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Apr 27, 2010 04:15 AM

International restos and markets in Denver?

Does Denver have a large international cuisine selection? I am most interested in:

Vietnamese: Are there lots of pho houses? Banh Mi places? General Vietnamese and Chinese-Vietnamese places?

Chinese: Chinese BBQ? Dim sum? Any other regional Chinese? (saw Sichuanese and Taiwanese on the board...that sounds promising).

East Asian groceries? Large or small?

Korean food and groceries?

South Asian: Is there a section of town with a South Asian strip mall or road with lots of shops? In terms of restos, can I find chaat, dosas, or any other regional/specialty Indian restos? Are there any restos that self-label as Pakistani? Are there South Asian owned zabihah halaal butchers? (I saw a lot that seemed Arab owned via googling...are Arabs the dominant Muslim community there in terms of shops and restos?)

Mexican: Taco stands and trucks? Pollo asado stands? Mexican groceries?

Any other Latin American? El Salvadorean? I love pupusas.

Any other heavily present ethnic community that contributes to the food scene? Somali restos, kosher delis, etc? I don't know much about Denver demographics as the categories on city data are general.

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  1. luckyfatima—I know that username! Aren't you a Bostonian?

    Taco stands and Mexican groceries?! Rest assured you're in the right place. Tons along Federal Blvd. and elsewhere. Good stuff along 38th Ave too.

    Vietnamese: again you're in luck; lots along Federal Blvd.

    Chinese: not quite like Boston, but still some excellent stuff to be found here and there. Some board faves: China Jade, Lao Wang Noodle House (OK that's my fave), Super Star, King's Land, Heaven Star (that's still the name, I believe).

    Korean: I haven't checked out the scene in Aurora yet but I understand it's good.

    Apparently great pupusas in Boulder, I forget the name of the place.

    Ethiopians also have a large community here, with lots of restos along Colfax.

    South Asian not so much. There's one good place called Jaya Asian Grill.


    Lao Wang Noodle House
    945 S Federal Blvd, Denver, CO 80219

    China Jade
    12203 E Iliff Ave Ste D, Aurora, CO 80014

    Jaya Asian Grill
    1699 S Colorado Blvd Unit B, Denver, CO 80222

    2 Replies
    1. re: tatamagouche

      Denver's all about the Mexican/New Mexican. Tacos de Mexico, just south of downtown, is terrific. Jack N Grill on federal and 26th is up there with the best dives in New Mexico. Rosalinda's, on 33rd, is another excellent place that blends Mexican with New Mexican green chile. Los Carboncitos at 37th and Pecos is good Mexico City-style, cheese-covered food (but real Mexican cheese, not the BS yellow stuff from the places w canned sauce). There are great Mexican food shops along Federal and also giant supermarkets -- Avanza is one. Hell, even regular gringo-oriented supermarket chains sell a fairly wide variety of chiles and Mexican products. I found legit tamale skins at Sunflower, our local Trader Joe's-type yuppie organic store.

      There are several Vietnamese and other East Asian places on Federal near Alameda, as well as numerous food shops. New Saigon is very popular and very good; I've had good food at T-Hwa too and I understand there's tons more -- I havent explored. However, thats where our ethnic food tapers off. In the distant suburb of Aurora you find a couple of excellent Korean places and a number of good Indian/Pakistani ones, but it's a bit far afield and not up there with what you find in other big metropolises' outskirts.

      I'd love to hear about a good Salvadorean place, even if it's in Boulder.....

      1320 S Federal Blvd, Denver, CO 80219

      Los Carboncitos
      3757 Pecos St, Denver, CO 80211

      New Saigon Restaurant
      630 S Federal Blvd, Denver, CO 80219

      1. re: hungrynick

        Hear, hear, hungrynick & paul. Love Pacific Ocean, Los Carboncitos, El Tac. To name other names, love Saigon Bowl at Alameda & Federal.

        Los Carboncitos
        3757 Pecos St, Denver, CO 80211

    2. Pupusas on north Broadway in Boulder is great. About 4600 on the west side. Tiny place.
      In the same end of town is "The pacific ocean market" at 120 and main in Broomfield.
      Next door to the right is "Pho duy". I think the pho might just be the best in town. The
      Bun Bo Hue is to die for. You might want to ask them to spice it up if you like it hot. I
      think they tone it down for the caucasian guests.
      The "pacific ocean market" is a serious large Asian market with
      lot's of huge tanks of live fish and all sorts of Asian specialty items.

