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Dec 5, 2006 02:51 AM

Is there any good Cajun food in Denver?

One of my husband's co-workers from India is visiting Denver next week (where the company is based) and my husband, whose family is from Lousiana, thinks that Cajun/Creole food would be an interesting cuisine to introduce an Indian to since the executions are similar, but it's distinctly American also.

So, my question is are there any good Cajun restaurants in Denver? We've tried a couple of places around town and they were pretty bad. My husband thinks we should take him to Pappadeaux because it's near the office and it offers some sort of representation (not very good) of Cajun food.

I think we can do better than this since this co-worker took us to some fabulous restaurants when we were in India.

Suggestions please?


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  1. There are no great Cajun restaurants in Denver. In my opinion, finding even "good" Cajun food outside of Louisiana is pretty rare. One exception is Heaven on Seven in Chicago, if they are even still in business. I make the the best gumbo in the area (thanks to Paul Prudhomme!) However, Lucille's in Boulder is excellent for breakfast and lunch, they don't serve dinner. But the menu is more Creole than Cajun. I definitely would avoid Pappadeaux - I think it's an atrocious choice. It's criminal to take foreign visitors to a chain when there are so many local, individual choices.

    For a definitively unique local experience, he should consider going to Vesta's Dipping Grill. Fantastic food and the choice of sauces is similar to the variety of chutney's available in Indian restaurants. Two other places that are unique to Denver are the Buckhorn Exchange and The Fort. If your friends are Hindu they probably won't appreciate the emphasis on beef at those two, although they might enjoy the Buffalo.

    1. Lucile's Creole Cafe (there's one in Denver, one in Boulder, and one in Longmont -- and despite having three locations is nothing like a chain restaurant!) is a good option for breakfast or lunch (but they don't do dinner). They serve lots of excellent Cajun specialties.

      3 Replies
      1. re: vanillagrrl

        I'm just glad that for once, you didn't recommend Frasca! :)

        1. re: Mutt

          It would be pretty disappointing to eat there if you were expecting Cajun food! ;-)

          1. re: vanillagrrl

            Yeah. They would have a single shrimp etouffe for $27.

      2. Lucille's is good, and I personally like Gumbo's (although I hate the name). It is right on the 16th St. Mall, so the location is good.

        1. I'm glad someone else mentioned Gumbo's - my husband, son & I happened upon it for a quick early dinner a couple of months ago. All of us agreed that the gumbo was very good, and the etouffe was the best we've ever had!

          1 Reply
          1. re: MarilynLam

            I'm curious. Have you ever been to Louisiana?

          2. I think its safe to say its hard to find cajun food anywhere as good as you find in Louisiana. But if the guest is from India, and has not traveled extensivly, how will he or she know the difference? For instance, I thought Gumbos was ok. But I don't have much experience with cajun or creole food. I am not even sure what the difference is. I do love Lucilles for breakfast except for all the people who have the same idea.

            3 Replies
            1. re: ColoradoFun

              I've never been to India but I can discern the difference between good and not-so-good Indian food. Maybe I can't make the comparison to Indian food in India but I do know taste and quality. Others can do the same. That being said, most guests if they have any sense of courtesy would compliment the food wherever they were taken. Gumbo's is good but it doesn't have the "soul" of real Cajun cooking.

              1. re: Mutt

                Certainly the food in India is simple but very well executed and it seems based on my experience there that Indian people have fairly discerning palates especially when it comes to the freshness of the ingredients as that plays a big role in Indian cuisine.
                We also determined that many Indian people mostly just like Indian food or other cuisines made with an Indian flair.

                There do seem to be a lot of similarities between Indian food and Cajun food and we would love to be able to share this with our friend, but obviously Denver is not a haven for Cajun food. My husband, who is very proud of his Louisiana heritage, really wants to share this cuisine with his friend, but perhaps we're better off taking him to just a good restaurant in Denver?
                Are Gumbo's or Lucile's passable?


                1. re: empecot

                  Lucille's is light years better than Gumbo's and is excellent.
                  Remember, Lucille's only serves breakfast & lunch. My guess is that he'd be pleased taking his friend there and they wouldn't be disappointed. The andouille is great but don't expect to find boudin anywhere!