Break Out the Stretchy Pants, Mile High Asian Food Week Starts Sunday

BY Linnea Covington

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It’s no secret, the restaurant culture in Denver is booming, especially when it comes to Asian foods. That’s where the second annual Mile High Asian Food Week (MHAFW) comes in. Not only was it created to highlight food and beverage businesses run by Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders (AANHPI), but to inspire all of the metro area to try these cuisines in a variety of places.

While plenty of new spots have opened in the dining scene, there’s many tried and true joints to dabble in as well. This year the MHAFW includes over 200 participants, ranging from boba shops to food trucks to bakeries. Many of the participants offer special deals, guest dinners, and/or unique items only available starting April 28 to May 4. 

Choose your own adventure or use the handy planner on the website, milehighafw.com for the full line up. Now dig in as we highlight just a handful of options in the incredible line up. 

Dabble in Drinks

golden coffee drink in plastic cup
Tí Cafe offers Vietnamese coffee and tea drinks that are almost too beautiful to drink. | Photo by Tí Cafe

Bubble tea remains a highlight in the world of Taiwanese drinks, and for a good reason. Often in bright colors with a milky opaqueness and/or subtle sweetness, the tea offers drinkers tons of options. Add in fruit jellies or chewy tapioca pearls, aka bobo, to enhance the beverage to your liking.

Make sure to stop at Daboba Denver (1920 17th St., Denver) for the experience. Mention MHAFW you’ll have access to the secret menu. Of course there’s always the regular line up of boba, milk teas, fruit teas, and frappes available as well. FlipN Boba (655 S. Federal Blvd., Denver) should also be on the list. With beautiful beverages served daily, for MHAFW it offers specials too. Think Hokkaido ube taro milk tea, and a popular Filipino dessert.

Also head to the family-owned Die Die Must Try Beverage Co. (250 Steele St., Denver) for Singapore-style drinks. Use the secret password, MHAFW, and discover this week’s special beverage menu. You’ll also score buy-one-get-one lucky draws with all purchases, which includes prizes, discounts, and tasty Singaporean treats.

Don’t skip Tí Cafe (30 N. Broadway, Denver) either. It’s fun and tasty to go any day for the crafted coffee and tea drinks, but for MHAFW there’s even more. On Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. experience a pop up featuring Mukja, Roll It Up Sushi Truck, and Colorado Cocoa Pod. Also look for the collaboration between Tí Cafe and Welton Room as they create a magical afternoon tea on May 4 at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. (text 720-447-9502 for reservations).

Fast and Casual Eats

open sandwich with meat
Get yourself a banh mi today and everyday! | Photo by CôNu’s Corner Càfê and Bánh Mì Sandwiches

Have you tried Cup Bop (7450 W. 52nd Ave., Arvada)  yet? Not only can eaters indulge in Korean barbecue, but each cup comes out different depending on the desired sauce level and additions. Also opt for one of the Korean corn dogs. For MHAFW, mention the fete and get three free mandoo with purchase.

CôNu’s Corner Càfê and Bánh Mì Sandwiches (4400 W 29th Ave., Denver) serves some of the best bánh mì around. Don’t skip out on the pho or excellent coffee either, the latter a perfect pairing with the baked cassava cake, which for the week is free with any purchase.

We just wrote about how birria has infiltrated the dining scene, and at Wild Taco (4499 W. 38th Ave., Denver; 215 E. 7th Ave., Denver) the MHAFW special comes in birria egg roll form. It’s the blending of two great cultures, something the eatery does well with staple menu items such as the bulgogi taco, poke nachos, and Korean-fried-tofu tacos. 

Sit Down Meals

hands holding egg rolls
One of the specials for Mile High Asian Food Week are the Filipino egg rolls. | Photo by Adobo

While not fancy, the food at Adobo Restaurant & Bar (3109 Federal Blvd., Denver) certainly makes one feel like they struck Filipino-fusion gold. For MHAFW, a $25, three-course prix fixe will be available. Diners can choose dishes such as Filipino egg rolls, watermelon and mango salad, pancit noodle bowl, and ube ice cream. 

Hot pot must always be taken sitting down, and you’ll be glad to at Seoul K-B.B.Q. & Hot Pot (2080 S. Havana St., Aurora). Anyone mentioning MHAFW will get 10-percent off any food, barbecue side only.

It’s hard not to flock to Yuan Wonton (2878 Fairfax St., Denver) for all the dumpling-like delights. But during MHAFW there’s even more. Think exclusive menu items including XL Xiao Long Bao Soup Dumplings and a variety of Chinese mooncakes, some featuring ube to give them a brilliant purple hue. Bonus, we will be featuring chef Penelope Wong on Monday as she takes over our Instagram feed.

The Sweet Spot

Sweet Rice Flour choux puffs with peach
Peach choux puffs. | Photo by Sweet Rice Flour

A trip to Superior will be rewarded with treats from The Enchanted Oven (520 Zang St., Superior), an unassuming Japanese bakery. Mention MHAFW and get 10-percent off all curry buns, pork buns, chashu buns, other Japanese-style buns, as well as the Hawaiian butter mochi cake.

On the gluten-free bakery side, Sweet Rice Flour is known for its choux puffs, crepe cake and Southeast Asian desserts. While you have to figure out (look toward Instagram or the MHAFW website) where to find these delicate delights, it’s worth the work to try the new Culture Shock choux puff line, featuring exotic tropical flavors from Asia.

Sweet Action Ice Cream has been known for well-balanced, unique flavors for years, and during MHAFW it’s no different. This time, request Thai Iced Tea and Vietnamese Coffee sweet treats, to go, to stay, to savor. Bonus, a percentage of sales at all locations help support local schools and other causes important to the health and wellness of the community.

Check out the full line up and plan for a great week of eating and exploring the amazing AANHPI culinary scene.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Linnea Covington

Linnea Covington is the managing editor of DiningOut. She comes to us with a long background in food, restaurant and drinks journalism. Over the last two decades she’s written for tons of publications including Denver Post, Washington Post, Forbes Travel Guide, 5280 Magazine, New York Magazine, New York Times, Time Out New York and more.

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