2528 Walnut St., RiNo
Filled with houseplants, open-air in the summer, and entirely whitewashed save for warm wood stools, chairs, and benches, Stowaway is easily one of the most pleasant dining spaces in Denver. The best part: The food doesn't disappoint. Everything's healthy-ish, with vegetable-focused dishes like the kale, squash, and farro salad, and a butternut squash and spinach sandwich with hard-boiled egg and pickled beetroot, plus the cheekily named killer whale granola and a warming chai-spiced porridge. There's a great coffee bar where locals pick up takeaway meals (you can order online so they're ready when you arrive), and they're closed Tuesdays—adorably, for adventure.
Biju’s Little Curry Shop
1441 26th St., RiNo
This fast-casual joint serves South Indian food, a bit different from what you'd see at typical Indian restaurant—in the place of chana masala, saag paneer, and naan, you'll find light, often spicy, and frequently vegan curries served over steamed rice. Regulars love the place because it's the kind of easy lunch spot that's never a gut bomb—and for good reason. Before starting the line of restaurants, chef/owner Biju Thomas spent most of his career in the cycling world, as a cyclist himself, and then as a chef for Team RadioShack during Lance Armstrong's eighth and final Tour de France bid. After that, he and Allen Lim, the team's director of sports science, went on to found Skratch Labs (a sports nutrition company) and write the FeedZone cookbooks, which were famous for fueling cyclists and long-distance runners with organic, ingredient-packed rice patties rather than chemical-laden gus. Considering his existing reputation, it's no surprise that business is booming—there are already second locations on Tennyson and in the Boulder Whole Foods, with more on the docket for the upcoming year.
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