If you are a fan of Anthony Bourdain or Andrew Zimmern, you may like to do experimental eating when you travel and sample some of the more bizarre local foods. From Rocky Mountain Oysters to Buffalo meat to Reindeer hot dogs, Denver offers some rare regional cuisine you can’t find just anywhere. And with a strong Asian population, you can also find some unique Asian restaurants with menu items off the beaten path. Here is a guide to some of the more bizarre, unique and weird food and restaurants in Denver.
Unique Denver Restaurant: The Fort
The Fort sells more Buffalo steaks than any other independently-owned restaurant in the United States. So if you haven’t tried Buffalo yet, this is a good place to start. Located in Morrison, just west of Denver, this restaurant offers great views as well as some unusual menu items.
For bizarre appetizers try the Roast Bison Marrow Bones, Buffalo Eggs (pickled quail eggs wrapped in bison sausage), Braised Bison Tongue, or Rocky Mountain Oysters. Rocky Mountain Oysters are um … calf testicles.
As an entrée, select from a Buffalo filet (excellent), Buffalo ribs or an Elk chop. Or go all out and get the game platter a delightfully unique combination of Elk, Buffalo and Quail. Buffalo is a very lean meat, so order medium rare for a true taste experience.
Unique Denver Restaurant: Café Jordano
Ever heard of Italian-Wild West Fusion Cuisine? Sound strange? At Café Jordano restaurant in Lakewood (suburb west of Denver), they offer Italian Buffalo dishes. If you like veal marsala, try the buffalo marsala here with tender pieces of buffalo scaloppini prepared just like classic veal marsala. This Italian restaurant offers a wide range of unique buffalo dishes, such as buffalo parmesan, buffalo cacciatore, and their delicious house specialty Buffalo Jordan-buffalo scaloppini in a mustard cognac cream sauce.
Unique Denver Restaurant: Biker Jim’s Gourmet Hotdog Stand
Downtown Denver, at the corner of Arapahoe and 16th Street you can find some of the more weird hot dog-type offerings around. Around 11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M, M-F you can experiment with an Alaskan Reindeer Sausage, Elk Jalapeno Cheddar Brat, or a Southwest Buffalo dog. Or go boring and select a more normal type of hot dog. His cart isn’t always there in inclement weather so check Biker Jim’s blog to see if he will be around.
Unique Denver Restaurant: Super Star Asian Cuisine
To try some bizarre and odd Asian food, this is the place to go. With over 60 dim sum items, you can sample chicken or duck feet, tripe, jellyfish and more. And on the regular menu you can find sea cucumber with goose web and shark fin soup (If you can get past the environmental implications of eating shark fin).
Unique Denver Restaurant: New Saigon
Along S. Federal Boulevard, there are quite a few Vietnamese restaurants to choose from. One of the best is New Saigon and they also have an adventurous menu for a foodie seeking out more unusual offerings. From Goidacbiet (Jellyfish, shrimp, pork and cabbage with a lemon fish sauce) to Lau De (goat meat cooked with lotus roots and taro), you can easily find something bizarre on this restaurant menu. They also offer a number of eel and frog leg dishes. If you order something more normal, the fried softshell crab is delicious.
Other Unique Denver Restaurants and Food
Buckhorn Exchange – Located five minutes from downtown, this is the oldest restaurant in Denver and is another place to get game meat such as bison and elk. You can also try Rocky Mountain Oysters, rattlesnake, and alligator tail here.
Dalat Vietnamese– This restaurant, located on S. Federal Boulevard also offers some unique Vietnamese foods such as a goat hotpot, frog legs, and eel dishes.
Casa Bonita – Ok, the food here isn’t too bizarre (unless you consider really bad Mexican food bizarre), but this restaurant in Lakewood makes the list because of the bizarre atmosphere. Here you can watch cliff divers, explore caves, and listen to Marriachi bands. The soapillas are good; everything else is a gooey mystery paste of some sort.
When you visit, experiment a little and try some of the best Denver restaurants for food on the bizarre, weird and strange side.
Sources:The Fortwebsite,Café Jordano website, Biker Jim’s Gourmet Hotdog Stand on yelp.com,
Super Star Asian Cuisine on yelp.com, New Saigon website, Buckhorn Exchange website, Dalat Vietnamese on yelp.com, Casa Bonita website.