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Jul 20, 2012 12:34 PM

Native Denverite visiting after living in San Francisco for 20 years. Unusual ethnic eats and holes in the wall?

I'm a native of Denver but I've lost touch with what's on the ground after being away so long.

I like unusual ethnic restaurants and interesting local places. I don't need haute cuisine as we get plenty of that.

I know there's a lot of Korean places, Ethiopian, etc. Anything else that I might not know about that comes highly rated?

Help is greatly appreciated.

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  1. Had some great lingua tacos at taco de Mexico nw corner 7th and Santa Fe. Pho Dui, 120 and
    Main. sw corner. Next to Pacific Market. bun bo hue kicks ass. Dynamite Dim sum at the "Star" Federal and Mississippi
    Great steaks at the "Columbine steak house" about 4th and Federal, Google it. 15$ T bone. oui la la

    1. Welcome back! It's always nice to be back in Denver. I have to say that it'll be a hard to one-up San Francisco but here's a list of my ethnic eats & holes in the wall:
      - Obviously a lot of Vietnamese but maybe you meant to cover that cuisine in your "etc."?
      - Jaya Asian Grill (near I-25 & Colorado Blvd.). They've got a wide variety of SE Asian dishes that are actually pretty good and you can't find a lot of it elsewhere in Denver (I'll add that it's not easy to find in other cities as well).
      - Asian Cajun (near Alameda & Federal) for Cajun & Asian (Vietnamese) food. It's a fun & unique place that's not "mainstream".
      - Sachi Sushi (Niwot) is a no frills place that has a variety of Japanese food & they're known for their ramen on the weekends.
      - I'll also add Yoko's Express in Sakura Square as a hole-in-the-wall Japanese place (no sushi). I'll warn you that the service here has been very slow but the food is good & affordable. The food is mainly donburi, udon noodle dishes & Japanes curries.
      - Los Cabos II in downtown is another place that I love for Peruvian food. It may even have been around from the last time you were in Denver. However, be prepared for very slow service.
      - Kolache Factory (Lakewood) might be something you'd want to try. I'll categorize it as unique ethnic eats since I never had a Kolache until I ate them at this place.
      - Ondo's Spanish Tapas serves high-quality canned seafood. It's not unusual but to get the conserved razor clams & cockles in Denver, you'd have to order them online.
      - Bastien's off Colfax would be a hole-in-the-wall steak joint. I've only been once but it's definitely an old-school Denver steak joint & their Sugar Steak was mighty tasty.
      - Trillium in downtown has fried smelt at one point in time but looking at their menu, I'm not seeing it. Hopefully it'll come back some day.
      - Adding to paul balbin, you can always find cabeza (head), sesos (brain) or tripa (tripe) tacos at various places. I know that you can get the latter 2 at Machete in Cherry Creek (and they're actually good). I'm not sure if I know where to get cabeza. . .

      Hope this list was in time since you're only visiting. I'd definitely be interested to see where you end up and what you thought (regardless of where you go).

      1 Reply
      1. re: ivandwu

        My parents actually met on a blind date at Bastien's. In 1961!

        Thanks for the long list. Alas, we have plenty of good Mexican and Vietnamese in SF. Less so Southwestern, so I may search that out.