If you didn't grow up in a South Asian household, you may not be familiar with the wonders of Indian grocery stores. K Indian Grocery can fix that. It's only been around about a year, but it has become a staple for Indian and Nepali specialty goods, and is one of the rare Indian grocers on the west side of Denver. From fresh produce and bulk dry goods to frozen momo (for which there is a months-long waiting list), this place has all the South Asian goodies you didn't know you needed. Pro tip: Once you see how affordable it is to get herbs and spices in bulk here, you will never spend $15 on another tiny jar from the grocery store.

1422 West 104th Avenue, Northglenn
720-524-4967
k-indian-grocery.business.site

Best Central/South American Restaurant (Not Mexican)

Los Cabos

Los Cabos II
Eric Gruneisen

The longest-running Peruvian restaurant not just in Denver, but perhaps all of Colorado, Los Cabos has been open for over thirty years. Although it recently saw a passing of the baton from founder and pioneer Francesca Ruiz to Noel Plasencia and Lisa Nique, the duo behind Kero Peruvian Food in Aurora, it remains a destination for "puro Peru," or pure Peru, which the original owners adopted as a mantra. From the Peruvian rotisserie chicken to parihuela, a Peruvian bouillabaisse, Los Cabos dishes up specialties that are hard — or maybe impossible — to find anywhere else in the city.

Cafe Brazil
Summer Powell

While Cafe Brazil has been a haven for Mediterranean-inflected South American cuisine for more than thirty years, it’s also a prime destination for anyone avoiding gluten. According to owner Tony Zarlenga, 98 percent of the menu is gluten-free — meaning the wheat-averse can tuck into slow-roasted meats, baked sweet plantains and satisfying seafood stews, like the coconut milk-enriched moqueca de peixe, loaded with large prawns, bacalhau and sea scallops and infused with dendê oil. Wash it all down with a rum flight or a pour of cachaça from the bar and forget all about the bland, gluten-free pastas and rubbery gluten-free breads of meals past.

Brasserie Brixton
Molly Martin

Decidedly un-stuffy, with a fun, modern take on French cuisine, Brasserie Brixton opened in the summer of 2020 as one of the most exciting new additions to Denver's culinary scene. But then pandemic restrictions put a damper on the party, and the restaurant temporarily converted into a pizzeria in order to survive. Now it's back to doing what it does best: offering dishes like steak tartare with truffled egg jam, and duck with radish cake, alongside natural wines and low-key, neighborhood-eatery vibes.

French 75
Bonanno Concepts

When French 75 originally opened in 2017, it was a pretty classic take on a French brasserie, but with its 2021 reboot following an eighteen-month pandemic-related closure, it feels like a completely different place. The decor didn’t change, but the energy and menu sure did. Some former staples remain, but they're offered in a new and improved way — like the French dip now served on a soft roll baked by Milk Market's LoDough Bakery. And it now has a roster of unexpected additions, including the lobster ramen that gained a cult following at Frank Bonanno's now-closed Bones; pork dumplings served in a gochujang butter; an eclectic playlist; and $1 pours of Prosecco flowing during happy hour.

Spuntino
Danielle Lirette

Dining at Spuntino is like poetry. In fact, Elliot Strathmann, who owns the restaurant with his wife, chef Cindhura Reddy, composes playful poems about Spuntino's new dishes that he shares on Instagram. The couple has been running the intimate eatery since 2014, and managed to keep every employee working through the pandemic — quite a feat in an era of mass layoffs. Here, hand-rolled pastas and braised meats are the stars, and Colorado-raised goat and creamy arancini have become signature items. At the bar, Strathmann has amassed a collection of Italian amari (some of which he makes himself) that give diners one more reason to linger.

Restaurant Olivia
Joni Schrantz

Pasta perfection: That's what you'll find at this Washington Park restaurant from the culinary dream team of Heather Morrison (front-of-house hospitality expert), Austin Carson (who heads up the bar) and pasta-making pro Ty Leon. Olivia opened in January 2020 — terrible timing for a fine-dining establishment. But it made it through the pandemic one lasagna to-go at a time, and now it's back to focusing on what it does best — which includes Leon in the kitchen folding pasta into intricate shapes for your wonder and amusement.

Best Frozen Italian Food
Molly Martin

If your idea of frozen food is just Stouffer's mac and cheese and Trader Joe's, well, everything, think again. Some of Denver's best Italian food is being made by Kelly Crobu and her husband, Mario, a native of Sardinia. The longtime industry pros started selling frozen meals to family and friends as a side hustle, but with ample free time during the pandemic, they officially launched Casa Crobu in July 2020. All of the food is made in a commercial kitchen, and none of it sits for long, which means the frozen lasagna Bolognese delivered to your door was likely made the day before — and tastes that way, no matter when you decide to cook it. The Crobus also sell several specialty items, including culurgiones, a Sardinian filled pasta that's a cross between a pierogi, a dumpling and ravioli.

casacrobu.com
Gennaro's
Sarah McGill

There's nothing innovative about the seventy-year-old Gennaro's, and that's just the way we like it. From the black-and-white-checkered linoleum floor to the weathered wooden bar, every nook and cranny of this joint screams nostalgia. Naturally, that extends to the menu: You won't find "twists" or "takes" on anything here, just satisfying, stick-to-your-ribs Italian-American classics. Start with an enormous loaf of garlic bread and marinara or fried ravioli for the table, then chow down on the aptly named colossal calzone, Italian sandwiches, pizza or sausage and peppers. The neighborhood atmosphere is bolstered by regular trivia, live music, open-mics and bingo nights.

Redeemer Pizza
Molly Martin

When Spencer White and Alex Figura, the owners of fast-casual pasta hit Dio Mio, started toying with the idea of getting large deck ovens in order to expand their baking capabilities, the concept morphed into a pizza place. Enter Redeemer, which debuted in July 2021. An entry through the back alley marked by a neon slice sign leads to the slice window, where you can pick up one of that day's specials: New York-style and thick Sicilian options are both available. In the front dining room, you can order whole pies along with appetizers, wine, cocktails and more. All of the pizza is made on sourdough crust, but Redeemer mixes its artisan approach to dough with classic, craveable components like ooey, gooey, low-moisture mozzarella. Don't forget to order sides of both the hot honey and dilly ranch dipping sauce.

Best Of Denver®

Best Of