it'll be a pretty penny for me to part with those babies. ;)

I'm sure you could special order it at Marczyk's. I also took a quick look at Oliver's and they have duck breast listed on their price list. I'm surprised you weren't able to find whole duck at Whole Foods. . .maybe it's a seasonal think for them.

Oct 29, 2012
ivandwu in Mountain States

Denver/Boulder restaurant itinerary

erinnf - where are you coming in from? Looks like the DC area based on you posts but figured I'd check to ensure you were getting food a little more unique from home. Having lived in DC for 7 years, I'll add a couple suggestions to the list that will shine through in addition to the already-suggested places (although, you may be already filled up with reservations).
- Twelve Restaurant
- Z Cuisine
- Il Posto
- Fruition
- Cocktails (and maybe snacks, too) at Green Russell and Colt & Gray
- Finally, I know it sounds old & stuffy but the Palace Arms in the Brown Palace is a great special occasion place in Denver. The exec. chef, Thanawat Bates, actually used to cook at the Ritz in DC and worked with Jose Andres, Michel Richard, et. al. I'd recommend it for a BD dinner. . .maybe fancy but the food is solid.

For coffee, Novo is a good selection. I'd say you could add Pablo's or Kaladi Bros. to the list. Also, if you like Intellegentsia, they pull Black Cat Espresso at Aviano coffee in the Cherry Creek North area.


Oct 29, 2012
ivandwu in Mountain States

Sushi lunch downtown denver

murphlaw152, Sushi Den is actually open for lunch. Might be a good option for hungryinny if he's not in actual downtown or wants to traverse out of the downtown area.

Jul 29, 2012
ivandwu in Mountain States

Best Bread in Boulder

I've never been to Cured but headed to lunch in Boulder with a former colleague and planning on stopping by while I'm in town. Wish me luck (in getting out of there without spending too much money). . .

Jul 27, 2012
ivandwu in Mountain States

Native Denverite visiting after living in San Francisco for 20 years. Unusual ethnic eats and holes in the wall?

Welcome back! It's always nice to be back in Denver. I have to say that it'll be a hard to one-up San Francisco but here's a list of my ethnic eats & holes in the wall:
- Obviously a lot of Vietnamese but maybe you meant to cover that cuisine in your "etc."?
- Jaya Asian Grill (near I-25 & Colorado Blvd.). They've got a wide variety of SE Asian dishes that are actually pretty good and you can't find a lot of it elsewhere in Denver (I'll add that it's not easy to find in other cities as well).
- Asian Cajun (near Alameda & Federal) for Cajun & Asian (Vietnamese) food. It's a fun & unique place that's not "mainstream".
- Sachi Sushi (Niwot) is a no frills place that has a variety of Japanese food & they're known for their ramen on the weekends.
- I'll also add Yoko's Express in Sakura Square as a hole-in-the-wall Japanese place (no sushi). I'll warn you that the service here has been very slow but the food is good & affordable. The food is mainly donburi, udon noodle dishes & Japanes curries.
- Los Cabos II in downtown is another place that I love for Peruvian food. It may even have been around from the last time you were in Denver. However, be prepared for very slow service.
- Kolache Factory (Lakewood) might be something you'd want to try. I'll categorize it as unique ethnic eats since I never had a Kolache until I ate them at this place.
- Ondo's Spanish Tapas serves high-quality canned seafood. It's not unusual but to get the conserved razor clams & cockles in Denver, you'd have to order them online.
- Bastien's off Colfax would be a hole-in-the-wall steak joint. I've only been once but it's definitely an old-school Denver steak joint & their Sugar Steak was mighty tasty.
- Trillium in downtown has fried smelt at one point in time but looking at their menu, I'm not seeing it. Hopefully it'll come back some day.
- Adding to paul balbin, you can always find cabeza (head), sesos (brain) or tripa (tripe) tacos at various places. I know that you can get the latter 2 at Machete in Cherry Creek (and they're actually good). I'm not sure if I know where to get cabeza. . .

