Best of Denver®

Best Of 2020


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Best Of :: Food & Drink

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.
8121 W. 94th Ave., Westminster, 80021
Best Doughnuts
Habit Doughnut Dispensary
Courtesy Habit Doughnut Dispensary

There are two schools of thought when it comes to eating doughnuts: You can either go with light, airy doughnuts best straight from the fryer, or with richer, brioche-style doughnuts that eat more like a French pastry. Habit specializes in the latter, creating fanciful flavor combos atop sweet, toothsome rounds. The house special is the Blazed, a regular glazed doughnut torched on top to caramelize the sugar. Each day brings different specials, from the Real Mint Shady to the Blue Barry White. Kick up your selection with a boozy injection or a shmear of hemp butter — what could be better? Call to pre-order or visit either location for walk-up or curbside takeout that also includes coffee drinks and its boozy doughnuts. Habit is taking delivery orders, too; call to see if you're in the delivery area.
1553 Platte St., Denver, 80202
Best Bakery — Savory
Moxie Bread Co. Critics' Pick
Moxie Bread Co.
Mark Antonation

House-milled heirloom wheat from regional farms makes the difference at Moxie, which has been peddling bread, pastries, sandwiches and coffee in downtown Louisville since 2015. Score a big, crusty loaf of rustic bread, or spring for a delicate, buttery kouign amann (say "queen a man"), the croissant's compact cousin. Whatever you choose from founder Andy Clark's collection of naturally leavened, slow-risen products, it's available for online ordering and pick-up. Visit for details, then go to to place your order.
641 Main St., Louisville, 80027
Best Bakery — Sweet
Tokyo Premium Bakery
Mark Antonation

The sweet, flaky pastries at this Old South Pearl shop can best be described as Paris by way of Tokyo. The shapes — petite croissants, nest-like danishes, spiral cornets — are familiar, but the ingredients lean toward the uncommon. Red-bean doughnuts, baguette sandwiches filled with rum-raisin cream, and matcha green-tea twists share shelf space with more familiar fruit-topped and custard-filled delights. But even if you don't have a sweet tooth, Tokyo Premium has something special for you: bacon epi, a baguette baked into the shape of a fat wheat stalk, with each lobe loaded with bacon. The bakery is open for takeout orders and asks that you pay with credit card or ApplePay.
1540 S. Pearl St., Denver, 80210
Best Breakfast Burrito
Burrito Giant
Lori Midson

Even after prices went up last year, the breakfast burritos at Burrito Giant in Berkeley are still cheap — and still worth your morning moola. Each gets made fresh to order and comes either in the modest junior size or regular, almost-too-big-to-eat size. Ask for one with eggs and grilled potatoes; for a little extra, you can add beans, cheese, chorizo, diced bacon and more. Choose from veggie or pork-studded green chile, each made over the course of hours to help impart a delectable richness and smoky essence that gives the breakfast burrito its real oomph. The kicker is the Grandma's-brand flour tortilla, which always tastes fresh and doesn't fall apart when packed with good stuff. Burrito Giant is currently open for takeout Wednesday through Sunday.

4501 W. 38th Ave., Denver, 80210
Best Breakfast Sandwich
Rye Society

Move over, bacon! Rye Society's dedication to traditional deli ways extends beyond beefy lunchtime constructions built with New York City pastrami and locally baked rye bread. The Rye Egg breakfast sandwich, offered on a bagel or brioche bun, turns to that same succulent pastrami and adds an egg, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing for a messy but delicious morning bite that could easily turn into a daily obsession. The deli recently closed for a week to clean and streamline, but reopened for takeout orders on Wednesday, March 25.
3090 Larimer St., Denver, 80205
Best Chicken Sandwich
Chicken Rebel
Courtesy Chicken Rebel

Chicken Rebel's sandwiches walk a tightrope: They're simultaneously exactly what you want and a startling surprise. You know you want a substantial meal, but weren't aware that gravity is no impediment when it comes to constructing a monster sandwich that seemingly utilizes an entire chicken breast. You know you want exquisitely crunchy breading, but had no idea that such an exterior could envelop such a juicy, flavorful slab of bird. You know you want options, but didn't think you could love seven varieties (one of them vegan!) equally. That's the magic of Chicken Rebel, which is open for takeout and delivery via Uber Eats, Grubhub and Postmates.
3618 Tejon St., Denver, 80211
Best Fried Chicken
The Post Brewing Company
Courtesy of The Post Brewing Co.

