You may think that Colorado, being a landlocked state, can’t possibly have good seafood, but in reality, the greater Denver area is home to five of the best Asian restaurants I have ever been to. This list explores the magical food of five Colorado restaurants I discovered as a student at the University of Denver and includes driving times from the campus.
Editor’s note: Jack Cahill is an undergraduate student studying at the Daniels College of Business. He wrote this restaurant list prior to COVID-19 dining restrictions going into effect. Please call or visit the restaurants’ linked websites below to verify current hours and dining protocols before checking out Jack’s picks. Bon appétit!
No. 1 on the list is a place that many have not heard about. Domo Japanese Country Food is a unique and interesting restaurant accompanied by a true Japanese Garden and an authentic interior. The menu here is intense and offers such a wide variety of food that every time I go, I find a new favorite dish. However, you can never go wrong ordering ramen and all the sashimi you can eat. This restaurant doubles as a museum and garden and offers true traditional Japanese cuisine that will leave you speechless. Located only a 10-minute drive from campus, this place simply cannot be beaten.
2. Sushi Den
Sushi Den is next on the list. It is a staple in the seafood industry and located only five minutes from campus. Sushi Den offers inspiring dishes with the highest quality seafood. You will never be disappointed as the waitstaff are experts in all things seafood and offer valuable insight into things you never knew you wanted. After countless evenings spent here, I have decided that the Red Dragon Roll is the best sushi roll I have ever had in my life. Enjoy this restaurant on a nice date or celebration as this place will always leave you smiling and satisfied.
3. Sherpa House
Are you ready for true Himalayan bliss located in Colorado’s very own Golden, Colorado? Only a 30-minute drive from campus, make a day out of hiking and exploring all that Golden has to offer, then sit down to enjoy the best Himalayan food you can eat. I’ve recommended this place to a handful of other DU students, and now they are all excited to go again.
There is a heated debate between the curry or tikka masala as the best dish here, so I encourage you to try both to settle the debate for yourself. Standing proud uphill from central Golden, Sherpa House offers a warm welcome to people from all walks of life, and its cozy interior makes it impossible to leave. Made and operated by Sherpas, this restaurant allows you to experience traditional culture and cuisine with great service and friendly people.
This inspiring restaurant takes a twist on traditional Japanese sushi and makes it something extraordinary. By offering high-quality sushi with an explosion of flavor and unique design, your mouth will be watering for each new serving. The chefs in this restaurant are amongst the most creative and talented people I have ever seen, and are constantly striving to perfect new, daring dishes with unique flavor combinations.
Perhaps my favorite dish is the machi cure, which takes a massive twist on sushi by using yuca crisps as a method of eating smoked yellowtail (aka, impossibly good sushi nachos). Uchi is a mere 15-minute drive from campus and will leave you begging for more every time you go. Whether it be for a nice date or quality food hunting, be sure to take a visit here after that business exam you just aced.
5. Pho Haus
No list would be complete without truly amazing pho, such as the likes of Pho Haus. Only a 10- minute drive from campus, it is easy to make this place your staple. With recipes passed down through family traditions, Pho Haus has perfected their vegetable pho—a dish I dream about on snowy evenings. With fast and inexpensive food, this place not only offers high-quality Vietnamese food, but it has a welcoming and small environment. Be sure to check out this restaurant on a cold winter day to enjoy great pho to warm you up.