Denver's five best places for lunch near the Tech Center

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

When I was growing up near the Tech Center, the place was something close to a culinary wasteland -- there were few dining destinations worth seeking out, and most restaurant real estate was devoted to national chains.

More ethnic options would be welcomed -- as I noted in this week's review of Street Kitchen Asian Bistro -- but there's no denying that the gastronomic scene in the area is looking up. And for office workers in the Tech Center, there are more and more places where you can score a decent lunch. Here are the five best.

5. The Wooden Table When Frank Bonanno alum Brett Shaheen struck out on his own, he didn't nab an address in one of central Denver's hottest restaurant neighborhoods. Instead, he went south, establishing The Wooden Table in Greenwood Village and quickly finding favor with the area's discriminating palates, who flock to his Italian restaurant noon and night. His lunch menu -- Italian sandwiches, salads and house-made pastas -- do the trick when you're craving something beyond grab-and-go, and it's handy when you want to impress clients or bosses and don't want to rely on spendy chains. 4. India's Castle The facade of India's Castle is that of an unceremonious Greenwood Village strip mall spot, but billowing tapestries and paper lanterns inside set the stage for one of the best northern Indian feasts in the city. The menu features excellent versions of familiar items, including spice-laced vindaloos, masalas and curries; flaky samosas stuffed with potatoes and vegetables; and meats from the tandoor oven, imbued with smokiness and char. And at lunch, you can sample many of those offerings via a buffet. 3. Land of Sushi Back in 2000, Land of Sushi opened in a strip mall across from what was then Southglenn Mall -- now the Streets at SouthGlenn -- and quickly made a splash. Over the years, the spot has just gotten better. The restaurant itself doesn't look like much, but the bare-bones ambience just means there's nothing to distract your attention from the food -- and the food definitely deserves all your attention. Owner Steve Lin gets shipments every day, and he regularly posts specials like live scallops and uber-fresh uni. But even if you're ordering the usual suspects -- like salmon, tuna and yellowtail -- you're assured some of the freshest fish around, cut excellently and displayed beautifully. Need extra incentive to head there for lunch? How about a $1-per-piece 24/7 sushi happy hour? 2. Marco's Coal-Fired Pizzeria Mark Dym's pizzeria, which opened its first location downtown on Larimer, serves up some our favorite Napolitano pies -- with tangy marinara, sweet mozzarella and thin crusts blistered by the wood-fired oven -- in the city. So when Marco's expanded down into the 'burbs, grabbing one of the restaurant spots at the Vallagio at Inverness, it quickly became one of the best places in the surrounding neighborhoods for lunch. Don't have time for a trip? If you're located close enough, Marco's delivers. 1. Jabo's Bar-Be-Que Jabo Lawson barbecue fixings have been popular with Tech Center crowds since he was cooking them in a mobile pit. He moved indoors a few years back, using a custom-built smoker to fire tender brisket, piquant Louisiana-style hot links, pulled pork shoulder and, best of all, pork ribs, which are two inches thick, layered with opaque fat, deeply infused with throat-stinging smoke and so tender the meat practically melts into a puddle in your mouth. Everything that comes out of that smoker gets coated in a sauce based on a recipe from Shreveport, Louisiana, and made at varying levels of spiciness, every version delicious.

An honorable mention goes to Taste of Thailand, because we recognize that a fifteen minute drive may be a bit far for the cubicle warriors that have just an hour for lunch. If you can carve out the time, though, it's worth the trek.

Know of others? Tell us about them below.

More Best of Denver Lists: - Denver's five best restaurants for blind dates

- Denver's five best martinis

- Denver's five best burgers

- Denver's six best pizzas

- Denver's five best dive bars

- Denver's five best dinners under $10

- Denver's five best first-date restaurants

- Denver's five best nachos

- Denver's ten best french fries

- Denver's five best green chile fixes

- Denver's five best dishes of mac & cheese

- Denver's five best breakfast sandwiches

- Denver's five best wings

- Denver's five best happy hours

- Denver's ten best draft beer lists

- Denver's five best spots for ice cream

- Denver's five best BBQ joints

- Denver's five best brunches

- Denver's five best spots for sandwiches

- Denver's five best street tacos

- Denver's five best hot dogs

- Denver's five best plates of fried chicken

- Denver's five best French restaurants

- Denver's five best dessert spots

- Denver's five best Chinese restaurants

-Denver's five best chips and salsa

- Denver's five best lunches under $5

- Denver's five best Indian restaurants

- Denver's five best breakfast burritos

- Denver's five best rooftop patios

- Denver's five best underrated patios

- Denver's five best tap rooms

- Denver's five best restaurants that are hidden in other businesses

- Denver's five best bars in restaurants

- Denver's five best weekend-only restaurant specials

- Denver's five best non-translated menus

- Denver's five best hotel restaurants

- Denver's five best offbeat neighborhood restaurants

- Denver's ten best burgers

- Denver's five best restaurant fireplaces

- Denver's five best neighborhood Italian restaurants

- Denver's ten best brunches

- Denver's ten best green chiles

- Denver's ten best sushi restaurants

- Denver's ten best pizzas

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.