Every meal at Dave Query's four metro-Denver chicken joints has been like a picnic with all the proper fixin's: crunchy fried chicken, cold beer, deviled eggs and buttermilk biscuits. You can't enjoy that inside any of the Posts today, of course, but that fried chicken is just as good in the privacy of your own home. You'll forget all your cares and focus on everything else after your first bite of the juicy bird, full of flavor from a buttermilk soak and then wrapped in a zesty, gluten-free crust. On the bone or spiced up Nashville-style in a sandwich, this cluck is worth the bucks. All four Post Brewing locations are open for pick-up orders, both for solitary dining and perfect, family-sized meals.
105 W. Emma St., Lafayette, 80026
Best Sandwiches
Leven Deli Critics' Pick
Leven Deli
Mark Antonation

We awarded Leven Deli the Best Sandwich Shop in 2019 for its housemade pastrami and strong dedication to deli ways. So what did the Golden Triangle restaurant do to celebrate? Rather than resting on their laurels, owners Anthony Lygizos and Luke Hendricks got even better, hiring baker Doug Anderson to create rye and sourdough loaves daily. The Reubens and turkey sandwiches now shine even brighter, and Leven's sweet baked goods are a treat, too. While a takeout window has been part of the building since the deli opened, Leven is now using it to fulfill orders of pastrami by the pound, whole loaves of bread and coffee beans, as well as regular menu items; use the restaurant's website to order pick-up or free delivery.
123 W. 12th Ave., Denver, 80204
Best Convenience-Store Fried Chicken Sandwich
Choice Market
Mark Antonation

Choice Market is Denver's own homegrown locavore convenience store, stocking a wide range of snacks, staples, household goods and other things you need on a moment's notice. The two locations also have fresh-made food for healthy eating (vegan and gluten-free options are a house specialty) and occasional indulgences. The crispy fried chicken sandwich, for example, comes on a crusty bun with simple toppings; the marinated carrots give it an almost banh mi-style quality, adding a lively touch to the juicy, crunchy chicken. Of course, there's plenty more on offer; order online, then text or call when you arrive and your food and other needs will be brought out to you.
1770 Broadway, Denver, 80202
Best Comedy Venue With Wings

In more normal times, Wide Right (formerly Rock Steady) is home to a smorgasbord of DIY comedy shows, a generously stocked bar and some spectacular wings. Now owners Meghan DePonceau and Jeremy Pysher are aiming to help out by preparing and distributing meal kits from their kitchen. Current options include butternut-squash ravioli with honey-sage brown butter, garlic-chili pork stir-fry and creamy chicken pesto; Wide Right is also still offering its full menu for delivery and pick-up so that you can get your buffalo wing fix.
2100 Curtis St., Denver, 80205
Best Burrito-Shaped Indian Street Food
Serene Cuisine of India
Mark Antonation

The frankie is one of the quintessential street foods of Mumbai, India, built for downing on the go. At first glance it looks like a burrito, but the appearance is where the similarity ends. The wrapper is thin naan bread (slightly cushier than a flour tortilla), and the fillings range from lamb kebab to zeera alu, saucy potatoes that pack a spicy, tangy punch. Grilled veggies add crunch to each frankie, making for a one-handed meal wrapped in foil. Serene's Mumbai frankies and other bold Indian dishes can be ordered online for free delivery (with an order of $30 or more), or call ahead for pick-up and get 15 percent off your bill.
2070 S. University Blvd., Denver, 80210

Best German/Eastern European Food To Go: Cracovia

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