Ethnic Restaurants in Denver

Food. Of course as humans we need food to survive. However, life is much better when we can eat to thrive rather than just survive. Joining a group of friends or family around the dinner table with a delicious meal to eat is one of our most valued experiences as humans. Whether gathering for a holiday, special occasion, or just the sake of connection, we all like to eat a traditional meal, comfort food, or try something new.

One of the challenging aspects of living in another country is the same thing that we need & love. Food. Having lived abroad for many years, I am familiar with the challenge of missing certain foods and not being able to find them. I would try to cook some of my favorite meals to varying degrees of success (or failure.) Ultimately I’ve found some ethnic restaurants in different cities or countries that have the food I desired. Denver has a thriving food scene with ethnic restaurants and markets representing all corners of the globe. This aids our students in finding a taste of “home” when needed.

I’m not telling you anything you don’t know – so what is the point of my blog? I am going to share some of what I think are the best international or ethnic restaurants in Denver you will find. My hope is that your life in Denver will be a little easier, and tastier!, after reading.

Garibaldi Mexican Bistro

If you were to use street view on Google maps to look at this restaurant, you might call me crazy. And while you may be correct in calling me crazy, it wouldn’t have anything to do with the restaurant or its location. Garibaldi’s is attached to a gas station. This may seem odd, but once you step inside and check out the menu it won’t matter. They offer what Americans have come to expect from a Mexican restaurant (tacos and burritos) along with an extensive specialty menu. The Aztec-inspired dishes, and others, offer a more home-cooked vibe. As if your grandmother was in the kitchen preparing your favorite childhood dish. You can’t go wrong!

Maria Empanada

If Argentinian food or empanadas strike your fancy, head over to Maria Empanada. Made famous by the popular TV show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, they offer an incredible variety of handmade empanadas. From sweet to savory, these treats are meant to be enjoyed for any meal of the day. Another of the great things about this ethnic restaurant is the owner’s story. She arrived in America with $300 and a dream, and now her restaurant is one of the most well known in Denver! What could be better than that?

Jerusalem Restaurant

Our next suggestion switches gears from the Americas to the Mediterranean & Middle East. In this author’s opinion there is no better meal than one which is delicious AND healthy! Jerusalem Restaurant can deliver on that combination and has for over 30 years. Their focus is on both traditional and generational family recipes. Additionally, they support the local economy by using locally grown and raised ingredients. It isn’t just me that loves this ethnic restaurant! Jerusalem Restaurant has been named the best Middle Eastern restaurant in the whole state of Colorado, not just Denver. And it is just one of many other local and national awards.

Ving Xuong Bakery

This next restaurant is a personal favorite of mine, and a staple in my diet. With a simple menu consisting mostly of Vietnamese Bahn Mi sandwiches, you cannot go wrong here. The word bakery gets thrown around a lot these days and I find that not all bakeries are equal. Vinh Xuoung does NOT disappoint with their fresh bread, baked daily, making the sandwiches extra special. A good bahn mi is hard to beat, and the only thing better is to order a bahn mi with a Thai iced coffee. It’s hard not to develop an addiction to the perfect blend of black coffee and condensed milk with sugar that they serve. Best of all? Vinh Xuoung won’t break the bank – a big and filling sandwich is around $6 or $7.


While I’ve outlined mostly international cuisine here, the next restaurant is different. Tocabe is a Native American restaurant. So why is it on this list? Two reasons: deliciousness and rarity. Without a long history lesson, suffice to say that there are very few restaurants like this one in most of America and in fact it is the only one of its kind in the Denver area. The owners combine traditional Osage family recipes with modern Native American food. Their signature item is shredded bison which you can order in a variety of different dishes. If you’re really hungry the bison ribs -which go through a full 24-hour preparation process to ensure happy taste buds – are amazing. Tocabe gives our students the chance to try something that us uniquely American.


Please realize, this is not an exhaustive list of ethnic restaurants in Denver! We are lucky to have a large and thriving multicultural community that gives us, and our students, the chance of a taste of home – and of something new. As you immerse yourself in learning the English language and American culture through NAC, enjoy exploring Denver and its delights. If you discover an ethnic restaurant you think is particularly good, share with us in the comments.

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