30 South Broadway
The Italian- and Spanish-inspired Gozo opened in the South Broadway storefront that was once home to Deluxe and Delite in 2014. The two spaces were merged into a big, whitewashed room with a chef’s counter that faces the wood-burning oven, a long bar and two cozy seating areas. While Gozo has seen its share of changes over the past three years, new owners Curt Sims and Pam Savage are steering the restaurant back to its original course with flavorful Mediterranean cuisine in a casual setting, with the original manager and chef back to hold things steady.
The "ñ" makes all the difference for Leña, a smart Latin bistro on South Broadway. The name is the Spanish term for firewood, and a smoky flavor permeates much of Leña's menu. The roster, which draws from Mexico and South America, features hard-to-find regional specialties like tlacoyos and Peruvian potatoes alongside simple cuts of meat from the grill. A full bar stocked with South American spirits like pisco makes the cross-continental journey a smooth one. Latin American restaurants are heating up the Denver scene this year, but Leña was ahead of the game when it opened three years ago.
1298 South Broadway
This Argentinean cafe and bakery sports sports gleaming white tile, a high-end espresso machine and enough pastry-case square footage to properly display the many empanadas, tortas and desserts being baked up in chef/owner Lorena Cantarovici's kitchen. Empanada varieties follow a traditional Argentinean pattern; each plump pastry has its own shape based on the filling. Thick wedges of tarta, like a savory, deep-dish pie, come loaded with spinach, mixed vegetables in cheese or mushrooms and leeks. For a little eye-rolling indulgence, the perfect alfajores (sugar-dusted sandwich cookies) come in two sizes, the smaller of which can be popped in your mouth like an Argentinean prescription to perk up a dreary day.
The Post Chicken & Beer
2200 South Broadway
Everyone loves hot chicken and cold beer, right? Abso-clucking-lutely. The Post Chicken & Beer, a spin-off of the Post Brewing Co. in Lafayette, is counting on it. With its slimmed-down menu, this is the Post's little sister (or baby chick, as it were). But the crunchy, juicy, perfectly cooked fried bird is the same, down to its original gluten-free formula and pan gravy. The beer list has been condensed, too, but still offers Post brews as well as a daily slushie.
Taste of Thailand
2120 South Broadway
Taste of Thailand has been crowded almost since the day it opened in 1994, when Noy and Rick Farrell decided to see what Denver thought about eating real Thai food, unaffected by latitude or cultural drift, as well as a the "flu-shot soup" that's become an annual tradition for regulars and neighbors. In June 2015, Taste of Thailand moved to South Broadway from its longtime home in Englewood, but the Farrells are serving the same garden-fresh cuisine — plus a few new tastes — at its new location.
Watch for the best bars of Broadway later this week.