10 Viral Foods from 2023 That You Might’ve Missed

Viral content has been the golden child of the internet since the onset of content creators, and the Denver food scene is no stranger to these trends. While these short-form videos provide a brief insight into the businesses creating these delicious foods, it is important to remember that these are still places of business that deal with high-volume orders and customers due to these trends.

However, influencer marketing in the food industry has helped restaurants reach a wider audience and shed light on worthwhile foods from businesses small and large. With such a wide array of information available, it’s easy for things to fall through the cracks, so here’s a list of some of the foods that went viral last year that are still available for you to get your hands on in the new year.

Nana’s Dim Sum & Dumplings

Truffle Soup Dumplings. Photo Courtesy of Nana’s Dim Sum & Dumplings

Where: 3316 Tejon St #102, Denver

When: Sunday 12 p.m.- 9 p.m., Monday-Thursday 4 p.m.- 10 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 4 p.m.- 11 p.m.

The Lowdown: Nana’s Dim Sum & Dumplings opened in October of last year and has gained major traction on social media ever since with its classic Chinese cuisine, drinks, and electric atmosphere. Although they have everything from Peking duck to jumbo crab rangoons – the dumplings emerge as a crowd favorite. Everything from truffle soup dumplings to traditional shu mai to pan fried thumblings are among some of the most popular, but why not try all of them?

Little Arthur’s Hoagies

The American Whit. Photo Courtesy of Little Arthur’s Hoagies

Where: 4358 Zuni St, Denver

When: Time Varies

The Lowdown: What started as a once-a-week pop-up selling hoagies from AJ Sheffler’s apartment turned into a two-year small business that grabbed Denverites’ hearts and stomachs and beyond. Little Arthur’s Hoagies was brought to light through Instagram and TikTok content creators, and the cheesesteak became one of the most memorable dishes of 2023. Sheffler is constantly updating his menu and schedule, so be sure to check out Little Arthur’s Instagram page to stay updated on menu items and pickup options. Orders can be made through their website and are made until they sell out. 

Now Pho 

Hot Stone Pho and Spicy Beef Stew. Photo Courtesy of Now Pho via Facebook

Where: 1195 S Federal Blvd, Denver

When: Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m.- 11 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. 

The Lowdown: Now Pho’s hot stone pho went viral last November and is the perfect meal for the cold months to come. The boiling hot broth is made from scratch daily by simmering beef bones and meat for twelve hours and is accompanied by all the fixings of expected pho ingredients – veggies, noodles and meat. Not feeling hot pot? Try one of their many other dishes, such as their popular spicy beef stew or sizzling rice cake omelet. 

Izzio Bakery

La Roulette. Photo Courtesy of Izzio Bakery

Where: 2669 Larimer St, Denver

When: Sunday-Saturday 8 a.m.- 9 p.m.

The Lowdown: La roulette from Izzio Bakery Central Market took over social media early last year and has become increasingly popular ever since. The process involves fermenting, folding, cutting, shaping and finally baking the dough over a four-day period. Izzio has mastered this process and can churn out fresh roulettes daily with varying flavors from chocolate, pistachio and dulce de leche. They’ve even featured flavors from the past, including raspberry cheesecake and matcha crumble. Already tried la roulette? Opt for the crown, a London-inspired pastry with a flaky exterior and creamy filling like Madagascar vanilla creme brulee, which was released in December. 

Santos Cafe & Mexican Grill 

Giant Concha and Hot Chocolate. Photo Courtesy of Santos Cafe & Grill via Instagram

Where: 1141 Syracuse St, Denver

When: Tuesday-Sunday 7 a.m.- 3 p.m., Monday 7 a.m.- 2 p.m.

The Lowdown: Santos Cafe & Grill revealed an eye-catching and mouth-watering sweet treat with its massive concha and hot chocolate combo last year. Concha is Mexican sweet bread, and what better to pair it with than a giant cup of hot chocolate or coffee? It’s enough to feed a small army or share with your loved ones. Not looking to eat your weight in bread? Opt for one of Santos’ many delicious breakfast and lunch options, such as their top-rated breakfast burritos or birria tacos. 

