Despite quite the inhospitable year for the hospitality industry, a host of new Denver foodie businesses have managed to open and survive around town. Taking on some previously unfamiliar forms like ghost kitchens, mobile food courts, Instagram-only businesses, and including all manner of creative outdoor dining room setups, these new local Denver dining destinations are setting up shop and here to stay.
While this list is by no means exhaustive, meet a few of the new dining endeavors bringing foodie joy to the Denver metro amid the coronavirus pandemic.
After a perfect year for eating your feelings, say hello to Sherry’s. This family-owned vintage soda fountain makes serious homemade ice cream. Brought to you by some familiar faces, Sherry’s is owned by the team from Rosenberg’s Bagels. Featuring both dairy and vegan ice cream, Sherry’s makes a point of highlighting flavor combinations that showcase their mouthwatering pastry items. Expect the same New York nostalgia in keeping with the other Bridge and Tunnel family of restaurants.
“Good” might the understatement of the decade here. Open only on the weekends, the often hour-long wait is completely justified. Enjoy a sampling of their cult-status pastries: everything from croissants and doughnuts to kouign-amann and cruffins. Most of the items on the menu are sourdough bread-based and their flours are fresh ground in-house each week.
You had us at “Lobster Spaghetti.” Restaurant Olivia is a pasta-focused Italian restaurant located in Denver’s Wash Park neighborhood. Olivia is the second project from chef Ty Leon, beverage guru Austin Carson, and hospitality maven Heather Morrison.
Olivia draws inspiration from the Italian classics for its delicious handmade pasta. Created with locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible. you can taste the care and intention that goes into their menu.
Next, Noble Riot takes the award for one of the more memorable (and genius) food moments of 2020. They completely changed their course from wine bar to fried chicken restaurant at the start of the pandemic. It must be working since Noble Fry-It has managed to survive multiple shutdowns with their soothing combination of chicken and bubbly wine.
Chances are you dined at an establishment that housed a ghost kitchen in 2020. Still, the concept could still be somewhat unfamiliar for some. Out of sight and behind the scenes in restaurant kitchens or commissary spaces, these pop-up kitchens operate for delivery or pickup. At Spuntino, a family-run Italian spot in Highland, chef-owner Cindhura Reddy has been preparing South Indian favorites. Her menu includes samosas, gobi, and lamb shank curry through her ghost kitchen Namkeen.
This is just a taste of the 50+ food-centric services that managed to open their doors in Denver since the beginning of the pandemic. We’re looking forward to seeing how the local food scene continues to evolve a flavor all their own!