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Denver Specialty

Specialty neighborhood
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.
Black Eye Coffee
800 Sherman St., Capitol Hill
This cute little coffee shop first opened on Navajo in the center of a residential neighborhood, offering table space for workers, a small-but-perfect menu of snacks like yogurt and granola or pastries, and tons of natural light streaming in through wide windows in the front. They recently opened a second location in Capitol Hill with a totally different identity, swapping their rustic hipster aesthetic for a more contemporary feel, and staying open into the evenings to serve small bites and alcohol. The one thing that's consistent: Perfectly roasted Boxcar espresso in the hands of expert baristas.
Black Eye Coffee
3408 Navajo St, LoHi
This cute little coffee shop first opened on Navajo in the center of a residential neighborhood, offering table space for workers, a small-but-perfect menu of snacks like yogurt and granola or pastries, and tons of natural light streaming in through wide windows in the front. They recently opened a second location in Capitol Hill with a totally different identity, swapping their rustic hipster aesthetic for a more contemporary feel, and staying open into the evenings to serve small bites and alcohol. The one thing that's consistent: Perfectly roasted Boxcar espresso in the hands of expert baristas.
Crema
2862 Larimer St., RiNo
This hipster coffee shop was an early comer to RiNo, and it's still a reliable neighborhood caffeine-pump all week long—you'll always find people typing away on laptops, or local artists and business owners getting together for meetings (particularly in the summer, when you can sit on a lovely outdoor patio). They're known for great coffee, but it's a mistake to skip the food here, particularly the brunch—we love the sweet potato waffles, the pork belly banh mi sandwich, and the everything cookie, which is packed with Oreos and pretzels.
Huckleberry
4301 Pecos St., RiNo
This local coffee roaster began without a brick and mortar shop open to the public, but soon expanded into this flagship space thanks in part to a successful Kickstarter campaign. True to their creed, you’ll find some seriously good coffee inside, as well as a comfortable, bright space with colorful accents and outdoor seating. If you’re interested, you can also sign up to take one of their coffee workshops, which are designed to teach everything from brew methods and extraction basics to milk steaming to sensory evaluation.
Little Man Ice Cream
2620 16th St., LoHi
It's nearly impossible to miss Little Man, not only because of the line that snakes around the block, but because it's housed in a two-story silver milk carton. The mix of flavors here is delightfully all over the board, with nostalgia-inducing fluffernutter and whopper malt alongside strawberry balsamic and Earl Grey—though, in our not-so-unbiased opinion, you're doing it wrong if you don't get the famous salted Oreo. Regulars know that when the lines get unbearably long in the summer, you can fast-track by ordering from one of two small stands that they set up on the sidewalk, which offer a smaller selection of flavors (almost always including salted Oreo).
Marczyk’s Fine Foods
5100 E. Colfax, Park Hill
Pete Marczyk is something of a hero to Denver foodies. His tiny, long-standing, homegrown grocery store stocks locally grown produce, imports the very best cheeses (plus a selection of great local options), and bakes their own breads, but Marczyk is probably best known for being one of the area's best butchers, as he does everything in-house and flies in gorgeous cuts of fish. The deli section has excellent sandwiches and delicious pre-made foods, and on weeknights in the summer (check the calendar) they grill hamburgers on the sidewalk outside. There's a second location up the street, too.
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