Asian Avenue's best of 2019
We polled our readers and the votes are in for the best of 2019. Thanks to many of you for casting your votes. We love that Denver is flourishing with Asian businesses and restaurants. Congrats to this year’s winners and cheers to 2020!
Best Hot Pot: Aki Asian Hot Pot
12303 E. Mississippi Ave. #125
Aurora, CO 80012
Tel: (720) 638-3193
Aki Asian Hot Pot is encouraging diners to explore different ways of ordering hot pot by providing a list of tips on its website. The restaurant also offers the definition of hot pot, history and why it’s so popular in China.
Eaters love the wide variety of ingredients and sauces offered, as well as the ability to cook for yourself. Not to mention, it’s all you can eat at Aki!
Honorable Mentions: (2) Seoul KBBQ and Hot Pot, (3) The Bronze Empire
Best RAMEN: Katsu Ramen
1930 S. Havana St. #4
Aurora, CO 80014
Tel: (303) 751-2222
Katsu Ramen’s menu offers traditional Japanese ramen, a perfect lunch item for a cold day in Colorado. The food is “authentically prepared” by an experienced Japanese chef from Osaka, Japan.
For diners, who want to try everything, the restaurants also provides ramen and rice bowl combo. Katsu Ramen offers happy hour specials from Monday to Friday (11am to 5pm).
Katsu Ramen has been selected for Best of Denver awards. The ambiance is vintage Japanese, especially when plastic food is displayed in the store front.
Honorable Mentions: (2) Tokio, (3) Uncle, (4) Sukiya Ramen
Best Chinese: Hong Kong Cafe
10890 E. Dartmouth Ave. Denver, CO 80014
Tel: (303) 696-6688
Hong Kong Cafe is a local favorite and the #1 recommendation for Chinese food in Denver. Its menu covers a range of “typical” Chinese cuisine such as salt and pepper chicken wings and stir-fry noodles, as well as a unique baked rice and spaghetti selection.
Honorable Mentions: (2) Lao Wang Noodle House, (3) Golden Shanghai
Best Dim Sum: Star Kitchen
2917 W. Mississippi Ave. Denver, CO 80219
Tel (303) 936-0089
Ask any long-time Denver resident for their favorite dim sum restaurant and nine out of ten times they will say Star Kitchen. In fact, during Chinese New Year, this restaurant is packed with diners from all over metro Denver and the surrounding suburbs. Diners have shared two-hour wait times during the Chinese New Year’s period and especially on weekends.
Honorable Mention: Super Star Asian Cuisine
Best Sushi: Sushi Den
1487 S. Pearl St. Denver, CO 80210 | Tel: (303) 777-0826
Opened on Christmas Eve 1984, and celebrating 35 years, Sushi Den continues to set the standard for high-quality seafood and is on the cutting-edge of Japanese cuisine. The restaurant serves an average of 700 guests daily.
Toshi Kizaki was the first to create a distribution channel from the Nagahama Fish Market on Kyushu Island to deliver pristine seafood to Denver within 24 hours. Koichi Kizaki, Toshi’s brother visits the Japanese fish market and has deep relationships with the fishmongers to ensure the best quality fish.
Brothers Toshi and Yasu Kizaki share a passion with their guests and offer them an education in Japanese traditions and techniques. They host quarterly sake tastings, intimate Omakase dinners, and an annual fundraiser, bringing more than 20 chefs/owners from Japan to cook alongside Denver’s culinary elite.
In 2020, Toshi and Yasu Kizaki will continue to offer a sake seminar, and their sushi making classes, a tasty, informative culinary experience where guests learn to create all styles of sushi rolls and nigiri sushi. They will also host their 5th Annual Rooftop Party, which benefits the victims of the devastating earthquake which hit the Kizaki’s hometown, the Kumamoto Prefecture in southern Japan.
Honorable Mentions: (2) Hapa Sushi Grill & Sake Bar, (3) Uchi, (4) Go Fish
Best Asian Bakery:
Tokyo Premium Bakery
1540 S. Pearl Street
Denver, CO 80210
Tel: (720) 531-3784
The aromas of Japanese-style bread and pastry waft all over Pearl Street. On the weekend, Tokyo Premium Bakery shows lines of customers waiting to order their favorite morning delights. Customers’ favorites include the authentic Matcha latte and Hojicha latte accompanying with their bread. Customers can also order Shoku-Pan (loaf of bread) online.
Honorable Mentions: (2) New Saigon Bakery, (3) Yum Yum Cake and Pastries
Best Korean: Seoul Korean BBQ
2080 S. Havana Street, Aurora, CO 80014
Tel: (303) 632-7576
For many years, this restaurant has lured diners, who love Korean dishes and sushi. Now, it also brings in diners for its hot pot! Seoul Korean BBQ has won many awards for best of Korean cuisine in Aurora. Diners can BBQ their favorite combination of meats or enjoy house specials including braised fish, broiled fish, mackerel, potato noodles, stir-fried squid and boiled tofu. Bring a big appetite since the restaurant offers large portions.
Honorable Mention: Dae Gee Korean BBQ
Best Asian Fusion:
Bangkok Tokyo Asian Fusion
6020 S. Gun Club Rd. Unit E5, Aurora, CO 80016
Tel: (303) 627-6328
Vegetarians and vegan diners can feel comfortable dining at Little India. Recommendations for diners include bharta makhni and dal makhni, house favorites of the restaurant. Other suggestions include channa masala and bhindi masala. Make sure you check on heat level. Wait staff are equipped to educate beginners to Indian food and those who love to spice it up.
