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Denver - good eats near Convention Center

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  • tivon May 1, 2010 09:06 PM
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I'm going to be in Denver at the end of May for a convention, and am seeking recomendations of good places near the convention center. I won't have a car, so either walking, public transportion or even a cab (hopefully not). Ethnic/asian food and/or local great spots would be appreciated!

Thanks!

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  1. Virtually all of downtown Denver is available by walking or the 16th St Mall bus (free). If you search here for recommendation for Denver, anything downtown or "LoDo" would work.

    1. Tivon - Asking for "good places" is a very open-ended question. LurkerDan is right, of course, about the accessibility of anything downtown or LoDo, but a hint as to budget and/or type of food might get you some answers.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ClaireWalter

        I'm looking for any asian or other type ethnic - entrees hopefully less than $15 for dinner and less than $10 for lunch as I'm on a limited budget. Not too interested in burger and other chain food which is normally what one finds near a convention center.

        Most days I'll be pretty busy - esp during lunch - so any recommendations for places close to the convention center would be appreciated.

        1. re: tivon

          It's also worth noting that you might not be hearing much because this question is asked endlessly: it'd help if you do a board search for downtown Denver recs first, and then if you don't get answers you're looking for let us know.

          I will say that I tried the new Wild Bangkok downtown recently and while the decor is lovely I wasn't too impressed with the cooking.

          Also, if what you're picturing when you say "ethnic" are cheap "authentic" holes in the wall, there aren't a lot of those downtown. The best Chinese, Ethiopian, Vietnamese etc. is elsewhere. 8 Rivers might be worth a look: http://www.8riverslodo.com/

          http://www.denveater.com

      2. Little India has a buffet for lunch, as does Los Cabos Dos, which is a Peruvian restaurant... they're right next to each other on 15th and Champa. But yeah, there's not many cheap/ethnic places right downtown, especially Asian (those are all on Federal/Alameda or in Aurora). There's JJ Bistro in Sakura Square, which is a nice Chinese place with good prices... that's a little ride/walk from the Convention Center but it's at Larimer and 19th.

        The BEST place you'll find within somewhat walking distance though is Domo, which is located on Osage St, which is just west of the main part of downtown on Colfax. Absolutely the best Japanese (non-sushi) restaurant in Denver, and a pretty unforgettable place if you're here visiting. Lunch is extremely reasonable from $5-11, and I'd highly suggest it if you can walk 8 blocks or so away from the Convention Center.

        -----
        Domo
        1365 Osage St, Denver, CO 80204

        Sakura
        7555 E Arapahoe Rd Ste 5, Englewood, CO 80112

        3 Replies
        1. re: Stumbleweed

          Is that Peruvian place any good? Been meaning to try it forever...

          1. re: tatamagouche

            YES! Very authentic...we should check it out!

          2. re: Stumbleweed

            And if you can't or choose not to walk the eight blocks between the convention center and Domo, hop on lightrail, which stops right at the convention center and also behind Domo.

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            Domo
            1365 Osage St, Denver, CO 80204

          3. In the area of "local great spots", the Paramount Cafe would fit your bill pretty nicely. 16th Street Mall, just shy of Glenarm. Full bar, excellent variety of local fare, and I can vouch for the Mexican Hamburger (which is really more Colorado than Mexican) -- a great way to sample the local specialty, green chile (I wouldn't say theirs is the best in town, but it's very good nonetheless).

            http://www.paramountcafe.com/

            Hope this helps.

            -----
            16th Street Cafe
            302 N 16th St Ste A, Canon City, CO 81212

            1 Reply
            1. re: WriterDude

              I've no idea why the Chowhound link keyed on someplace two hours away; please ignore it, but my link is good.

            2. Thanks everyone!

              1. Sam's #3 - awesome diner food and fabulous breakfasts

                1. To piggyback on this question, I'm also coming to an event at the convention center in July, and staying at the Curtis Hotel. So far I'm definitely planning to hit up Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs, and possibly Osteria Marco since I loved cured meats. However, I'm not sure how close Osteria Marco will be, considering I won't have a rental car and don't know the area at all.

                  What else is within walking distance of the Curtis or the convention center, awesome, and preferably cheap? I'll be alone, I don't really drink, and I'm always up for great sandwiches, Mexican, Jewish or Italian deli fare, barbecue, and gastropub-type food with lots of delicious offal. Is there any kind of website or full list of restaurants within the 16th Street Mall I keep hearing about?

                  -----
                  Osteria Marco
                  1453 Larimer, Denver, CO 80202

                  16th Street Cafe
                  302 N 16th St Ste A, Canon City, CO 81212

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                    You're not far—8 blocks, something like that. You can definitely walk to OM from the Curtis.

                    There are a lot of restaurants on 16th St., but most of them are skippable, w/ the exception of a few food carts and H Burger Lounge. You'd do better, if you're looking for lots of places in a short span, to go to Larimer between 14th and 15th (which is also where OM is).

                    Again, if you ask me, the best Mexican isn't to be found downtown—ditto a lot of cheap stuff; after all, it's downtown, where rents are high. For Jewish, check the recent thread on delis, but there's not a whole lot of it in Denver, certainly not downtown. No decent 'cue that I know of in the immediate area. Downtown's best are predominantly (not exclusively, but predominantly) upscale.

