Ceviche is one of the hallmarks of Peruvian cuisine and can include any number of cured delicacies from the sea. This South American dish has evolved over the decades to include a vast variety of ingredients and styles of preparation — from shrimp and scallop to halibut and octopus. Lucky for us, our land-locked Mile High City is offering it all. With temperatures soaring into the upper 90s, we found it appropriate to put together a list of Denver’s best ceviche to help cool you down during the hottest months of the year.
Where: 24 Broadway, Denver
Cost: ceviche de pulpo, $14 — Menu
The Lowdown: The Top Taco champs at LEÑA crank out a ceviche that has topped our list of favorite freshies from the sea. The Ceviche De Pulpo is tender octopus at its finest. The dish is bright green from the use of tomatillo, while crunch and texture come from red onion, aji jalapeno and crisp plantain chips. The acid pops from the traditional use of lime juice — the cured octopus is tender and full of flavor by the time that it hits the table
Blue Island Oyster Bar
Where: 2625 E. 2nd Ave., Denver
Cost: market price — menu
The Lowdown: Blue Island Oyster Bar boasts a partnership with Chris Quartuccio of Blue Island Shellfish Farms in Long Island, NY. The establishment works with its partners on the east coast to supply almost daily shipments of seasonal imported seafood. This ceviche is off menu— you will have check daily to determine what has made its way out west for the evening. The menu includes other offerings from the sea like Ahi Tuna Poke, fried calamari and what it claims is the “City’s Best” clam chowder.
Where: 200 Columbine St., #110, Denver
Cost: hot and raw tropical ceviche, $14.50 — menu
The Lowdown: The team at SOL is serving up a daily ceviche that is fit for a king. Along with robust and fresh flavor — the size is what gets us on this one. Hot and raw tropical ceviche comes served in a frosted goblet, overflowing with a mix of vibrantly colored tropical fruits. Another nice touch with this one is that the server will request a spice level before slicing spicy serrano peppers to add to the dish— you get to chose a custom heat level each time you order.
Where: 1575 Boulder St., Denver
Cost: shrimp ceviche, $10.00 — menu
The Lowdown: Lola is known around the upper highlands as the champion of Mexican-inspired dishes, American classics and coastal fusion. The shrimp ceviche is a great example of what the restaurant is doing with its cuisine — the dish gets its crunch and color from a shaved cucumber and cubed avocado, while stepping away from the traditional with a smoked serrano aioli that rounds out the acid from the leche de tigre beautifully. The use of chia seeds is particularly creative and really snaps and crunches the dish to the top of our list.
Where: 94 Rampart Way, Denver
Cost: shrimp & octopus ceviche, $13.00 — menu
The Lowdown: North County is bringing traditional baja flavor to our list with a shrimp and octopus ceviche that is a classic example of why we love Californian-Mexican infusion. The dish uses a lemon and lime leche de tigre as a base — the acid in the marinated is boosted by sizable orange & pink grapefruit segments that really put some pucker on your palate. Texture comes from a balanced addition of pickled cucumbers, onion, Fresno chilies and fried jicama wraps to dip. North County has put itself on the map with this one.
Where: food truck—across Denver
Cost: ceviche mixto, market price — menu
The Lowdown: This is the only Peruvian cuisine on wheels for the entire Mile High City — and they are holding it down. In addition to other Peruvian classics, the truck serves up a ceviche mixto that includes a market fish, shrimp, calamari and octopus. The foursome is marinated in lime with added chili for spice — it comes served with Peruvian corn and sweet potatoes for filler. This ceviche on the go is one of the best the city has to offer.
Silva’s Fish Market
Where: 2669 Larimer St., Denver
Cost: daily catch, market price — website
The Lowdown: The deal with Silva’s is that you will be picking up your ceviche from one of the (if not the) freshest sources in the city. Chef and owner Jesus Silva has had his hands in the Denver sushi business for more than 10 years — and is now bringing the same catch to your table at home. The market is part of the Denver Central conglomerate and offers seafood enthusiasts an awesome window to shop and a convenient place to grab a ceviche to-go or to enjoy a dozen oysters on the half shell with a glass of wine. Keep an eye out for the halibut, it is in season and absolutely noteworthy.
Where: 1173 Delaware St., Denver
Cost: ceviche con yuquitas, $12.00 — menu
The Lowdown: Cuba Cuba is nestled off of Glenarm and 11th and is marinating a shrimp ceviche served with yucca chips to dip. The cCeviche con yuquitas is a perfect example of a classic Costa Rican ceviche — peppers, onion and jalapeño give the dish all the crunch and freshness you can ask for in a raw dish. The yucca chips offer a bitter-sweet crunchy dipping tool that will have you and your friends looking for a second helping.
100% de Agave
Where: 975 Lincoln St., Denver
Cost: ceviche, $15-$19 — menu
The Lowdown: Agave has been on the block and cranking out delicious South American cuisine since 2013 and is still making it to our list of favorite ceviches 4 years later. This Ceviche comes with options, choose from a combination of up to four proteins— fish, octopus, shrimp or scallop. The marinade is also by choice. Pick between traditional tamarind or fruity mango citrus marinades to customize the flavor you’re craving. The dish is dressed with jicama, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, and cilantro — a perfect way to cool down on a hot summer day.