Where can you get Laotian food in Denver?

Categories: Cafe Society

lao food.jpg
I'd like to know where to find such Lao dishes in Denver -- anyone?
After a two-week trip, I'm back at Cafe Society, picking up where I left off at the beginning of the year.

Where was I?In Southeast Asia, where, amid the obligatory adventures in tourism, I attempted to gain a better understanding of the cuisine of that region. I made my way through North Vietnam and Laos, taking in the silk and pottery, temples and pagodas, coffee and tea, markets, monks and Mekong River.

And, of course, I ate.

And ate. And ate. Everything from coconut rice in a bamboo shoot to young pumpkin to piping hot bowls of pho to a fertilized chicken egg. Details of my gastronomic discoveries and food porn will follow in the near future, but, in the meantime, I've got a burning question:

Does anyone know a restaurant in Denver that serves Laotian food?

Because I'm not sure how long I can stave off the cravings before hopping a flight right back to Vientiane, which, dollar for dollar, might have been the best food city I've ever been to.

Post your suggestions in the comments, or send me an e-mail at laura.shunk@westword.com.

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7 comments
Simneej
Simneej

I don't think we have Laos restaurant in denver area anymore, but you can find many Thai and vietnamese restaurant along Federal BLVD and some thai restaurant in Boulder.

Jon S
Jon S

A restaurant, no. But there is a caterer called Tropical Paradise that serves some really delicious Laotian food at the Dragon Boat Festival each year. They apparently are a produce/fruit farm or importer, and just do catering for certain occasions. You may be able to get more info from the Dragon Boat organizers, since I tried Googling them but didn't come up with much. They served an awesome Laotian BBQ half-chicken, and their sweet sticky rice grilled in bamboo is to die for.

bgreen
bgreen

You had Balute?

laurashunk
laurashunk

Yep-- in a market alley, street food style. It was an interesting decision.

Mantonat
Mantonat

After doing some Googling, it looks like there are some Lao and Hmong grocery shops at around 72nd and Irving, and supposedly the Woody's Wings n Things at 68th and Lowell serves some Lao dishes. Must be the "n Things." Sounds worth checking out at least.

So how's hows the Denver Vietnamese scene looking after getting immersed in the real deal?

Simneej
Simneej

Yeah, two Laotian & 1 Hmong Grocery store by 72th ave and federal blvd.... But they don't have ready food you buy then have to cook yourself.... If you go to woody you might find something interesting to eat..... woody about block south 72nd and lowel.

laurashunk
laurashunk

Ah, Mantonat, I knew I could count on you for a good suggestion. I'd forgotten about Woody's, but that's a great call. As for Vietnamese, I'm looking forward to eating my way through Denver's pho shops and Vietnamese restaurants with the trip fresh in my mind, but I can think of a few places that I suspect really do live up. Now if only one of them would channel the precise feeling of sitting on a tiny chair on a busy Hanoi street, huddling over a table and slurping noodles while motorcycles whiz by, driving erratically, honking incessantly and threatening to run over the hordes of eaters gathered on the sidewalk...

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