Best German/Eastern European Food To Go 2020 | Cracovia | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

Best German/Eastern European Food To Go


Courtesy Cracovia Restaurant & Bar Facebook page

Lester and Maria Rodzen opened their Polish restaurant twelve years ago, serving the cuisine of their home country in a stylish suburban setting. Housemade sausages, homey soups and hearty entrees fill the menu, with Slavic classics like pierogies, cabbage rolls, hunter stew and potato pancakes drawing expats from all over Eastern Europe and Russia. Equally comforting are the barszcz (beet soup), golonka (roast pork hock) and a dessert of jelly-filled paczki, the doughnut-like pastries so hard to find after Fat Tuesday elsewhere in Denver. Call the restaurant for takeout or delivery.
Barolo Grill

Since 1992, Barolo Grill has been creating exquisite Italian fare in Cherry Creek — first under founder Blair Taylor, and then under former general manager Ryan Fletter, who bought the place in 2015. Summer trips to Italy for the whole staff keep the team boned up on current culinary trends, and the sure guidance of executive chef Darrel Truett ensures that every plate of pasta and each entree comes out as pleasing to the eye as to the tastebuds. Barolo Grill, and its more casual sister, Chow Morso, are continuing to serve loyal customers with pick-up food options, wine and beer by the can and bottle, and a changing selection of handmade pasta and other kitchen essentials for Italian home cooking.
Kristin Pazulski

In the age of sleek, modern coffeehouses adorned with succulents and white tile and swimming in every kind of alternative milk, it's refreshing to see a coffee shop that doesn't look the same as the rest. For eight years, Weathervane Cafe has called Uptown home, and in turn has provided a second home for its patrons. Today the cozy cafe, formerly a carriage house, has plenty of homey options to go: delicious coffee, awesome baked goods and a variety of curiosities, gifts and art, all of which can be ordered online at for pick-up.
James Jackman

After launching as a roasting company several years ago, Middle State opened its first official coffeehouse last May, providing a coffee oasis in a district full of warehouses. Mastermind Jay DeRose delivered on his vision for an industrial-chic space that houses a roasting operation as well as a coffee counter. A Denver native with a passion for snowboarding and coffee, DeRose lives Middle State's motto: "Have fun, brew coffee." For proof, check out the cartoonish wall art behind the bar by artist Gary Muller when you stop in for a to-go order. Middle State is currently open for takeout orders of coffee drinks and pre-packaged foods.
Molly Martin

Restaurateur Josh Pollack is on a mission to bring the East Coast foods of his childhood to Denver. He started with bagels at Rosenberg's Bagels & Deli, and most recently launched Lou's Italian Specialties to sell sandwiches, pastas and other Italian-American deli fare. In between, he built a walk-up pizza window cheekily named Famous Original J's. Big, floppy New York-style pies are the order of the day, built on a crust with just the right balance of lightness and chew to please even the most resolute NYC transplant. Homesick New Yorkers — and everyone else who appreciates good pie — will also fall for the Grandma pizzas: thick, chewy, rectangular slices baked on a sheet pan. Visit the pizzeria's website for pick-up and delivery options and hours.
Molly Martin

Things were different when Blue Pan Pizza opened its first outpost in Highland five years ago: While there were plenty of pizzerias in town, most joints served up thin, generic versions (with a few Chicago- and NYC-style spots in the mix). Detroit-style pizza — with its caramelized deep-dish crust and equally thick, crisped blanket of cheese extending to the very edge of the dough — mostly elicited puzzlement. But Blue Pan's been a hit from the moment it opened its doors, and even though Denver residents can now opt for St. Louis-, New Haven- and Wisconsin-style pies, too, we still can't get enough of Blue Pan's Motor City version. Visit the restaurant's website for details on its no-contact delivery service.
Oh Hey Creative

At Cart-Driver's original pizzeria, built from a converted shipping container, and at its glossy new LoHi location, thin crust means Neapolitan pizza, baked hot and fast in a wood-burning oven. The pies come out blistered and airy around the edges, with the sauce and cheese cooked just enough that they meld together with toppings as wide-ranging as clams, Gorgonzola cheese and kale (not all on the same pie, of course). Nailing a great Neapolitan pizza takes a certain attention to detail, with the right flour, exacting dough-making technique and a skilled pizzaiolo in front of the oven. Visit for pick-up.

Best To-Go From Denver's Best New Restaurant

American Elm

Leigh Chavez Bush

The best restaurant to open in Denver this past year, American Elm boasts a seasoned pro calling the shots in owner Bob Reiter and a steady hand in the kitchen with executive chef Brent Turnipseede. Since Turnipseede hails from the South, you'll find hints of country cooking as well as subtle and unusual ingredients integrated into nearly every dish. American Elm is currently offering weekly packages beginning at $60, along with cocktail kits so you can sip American Elm quality in the comfort of your own home.

Best To-Go From a James Beard Winner


Scott Lentz

Looking for a special dinner? Consider Feast on the Fly, the special to-go menu now offered by Rioja. While the offerings change often (watch for the short ribs!), chances are good that your meal will be cooked by Jen Jasinski, who in 2013 became the first Denver chef to win the James Beard Foundation's Best Chef Southwest award. (She and partner Beth Gruitch are up for top honors in the Best Restaurateur category this year, but that contest is currently on hold.) To accompany your award-winning meal, you can buy bargain bottles of wine, or pick up a favorite cocktail once served at Euclid Hall, the eatery around the corner that Gruitch and Jasinski closed March 16. Rioja is currently working on delivery, but Larimer Square looks lovely, even when it's deserted.

Best Place to Stock Up on Creature Comforts

Marczyk Fine Foods

Courtesy Marczyk Fine Foods

Once you've found your secret grocery store that always seems to have the essentials, head to Marczyk for the finer things in life. Fresh-baked breads, butcher's cuts of pork, beef and lamb (plus housemade sausages), and grab-and-go foods are only the beginning. Shelves filled with sauces, condiments, canned goods and, yes, even milk and eggs, will help you take your mind off the world outside. Don't linger too long, though; other shoppers need their special space, too. Both locations of the neighborhood markets are open daily.

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