Urban Field Pizza & Market

Mozzarella Stick. Photo Courtesy of Stoned Appetit

Where: 150 Main St, Suite 202, Longmont

When: Sunday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.- 8 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11:30 p.m.- 9 p.m.

The Lowdown: If you consider yourself a cheese-lover, Urban Field’s 1.25 lb mozzarella stick might be for you. A pound of cheese is triple-breaded in herbs and spices and then deep-fried for the ultimate cheese pull of your dreams. Because of its massive size, they are only able to make about 10 a day, but the drive from Denver is well worth it if you arrive early enough. Urban Field says they will continue to make them as long as people continue to order them – so grab your loved ones, and maybe a Lactaid or two, and enjoy cheesy goodness. Urban Fields is also known for its amazing pizza, so if you’re in the mood for a bit more than breaded cheese, try its arrabbiata pie or chicken Caesar sandwich. 

88 Hot Dog Juicy 

Korean Corn Dogs. Photo Courtesy of 88 Hot Dog Juicy

Where: 2225 S Peoria St, Aurora 

When: Sunday 11 a.m.- 7 p.m., Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.- 9 p.m.

The Lowdown: Although Korean corn dogs have been a Korean street food staple, the wave finally hit Colorado last year, and 88 Hot Dog Juicy is one of them. Korean corn dogs are unlike a typical American corn dog. It’s covered with a sweet rice flour batter that makes them a bit more crispy and can feature an array of mix-ins to the batter, such as cheese, potatoes, or rice cakes. You can even customize the toppings and sauces that range from crushed Doritos to ramen noodles and ketchup to sweet chili. 88 also carries various Korean street foods, such as ramen, fried rice, and even fresh fruit juices if you’re in the mood for something else. 

Kike’s Red Tacos 

Birria Ramen. Photo Courtesy of Kike’s Red Tacos via Facebook

Where: 1200 W 38th Ave, Denver

When: Sunday-Monday Closed, Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.- 9 p.m.

The Lowdown: Kike’s is notorious for their top-notch birria tacos, but its lesser-known counterpart, birria ramen, is just as noteworthy. It contains all the cheesy, meaty taco goodness but in a hearty bowl to indulge in, especially in the colder weather. If drinking consome is not what you’re looking for, tacos are the next best thing, but no one needs to be told that. Aside from their birria, Kike’s also features small bites such as elote, street fries and customizable burritos and tortas. 

READ: 8 Places in Denver To Cure Your Burrito Cravings

Lo Stella Ristorante

Cacio e Pepe. Photo Courtesy of Lo Stella Ristorante.

Where: 1135 Bannock St, Denver

When: Sunday-Monday Closed, Tuesday-Saturday 4 p.m.- 9:30 p.m.

The Lowdown: Although this method may not be new per se, cheese wheel pasta went viral on TikTok last year, and Lo Stella picked up on the culinary process through their cacio e pepe. The savory dish is an Italian classic and consists of spaghetti, water, black pepper, and, of course, Pecorino Romano. While Lo Stella doesn’t bring the massive cheese wheel to the table, the creamy remnants of the Pecorino Romano leave a lasting impression. In the mood for pasta equally as popular? Try their highly-rated tagliatelle bolognese della Nonna Laura or ravioli de pesce in crema di gamberi. 

Rosalee’s Pizzeria

Margherita. Photo Courtesy of Rosalee’s Pizzeria via Facebook

Where: 461 Main St, Longmont

When: Sunday-Monday Closed, Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.- 8 p.m.

The Lowdown: An East Coast neighborhood pizzeria meets the Rocky Mountains at Rosalee’s, where their philosophy comes from 20th-century Italian immigrants who first helped to develop the idea of pizza in the United States. The restaurant has been a cult favorite in Longmont for years but caught the eyes of Denver through social media last year when content creators ranked it as one of the best bites of 2023.  They may be a small pizzeria, but they pack a big punch, delivering high-quality ingredients in a community setting. Everything from Margherita to bacon and ricotta to classic cheese grace the selection of pies, and they occasionally debut limited edition Italian sandos and pie flavors.

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