Denver's five best places for lunch near the Tech Center
When I was growing up near the Tech Center, the place was something close to a culinary wasteland -- there were few dining destinations worth seeking out, and most restaurant real estate was devoted to national chains.
Lori Midson Ravioli at the Wooden Table, a great option for lunch in the Tech Center.
More ethnic options would be welcomed -- as I noted in this week's review of Street Kitchen Asian Bistro -- but there's no denying that the gastronomic scene in the area is looking up. And for office workers in the Tech Center, there are more and more places where you can score a decent lunch. Here are the five best.
5. The Wooden Table
When Frank Bonanno alum Brett Shaheen struck out on his own, he didn't nab an address in one of central Denver's hottest restaurant neighborhoods. Instead, he went south, establishing The Wooden Table in Greenwood Village and quickly finding favor with the area's discriminating palates, who flock to his Italian restaurant noon and night. His lunch menu -- Italian sandwiches, salads and house-made pastas -- do the trick when you're craving something beyond grab-and-go, and it's handy when you want to impress clients or bosses and don't want to rely on spendy chains.
4. India's Castle
The facade of India's Castle is that of an unceremonious Greenwood Village strip mall spot, but billowing tapestries and paper lanterns inside set the stage for one of the best northern Indian feasts in the city. The menu features excellent versions of familiar items, including spice-laced vindaloos, masalas and curries; flaky samosas stuffed with potatoes and vegetables; and meats from the tandoor oven, imbued with smokiness and char. And at lunch, you can sample many of those offerings via a buffet.
3. Land of Sushi
Back in 2000, Land of Sushi opened in a strip mall across from what was then Southglenn Mall -- now the Streets at SouthGlenn -- and quickly made a splash. Over the years, the spot has just gotten better. The restaurant itself doesn't look like much, but the bare-bones ambience just means there's nothing to distract your attention from the food -- and the food definitely deserves all your attention. Owner Steve Lin gets shipments every day, and he regularly posts specials like live scallops and uber-fresh uni. But even if you're ordering the usual suspects -- like salmon, tuna and yellowtail -- you're assured some of the freshest fish around, cut excellently and displayed beautifully. Need extra incentive to head there for lunch? How about a $1-per-piece 24/7 sushi happy hour?