Vinh Xuong Bakery
The barbecue pork banh mi at Vinh Xuong Bakery.
Vinh Xuong Bakery (pronounced like "vin sung") has been one of Denver's go-to outlets for banh mi for decades, and brother and sister team Duc and Yen Huynh are bringing the family business to Zeppelin Station. The same fresh-baked baguettes you can find at the original in southwest Denver come stuffed with your choice of grilled or barbecued pork, Vietnamese meatballs, chicken, tofu, spicy avocado or the house cold-cut combo. Don't miss the blazing-hot chili oil also made from scratch, or the lightly pickled jalapeños, for something a touch milder.
Chicken 65 and a samosa at Namkeen.
Chef Cindhura Reddy has made a name for herself with her Italian cooking at Spuntino
, which she runs with her husband, Elliot Strathmann. But Namkeen taps into her South Indian roots, offering a street-food lineup of spicy dishes not often found in Denver. A standout is the Chicken 65, a fire-engine red dish deep with heat and spices. For something portable, try a kathi roll — somewhat like a burrito, but with a housemade roti wrapper filled with your choice from several curries. Basmati bowls, a soothing mango lassi and some sweet treats round out the menu.
The market bowl with Montreal-style brisket at Au Feu.
Chef Jared Leonard has built a small restaurant empire in Chicago, and for his Denver debut, he's chosen Montreal-style barbecue as the star of his Zeppelin Station menu. Beef brisket is cured and smoked to a pink, juicy and flavorful finish and served in sandwiches or over roasted vegetables. Wood-fired bagels and poutine continue the Canadian theme, and there's also a selection of house-cured meats and sausages.
Dandy Lion Coffee
An espresso shot and a pandan waffle at Dandy Lion.
This is Duc Huynh's other Zeppelin Station stall, offering espresso drinks, drip coffee and other hot and cold beverages, some with distinct Vietnamese influence and others with a modern, creative twist. So you can get a traditional Vietnamese coffee flavored with chicory and sweetened condensed milk or a lavender latte for something more unusual. If you're having lunch or dinner elsewhere, save room for a bright-green pandan waffle baked to order.
The house-special gelato sandwich at Gelato Boy.
This is the Denver branch of Bryce and Giulia Licht's Boulder gelato shop, Fior, rebranded for a more urban audience. The name comes from the nickname Bryce earned while hanging out at a gelato shop in Italy, hoping to spot Giulia, the woman who had stolen his heart and then vanished. (Of course, she eventually showed up again, and now they're married.) The usual cones and cups of the couple's rich, creamy gelato are available, but hold out for the signature Gelato Boy sandwich, made with your choice of gelato on a warm Vietnamese fried bread (almost like an un-glazed doughnut sprinkled with sesame seeds) courtesy of Vinh Xuong Bakery.
Zeppelin Station's various food vendors are open throughout the day, with coffee service beginning at 7 a.m. (8 a.m. on the weekend) at Dandy Lion, lunch and dinner at all the counters served from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday), and the bar open at Big Trouble until midnight (2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday). Visit the Zeppelin Station website for more details.