5 Places to Celebrate the Lunar New Year

BY Gabriela Reyes

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Get ready for the Lunar New Year this weekend, a time to celebrate the arrival of the new moon and a holiday throughout Asia. This year we welcome the year of the dragon, a sign associated with good luck and success.

As an enthusiast of cultural celebrations and traditional cuisines, I’m thrilled to partake in these festivities and share them with you. Think mooncakes, themed tea drinks, and epic feasts. 

If January didn’t quite live up to expectations as a fresh start, consider this upcoming event as a second chance for cleansing, goal-setting, and rejuvenation. After reflecting and preparing for the new beginning, head to one of these five places, each allowing you to partake in a wonderful tradition. 

Ti Cafe

30 N Broadway, Denver, CO 80203

Just a few months ago I tried Vietnamese coffee and instantly became a fan. For a quick celebration, Ti Cafe is the ideal spot to grab some delightful treats and beverages. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on February 9 to 11, the cafe offers specials including an almond cookie latte, honey jujube jasmine tea, tangerine kumquat soda, and “sua dau nanh,” or honey soy milk matcha latte, the perfect pairing with lotus flower cookies, coconut cake, and more.

Ace Eat Serve

501 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO 80203

Executive Chef Khamla Vongsakoun, renowned for his mastery of Asian cuisine, presents a special Year of the Dragon dinner menu available from February 10 to 17. You can enjoy the full menu for $55 or a la carte dishes and cocktails. Diners will receive a traditional red envelope containing a “lucky surprise” as a special gift. Don’t miss this opportunity to discover your luck. Reserve your table on OpenTable now.

Far East Center 

333/375 S Federal Blvd, Denver, CO 80219

Located on S. Federal Blvd. between Alameda and Mississippi Avenues, The Little Saigon district is already abuzz with celebrations. The Far East Center is hosting a street market with various pop-up vendors and tons of food from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. all week until February 9. The main event unfolds this weekend, featuring vibrant lion dances. Check out the complete schedule and details on their Eventbrite page.

The Empress Seafood Restaurant

2825 W Alameda Ave #2901, Denver, CO 80219

The Duke Asian Alumni Alliance (DAAA)  is hosting a celebratory brunch at 10:30 a.m. on February 17 at this Denver dim sum staple. Although the event is ten days away, registration is required by today. Indulge in delightful dim sum and additional side dishes for $35 per 13-year-old-and-up person, and $17.50 for everyone else. Be sure to see the mesmerizing lion dance performance at 11:00 a.m.

MAKfam

39 W 1st Ave, Denver, CO 80223

Though Doris Yuen and Kenneth G. Wan’s South Broadway Chinese spot is new, they aren’t missing a beat when it comes to the Year of the Dragon. The two-night celebration occurs February 21 and 22 and will feature dishes with MAKfam’s iconic twist. For example, tofu crema scallion pancake bites inspired by jian bing, a popular breakfast item served street food style in China and Taiwan. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Asian Girls Ignite and Guiding Mountain Dragon & Lion Dance Association. Make a reservation here. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gabriela Reyes

Gaby has been part of the Denver/Boulder food scene since 2015 when she moved to Colorado. While gradually losing her ability to eat due to six years of misdiagnosed food allergies, she became fascinated with the culinary scene. Gaby, aka The Restaurant Encyclopedia, has been DiningOut’s restaurant coordinator for food festivals since 2017 and joined the editorial team in 2022.

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