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.
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.
3350 Brighton Blvd., RiNo
Culinarily—and culturally—speaking, The Source is probably one of the most important developments Denver's seen in the past few years. Occupying a spacious former brick foundry, it's packed with some of the best restaurants and food vendors in town, and topped off with a few office spaces (Slow Food makes their Denver headquarters here), so depending on when you arrive, you'll see people going out for drinks or dinner, doing their daily shopping, or heading to work. Right when you walk in, you'll find Comida, a Mexican spot with a great happy hour and tacos, and Acorn, the Denver restaurant from Oak owner/chef Steven Redzikowski that's easily one of Denver's top fine dining establishments. There, ask for a seat in the mezzanine, which has beautiful views of the mountains during the day. People drive from across town for the baguettes and ciabatta at Babette's bakery, and you can see cuts of meat hanging through the plexiglass from her next-door neighbor, Western Daughters Butcher. Across the way, there's a small-but-mighty art gallery, Svper Ordinary, and Mondo Market, where you can pick up spices, oils, vinegars, and other pantry items. Meanwhile, in…
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