Munchie Mania: Stoned Appetit's Picks for the Best Stoner Eats in Denver

Get high on classic cheese sticks amped up with Sichuan peppercorns.
Get high on classic cheese sticks amped up with Sichuan peppercorns. Kip Wilson
Kip Wilson has a passion for two things: cannabis and food. The Mississippi native with a Southern twang moved to Denver in 2011 and was soon introduced to podcasting through a sports blog to which he contributed. Flash forward to 2018, when Wilson decided to launch his own podcast highlighting his favorite local bars and restaurants on a show dubbed Stoned Appetit.

"We've been doing this three years now," Wilson explains. "Obviously, we highlight the cannabis and culinary worlds, but they're really like a Venn diagram; they're kind of one and the same. So it was a natural fit to bring the two together, and we're just having a fucking blast."

Recent guests included some Denver food scene heavy hitters, among them Dana Rodriguez, owner of Work & Class, Super Mega Bien and mezcal brand Doña Loca; and Bryan Dayton, the restaurateur behind Oak and Corrida in Boulder and Bellota at the Source in Denver.

When he's not chatting about food on his podcast, Wilson is eating around town. A lot. And 99.9 percent of the time, he's doing that stoned. So when it comes to the top eats to seek out after a sesh, he's got some seriously satisfying recommendations — and they're not what you might expect.

Sure, Taco Bell is always there if you need a fast fix of something greasy and cheesy, and any slice of pizza is delicious when you're high, but Wilson has a knack for finding independently owned gems. So take a few hits, then eat your way through his picks for Denver's top ten slept-on stoner eats.

Meta Asian Kitchen
3200 Pecos Street

"If you can brave the douchebaggery of the crowds that hang out at Avanti, some of the food there is really worth going to eat," Wilson says — particularly at Meta Asian Kitchen. While the bao buns and noodles are solid, one dish will fulfill all your weed-driven dreams: Sichuan mozzarella sticks. The creative spin on typical fried cheese sticks comes topped with mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns and scallions and is served with a Thai basil ranch dip. "I get them extra-crispy because I like a crunch to them," Wilson adds, "and it parties. It's really good."
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Pizzeria Lui in Lakewood gets the classic right.
Kip Wilson
Pizzeria Lui
5380 West Mississippi Avenue, Lakewood

"Pizza is a universal love language," Wilson notes, as well as a classic stoner favorite. But rather than opt for chain delivery, he loves the high-quality ingredients at this oft-overlooked Lakewood spot. Try the Italian with sausage made by owner Zach Parini's dad, or seasonal specialties like the summer Peach Pit, with prosciutto, pistachio, arugula, mozzarella, ricotta and hot honey (which you can add on to any order as a side, along with a lineup of housemade hot sauces). A bonus: "That crew there is the jam-band stoner vibe," Wilson explains. "You walk in, and you're greeted by loud Phish or Grateful Dead music playing overhead."
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Go for the combination super dish for the best variety at Jerusalem.
Molly Martin
Jerusalem Restaurant
1890 East Evans Avenue
The late-night food scene is definitely lacking — especially since many formerly all-night eateries cut back on hours during the pandemic. Over near the University of Denver, though, this favorite for Mediterranean eats served long after dark, which has been open since 1978, remains a haven for the post-toke hungry. "It caters to the students of DU, but also to the stoners of all of Denver because of its delivery," Wilson explains. Currently, Jerusalem is offering falafel, gyros, sheesh kabobs, sweets like baklava and more until midnight Sunday through Thursday and 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. "I would mainline that hummus; I would snort it if I could," Wilson says. "It's great because it's a late-night stoner snack that doesn't make you feel like dog shit."
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Molly Martin
The Ginger Pig
4262 Lowell Boulevard

Natascha Hess's path to restaurant ownership is a unique story that includes working her first restaurant job ever as an intern under the mentorship of Top Chef alum Carrie Baird at Brazen just months before launching her own business as a food truck. Now she has a brick-and-mortar location that is a prime destination for stoners on the hunt for happy hour. "If you torch a bowl and you're looking for fair-like food, that's the one you want to go to," Wilson says. And what do you order there? The Ginger Pig's take on a hot dog on a stick, featuring a Nathan's dog and crispy cornflakes, and the Bangkok Balls — crispy Thai red curry rice balls with lime leaf aioli. "As a Cajun, it's like a boudin ball for me," Wilson notes. And that's a very, very good thing. 
Grab extra napkins when eating at Chicken Rebel.
Chicken Rebel/Facebook
Chicken Rebel
3618 Tejon Street