      1. Thanks for the info, sounds very promising, though I will have to look into the South Asian stores more...that would be very bad for me if there were slim pickings.

        Tatamagouche I am in Dubai and originally from Austin, not Boston :-) but yes I was happy when I saw your name on the Denver board because I recognized it from the General and Home boards and knew that you would provide some good info. Thanks to you and everyone else who responded.

        My husband is looking at job relocation in Denver, so I am scoping out the resto and market scene.

        5 Replies
        1. re: luckyfatima

          When I mentioned Jaya, I was thinking you meant Southeast Asia—there are some Middle Eastern markets along S. Colorado that might be able to at least point you in the right direction (I have no idea of their ownership). Depending on your definition, there are a few good Tibetan restaurants in Boulder and Golden that might be able to point you where you need to go as well...Sherpa House, Tibet Kitchen come to mind...

          1. re: tatamagouche

            Do you have any info about Indo-Pak markets? I was only able to find a handful on the main South Asian business listing websites.

            When you guys are saying stuff is in Boulder, is Boulder part of the Denver metropolitan area or how far is it?

            1. re: luckyfatima

              I don't personally...

              Boulder's about 20 minutes from downtown Denver in decent traffic, maybe slightly less. In bad traffic, 45...

              1. re: tatamagouche

                Not meaning to nitpick, but making it from downtown Denver to any place in Boulder in under 20 minutes should get you arrested. It's 25 miles or so, at least. As a one-time commuter (hopefully never to be again), it's generally ~30 minutes for non-rush hour for places that are easily accessible, and a place like Pupusas, on the north end of town, must be at least 40. During rush hour (which is not very bad compared to most major metro areas), it could be as little as the same 30 minutes, or as bad as an hour. If it's raining, an hour. If it's snowing, stay home.

                1. re: LurkerDan

                  No comment. :) No, actually, I live in south Denver and it usually takes me about 30-35, so I was're right.

        2. I'm based out of Dallas but I've spent a decent amount of time in Aurora and the area has quite a concentration of Korean food. There are many restaurants and shops along Havana. Seoul BBQ and Han Kang are both good places to start. Really like the dolsot bibimbap at Seoul BBQ while Han Kang has a broader menu and a wider array of banchan (really like their pajeon - green onion pancakes). I personally prefer Han Kang more since I was in the area during the colder months, and had dishes like kimchi jjigae and mul naengmyun. If you're interested in doing a korean BBQ buffet (which works great for trying different kinds of korean bbq meats without spending a ton), I'd suggest Korea House on Iliff.

          There is also an impressive Filipino restaurant in Aurora, check out Sunburst Grill.

          With regards to groceries, I've become friends with the owner and the staff at Sunburst since I make it a point to dine at the restaurant when I'm in town and they have mentioned that Lotus Asian Market is a good destination for ingredients and other Asian goods. Also, there is an H-Mart in Aurora, which is more Korean focused.

          Last, I have a map on my blog if you need a quick reference

          Sunburst Grill
          2295 S Chambers Rd Ste M, Aurora, CO 80014

          2 Replies
          1. I'll give as much of an answer on South Asian as I can. I'm (an anglo) married to a first-generation Indian; his parents live here as well. We cook some Indian, they cook mostly Indian (from Mumbai, so southern and northern dishes), mostly vegetarian. One-sentence summary of the scene in Denver: not so good.

            Most restaurants are northern Indian, and they're ok but not great, and offer the same-old, same-old. I haven't looked for Pakistani, so I don't know if there are any. I prefer southern Indian food, and there's one restaurant, in Aurora (east and southeast of Denver) that I like but the hubby doesn't so much. Some chaat, and they have a variety of dosas. I love their dahi vada. Pongal is on the menu, but I've never been there when they have it. The restaurant is called Masalaa,

            Aurora has a number of Indian markets, which are kind of clustered together but not all on the same street. We live south of Denver (in Highlands Ranch), and it's the closest place for us to buy Indian items. Not a lot of fresh vegetables, but some (sometimes they have curry leaves, but my mother-in-law says they are strictly doled out to those in the know).

            I would assume that Arabs are the dominant Muslim community, but that, even, is pretty small. All the Indians that I know (which are not many, as my parents-in-law are not involved in the Indian community) are Hindu; I don't know any Pakistanis.

            For good Indian food, we go to the parents, or to Chicago or NYC. One downside for us, moving from Chicago to Denver many years ago, was that there's not much (comparatively speaking) of an ethnic community.