What’s for lunch? The question that runs through your head around 11:30 am as you twirl around in your desk chair. Or if you are like me you start thinking about lunch around 9:14 am. You open up google maps and google “Lunch”.
My office is around some pretty ritz places downtown so I have had to venture out a little to find yummy, sometimes affordable, lunches around town. I have broken this lunch list down into three sections.
- Grab and go lunches Downtown – With a bias towards the west side cause that’s walking distance to me
- Power Lunches – A little more pricy for that client lunch or when you mom or bestie comes to visit
- Lunch Around Town – Just damn good lunches restaurants out in the neighborhoods like Chook which is just so damn good ill travel from anywhere for those sliders.
Let it be known – This is not a review of sandwich places. My blog will never review sandwich shops. I am basic when it comes to a sandwich and I do not mean the current meaning of Basic.
As urban dictionary describes it – Basic only interested in things mainstream, popular, and trending
Example. Omg BAE is so basic. all she wants to do is drink pumpkin spice lattes and play candy crush.
My sandwich is order – Ham, Cheese & light mayo. Period. Basic. So while there are some really bomb (as I have heard) sandwich/sub shops around town – Chebuah Hut, Snarfs, etc. They just don’t really get me too excited. However, I do like fancy sandwiches – ya know the ones that are gonna cost $14 and let’s be honest I am not eating $14 sandwiches on the reg.
Grab and Go Downtown Lunches
All over town
Mod Market? Isn’t this a chain? Yep. So it’s good? Damn, right it’s good. Rotating menu – Check! Healthy options – Check! Just go, it’s good. It’s addicting. The winter salad yummm the Thai salad soooo yum. All the samies and all the pizzas yumm!
Larimer Square & Republic Plaza
Denver chef Troy Gaurd created BuBu one of the best lunch spots on my side of town. Pro tip – order ahead! The line is always V long so order ahead and walk past all those peeps with your Airpods in like a pro. I like to make my own BuBu with salad brown rice mix, tomatoes, corn, chard broccoli, peanuts, avocado, steak & chia seed dressing. If I forget my lunch this is likely what I am eating.
Greens Fine Salad Co.
The OG make your own salad spot in Denver. I make the treck across 16th for a Chicken Ceaser in Spinach Wrap. Greens Fine Salad Co. is my go-to salad spot downtown but like Bubu, I order ahead and skip the line.
Yampa Sandwich Co (formerly Backcountry Deli)
I know I said this post was not about sandwiches but this is not a standard sub shop, its got a wide variety of sandwiches, and salads and it got its start in Steamboat. They have one of my all-time favorite sandwich combos – thanksgiving aka the Pilgram. Also, like the Ridgeline and Summit at Yampa Sandwich Co.
Near Union Station
When my office was at WeWork Union Station, I frequented this healthy lunch spot often. Pick your proteins and healthy sides like roasted veggies or greek zoodle salad for a well-balanced and filling meal. Honor Society has Kambucha, sandwiches, salads and flatbreads too.
Zo Ma Ma
This tiny Chinese street food shop cranks out delicious dumplings and daily specials at Union Station. Zo Ma Ma started in Boulder but expanded to Downtown when Union Station opened.
Downtown & Around Town
Denver’s beloved version of Willes, Moe’s, Chipotle, etc. Come hungry and leave full. Illegal Petes has it all plus pretty good queso and a full bar.
Two Fisted Mario’s
Cheap pizza? Slices Start at $3.00 at Two Fisted Mario’s on Blake. My go-to order is a slice with extra cheese and mushrooms, Italian dressing and a diet coke. Hungover? Probably.
Ready to sit down a stay a while… these spots are more than a sandwich, a place for clients or an out of town guest. Maybe a glass of Rose? Most likely… definitely.
Fancy a beer with lunch? Head to Freshcraft for lunch deals on drinks and food in this gastropub on Blake.
Suns out? This is the patio, I want to be on in Larimer Square. Yes, the pizzas are sooo good but the quinoa salad with rotisserie chicken is bomb diggity. Osteria Marco is my go-to for friends visiting during the week.
I am very jelly of all the people in RiNo and those working at Industry that can power lunch at Mister Tuna and bask in the glory of that giant porch. Mister Tuna just redid their entire menu and now offer a great power lunch with their RiNo Burger – with pretzel bun yummm or pick a protein and 2 sides for $13.50.
Downtown & Union Station
For out of town clients or a friend visiting The Kitchen has fresh healthy food that will please and impress anyone. The decor is modern and minimal but inviting. I love both the Union Station and 16th street locations.
Lunches Around Town
South Pearl Street
If you have not tasted the incredibleness that is Chook, stop reading this post, get in your car or on the light rail to Louisiana and Pearl and eat the best damn chicken in the world. Yall the sliders!! Gahhhh I need one. The sides – all unbelievable. My go-to order is, of course, the Pulled Chicken Sliders with Roasted Delicata Squash.
Smoking Yards BBQ
Thankfully, this Idaho Springs BBQ spot made a second home in Denver so I don’t have to travel i70 just to get some boiled peanuts, sweet tea and a pulled pork sandwich.
Looking for a great sandwich that’s, not a sub then you need to go to Masterpiece deli in LoHI. This has been a go to a sandwich shop for me since I moved here 8 years ago.
This could probably go under power lunches too but F&G has Liquid lunch special every day of the week – aka Lunch + Beer/Wine/Cocktail special.
Am I missing your favorite lunch spot? Let me know so I can go check it out! Thanks for Mister Tuna for having me in for lunch and inspiring this post!