Reader: Where are the great ethnic restaurants in Denver?

phoduy5694260.89.jpg
Pho Duy, one of Denver's great ethnic eateries
In 2011, Denver should resolve to get better ethnic restaurants. That's the word from Xarchy, who just found our post about Travel & Leisure slapping this city for its poor selection of ethnic eateries.

The mag's survey was conducted more than a year ago, but the situation hasn't changed, according to Xarchy:

I've lived in 54 places, and YES, Denver's ethnic food (for the size of the city) truly sucks. I can't find a decent cup of oxtail soup in this town. Where is the San Salvadoran restaurant? Or the Hawaiian restaurants? Shoot, the steakhouses don't even do a proper sear on the steak. NEW Mexican restaurants can be counted on one hand with fingers left over and that's a bordering state! (very different cuisine from "Mexican" or Tex-Mex, which is also lacking)..... Polish? Cajun? Jamaican?

I'm not talking about one token restaurant....when the metro area has more than a mllion people, there should be a MUCH better representation of authentic international cuisine.

Where should Xarchy be eating? What are the best ethnic restaurants in town? Post your suggestions below.

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12 comments
Tassie
Tassie

I've been hearing a LOT about this up-and-coming gourmet food truck (something like that) called "Manna From Heaven"... They serve Vietnamese-inspired cuisine, something like sandwiches and wraps. They told me that they should be on the streets within the next few months. When they come out, maybe Xarchy should try it? Here's the address for their website:

www.mannafoodtruck.com

They sound very promising!

Eurythmic
Eurythmic

a lack of ethnic restaurants is common for this region and this far from the coast because of a lack of a solid population of various ethnic eaters - if they don't live here, they ain't building restaurants. I can help with one - Hawaiian: Iwayama and the Big Kahuna, solid Hawaiian grinds brah! - http://www.iwayamasushi.com/

Jesse Hall
Jesse Hall

Listen jackass if you can't find any of the kinds of places you mentioned that you have not looked hard enough.

Perhaps you should do that before you make such bold statements. Or go back to one of the 53 other places you have lived. What an ass.

ycbski2
ycbski2

Xarchy must not live in the Denver area. I hardly ever eat anyting but the very good ethic food found here. Federal has many ethnic places. For example, I tried Sagion Bowl for the first time for Vietnamese food on Sunday and it was fantastic. And on and on........

Jon S
Jon S

I'm with Mantonat and DenverScener. We have insanely good and large quantities of Mexican, Ethiopian, Vietnamese, Japanese and Middle Eastern eateries in Denver.

I lived in Boston for a couple years. When I moved back to Denver, I was pining for things like the the awesome China Town and the Portuguese food. But then when I thought about it, I realized that the Mexican food in Boston sucked, I can't even recall any Ethiopian joints and there was pretty much just one chain pho place that was only average. Different places have different ethnic groups, hence different cuisines.

There aren't many Polish places in Denver, but you've got a couple really good Czech restaurants like SoBo 151 and Cafe Prague. Before you go on some rant saying Czech and Polish are totally different cuisines, let me assure you they are quite similar. As someone that lived and traveled through Eastern Europe for a couple years, I can guarantee you the food is about the same everywhere, and after eating it so long, it isn't something I intentionally seek out very often.

DenverScener
DenverScener

First off - 54 places??? Damn does Xarchy move every 6 months? Probably a reason for that.

Polish food that's easy - Kinga's on Colfax.There's also a few Salvadorean pupusarias on Colfax and Federal.For good New Mexican food try...New Mexico - it's only about 3-4 hours to the south.The Ethiopian food here is bar none b/c of the large Ethiopian contingent in this fair City.As for Steaks - you must be an idiot to not find a good steakhouse here. Last tip - try and actually go to the known "ethnic" areas of town - East Colfax, South Federal, etc.

Denver has great Vietnamese, Mexican and Ethiopian cuisine. What else do you need?

Mantonat
Mantonat

I know exactly where Xarchy should be eating: in a different city. And I don't mean that in the sense of "if you don't like it here, move somewhere else." I mean that you're only going to find good ethnic or regional cuisine in areas where those people migrated to en masse. Think about who has moved to Denver over the past 150 years and it's not surprising why the food scene is the way it is here.

Maybe we don't have a Polish district or a Jamaican zone, but that's not because Denverites don't appreciate good food. It's because those nationalities didn't move here in their first wave of immigration and set up neighborhoods, shops, and restaraunts. Instead of whining about what Denver doesn't have, try concentrating on what Denver does have. If you look around - and not even very closely - you'll see lots of variety for Ethiopian, Vietnamese, Korean, Middle Eastern, Mexican, Thai, Japanese, etc. Dig a little deeper and there are top-notch examples of Salvadoran, Peruvian, Brazilian, Eastern European, Moroccan, BBQ, soul food, English tea shops, Hong Kong dumpling houses, Hawaiian joints, wild game specialists, sausage makers, Jewish delis...

Sure there are some regional and ethnic cuisines missing or poorly represented here, but there's certainly no lack of good food. In fact, there's so much good food that you really could spend years without hitting everything good, which should distract you at least a little bit when you start pining for that perfect schnitzel. And then maybe it'll be time for a road trip to those northeastern cities that have large populations of schnitzel-eaters.

Carly
Carly

Xarchy, take a peek on Yelp Denver. There are several Yelp members who are ethnic food aficionados and following their reviews will take you to a plethora of little ethnic joints that you'd never know were there.

Some of my favorites are Silla in Aurora for Korean, Pho 95 for pho, and Shish Kabob for Middle Eastern, but I'll admit I haven't delved as far as I'd like into Denver's ethnic food scene. There are definitely good spots though, if you know where to look.

michelle
michelle

Eight Rivers in lodo has really good caribbean/jamaican food.

matt hughes
matt hughes

No surprise here, but House of Kabob makes great Lebanese food. Took my friend Sharif (who's father is from Beirut) last year and he said it's one of the best he's had.

John
John

Kinga's for polish food... no. Seriously, Mrs. T's pierogies are as good as what they serve. I really wanted to like that place, but just couldn't.

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