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Here we are again. Quarantine 2.0. They’re not calling it that though, because you know, chaos would ensue. Instead, it’s March all over again with the first industry to take one for the team. Restaurants.

As someone who has worked in restaurants for years, I cannot imagine the damage that shutting down indoor dining has done. Especially during the holiday season, which is a crucial time for restaurants to make money from the holiday crowd.

I’m presenting a list of my favorite restaurants that I frequently dined at when they were open. This is what I ordered during the last lockdown – familiar favorites, fresh and healthy, and the downright indulgent. Support your local restaurants today by ordering carryout. They will appreciate it so much.

PARISI PIZZERIA, TRATTORIA E VINO

After living in Italy, I am always on the lookout for the best Italian cuisine. Parisi always hits the spot with its butternut squash ravioli (or ravioli di zucca), and I will never have to worry about it leaving the menu because it’s the owner’s favorite, too.

4401 Tennyson St. // https://www.parisidenver.com/parisi/

CHOWSUN

It is unreal how much I’ve craved Filipino food during the pandemic. I grew up on the cuisine so when I moved to Denver and saw my options were limited, I naturally ate at every single place to find my favorite. Chowsun is the winner with its lumpia (fried egg rolls), lechon kawali (crispy pork belly), pork adobo (pork braised in soy sauce and vinegar), and halo-halo (a Filipino sundae.) Definitely worth the drive to Aurora.

830 S. Buckley Rd., Aurora // https://www.chowsunco.com

STAR KITCHEN

When I lived in Cleveland, my family had a tradition of going to dim sum every Sunday after church. We ordered all the shumai, sticky rice, and tofu pudding we could eat. You can imagine my excitement when I found Star Kitchen. And though cart dining is on pause at the moment, doesn’t mean their dim sum game is at a stop, too. Its carryout is just as delicious.

2917 W. Mississippi Ave. // https://www.starkitchenco.com

JOSE O’SHEAS

Mexican food in Denver is not the same as Mexican food in the Midwest. And though I have trained my tastebuds for asada, roasted jalapeΓ±os, and volcano-hot salsa, I still love having traditional Tex-Mex. Enter Jose O’Sheas. On Cinco de Mayo, I ordered taquitos smothered in cream cheese sauce, which I then washed down with a prickly pear margarita, packaged like a fun Capri-Sun.

385 Union Blvd., Lakewood // https://joseosheas.com

ROS SIAM

My best friend turned me on to Pad Thai (I loved it so much that I wrote about it), so I have been on the lookout for my favorite one here. I was so lucky to find it… 400 feet from my apartment. Ros Siam opened right when everything closed last spring, but the fact it’s still open attests to its amazing Thai cuisine. It’s located in a cute house-turned-restaurant that used to be Sassafras (another favorite of mine.)

2637 W. 26th Ave. // http://ros-siam.com

GREEN SEED MARKET

This is a PSA: Don’t forget to eat your fruits and veggies. I prefer mine juiced or roasted, but the “Kale Yeah Mother Brussel” (kale, Brussels sprouts, Granny Smith apples, bacon, almonds, golden raisins, cherry tomatoes, and gorgonzola!) also does the trick. You can also pick up a fresh-pressed juice from its bodega at the Denver Central Market.

2669 Larimer St. // https://www.greenseedmarket.com

VITAL ROOT

I am a big fan of the Edible Beats restaurant fam, so when I received word that Vital Root had opened, I placed my order straightaway. And I don’t eat here just because it’s ~vegan~, I eat here because it’s actually good. Pictured: the everything bagel avocado toast, boozy tiramisu, and aΓ§aΓ­ chia pudding.

3915 Tennyson St. // https://www.ediblebeats.com/vital-root


So there you have it. My list of carryout restaurants that were tried and true last spring, and which I will be hitting up again come winter. I can’t wait for indoor dining to resume, but I know what the goal is in the long run. Stay safe and happy eating!

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