Any seasoned chow hound knows that the best bites are often found off the beaten path, preferably in an unassuming strip mall or side street with a faded sign and modest exterior, behind which some of the tastiest, most glorious unicorn-esque creations are waiting to be discovered. These little known restaurants in Denver promise to fill your plate and your belly with tantalizing treats served up in a inviting atmosphere guaranteed to blow any chain restaurant off the block. From Ethiopian eats to Mediterranean classics, there’s something to satisfy every hunger at these humble neighborhood haunts hidden away in the Mile High City.
1. Crêpes ‘n Crêpes
Take a trip to grand Paris at Crêpes ‘n Crêpes Downtown and in Cherry Creek. Choose from a range of savory and sweet crêpes filled with delicious goodies just perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert.
This charming corner cafe and market nestled in a cozy residential area of Wash Park is churning out some of the most mouthwatering morsels in the Mile High City. From Bananas Fosters French Toast and Pork Belly Benedict to Grilled Colorado Lamb Chops and Fresh Alaskan Halibut, Fooducopia offers a wealth of culinary goodness from 8am-9pm - all day, every day.
3. The 49th
Don't let the strip mall or location in the depths of southwest Denver scare you; this unique Alaskan-themed bar and restaurant is slinging delectable dishes you can't find anywhere else in town. Try their Bering Sea Blue Cheese Pub Chips, Mat-su Glacier Clams, or Eagle River Elk Meatloaf just like you'd find in the 49th state.
4. Ester's Neighborhood Pub
Tucked away in Virginia Village is a casual but lively spot where you can get your grub on any time of day. From artisan pizzas and Nashville hot chicken to Fat Tire nachos and Palisade peach salad, Ester's will satisfy your wildest cravings. And their bottomless mimosas and bloody bar for brunch just can't be beat!
5. Cody's Cafe and Bar
In a cozy, unassuming spot on Iliff Avenue, Cody's Cafe and Bar boasts inspired Italian cuisine and global fare served up in a quaint low-lit space that'll make you feel right at home.
6. AMBLI Denver
AMBLI Denver is another Mile High treasure hidden away in a modest strip mall, featuring global tapas and unique cuisine sure to wow your taste buds. Green Curry Mahi Mahi, Mexico City Brisket, Chicken Tikka Masala, and Ambli Mongolian Beef are just a handful of the adventurous, scrumptious menu options that will blow you away and have you hungry for more.
7. Yaffa's Savory
For more than 20 years, Yaffa's Savory has been satisfying the good people of Denver with homemade Mediterranean classics in a laid-back atmosphere. They've got heavenly hummus, savory shawarma, fantastic falafel, perfect pastries, and a whole lot more at this market and cafe on Monaco.
8. Queen of Sheba
What Queen of Sheba lacks in curb appeal, she makes up for with perfectly portioned, precisely spiced Ethiopian dishes that are downright delicious. The Queen and her family-run operation on East Colfax have been going strong for nearly 25 years, promising a homey atmosphere and tasty traditional fare that includes an array of exceptional vegetarian options, as well as mouthwatering meat-filled creations.
9. African Grill and Bar
African Grill and Bar located in Green Valley Ranch is yet another welcoming mom-and-pop strip mall shop dishing out authentic and remarkably delicious African cuisine sure to surprise and tantalize your taste buds. They've got a little bit of everything, from scrumptious stews and samosas to savory specialities made with your choice of lamb, goat, oxtail, chicken, seafood, veggies, and more.
10. Euro Crêpes
This hidden gem on South Broadway promises friendly service, an inviting atmosphere and sweet and savory crêpes featuring unique flavor combinations from around the globe. Start out with a taste of the Netherlands, a savory crêpe filled with grilled chicken, brie, spinach, honey Dijon mustard, walnuts and cranberries, then satisfy your sweet tooth with St. Mark's Square which boasts Limoncello, blueberries and brown sugar. And that's just the tip of the Euro Crêpes iceberg.