For the foodies out there who plan their trips around restaurants instead of museums (aka – my kind of people!), you’ll be happy to find delectable soul food in Denver, CO.
If you like the sound of cornbread, grits, collard greens, and fried chicken served in authentic Southern-style, then this post is for you!
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Catfish, crab legs, fried chicken, oh my! Soul food offers a wide variety of delicacies, and this list covers the 12 best places to find them. If you’re staying in Denver, check out the spots below for mouth-watering comfort food.
WELTON STREET CAFE - BEST SOUL FOOD IN DENVER, CO
One of the best Five Points, Denver restaurants, Welton St. Cafe serves arguably the best soul food in Denver. Welton featured in an episode of the famous foodie roadshow, Diners Drive-In, and Dives, and host Guy Fieri practically drooled over the Caribbean fare.
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CORA FAYE'S CAFE
This quaint family-run parlor has been around since 2006, serving incredible home-cooking that locals adore. At Cora Faye’s, you’ll find first-class soul food dishes like candied yams, rabbit, chicken waffles, pigs’ feet, and fried okra.
The best part? Dining at Cora Faye’s feels like enjoying a meal in your family living room. The atmosphere is welcoming, cozy, and friendly.
Some of the cooks’ seasoning combinations are over 100 years old, taken from the owner’s family. The name is an ode to the owner, Cora, and her daughter, Faye. This simple but sentimental touch makes CoraFaye’s a great spot to eat. But it’s also a fantastic business to support if mom and pop joints appeal to you.
TUPELO HONEY CAFE
The Tupelo tree of the Southern Cypress swamps produces buttery honey, which is so distinctive that Van Morrison titled an entire album in its honor. Tupelo honey is largely a regional delicacy of the South. So it’s no surprise that Tupelo Honey Cafe felt inspired by this rare honey varietal.
Chef Eric Gabrynowicz has won numerous awards; most notably, Food and Wine Magazine’s “People’s Best New Chef.” Gabrynowicz cooks everything from scratch using responsibly-sourced ingredients.
Expect southern classics like buttermilk biscuits and shrimp and grits, revived in Tupelo’s celebrity chef’s modern stylings.
KITCHEN TABLE BBQ & COMFORT FOOD
Like to sip on an ice-cold beer while you chow down on some smoked wings? Head to Kitchen Table BBQ for a beer on tap, Southern-style cooking, and an unpretentious atmosphere. This barbeque restaurant has incredible meat dishes, offering brisket, pulled pork, pork ribs, and bison jalapeno sausages.
Vegetarians can also swap out the protein with tofu, which will be as carefully marinaded and flavored as any carnivore meal at this cool meat-lovers’ spot. If you do eat meat, the barbecue pulled pork sandwich will have you salivating!
JESSIE'S SMOKIN' NOLA
Pull up a chair at Jessie’s for a warm, friendly atmosphere and authentic New Orleans cuisine. You’ll find traditional fixings like fried catfish, gumbo, and seafood platters that have given this establishment the dazzling reputation it has today.
Jessie’s Smokin’ NOLA draws influences from Cajun and Caribbean cooking, with homestyle goodness that will make you feel like part of the family. If you’re looking for something sweet and cheeky, give their bourbon pecan pie a go – it’s simply delicious and a boozy twist on the classic soul food dessert.
SASSAFRAS AMERICAN EATERY
Sassafras has super scrumptious breakfast options, from chicken-fried eggs to frog legs, and everything in between. This eatery has a unique and diverse menu bound to whet your appetite. If you’re up for a boozy brunch, don’t forget to order Sassafras’ heavenly mimosas.
BLAZING CHICKEN SHACK
Blazing is no understatement; this easygoing takeaway joint has some of the best chicken wings in Denver, coated in honey and fried to crispy perfection. There is some seating available, but you’ll find a few die-hard Shack fans tucking in right on the curb when things get busy.
If you’ve ever lived in New Orleans, the Blazing Chicken Shack will take you right back home. NOLA expats have raved about the authentic flavors in the gumbo, in particular, and the hot wings are immensely popular. For a scrummy dessert, you must try the sweet and creamy peach cobbler.
GENNA RAE'S WINGS AND MORE
This teeny-tiny eatery in Denver serves outstanding hot wings, and you can add their fiery hot sauce to any dish (if you’re brave enough). Try the mac and cheese and the quality catfish. Geena Rae’s is the perfect spot to pick up some grub as a special treat for family dinner.
Everything here is made to order, which means whatever you eat will be cooked fresh and piping hot. The raspberry habanero wings are especially tasty.
Let’s talk barbecue… Boney’s has some of Denver’s best ribs (flame-boyant, if you will) smoked in true pit style for robust flavors. The sides and fixings are just as appetizing, including bangin’ green beans and coleslaw.
Don’t forget to order a jar of Boney’s homemade sweet tea. It’s the perfect summer beverage to top off your smokey lunch. Take it home and throw some whiskey or rum in the mix, and you’ve got yourself a boozy iced tea!
NOLA VOODOO TAVERN
This hip watering hole has a lovely laid back vibe and New Orleans-style dishes. The owners have made use of their very own family recipes, passed down through generations, to give the public some of the most enticing hush puppies and gumbo in Denver.
Beyond the Cajun and Creole cooking, NOLA Voodoo Tavern boasts Southern-style hospitality, thanks to the friendly staff and accommodating waitrons. Owner Henry Baptiste ran his first restaurant in New Orleans back in the ’80s, so you know you’re getting the most authentic NOLA experience possible.
THE CRAWLING CRAB
If you’re a catfish enthusiast, as many soul-food-lovers are, you’ll want to check out this quality seafood restaurant in Denver. The Crawling Crab has stupendous fried catfish, Louisiana crawfish, a garlicky chowder that will blow your taste buds out of the water, and cajun-fried rice with shrimp you will love.
Shellfish lovers will know that things get messy quickly when you’re tucking into crab legs and other delicacies, but don’t worry, The Crawling Crab is more than prepared for sticky fingers. You’ll get a nifty little bib to wear when your food arrives so that you can dive right into the seafood on offer.
Dessert-wise, the fried banana with ice cream is a deliciously guilty pleasure, and you can also indulge in a decadent banana split.
LUCILE'S CREOLE CAFE
For a soul food brunch or breakfast, Lucile’s Creole Cafe is the one to beat. The breakfast options aren’t just good for the soul; they also come in big portion-sizes that will necessitate a late morning nap. Try the shrimp and grits, french toast, or the cheesy beignets for a little Louisiana flair.
The service at Lucile’s is impeccable, and you can also get a takeaway if you prefer. If you do sit down for brunch, the Bloody Marys are to die for and a great spicy kick to start your weekend.
Everything they serve is made in-house – yes, even the condiments! – adding a special touch that customers will surely appreciate. Lucile’s Creole Cafe exceeds all expectations.
ENJOY THE AMAZING SOUL FOOD RESTAURANTS IN DENVER, CO!
Hopefully, this post has given you some good ideas for soul food spots – be it takeaway or dine-in. Whether it’s seafood, vegetarian, or fried chicken you’re after, Southern restaurants in Denver have it all! We hope you get to try out every spot on this list.
Did your favorite soul food restaurant in Denver make our list? Sound off in the comments below if you think we missed something!
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Featured photo credit: © Joshua Resnick via Canva.com