Ten Best Tiny Restaurants in Denver
3) Mayan Manjar Yucateco
Mayan Manjar Yucateco's tiny cabin houses big flavors.
5209 West Mississippi Avenue, Lakewood
"Once you've tasted Mayan Manjar's food, you'll believe in the power of the underdog," writes Gretchen Kurtz in her recent review of this tiny, Yucatan-flavored joint. With the appeal of a fur trapper's lodge on the outside and not much more than a typical cinder-block taqueria on the inside, Mayan Manjar may not be located in one of the city's trendy neighborhoods, but it's a trendsetter in focusing on hyper-regional cuisine rather than offering bland stand-ins or dumbed-down fare.
2) Empanada Express Grill
Amber Taufen Cheesy arepas at Empanada Express grill.
4301 West 44th Avenue
This cozy corner of Venezuelan cuisine features the namesake empanadas, plus fat arepas made from white corn flour and a few hard-to-find appetizers like tequeños (fried dough sticks), cachapas (corn flour pancakes) and mashed yucca. Additional treats include South American soft drinks and fried plantain -- both the sweet, ripe slices and the starchier chips made from the green fruit. Service is relaxed but friendly, so don't go if you're in a hurry -- but if you don't mind the slow pace, the food is worth the wait.
1) To the Wind Bistro
Danielle Lirette This is most of To the Wind Bistro's dining room.
3333 East Colfax Avenue
Another miniature marvel that garnered positive print from our critic, To the Wind is run by chef Royce Oliveira and his wife and pastry chef, Leanne Adamson. Oliveira focuses on beer-friendly foods that are far from typical bar fare. Surprising escargot empanadas or lamb sweetbreads and pastrami with sauerkraut give way to Adamson's desserts -- like chocolate stout cake and seasonal fruit tarts. With seven local brews on tap and more by the bottle than there are seats in the place, To the Wind might be the state you leave in as well as the name of the restaurant.
2215 W. 32nd Ave., Denver, CO
1160 Madison Street, Denver, CO
1551 S. Pearl St., Denver, CO
701 Grant St., Denver, CO
2239 W. 30th Ave., Denver, CO
955 Lincoln St., Denver, CO
5209 West Mississippi Avenue, Lakewood, CO
3333 East Colfax Avenue, Denver, CO
4301 W. 44th Ave., Denver, CO