The Polish culture has a long history of culinary traditions, including pierogies, roasted duck and rich sauces. While Denver might not seem like a city immersed in Polish food options, there are a handful of spots that put on an authentic Polish table.
323 14th St.
Denver, CO 80202
Belvedere is the perfect place if you are looking for Eastern European graceful elegance. The décor is rich, the hospitality warm and the food is decidedly authentic, with a few Mediterranean dishes. Open for lunch and dinner, Belvedere has a lengthy menu of appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, pierogies and entrées. Polish favorites include stuffed cabbage rolls (Golabki) with pork and rice and a choice of mushroom or creamy tomato sauce, as well as a hearty goulash. Polish sausages, served cold, hot or in soups are both the lunch and dinner menus. Roast duck with red cabbage, rabbit with sour cream sauce and schnitzel in hunter sauce are just a few of the traditional menus offerings.
1501 Lawrence St.
Denver, CO 80202
This slick vodka lounge and nightclub is a top spot for Polish food. The menu includes Polish classics like the bigos, the country’s national dish that is piled high with cabbage, sauerkraut and locally made kielbasa. Fried pierogies go perfectly with a chilled-infused vodka cocktail. For authenticity, try the polish-style meatballs or potato pancake with goulash.
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8121 W. 94th Ave.
Westminster, CO 80021
This tavern and restaurant is homey and bona fide Polish. The food is homemade, including the pierogies, beetroot soup and croquettes. Owners Lester and Maria Rodzen make everything from the pierogies to the mustard by hand. Not-often-seen comfort food dishes on the menu are stuffed peppers, traditional Polish “Snytzel” made with ground pork and white-pork sausage. Cracovia’s lunch special for $7.95 includes choice of salads and soup.
1509 Marion St.
Denver, CO 80218
The same restaurant family that manages Belvedere runs Kinga’s Lounge, which means the food is high quality and genuinely Polish. The libation of choice is beer and the food is a blend of traditional pub food and Polish favorites. For instance, you’ll find Cajun fried burgers, pasta and chicken wings alongside pierogies, stuffed cabbage rolls and lima bean and kielbasa soup. Kinga’s also has a weekend brunch with Polish spinach pancakes, eggs over easy with veal sausages and Polish pancakes with fruit jam, powdered sugar and chocolate, strawberry or caramel sauce.
250 Steele St., Suite 112
Denver, CO 80206
Since 1969, this sausage company has been keeping Denver’s European food lovers stocked with sausages, deli meats and wild game. Here you will find Polish, German and Eastern European food favorites. The company uses local hand-chopped meats and organic ingredients in its house-made sausages. Polish sausages, kielbasa and smoked German brats are just a few of the sausages it offers. Stock up your pantry with sauerkraut, red cabbage, spaetzle and other noodles, fine and course-ground mustards as well as European cheeses and deli meats.
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Kimberly Lord Stewart is a food author and journalist for CBS Denver local, Organic Food Reporter for Examiner.com, and the Food, Wine and Spirits editor for Denver Life magazine. Her book, “Eating Between the Lines” tells readers about the truth and myths of food labeling. Stewart is the recipient of two Association of Food Journalist awards for food news reporting and the Jessie Neal Business Journalism award. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.