Hope this list was in time since you're only visiting. I'd definitely be interested to see where you end up and what you thought (regardless of where you go).

Jul 25, 2012
ivandwu in Mountain States

Sushi lunch downtown denver

I'm not in downtown very often for lunch but maybe try Sonoda's or Sushi Sasa. I haven't been to Sonoda's in awhile and Sasa is good but a little too trendy for my taste. It's not sushi but you could always check out Tag Raw Bar for something different but a "little" sushi related.

I also know that Blue Sushi & Sake Grill opened up recently. It's a chain and I can't attest to it but thought i'd at least provide the options I'd consider.

Jul 24, 2012
ivandwu in Mountain States


Ate at Las Tortas tonight (been meaning to go since seeing this post - better late than never!). I thought it was pretty good. Maybe not the best I've had but it hit the spot for me. I'm not a big fan of overfilled sandwiches (so "abundant" may be according to taste) but I thought there was an ideal amount of fillings and layers of flavor/ingredients. Bread was, as ShinyObjects mentioned, not dry or too crusty and actually a little chewy/glutinous. Might be a good option within Denver limits.

Jul 12, 2012
ivandwu in Mountain States

Best Supermarket In Denver

I do a combination of King Soopers, H-Mart, Sunflower (the price for their veggies and fruit are great) and I've recently developed a crush on Arash Int'l Market in Aurora (although I may regret saying that if more people go there). They've got Middle Eastern food galore there and olives are half the price vs. Whole Paycheck. Having said that, as much as I dislike Whole Foods, it's great in a pinch when I need something a little more specialized and can't make it to my meat place (Oliver's), fish place (Seafood Landing) or the other places I mentioned above.

Jul 05, 2012
ivandwu in Mountain States

Denver: Quality Wine Source and Butcher

It's sort of on the way if you veer off into Lodo so for wine, I'll add Sip Wine store on 19th & Market. My meat suggestions are out of the way of your route to Estes Park but perhaps Oliver's or Tony's Market.

Jun 23, 2012
ivandwu in Mountain States

Bone Marrow in Denver or Boulder area?

My wife and I swear we got it at The Kitchen in Denver a couple months ago. It doesn't appear to be on the menu, though. Maybe it was a special?

Also, more expensive, but Colt & Gray has it as well.

Jun 18, 2012
ivandwu in Mountain States

In Denver - fresh pita bread. . .maybe injera too?

Hi monopod. I thought I'd send a quick note over to you and let you know that I found fresh pita & injera!

Some really nice injera (maybe about 10 big sheets) for $6 at a place called Ehrl's (or something like that) International Market in Aurora. It's in the same strip-mall as the donut shop near a Popeye's (3122 S. Parker Rd.). There didn't seem to be much else but I stopped because they had a big sign that advertised fresh Afghan bread (actually have some for Jazz at the Park this evening to eat along with some homemade Ful Medames & hummus - I know it's not the same cusine but I figure a combination of good food is still good). So as we were checking out, I noticed they had injera and it's made at a local injera bakery company. I'm assuming restaurants are probably getting their injera from this place too? It was the "Yejat Enjera Baker" which has an address listed at 5702 E. Colfax.

The wife and I then decided to pop into Arash International Market (also in Aurora) and we found loads of different pita, lavash & other breads I had never seen (but will DEFINITELY try). Great price on olives (forget Whole Paycheck, et. al.), parsley, lemons, lamb, goat, dried ingredients, etc.

Just thought I'd share my findings!

Jun 17, 2012
ivandwu in Mountain States

Sashimi grade fish in Denver

Maybe give Bruce at Seafood Landing a call and see if he can help you out. I just went to him for the first time a couple weeks ago and got a great deal on mussels for a project I'm working on (cooking Epicurious' 80 global dishes). I was chatting with him and he noted that he works with all the seafood wholesalers in Denver and can get special-order items if I had one. He also mentioned that he typically gets shipments in every day of the week.

