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A Guide to The Denver Central Market

The culinary food hall will open this Sunday in the RiNo district

denvercentralmarket

After nearly two years of anticipation, the 14,000-square-foot culinary headquarters seated in the heart of the RiNo district is finally here. The Denver Central Market {2669 Larimer Street, Denver}, a hub for all things culinary, will open to the public this Sunday. Led by Jeff Osaka and owner and developer Ken Wolf, the marketplace is set to serve as a one-stop shop for eats, drinks, and grocery needs for the ever-growing district. Over 11 vendors have set up shop in the historic H.H. Tammen Curio Company Building, offering the neighborhood a new kind of culinary experience.

With a wide variety of offerings from sweet confectionary treats to thick slabs of prime cut meats, the market offers an endless variety of options. So where do you start? Check out our guide to what’s inside and navigate the market like a pro.

For breakfast:

Crema Coffee

Denver Central Market

Crema Coffee House

Although the original Crema Coffee is a mere two blocks away, the new outpost of the small-batch coffee shop serves as a much-needed java destination for the community. Offering local goods such as curated coffee beans, teas, and oils, mixed with everyday items such as milk and even bike tubes, Crema Coffee offers a little bit of something for everyone. The structure itself is its own work of art, built from the back of an old coat truck, artfully designed by local artists including Mountain vs. Plains, Andi Todaro, and Chris Huft. The coffee shop features eight taps featuring two different types of cold brew and kombucha.

Denver Central Market

Artwork of Crema Bodega

Izzio Artisan Bakery

Denver Central Market

Salmon Toast for Izzio

Izzio Artisan Bakery has truly made use of the Denver Central Market. Formerly known as Udi’s, the famed Colorado institution has not only introduced its own sampling of breakfast dishes to the market, such as Shakshuka and Salmon Toast, but you can find their signature breads and pastries throughout the marketplace. “We’ve all worked together for years, and to have us all in this space … the potential for collaboration is inevitable,” says Robin Baron of Izzio. With melding of the minds soon to come (and a few notable creations from High Point Cremery), expect the bakery to reach out beyond its corner location. (Psst, don’t forget to come back for decadent desserts, such as the Key-Lime Tartlet and the Birthday Cake Parfait!)

Denver Central Market

Key Lime Tartlet from Izzio Bakery

Hearty eats:

Vero

Denver Central Market

La Frizzi from Vero

Famed for his Italian pasta creations at Il Posto, Andrea Frizzi will be dishing up classic pies at Vero. The restaurant is about as authentic as it gets, starting with the five ton ceramic-tiled pizza oven, crafted in and imported straight from Naples. Not only can you find a menu of homemade pizzas and famed pastas from Il Posto, but guests can also peruse a small offering of authentic goods from sauces to olive oils while their pizzas bubble to perfection. As far as pies, we recommend the La Frizzi crafted with San Marzano tomatoes and sprinkled mozzarella, topped with shaved strips of prosciutto di Parma and crisp arugula, drizzled with olive oil.

SK Provisions

Denver Central Market

Sean Kelly, formerly of Desmond Bar and Grill, helms SK Provisions, offering up a menu of slow-roasted meats. Utilizing two antique rotisserie ovens, the shop will provide a variety of carnivorous treats from poultry to beef and porchetta. Balancing out such meaty fare, the menu will also offer a rotating menu of fish, salads, and sides.

To take home:

Culture Meat & Cheese

Denver Central Market

Charcuterie offerings at Culture Meat & Cheese

Culture Meat & Cheese is a meat-lovers dream come true. Helmed by Justin Brunson, the shop serves up offerings of charcuterie selections prepared by the Old Major team, paired with Brunson’s favorite products from the state and beyond (with notable offerings from West Loop Salumi from Chicago). Cheese and charcuterie are available at the counter with an array of offerings also found in the refrigerated cases lining the shop. Patrons can also take a seat at the bar and craft their own board or order from a menu of sandwiches. For a more on-the-go experience, snag a meat cone filled with thinly sliced cuts of charc, sure to be the envy of any meat-eater.

Denver Central Market

Culture Meat and Cheese| Photo courtesy of LIVstudio

The Local Butcher Shop

Denver Central Market

Prime Rib from The Local Butcher

The folks of The Local Butcher keep their mission simple: to serve the community high-quality cuts of meat using locally raised, whole animals. Owned by Justin Herd, the butchery also supplies vendors within the market with cuts of meat. The shop serves up a small selection of specials like Italian beef and meatball sandwiches, served on Izzio bread, with the potential to rotate, depending on leftover cuts.

Green Seed Grocery

Denver Central Market

Produce at Green Seed

For veggie fare, head to Green Seed to meet your produce needs. After stocking up on fresh fruits and veggies, head to the counter for delightfully fresh veggie bowls and freshly squeezed juices.

Silva’s Fish Market

Denver Central Market

Oysters from Silva’s Fish Market

Octopus, king crab, and mussels fill the ice-laden display case at Silva’s Fish Market. Jesus Silva and Jeff Osaka, of Osaka Ramen and Sushi-rama, offer a range of sashimi-grade fish, sure to suit any ocean-loving palate. For seafood-centric appetites that need to be sated on the spot, the market also doubles as a raw bar serving up oysters on the half shell, ceviche, and more.

To indulge:

High Point Creamery

Denver Central Market

The Ice Kouign Sandwich

From Basil with Blackberry Swirl to roasted Corvus Coffee, High Point Creamery’s sweet offerings are the perfect treats. The second outpost of the famed ice cream shop is helmed by beloved Owners Erika Thomas and Chad Stutz, who have truly taken advantage of their new digs, collaborating with their neighbors, Izzio Bakery, to create the Ice Kougin Sandwich, made with a thick scoop of ice cream nestled between two slices of flaky Kougin-Amann. For an unhampered indulgence, elect the famed ice cream flight and finish off your sweet tooth with an old school soda, straight from the tap.

Denver Central Market

Ice cream flights at High Point Creamery

Temper Chocolates

Denver Central Market

The newest venture from chef Jon Robbins of Bistro Barbes and Souk Shawarma, Temper Chocolates is all about delightfully decadent choco treats. They carry a fine selection of jeweled gourmet chocolates showcasing a variety of creations from new American chocolatiers to European masters.

To drink:

Curio

Denver Central Market

Bourbon on the Rose

Centered in the middle of the market, Curio truly ties the entire concept together. After all, what brings people together more than a few libations? Named after the building itself, the concept presents a menu of tried and true classics, such as old fashioneds and negronis, paired with Curio’s own lineup of soon-to-be favorites. The Bourbon on the Rose won’t disappoint, crafted with Buffalo Trace, Cappelletti, lemon juice, syrup, and root beer house bitters. For weekend warriors, head to the bar early for brunch cocktails or pop in during happy hourMonday through Friday from 3-6pmfor deals such as $6 classic cocktails, $5 wines, and $3 Genesee Cream Ales. The biggest perk of them all? Guests can freely roam the market with a drink in hand. We should warn you about booze-fueled purchases, but then again, we don’t know of a better way to shop.

Denver Central Market

Curio| Photo courtesy of LIVstudio

The Denver Central Market is open from 8am to 8pm, with the bar staying open until midnight on the weekends. 

Photos and story by Morgan Carter, Editor