Eating Adventures

Colorado Concierge: Catered Office Lunches That Will Make Your Co-Workers Swoon

Why brown-bag it when you can impress your co-workers with a spread like this?
Why brown-bag it when you can impress your co-workers with a spread like this? Olive & Finch
We’ve all been faced with the “Where should we go?” question. Sometimes the answer is obvious, but other times we need help. Whether it’s finding the perfect place to celebrate the right occasion, determining what kitchen can accommodate an unusual dietary restriction, or maybe just discovering a new place to satisfy a late-night craving, we've got you covered. The Colorado Concierge will help you find the best restaurant, bar or cafe to suit your specific needs.

Ordering food to go during a busy workday is the norm for a lot of working folks, and thanks to technology, a full spread can be wrangled nearly anywhere and everywhere with a few taps on a smartphone. But what about when you're tasked with ordering lunch for multiple people — say, an office full of hungry co-workers? This week's question comes from Chelsea:

My office is hosting a working lunch in a couple of weeks, and I've been picked to coordinate the order. The group is a diverse one in terms of eating preferences, with a couple of dairy-free and gluten-free eaters. I'd love to know what places might work for us, and we prefer to order from locally owned businesses. Any ideas?

There's a certain pressure when managing a catering order for a large group of people, and it's not always a fun one. Add in dietary restrictions, allergies, picky co-workers, delivery logistics and a rigid schedule, and coordinating an office meal ends up requiring a good chunk of time. Luckily, a number of Denver restaurants specialize in catering and can assist with the daunting task of ordering breakfast or lunch for a crew. These five are particularly great at it.

click to enlarge Inside Olive & Finch. - OLIVE & FINCH
Inside Olive & Finch.
Olive & Finch
Olive & Finch
1552 East 17th Avenue, 303-832-8663
3390 East First Avenue, 303-955-0455

Chef and restaurateur Mary Nguyen recently opened the second outpost of her popular Olive & Finch eatery and bakery in Denver's Cherry Creek area. Earning a loyal crowd since opening the original location in Uptown just over three years ago, Olive & Finch offers a.m. and p.m. menus with a little something for everyone. Nearly every menu item can be made dairy-free or vegetarian, and a variety of gluten-free options are available for an up-charge. Sweeten the order with a batch of fresh-baked pastries, or maybe treat the group to a specialty platter of cheese and charcuterie (or both!). Note: Catering orders must be placed 24 hours in advance and can be submitted by calling either location.

click to enlarge Illegal Pete's offers a movable Mexican feast. - ILLEGAL PETE'S
Illegal Pete's offers a movable Mexican feast.
Illegal Pete's
Illegal Pete's
2001 East Colfax Avenue; multiple locations

With eight Colorado locations and an out-of-state expansion into Tuscon, Illegal Pete's is serving the masses — and rightly so. With a selection of great fast-casual Mexican offerings, Illegal Pete's also has a reputation for giving back to the community and supporting the local music scene. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the eatery can cater to groups of all sizes, with a taco-bar buffet option that allows everyone to build their own meals (soft tacos, hard tacos, a burrito bowl — you name it!) starting at just $10 per person. Available for pickup or delivery, Illegal Pete's offers everything required for a disposable buffet setup, so you don't need to return any of the serving equipment. Note: Catering orders can be placed 24 hours in advance by visiting the restaurant's website and filling out the catering request form.

Vert Kitchen
704 South Pearl Street

Nestled along a small storefront block in Washington Park West, Vert Kitchen + Takeaway is both a charming restaurant and a takeout powerhouse. With eight years under its belt, Vert, from chef and proprietor Noah Stephens, covers plenty of ground between its grab-and-retail partners around the city and the catering program. With boxed-lunch and buffet-platter catering options, Vert consistently offers healthy and seasonal sandwiches, salads and soups. Note: Catering orders must be placed 48 hours in advance by filling out an order form, available for download on the website.

click to enlarge Stella's salmon-and-avocado salad could be part of your next office lunch. - STELLA'S ON 16TH
Stella's salmon-and-avocado salad could be part of your next office lunch.
Stella's on 16th
Stella's on 16th
1550 Wewatta Street

New to Denver's Union Station North area, Stella's on 16th is a restaurant, bakery and market operating from sunrise to sunset. With breakfast, lunch and dinner service offered, Stella's also specializes in catering for all meal periods for groups small and large. Along with buffet options and boxed lunches, Stella's also boasts a state-of-the-art pastry kitchen with stunning petit fours, cookies and cakes. To place an order, contact Stella's by filling out an online inquiry form, and a representative will be in touch. Note: Delivery is available for large catering orders only.

Biju's Little Curry Shop
1441 26th Street; Multiple Locations

When searching for something outside of the typical lunch staples of sandwiches, soups and salads, Biju's Little Curry Shop does the trick. With two locations in Denver and another in Boulder, Biju's offers healthy and fresh fast-casual Indian. Co-workers can order Biju's staples with a variety of modifications to suit individual preferences, or a meal can be ordered family style, and people can choose what they like from the spread. Every meal comes with cooling condiments and spicy sauces — and don't forget plenty of chapati, an Indian tortilla-like flat bread. Note: Catering can be placed directly via the website, which partners with, a catering and delivery service.

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Lauren Rapp works in experiential marketing by day and moonlights as Westword Colorado Concierge, answering your dining-specific queries.
Contact: Lauren Rapp