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Denver food halls deliver mile-high cuisine

Denver has turned into a food town for many reasons, including being a central air hub where visitors want to explore. One result is the vibrant food hall scene, the most expansive per capita in the U.S. Far beyond just sustenance, you can find unique and artistic mixes of food adventures, shopping, and fun activities. In the center of the city and the surrounding communities, they offer a culinary combination and adventure worth exploring no matter where you travel around Denver. Food halls give patrons unrivaled choices that fit every taste preference and serve as destinations. Stanley Marketplace This is more than a food hall housed in a hanger area from the old municipal airport in the northeast part of town. It is a shopping and activity destination with 50+ venues on site plus a group banquet/meeting area and outdoor beer garden. Because of the size of the hangar complex, you can expect a number of indoor and outdoor entertainment and community events on a regular basis. For mental diversion, they have their own virtual reality arcade. There are some sit-down dining options on two levels as well as outside. In the interior, chairs and tables are scattered around, which allows you to take your food and drink and window shop while dining. A great drink and food pairing are getting a real Mexican beer from Cheluna, then adding a small plate, Mexican specialties from Comida.  Denver Central Marketplace The name of this downtown gathering in the RINO district is really the descriptive deal. There is a central seating area around the libation station and televisions. A brief walk to any food outlets and then back to the bar area for drinks with your order. Tamen has a Rocky Mountain mix of seafood and taco selections. Within sniffing distance, Vero Italian does wood-fired pizzas as whole pies, with the Fig & Arugula the best choice. Really easy to find someone you are meeting with the establishment’s layout. Golden Mill It is arguably the oldest food hall location in Colorado, with its’ start in 1864 as a grain mill. The experience is a meld of the food, the history, and indoor and outdoor gathering options. There are only five restaurants, yet the selection spans almost all the preferences with BBQ chicken, Korean dishes, Sushi, and Mexican options. The beer/wine station is on the wall, and you use a site card to get how many ounces you want, a real plus in trying the unique brews and trying another. And the Mill features a large indoor seating area, a summer section along the street, and a fire pit area on the top floor. And the only spot in Denver area to get New Zealand-style ice cream. Milk Market The physical embodiment of Denver culinary legend Frank Bonanno, Milk Market is the only food hall with one chef as the creator and visionary of the numerous food specialties. A short walk from downtown proper or even the ballpark district. Not only is the food top-shelf, but the layout is also a crafty meld of Andy Warhol meets restaurant-themed architecture and style. The experience is a fun, visual sensation. Food options ring the Milk Market, with seating around and two significant congregating points by the Moo Bar. You can dine at each stand or park in the central area and place your order with one of the attendees rather than scamper here and there and bring your item back. Nashville hot chicken, pasta, and even lobster rolls fill out just about any culinary craving. Junction Food Hall The only food hall in southeast Denver, with access right off the highway, is part of the draw for Junction. The long rectangle layout makes the food choice selection and then getting back to one of the many seating options easy. Sense of space with easy visual navigation. There are individual sitting areas by Sonder’s Coffee all the way to open table areas at the other end that will easily accommodate 17 of your closest friends. Start with a cocktail at the Junction Bar, and further survey the options. Top-notch Sushi and ramen at Ebisu, falafels at the Shawarma Shack, and eclectic combinations at Taco Sabe. Small but mighty is the ending at Sojourner’s Deserts with various homemade ice creams, gelato, and cheesecake options.

Neil Wolkodoff

Neil Wolkodoff is a golf and travel writer from Denver, Colorado. He covers golf, dining, activities and accommodations from the luxury and unique perspective. He has even been golfing with goats.

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    1. Dick, like other cities the food scene has had a bit of a ramp up. In the case of the food halls, many of the outlets are extensions of larger restaurants. The benefit is you get a sampling of their best fare.

  1. I’ve been to Milk Market with a bunch of my cousins, and it had a great vibe. The tables were clean and the variety of food is commendable. The back part is a little bit quieter, so it’s perfect if want to hear each other talking.

    1. Charity, yes Milk Market is a real experience, destination as well as food. One of the clever parts of their design was the large seating option by Moo Bar, then tables and counters at the various food outlets. You can dial up or down with how many people you want around. Regards,

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