                    A lot of people like Wazee Supper Club; I've never been, but it's a cool enough looking dive. The place in your hotel, The Corner Office, really isn't bad—funky, fun. The food at the bar of Panzano is excellent and downright cheap at happy hour—not exactly deli, but definitely good: http://www.panzano-denver.com/files/m...

                    http://www.denveater.com

                    -----
                    Wazee Supper Club
                    1600 15th St, Denver, CO 80202

                    Panzano
                    909 17th St., Denver, CO 80202

                    1. re: tatamagouche

                      Bumping this up as I'm going to be staying at the Grand Hyatt for an extended weekend and found some good info on this thread as well as another by RLM. (this one: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/670760

                      )

                      Specifically targetting places we can get away with casual attire (ie, flip flops/shorts), definitely no froufrou/fancy. Price point would be less than $20 a person and the main restriction I'm looking to meet is no national chains, also no Mexican food and national chains. Looking to wander towards LoDo and Westminister as well. Won't have a car, so we'll likely be using the 16th St shuttles.

                      So far I have these in mind: 8 Rivers, Osteria Marco, 9th Door, TAG and Panzano. And although Bones is out of the way, it sounds interesting enough to make the trip, but I'm not sure we'll have the means to get there...

                      I'd like to get a little more specific input, so tatamagouche, what would you say are your favorite spots around Larimer and LoDo, but within a low budgetary constraint? Some of these I know you have already mentioned, but I'd like to really understand what options are available. I really want to get an idea of where you would go if you found yourself in these specific areas while not looking to spend a ton of money and not dressing to impress. Also can you be more specific regarding the food vendors/carts on 16th; which would be worth a stop?

                      To be more specific, this would include food as well as bars or any particularly noteworthy happy hours. I already have a shortlist for bars with quality drafts that seem like they're within just a few blocks of the shuttle (Falling Rock, Wynkoop, Great Divide, Pint's, Cheeky Monk, Uptown Brothers). Do you have any ideas for cocktail bars too? A place like Mario's Double Daughters sounds perfect and it looks like they do have nicely priced specials. I'm a Sazerac/Old Fashioned kinda guy, any particular cocktails to recommend?

                      Another question: Any suggestions for food in the neighborhood where Cheeky Monk/Uptown Brothers are located (also within the same parameters)? Ideally would like to do brunch/lunch nearby since the Cheeky Monk does half price beer at lunch.

                      One last thing, specifically regarding this thread:
                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/634617
                      Are the other recommendations (sans Panzano obviously) still good? And what are the "usual suspects" at Larimer, what exactly does that reference?

                      Thanks a lot!

                      1. re: air

                        Euclid Hall, from the owners of Rioja, just opened this weekend, and you can definitely get away with not spending a ton of $ there b/c the food is dense (poutine, sausages, schnitzel, etc.).

                        http://www.euclidhall.com/

                        Ditto Osteria Marco: burrata, salumi, pizza, etc. You don't need much to fill up.

                        I love Mario's DD's Salotto, but it's not known for classic cocktails. For that I'd go to The Cruise Room in the Oxford Hotel or even Churchill Bar in the Brown Palace.

                        Cheeky Monk itself serves food, though reviews are mixed. You're not far from Phoenician Kabob, which is very good.

                        Carts: depends on who's out on which day, but look for: Biker Jim's Dogs, GastroCart, the Thai Food Cart...

                        Usual suspects Claire referenced on Larimer are the ones you already mentioned: Rioja, Osteria Marco, TAG, also Bistro Vendome...

                        Speaking of Panzano, their happy hour deals are terrific.

                        Hope this helps!

                        -----
                        Osteria Marco
                        1453 Larimer, Denver, CO 80202

                        Rioja
                        1431 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80202

                        Bistro Vendome
                        1420 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80202

                        Cheeky Monk
                        534 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80203

                        Panzano
                        909 17th St., Denver, CO 80202

                        1. re: tatamagouche

                          That cleared it up nicely, thanks a lot! I spend just about all of my time in Aurora so far more familiar with the ethnic spots around there, although I did get to have dinner at Sushi Den last time I was in the area!

                          We will check in on friday around 3 PM. Are there mobile vendors open during night time or on weekends? Will they be located on one particular area/corner, or are they pretty spread out?

                          Rioja didn't seem like a place that would fit the budget, so this would have to be at happy hour, correct?

                          -----
                          Rioja
                          1431 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80202

                    2. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

                      You mentioned Mexican - if you are looking for a fantastic margarita, try Rio Grande www.riograndemexican.com
                      I think their food is fair - to - good but my husband thinks the food is great... Either way, the margaritas are strong and delicious!

                      -----
                      Rio Grande Cafe
                      270 S Rio Grande St, Salt Lake City, UT 84101

                      1. re: finnysmom

                        Finnysmom - We live w/in stumbling distance of the Rio in Boulder, and IMHO, after 2 margs (3 being the max they'll serve anyone), no one knows or cares what the food is like.

                    3. Thanks for all the ideas. I ended up having lunch (buffet) at LIttle India which was nice, a dinner at 9th Door - tapas which was really good and I ended up there at happy hour so they had great prices. I also at at Marlowes and Paramount Cafe which are kind of similar in my mind, and were both good. The other thing I ate a lot of was salads - Denver seems to have a lot of pick your own salad places, which were good for quick healthy food. Finally I had breakfasts at the Corner Bakery and at a chef place also on 16th street. Prices are pretty high overall, but normal for a downtown/convention type area.

                      -----
                      9th Door
                      1808 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202

                      Corner Bakery Cafe
                      500 16th St Ste 150A, Denver, CO 80202

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: tivon

                        9th Door is one of my faves in Colorado - glad you had a good experience.

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                        9th Door
                        1808 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202