I specifically asked about whole smelt and he said, he could probably get it and he explained to me that it would likely be previously frozen not fresh - that statement he made, making a clear distinction between previously-frozen & fresh, convinced me that he (A) knows his stuff & (B) is particular enough to tell me fresh/previously-frozen despite the fact that I didn't say I needed it fresh.

He's a really nice guy and I'm sure he can help you out with your search! I know that I'm planning on using him from here on out for the rest of my 80 dishes (that have seafood) & future dishes.

Seafood Landing
3457 W. 32nd Avenue
Denver, CO 80211

Jun 17, 2012
ivandwu in Mountain States

Los Angeles to Denver Road Trip

Since you're driving. . .try Lotus of Siam while you're passing through Las Vega and I'd suggest going for dinner. I just know of it because Las Vegas is on my list of cities I travel to for work and it's DEFINITELY not a restaurant that you'd just happen across or walk to if you were visiting Vegas. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I know nada about Grand Junction or St. George.

Good luck with your trip!

Jun 12, 2012
ivandwu in Mountain States

burrata cheese and trader joe's [Denver]

I'd also suggest calling the Truffle Cheese Shop. I'm sure if they don't have it, they could probably get it for you or let you know the status of burratta cheese in the area.

Jun 11, 2012
ivandwu in Mountain States

Denver - Trillium Report

rcurtism, thanks for the post. My wife and I went for an early dinner at Trillium a couple weeks back and thought it was outstanding! There's just nothing like it in Denver (at least not that I know of) yet and I'm happy to see food like this coming to Denver.

Just like you, we ordered the fried smelt & aquavit salmon. I LOVED the fried smelt (just wish it were the whole thing) and the aquvit salmon was very nice. We also ordered the Toast Skagen, portobello fries & the cured rainbow trout. The cured trout was outstanding - I actually think it was better than the aquavit salmon. The portabello fries were nicely cooked (not too greasy and the portabello was cooked all the way through) but the highlight of these 3 additional dishes was the Toast Skaagen. It was an extremely generous portion of shrimp (rock shrimp?), nicely cooked and seasoned/dressed. If I had one complaint, it would be that the rye toasts are heavily buttered but if I'm eating out, I know it's going to be rich.

We tried 3 of the flavored aquavits - definitely something that you'd probably have to be "used to" in order to properly enjoy. We liked them but sounds like an aquavit cocktails would be a good intro for aquavit. Maybe next time.

Before we left, I was chatting with who I think may have been the GM about the food and business and he mentioned & touted their brunch menu, most notably their Vanilla Cardamom French Toast which has a blue cheese ice cream served over the top. He was nice enough to bring out a small ramekin on the ice cream and I'll tell you, it was inventive. I've never had blue cheese ice cream and while you'd think it would be too strong, it was actually really nice (not too strong & not too sweet).

Makes me want to head over there again in the next month or so. . .

Jun 11, 2012
ivandwu in Mountain States

Lunch in Boulder on a Thursday

I'd second Pizzeria Locale but probably would say the Kitchen if you're coming from Boston. You could always grab a beer (or 3) at Mt. Sun later. . .

Jun 11, 2012
ivandwu in Mountain States

In Denver - fresh pita bread. . .maybe injera too?

I'm in the process of cooking up all the dishes in Epicurious' 80 global dishes (for the experience and just as something to do on the side as I'm always goal/project-oriented). I'm only 3 dishes in but expect that I'll have more questions on sourcing ingredients as I go along.

Having provided some background, I ended up preparing falafels & baba ghanouj yesterday. In order to obtain some of the ingredients, I went to the Middle East Market on Colorado & Iliff and totally forgot to look around for fresh pita bread so I ended up using some pita I bought from the nearby King Soopers. Does anyone know of a place where I can get fresh pita bread in the Denver area?

Looking forward a little bit, I've also got Doro Wat on the future menu. Does anyone know of a place in Denver where I can purchase fresh injera. I know I can probably just ask a restaurant in the area but curious if there're ethnic stores that would carry pita and/or injera.

Thanks for any recommendations and help!

May 22, 2012
ivandwu in Mountain States