Let’s Get Stuffed – The Best Bites in Denver That Are Filled with More than Flavor

What’s more exciting than breaking into food that’s stuffed? Maybe it’s a surprise, maybe you know what to expect – from timeless classics to outrageous innovations, there is something to be said about that perfectly loaded bite that might be of tradition or straight up blow your tastebuds minds. Here is a rundown of some of the best veggie, meat and dessert-packed bites that are filled with a lot more than just flavor. 

Veggie Cravings

Stuffed

Perfectly fluffed pillows of joy. Photo courtesy Molotov Kitschen Instagram

Dietary restrictions aside – these are scrumptious veggie packed options.

Molotov Kitschen – Bo Porytko of Rebel Restaurant and Misfit Snackbar has joined forces with Jareb Parker of Middleman to bring incredibly innovative Eastern European fare to East Colfax. Start your night right with the Parsnip Varenyky – saffron infused dough, savory apple broth, crispy parsnip chips and pickled apple – texture and flavor = happiness.

Bar Dough – Our favorite W. 32nd Italian staple is known for mixing up their house made pastas and when Chef Russell Stippich puts a ravioli on the menu, you don’t want to miss it. Featured now is a mushroom ravioli – beech, king trumpet, oyster mushroom, black truffle, parmesan brodo – rich, earthy, and savory. Split a pizza and enjoy this one all to yourself.

Red Square Bistro – Tucked into an almost seemingly secret corner of Larimer St. Red Square Bistro might be first known for their massive selection of vodka – around 100, including house infusions – but the menu highlights comforting European classics that will transport you to family dinner as a child. Their take on the pierogi, known as Vareniki is filled with a velvety smooth blend of ricotta, leek, wild mushrooms and a white wine butter sauce – complemented only by a carafe of black pepper or garlic vodka. Nostrovia!

Ace Eat Serve – Your favorite Asian-fusion choice on E 17th is known for ping pong with a side of wings mixed in with those crave inducing staples like crispy beef and broccoli – but during the chilly Colorado winter, order a plate of the mushroom Xiao Long Bao – bursting with oyster & king trumpet mushrooms, black truffle and brown butter bathing in a lemongrass miso broth – and then it’s time for a rematch.

READ: Where Nas and Handmade Pasta Collide – The Ongoing Refinement of the New and Improved Bar Dough

Meaty Delights

Bryan’s Dumpling House as Colorful as it is delicious. Photo courtesy of Bryan’s Dumpling House

No sweats here – just hearty, comforting and bingeworthy savory options.

Bryan’s Dumpling House – Where else can you get a literal rainbow of xiao long bao? Greenwood Village, that’s where. Bryan’s Dumpling House has taken your usual concept of a dumpling, Crayola-fied it, and seriously brought the flavor. There is no such thing as a bad choice here, but not to be skipped? The scallops and shrimp dumplings – lovingly enveloped scallops, shrimp, Kurobuta pork and green onion – create a delicately sweet yet briny, rich yet savory mouthful. All of the dumpling options are complex and aromatic – and it’s absolutely okay to eat with your eyes and nose first.

The Arvada TavernOlde Towns favorite pub – where you can get Rocky Mountain oysters or a french dip – catch up with your neighbors or meet some new ones. But when the whiskey starts flowing – the selection is darn near limitless – you need that stick to your ribs dinner. The Tavern Cottage Pie – layered up with beef, peas, carrots, corn, onion, cheddar, whipped potatoes and garlic herb butter – will set you into a spiral of mmm’s and oh yeah’s. Remember, you can’t have any pudding, if you don’t eat your meat – pie.

Nanas Dumplings – Is there such a thing as too many dumplings? That was rhetorical – obviously the limit does not exist. Finding its home on Tejon St, Nana’s is basically dim sum paradise. With a menu that begs to be shared – seriously, bring everyone you know and get it all – it is of course not without some standouts. The jumbo crab rangoons – fried wontons exploding with crab and cream cheese, garnished with diced bell pepper, served with a side of fresh crab meat and sweet chili sauce – make take out rangoons a thing of the past. I’d like a side of crab with my crab, please and thanks.

Zaman Fresh – There is such a thing as a Mediterranean Diet, and should you partake – newcomer Zaman Fresh on Logan St is a must try. Living up to the expectations of herbaceous, bright yet simple Middle Eastern flavors its menu has everything from tabouleh to baklava. A must have starter is the Kibbeh – Bulgur dough, stuffed with minced beef, onion, and crazy aromatic spices – presenting a slightly crispy exterior, but a moist and tender interior – best dipped hot sauce or house made tzatziki – prepare to do the happy dance.

Hop Alley – Larimer St is so lucky. Tommy Lee warmed you up with Uncle, then it was hook line and sinker with Hop Alley. On that note, you don’t have to fish through the menu to find something ridiculously delicious. Start out with the Hong You Chao Shou – dumplings with boiled pork & pickled cabbage topped with chili oil, smoked soy and peanuts – they will have your mouth tingling in-between bites in the most intensely addicting way. Then you can ‘hop’ your way through the rest of the menu – cooling down with chilled tofu and so much more.

Satisfyingly Sweet Treats

Blackbox is one delectable layer after another. Photo courtesy of Blackbox

With these mouthwatering desserts, every bite is a sweet escape from reality.

Samosa ShopChef Dave Hadley is making quite the name for himself here in Denver with his take on Indian American street food. You can’t order anything that isn’t delicious – but if you want to satisfy that sweet tooth, the s’more samosa – with chocolate & marshmallow – is a straight up jam.

Maria Empanadas – Lucky for us there are 3 locations across Denver that make it nearly impossible to go without an empanada – that perfectly flaky and tender Argentinian staple. In this case, it’s worth seeking a sweet version of those half moon babies, especially one that stands on its own next to Maria’s popular savory menu. The pears in marsala – pears simmered in marsala wine, crisped up then dusted with powdered sugar – pack everything you want in dessert into each bite – hints of caramel and dried fruit, naturally sweet pear delicately melting with each bite.

Blackbox Bakery – This go to bakery in Edgewater spoils us with their unique pastries and delicious coffee inside a seriously ‘spaced out’ theme, none the less. Larger than your hand croissants fill the menu and your tummy. You can expect classics like the butter croissant, or take a ride on the Nutella Spaceship – croissant dough filled with Nutella and house made brownies, then coated in white chocolate and shortbread and topped with brownies. This is ground control to Major Yum. . . .

The Yak & Yeti – Indian, Nepali and Tibetan food abounds at both the Wheat Ridge and Arvada locations of The Yak & Yeti Restaurant and Brewpub. From an impressive selection of stuffed naan – like garlic, cheese and jalepeño, to all the curry, masala and paneers of your dreams – you cannot leave the building without indulging in the Gulab Jammun – deep-fried milk balls soaked in a sugary syrup. This decadent dessert presents a luxurious texture, rich and sweet flavor, and an enticing bite size form. Pop ’til you drop, the gym isn’t going anywhere.

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