Middle State Coffee
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.

middlestatecoffee.com
Famous Original J's Pizza
Mark Antonation

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.

famousoriginaljs.com
Blue Pan Pizza
Paul Joyner

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.

bluepandenver.com
Cart-Driver
Michael Emery Hecker

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 facebook.com/cartdriver for pick-up.

cart-driver.com

Best To-Go From Denver's Best New Restaurant

American Elm

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.

amelm.com

Best To-Go From a James Beard Winner

Rioja

Rioja
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.

riojadenver.com

Best Place to Stock Up on Creature Comforts

Marczyk Fine Foods

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.

marczykfinefoods.com

Best Ethiopian Restaurant and Market

Megenagna

Megenagna Ethiopian Restaurant and Grocery
Lori Midson

We're big on Megenagna because it's just as easy to come for a light lunch as for a family feast. The veggie combo is just right for a midday to-go meal, with colorful dollops of stewed lentils, peas, greens and shiro wot (made with chickpea flour), all loaded with complex spices and seasoned butter atop dark, earthy, tangy injera bread. Kitfo, minced and seasoned beef, is the specialty of the house; it comes in several regional varieties, and there's even a vegetarian version made with collard greens and soft housemade cheese. Add an Ethiopian coffee for a well-rounded experience. The restaurant is now open for takeout, and the market next door offers an assortment of Ethiopian specialty items and butcher-counter meats.

facebook.com/megenagna.grocery
Yuan Wonton
Penelope Wong

If you haven't been following chef Penelope Wong's scarlet-and-black food truck around town, you'd better start — stat — because you're missing out on some of the best food in Denver, period. The chef loads steamers full of dumplings and pans full of potstickers; garlic-chile wontons, pan-fried soup dumplings, and adorable bao in the shape of pigs and pandas are all on the menu. In the coming weeks, Yuan Wonton will offer pre-order service and then appear occasionally at locations with parking lots big enough to allow pick-up from your car window. Check @penelopewong and @yuanwonton on Instagram for updates.

facebook.com/yuanwonton
The Denver Central Market
Danielle Lirette

Launched in 2016, the Denver Central Market is more than just an overly ambitious food court: The various vendors sell baked goods, meats, specialty foods and pantry items for home use, and the restaurant counters offer pizza, sandwiches, charcuterie boards, raw oysters, ice cream, coffee and other breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes. The market is a vibrant grocery stop for a fast-paced neighborhood, and it's still open for business, even though you can't dine inside.

denvercentralmarket.com

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