Honorable Mentions : (2) Yak & Yeti, (3) Monsoon Cuisine of India
Best Vietnamese: Pho 95
1401 S. Federal Blvd. Denver, CO 80219
Tel: (303) 936-3322
The number 95 holds great significance for these owners; it is the year the family immigrated to the US. Pho 95 is a staple on Federal Blvd. and won Asian Avenue’s previous best pho awards. To encourage repeat customers, they offer a rewards program that is set up online. In addition, the restaurant offers the Pho-King Challenge at its Centennial location. The challenge includes two pounds of noodles, two pounds of meat, 200 ounces of broth and a separate plate of vegetables.
Honorable Mentions: (2) Saigon Bistro, (3) Saigon Basil
Best Asian Food Truck:
No Ke Aloha
Tel: (720) 492-4321
The Aurora-based food truck No Ke Aloha provides catering services throughout the Denver Metro area and beyond. “We have been so blessed with amazing feedback and support. We appreciate each and every one of you who have shared your stories and experiences about your connections to Hawaii,” said co-founder Shauna Medeiros. “Hawaii is such a special place that exudes and perpetuates Aloha and we hope that we are bringing all the light and love to our extended ohana here in the Mile High.”
Honorable Mentions: (2) Miss B’s Vietnamese Food Truck, (3) Koi & Ninja - Cambodian Wings
Best Thai: Pearl of Siam
18660 E. Hampden Ave. Aurora, CO 80013
Tel: (303) 617-7408
For six years, Pearl of Siam has won best of Denver’s 7 A-List. Craving Thai food? This restaurant offers authentic cuisine that is both healthy and delicious. Discounts are offered to law enforcement officers and military personnel. Menu options include rice and noodle dishes, curry dishes. Visit them at lunch when specials include Pad Thai, Fried Rice and Curries with a price point of $9.95.
Honorable Mentions: (2) US Thai Cafe, (3) Aloy Modern Thai
Best Asian Supermarket:
2752 S. Parker Road, Aurora, CO 80014
Tel: (303) 745-4592
The Korean-owned supermarket opened its first Colorado location in January 2004. Packed with shoppers, H-Mart is best visited during the weekdays, when most people are working. Weekends and holidays show long lines and huge crowds for the numerous selection in Asian grocery choices. The grocery store offers a mini fish market, where shoppers can ask for cleaning and frying of the fish onsite. A bakery is also found in this store. The produce area shows a lot of different varieties of fruit and vegetables, even durian, mangos and papayas.
Honorable Mentions: (2) Pacific Ocean Supermarket (Aurora), (3) Pacific Ocean Marketplace (Denver)
Best Bubble Tea: Tea Street
4090 E. Mississippi Ave.
Denver, CO 80246
Tel: (720) 863-8636
Locally owned by a Colorado family, the owners of Tea Street wanted to share their love of Hong Kong milk teas and Taiwanese bubble teas. The menu offers classic teas, milk teas, speciality teas, winter melon, slush and specialty drinks. December marks their anniversary month. Check out the website (teastreetdenver.com) for BOGO, free gifts, free toppings and 20 percent discounts.
Honorable Mentions: (2) Kung Fu Tea, (3) Lollicup, (4) Sharetea Belmar
Best Seafood Boil:
The Crawling Crab
781 S. Federal Blvd.
Denver, CO 80219
Tel: (303) 936-0123
Seafood lovers dig The Crawling Crab. The menu includes a variety of crabs, lobster, shrimp, clams and crawfish. Need a kick to your meal, the restaurant offers cajun spices too. Be ready to use your fingers to peel off all the meat from the claws. Reminiscent of New Orleans’ crab boil, it’s the perfect place to dine when longing for this southern meal.
Honorable Mentions: (2) The Asian Cajun, (3) Yabby Hut
Best Asian Dessert: SNOWL
1930 S. Havana St. #5-6, Aurora, CO 80014
Tel: (720) 542-9902
The dessert shop started in H-Mart. But the popularity of desserts allowed owners to move to a site in Aurora. Decorated in a boho manner, the interior lures customers to stay and enjoy their dessert. The favorite at SNOWL is taiyaki, a fish-shaped waffle cone filled with ice cream. The menu board shows a wide range of options. Ask for suggestions because it’s hard to decide on which dessert to order!
Honorable Mentions: (2) Meet Fresh, (3) Milk Rolled Ice Cream
Best Asian Organization:
Asian Pacific Development Center
1537 Alton Street, Aurora, CO 80010
Tel: (303) 923-2920 | www.apdc.org
Asian Pacific Development Center (APDC) is powered by its rich heritage of AANHPI (Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander) advocacy and exists today to serve and support all immigrant, and refugee communities with a whole health, community-based engagement approach through health, education, and advocacy.
To keep up with APDC’s events, follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/apdcf or on Instagram @apdc.colorado. APDC hosts volunteer opportunities, trivia nights, dinner experiences, and even calligraphy workshops. APDC is kicking off the new year with its adult education classes. Registration will be held at its offices or contact Heidi Burgess at email@example.com.
Honorable Mention: Dragon 5280