1. Chowder Room560 South Broadway, Denver
2. Kobe An Shabu Shabu3400 Osage St, Denver
3. Manneken Frites5616 Olde Wadsworth Blvd, Arvada
4. Maria Empanada1298 South Broadway Ave, Denver
5. The Pasty Republic4166 Tennyson St, Denver
6. Slotted Spoon Meatball Eatery2730 S Colorado Blvd, Denver
7. Waffle Up!300 Elati St, Denver
This dead-ringer for a Cape Cod clam shack serves up all sorts of seafood, from crab cakes to barbecued shrimp -- but its forte is its namesake (because if it weren’t, that would be confusing). Both New England-style clam stew and red chowder with salmon, tuna, and halibut are always available, while the bowl du jour changes constantly.
The Japanese hot pot with a name that translates to "swish swish" isn’t just a dish, it’s a multisensory, DIY, capital-e Experience. Drink it in at this sleek retreat, where pots set on tabletop burners bubble with dashi broth, surrounded by platters of sliced ribeye, noodles, and vegetables.
Hot, hand-cut, salt-dusted fries in a cone with any of a jillion (we counted) dipping sauces, including curry ketchup, ghost-chile ranch and Parmesan-pesto mayo. What more could you ask for? Oh, right, Belgian beer: this quaint little Old World-themed shop has got plenty of that, too.
Lorena Cantarovici’s all-empanada joint has tons of Argentinian treats on its menu -- enjoy fillings that are both savory (Caprese, ham & cheese) and sweet (dulce de leche, Marsala-poached pear).
No, it’s not a socialist tanning salon. Pasties are basically English empanadas, and this little counter joint (and its brand-new food truck) aces them. Fillings range from traditional (beef, potatoes, and rutabaga) to modern (spinach, feta, almonds, and herbs) to sweet (spiced pumpkin and cream cheese). They’re then encased in crunchy-tender shells so golden-brown, it's as if this were a tanning salon after all.
Opening at the height of the meatball craze a few years ago, this quick-casual cafe has outlasted the hype by putting a premium on variety. Beef, chicken, salmon, pork, and veggie balls star in dozens of smart signature sandwiches, pastas, and salads; you can also build your own, thanks to a huge list of ingredients ranging from caramelized onions and banana peppers to chile queso and Alfredo sauce.
You don’t have to harbor a throbbing sweet tooth to appreciate the crusty, yeasty, chewy wonders that are Liège-style waffles. This new brick-and-mortar sibling of a popular food truck offers as many savory topping combos as it does sweet, like the crispy-gooey, basil-laced bacon & Brie.