7 Hearty Denver Dishes

Guest Post: From Denver food and beer blogger, Lillian Chatham. Lillian is the founder of Lilly Sue’s Bites and Brews and has wicked good taste in food and drink. Below are her recommendations on where to find some of Denver’s best comfort food.

It’s already February so many of you have probably long forgotten those New Year’s resolutions to only eat raw vegetables and salads while working out and simultaneously starving. However, unless I am mistaken, there is no denying that it is hard to pass up a hearty dish for a salad or fruit-granola bowl on a frigid evening or snow-filled morning.

There is something about hearty soup, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, or creamy pot pie that is the only thing that can warm the soul. These dishes make you feel all warm and cuddly inside- which could partly have to do with the alcoholic beverage pairing- and they leave you full and satisfied. Full does not mean that you are so stuffed that waddling out the door is the only option, but more like coma-inducing that causes an afternoon nap or instant deep sleep as soon as your head hits the pillow that night.

So let’s get bundled up and venture outside! Put those New Year’s resolutions aside and find the perfect meal to bring warmth and cheer on this winter day in Denver.

1. Lucile’s
Creole Cuisine
Speer neighborhood

Lucille’s is a difficult one, or should I say easy, because I feel most of their menu could be considered hearty or at least completely filling and warming. However, I am providing you with some tricks and tips to ordering as well as one of my favorite dishes at Lucile’s: Eggs Sardou. Creamed spinach and gulf shrimp topped with poached eggs and hollandaise meld together into a wonderful breakfast. The meal comes with a huge biscuit and grits or potatoes. Add cheese and jalapenos to your grits for a bit more excitement. As if this entrée is not enough, make sure to order a side of cheddar sausage gravy to top on the biscuit- it will not disappoint!

Eggs Sardou $10.80
Pair with the chicory coffee or a Bloody Mary

lucilie's denver

Honorable Mention(s): Cajun Breakfast


2. Shells and Sauce
Italian Bistro
City Park neighborhood

Shells and Sauce has many great options on the brunch menu but for a hearty dish, we settled on the Fried Chicken and Waffles. A large Belgian waffle is topped with a huge piece of fried chicken, bacon bits, and Stranahan Whiskey butter. Make sure to drizzle with syrup before you dive into this indulgent meal.

Fried Chicken and Waffles $11



Honorable Mention(s): Eggs Carbonara, Bananas Foster Waffle


3. Bang!
American Fare
West Highland neighborhood

Bang was a random dinner choice one cold evening that served to please and provide the filling, warm meal I was looking for while simultaneously securing a spot at the hearty meal award table. The meatloaf presentation is somewhat odd with the bread-shaped serving but do not let that steer you away. The meatloaf is great and topped with delicious bang! ketchup and trimmed with delicious bacon. The mashed potatoes were incredible and perfect with the meatloaf.

Meatloaf $14


Honorable Mention(s): Goat Cheese and Potato Croquette starter


4. Café Brazil
South American Cuisine
Berkeley neighborhood

Café Brazil was a wonderful find. A variety of soups and stews cover the menu making it difficult to choose the perfect one. The warm, romantic atmosphere and the Cazuela Colombiana were definitely worth the venture out into the cold. A rich, spicy herbed tomato broth and coconut milk combined jumbo prawns and chicken breast over rice into a delicious soup. An assortment of delicious bread and side soup start the course off right. Though the prices are on the higher end, the value is higher still.

Cazuela Colombiana $19.95


5. Gaetano’s
Italian Restaurant
Sunnyside neighborhood                                                                     

There are plenty of yummy pasta dishes on their menu but the Gnochi Salsicia e Funghi makes you eat as if it is your last time. Each bite is quickly followed by the next until the plate is, sadly, empty and scraped clean. These delicious little potato pastas are smothered in a tomato cream sauce with Italian sausage and mushrooms. Though wine is typically paired with pasta, beer can make a swell pairing as well. The Amber Ale by Dry Dock combined very well with the flavors of the tomato sauce and added to its hearty quality.

Gnochi Salsicia e Funghi $14


Paired with Amber Ale by Dry Dock


6. Jezebel’s
A Southern Bistro
Highland neighborhood

This pot pie combines perfectly cooked vegetables with fried chicken in a creamy broth that has a puff pastry top that is baked to perfection. Every bite is delicately savored. The only option to pair with a hearty dish like this is a dark beer and Black Butte Porter fits the bill.

Savory Chicken Pot Pie $16

Paired with Black Butte Porter by Deschutes



7. Yak and Yeti Brewpub
Indian-Nepalese Fare
Old Town Arvada

Though it is technically Arvada, just northwest of the Regis Denver neighborhood, making the jog over there is time well spent. The snow was falling heavily as we layered up for the drive. As soon as we stepped foot into Yak and Yeti we knew a mistake had not been made; spicy delicious smells filled the air inside this comfortable Victorian house. The Chicken Tika Masala, ordered hot, exceeded expectations and the Chai Stout paired amazingly well. I don’t think you can go wrong with any of their food and IPAs are another good choice when pairing with a spicy Indian dish.

Chicken Tika Masala

Paired with Chai Stout by Yak & Yeti


Disclosure: These are not full restaurant reviews. They are merely suggestions for tasty meals that I have tried at the restaurants provided. This does not mean I have eaten everything there or claim every meal is phenomenal.



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