"Sometimes you just want something rudely sloppy," Wilson says. "Like, I want mess on my face, I don't give a shit, I'm wearing my dirtiest shirt...." We've all been there. And when only the sloppiest, sexiest option will do, head to Chicken Rebel for fried chicken sandwiches. Whether you opt for the Rancher dripping in buttermilk ranch or the Colorado with green chile cream cheese-stuffed chicken, these massive creations need to be eaten with two hands. Throw in some loaded tater tots and have a joint ready to go post-meal, too.
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The signature dish at Bourbon Grill with a side of mac and cheese and steamed veggies.
Molly Martin
Bourbon Grill
571 East Colfax Avenue

Wilson is a fan of chicken in general, because "you can do so many different things with it," he says. And Denver stoners — who enjoy hiking and rock climbing almost as much as they do lighting up a joint — don't always want to go fried and heavy when it comes to eating. Enter this Colfax Avenue staple. "The original walk-up window was in front my old drug dealer's house," Wilson remembers, "so you could go up, pick up a sack and come down and grab some food." You can still grab food (more likely after hitting up a dispensary, though) at the Bourbon Chicken location that opened in 2017, which offers indoor seating along with the go-to order: bourbon chicken over steamed rice (ask for extra juice) with your choice of two sides.
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Cheap, satisfying Mexican flavors at La Villa Real.
Kip Wilson
La Villa Real
2787 West Alameda Avenue
This pick was the recommendation of one of Denver's best chefs, Tommy Lee, the owner of Hop Alley and Uncle. The Colorado native recently introduced Wilson to La Villa Real, a food truck that posts up next to a Cricket store in the 2700 block of West Alameda. "The tacos are immaculate," Wilson says, "as are the suegras, which consist of two tacos grilled on either side, with cheese in the middle." The suegras are available with your pick of other fillings — Wilson is a fan of the bean and cheese and the chicharrón. Plus, this stoner snack is easy on the wallet, leaving you room in the budget to re-up your stash.
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Molly Martin
Misfit Snack Bar
3401 East Colfax Avenue
During its three-year run from 2015 to 2018, Rebel Restaurant won the hearts of Denver diners craving culinary originality with its ever-rotating menu, one-of-a-kind pierogi flavors and large-format musts like the whole pig's head feast. While he's not done a pig head at his current venture (yet), former Rebel co-owner Bo Porytko continues to put out some of Denver's best and most unique eats from the kitchen at Middleman. Wilson was originally drawn in by a crab corndog that briefly appeared on the menu, followed by a fish wonton another week. You never know exactly what you'll find on offer at Misfit, and that's part of the appeal; you might marvel at anything from deep-fried country-style ribs to duck and foie gras dumplings. The only two staples on the menu: My Fucking Burger, which is one of the best in the city, and the chips (small fried potatoes) served with whatever kind of dip Porytko feels like making that day. Pro tip: Head in for happy hour weekdays from 4 to 7 p.m., when you can also get a $5 Old Fashioned from Middleman's bar.
Kolache House Bakery/Instagram
Kolache House Bakery
8840 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
Kolaches are pillowy pastries stuffed with anything from fruit to sausage. Widely popular in Texas, they've become easier to find in Denver in recent years. But this Lakewood spot stands out from the rest of the available options. "They've got a wide variety of snacking," Wilson notes. "You want to do a little mix and match, some sweet and some savory." Kolache House opens at 6 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday and at 7 a.m. on Sunday, so it's an ideal spot for the early-riser stoner who wants to wake and bake with tasty little balls of stuffed dough to start the day.
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One of the many flavors dreamed up by David Right: Cookies & C.R.E.A.M, Oreo ice cream with Oreo toffee and "almost too salty" caramel.
David Right
Right Cream
3047 Larimer Street
You can't talk stoner foods without adding a sweet fix. "Everyone has that itch," Wilson admits. Right Cream is David Right's pandemic-born home business turned RiNo brick-and-mortar that sells out fast when pre-orders open up; fans line up on weekends for loaded sundaes and fizzes made with Topo Chico. What makes this ice cream different from the rest? "Chef David has some wizardly things going on over there," Wilson says. "He's got banger flavors, and the best part is that you can order it, then just leave the pints in your freezer." Wilson's game plan: Put in a pre-order for the pint flavors of the week on Monday, then head to RiNo on Saturday and hit up Callie's Cannabis Shoppe across the street before grabbing the goods and a Topo fizz. (Pro tip: Add a little vodka for a doubly buzzy treat.)
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Molly Martin is the Westword Food & Drink editor. She’s been writing about the dining scene in Denver since 2013, and was eating her way around the city long before that. She enjoys long walks to the nearest burrito joint and nights spent sipping cocktails on Colfax.
Contact: Molly Martin

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