Denver Eats: Sunnyside Dining
With the explosion of top nosh in LoHi and the Highlands, Sunnyside often gets lost in the foodie conversation. Perhaps for good reason (at least until recently).
For too long the neighborhood food scene was just a handful of cheap ethnic joints along 38th Avenue. With the recent openings of several new restaurants, Sunnyside can now lay claim to some great (and diverse) food options.
Here’s a where you need to eat in Sunnyside.
Buchi Café Cubano
2651 W. 38th Ave., 303-458-1328
It’s hard to get a good cubano north of Miami, especially in a city like Denver that has never had a strong Cuban heritage. Well, Buchi has changed that with its classic take on the sandwich piled with ham, roasted pork, swiss, pickles and mustard. There’s a whole lot more, too: The café con leches are stellar, the empanadas are crisp and flavorful, and the weekend brunch will put just about anyone in a food coma. Plus, the patio out front is a perfect spot for fresh-made mojito on a warm summer afternoon.
Carbone’s Italian Sausage Market
1221 W. 38th Ave., 303-455-2893
One of the few leftovers from the old school Italian days of Sunnyside, Carbone’s is the best Italian deli in the city. Owners Rosa and Nick Lonardo have been running the shop for nearly four decades, serving imported meats and cheeses, handmade sausages and meatballs, and one of the most filling $6 sandwiches in the city.
The Original Chubby’s
1231 W. 38th Ave., 303-455-9311
It’s hard to beat Chubby’s for dirt cheap Mexican fare — from tacos and breakfast burritos smootherd in green chili to a Mexican hamburguesa — plus it’s open as late as 3 a.m. on the weekends.
Ernie’s Pizza Bar
2915 W. 44th Ave., 303-955-5580
Every neighborhood needs a good pizza spot, right? Well, Ernie’s filled that niche when it took over the spot that was formerly home (for decades) to Three Sons. This hopping pizza par serves quality pies in a fresh, young atmosphere complete with a pool table and skee ball. It also pulls double duty as the neighborhood’s sports bar with a dozen of TVs line across the bar and throughout the dining room.
2339 W. 44th Ave., 303-477-5406
The ever-rotating café/breakfast spot has finally settled on a concept that seems to be working. Hash is a simple breakfast joint that specializes in an array of hashes served in iron skillets. There are still plenty of carry overs from this location’s days as Café Café, with a full assortment of crepes and fresh coffee and tea. The sustainably minded restaurant also plans to harvest much of its produce from its own garden in the future. The coffee and teas are still just as good as ever, too.
Lou’s Food Bar
1851 W. 38th Ave., 303-458-0336
Frank Bonanno has expanded his food empire to the northside with the early 2011 opening of Lou’s, renovating the space of one of the most notorious bars in the area. It’s been a good changeover for foodies. This place has a killer wine program, and mixes the upscale French-inspired cooking techniques of Bonanno with a casual, neighborhood vibe that translates onto a menu that features a variety of options including housemade sausages, påtés, fried chicken, and lobster and shrimp sausage cassoulet.
4001 Tejon St., 720-583-6860
The folks who brought the delicious flavors of northern Mexico to northwest Denver with Los Carbincitos opened this upscale Mexican restaurant at 40th and Tejon in August. The recently renovated space has the most expansive patio in the neighborhood — perfect for the freshmade cocktails like the blackberry mojito. The cuisine is seafood (read, shrimp) heavy and is based on the flavors of the Yucatan Peninsula.
2911 W. 38th Ave., 303-955-0815
Certainly not a spot for true food lovers, Sting Ray Lounge is still a welcome spot in Sunnyside. It’s a bar first with live music often, with beer-soaking foods such as the gut-busting tator tot options (topped with bacon, cheese and several other options) and pizza to hold over anyone who’s been at the bar a few hours.
Bonacquisti Wine Co.
4640 Pecos St., Unit I, 303-477-WINE
Of course, the Sunnyside food scene is anchored by the Bonacquisti Wine Co. winery on 46th and Pecos. The tasting room is open Thursdays–Saturdays and by appointment. The winery is also a part of Colorado Winery Row, a collection of four Colorado wine tasting rooms.
On the map:
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