Five best soul-food restaurants in Denver

Danielle Lirette
The spread at Kirk's Soul Kitchen.
Growing up in the suburbs of Denver, Adrian Miller didn't see a lot of soul food at nearby restaurants -- but he did see it on his family's table every holiday. His culinary obsession, though, was barbecue (he's a certified judge) until he stumbled across John Egerton's book Southern Food: At Home, on the Road, in History and learned from the author that "the comprehensive history of black achievement in American cookery still waits to be written." Now it has been -- at least when it comes to soul food, thanks to Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine: One Plate at a Time. Miller will be celebrating the publication of that book tomorrow at the Blair-Caldwell African-American Research Library and again at a signing on August 27 at the Tattered Cover on Colfax. In advance of those appearances, we asked him for a list of the five best places for soul food in Denver today. (The list is his, the descriptions ours.)

See also:
- Adrian Miller wrote the book on soul food -- one plate at a time
- What's the difference between Southern and soul food? Ask Adrian Miller
- Country Time BBQ is one of Adrian Miller's favorites

Danielle Lirette
Inside Coleman's Taste of Detroit.
5. Coleman's Taste of Detroit
2622 Welton Street

Henry Coleman knows from Detroit soul food, Detroit comfort food, Detroit's streetside, slapdash, eat-while-walking cuisine. From behind the rail of his kitchen at Coleman's (in the former home of Ethel's House of Soul), he knocks up specials (roasted barbecued chicken breast with greens and rice and gravy, if you're lucky), bakes the cornbread, slow-cooks his brisket and hot links, and fries up an good fried chicken.

Danielle Lirette
Henry Coleman inside Coleman's Taste of Detroit.

Flava! brought a new soul-food option to Aurora.

4. Flava!
15343 East Sixth Avenue, Aurora

The flavors are big at Flava!, a spacious, if bare-bones restaurant that opened in 2011 in Aurora. You'll find all the Southern classics here -- including fried chicken, collard greens and sweet potato pie -- but the best way to sample the fare may be the $8 soul-food plate.

The food at Flava! has plenty of flavor.

Location Info

Coleman's Taste of Detroit Soul Food - CLOSED

2622 Welton St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Kirk's Soul Kitchen

14107 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora, CO

Category: Restaurant

Welton Street Cafe

2736 Welton St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant


15343 E. 6th Ave., Aurora, CO

Category: Restaurant

Cora Faye's Cafe

2861 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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Cora Faye's?  No.  Just no.


Can somebody tell me why Tom's ISN'T "soul food" without me having to read the book? Because where I grew up (Virginia) a styrofoam container overflowing with fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and field greens cooked with bacon or country ham or both, with a shitload of black pepper and salt and cayenne and other good stuff,, and a hunk of cornbread with a pat or two of butter, was sure as hell soul food.

 I saw the advice to "read the book",  and I may do that. But the answer to this question will go a long way in making my decision whether to splash out the cash for Mr. Miller's opus.


Hopefully soul food, unlike seemingly every other type of cultural/regional/ethnic cuisine these days, will not be (attempted) to be co-opted by some wanna-be chic hipster Highlands or Cap Hill douchebag, who twists it, "fuses it", and opens some trendy, short-lived joke. Of course, if Westword flogged everyone of those said establishments, it's pages would be pretty bare, wouldn't it?

patricia.calhoun moderator editortopcommenter

if you read the book, you'll see how Miller differentiates Southern cooking from soul food. We'll have his list of Southern food spots next week -- and yes, Tom's is there.

Diego Raya
Diego Raya

Read the article, Matt Davidson. This list was not compiled by the Westword staff, but instead by Adrian Miller, the author of a new book on soul food. Though I agree, I do love me some Tom's.

Matt Davidson
Matt Davidson

I've come to realize that whoever the food critic at Denver Westword is does not have the same taste as me and all of my foodie friends... There are 2 on that list that are garbage!

Mantonat topcommenter

@Matt Davidson Matt, you do not have to be a foodie in order to be able to read. The list, as the article states, is not from any of Westword's critics or writers; it's from Adrian Miller, who just wrote a book about soul food. 

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