Sausages have been springing up on menus all over town; with the prevalence of nose-to-tail dining in Denver eateries, chefs and butchers are cranking up the grinders to plate everything from smoked beef links to deep-brown blood sausage. When Wurstküche opened late last month on Broadway, it added new spice to the mix, even in a part of town that already features several dog and sausage joints. Here's a list, in alphabetical order, of the ten best places to get your fill of sausage — in sandwiches, small plates and even in restaurant deli cases, so that you can smuggle some home for the grill.
10) Americatus Restaurant and Market
2449 Larimer Street
Although the restaurant changed names (from Amerigo Delicatus) this winter, owner Iain Chisholm hasn't changed his focus on hand-made pastas, cheeses and sausages. And that includes fresh Italian sausage that goes into a number of frequently changing menu items. The sausage sandwich remains a mainstay on the lunch menu, though, providing a hearty portion of crumbled sausage cooked in tangy marinara and served with Pecorino Romano on a chewy section of baguette.
9) Butcher's Bistro
2233 Larimer Street
The menu at Butcher's Bistro is built around sides of beef and pork that are broken down for steaks, chops, roasts and braises, so there's plenty of quality meat going into the housemade sausage. Available on the menu as a sausage sampler or in a rustic and warming cassoulet, sausage is also available by the pound at the butcher's counter. Selections vary, but might include smoked kielbasa, wine and garlic, or Yeti Imperial Stout bratwursts.
8) Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs
2148 Larimer Street
The name says dogs, but most of the menu is dedicated to sausages made from unusual proteins and game meats sourced from Denver's own Continental Sausage. Standard all-beef dogs can be ordered with a variety of classic or creative toppings, but the real attraction is the list of reindeer, wild boar, bison or duck sausages — and there's even a rattlesnake and pheasant combo. Get them with cream cheese and Coca-Cola-caramelized onions — the way owner Jim Pittenger first served them from his cart on the 16th Street Mall — for a street-food fix that has garnered national attention.
7) Blackbelly Market
1606 Conestoga Street, Boulder
When Hosea Rosenberg opened Blackbelly Market last fall, he made sure to include a sausage specialist on his crew so that the market and butcher counter would be an integral part of the overall restaurant. The sausage is not only featured in dishes like a simple but succulent Polish sausage served with housemade pickles and mustard, but can be ordered in bulk from the gleaming display cases up front.
6) Continental Deli
250 Steele Street
Continental's sausage can be found on a number of menus around town, but the quiet little Continental Deli located in a basement space in Cherry Creek North may be the best place to find a weekday lunch featuring a number of specialties you'd be hard pressed to land anywhere else. If you're a fan of liver, Continental Sausage makes some of the best and purest liverwurst around, with only meat, onions and spices. And you can get it as a straight liverwurst sandwich, as a liverwurst and egg salad combo, or in the Auto Bahn Mi, Continental's tasty take on a Vietnamese sandwich.
5) Euclid Hall
1317 14th Street
Euclid Hall has the soul of a German beer hall, even if the menu strays far from typical rib-sticking fare and into international territory. The list of hand-cranked sausages ranges from traditional — think Bavarian leberkäse or deep, dark boudin noir — to honest updates on kielbasa and chorizo. Order them separately or get the sampling to try them all. And watch out for specials: Last week it was a crawfish and andouille boudin from house butcher David Wright.
4) Prost Fine Beers and Sausages
3464 West 32nd Avenue
Prost Fine Beers and Sausages expanded from its mountain home in Frisco to West Highland last summer, bringing with it German cheer and a range of beer-hall classics like veal bratwursts and old-world frankfurters, as well as such Western blends as buffalo with green chile and chipotle. Prost sources its sausage from Continental in Denver as well as from a sausage-maker in Summit County.
3) Roaming Buffalo Bar-B-Que
2387 South Downing Street
One of the city's newest barbecue joints, Roaming Buffalo has attracted attention for its no-frills, hands-on approach to good 'cue. Along with turning out slow-smoked brisket, pork and Colorado lamb, pitmaster and Texas native Coy Webb grinds his own jalapeño cheddar sausage and then gives it time over a blend of pecan and red oak — so that each bite is smoky, zingy and bursting with juices.
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2) Über Sausage
2730 East Colfax Avenue
When it opened in 2011, Über Sausage served carefully sourced sausages. But by the next year, the kitchen was cranking out its own nitrate- and preservative-free links. You can go crazy with a Thai chili and lemograss sausage or Hatch green chile link, but our favorite sandwich is the Swiss, made with a pair of skinny, traditional veal-and-pork sausages wedged into one bun under a cascade of alfalfa sprouts and diced onion.
This is the third Wurstküche location, created by a couple of restaurateurs who got their start in Los Angeles. The open, triangular beer hall with rows of bench seating is a perfect setting for quaffing German and Belgian beers while tucking into links that have been ground and stuffed by Wurstküche or brought in from other expert butchers. Options are grouped into classics, gourmet and exotic categories, and range from basic bratwursts to Filipino maharlika to duck with bacon and jalapeño. While it's too soon to tell if these newcomers are the best on the block, they're certainly not the wurst.