On September 25th, the highly anticipated food hall, Denver Central Market opened their doors at 2669 Larimer Street in the rapidly developing RiNo neighborhood.
Upon entering the space, I am immediately transported to Europe’s open air markets filled with purveyors slinging charcuterie, cheese, fish, fresh baked bread, coffee, and specialty food items. There’s an undeniable sense of community and buzzing excitement. Maybe it’s because there’s a little something for everyone and there’s such a commitment to high-end, local food, but I can’t help but feel all warm and fuzzy whenever I’m there.
The 14,000-square-foot food emporium houses 11 local vendors. Founders, developer Ken Wolf and chef-restauranteur Jeff Osaka (of Sushi Rama and Osaka Ramen) chose the historic H.H. Tammen Building for this food hall. The building is beautiful – it’s filled with vibrant, natural light and there’s enough space to roam between purveyors.
Here’s a rundown of the Colorado local vendors holding down the fort in the market:
- Crema Bodega: From Crema Coffee House this extenstion and iteration of a coffee house not only includes their radical espresso and coffee, but like a true bodega, they’re selling the likes of eggs, milk, and more.
- Culture Meat & Cheese: From Justin Brunson of Old Major and Masterpiece Kitchen, they offer house-prepared charcuterie and cheese boards alongside high-end ingredients if you want to build your own. Don’t forget their meat cone (served in a paper cone), filled with shaved, sliced meat for you to munch on while you shop.
- Curio: The bar sits as the focal point against the entrance wall, where open market seating is available. Curio serves everything from cocktails, to beer, to wine. I personally love that you can grab your drink, and mill about the space drinking it.
- Green Seed: What first looks like a produce shop with bins of bright red tomatoes, fresh greens, and fruit, they also serve as a restaurant that serves you delicious dishes and/or fresh juices, made by said produce. This really showcases that those in the neighborhood could come into this grocery environment, and it’s not just a place to eat.
- High Point Creamery: From husband and wife team, Chad Stutz and Erika Thomas, this is their second artisanal, ice cream shop. They serve ice-cream, sorbet, ice cream cakes (calls Bombes), and sundaes.
- Izzio Artisan Bakery: From what was previously, Udi’s (iconic family and brand in itself), this bakery is named after partner and head baker, Maurizio (“Izzio”) Negrini, a third-generation baker from Bologna, Italy. It doesn’t get more real than this. They’re nestled in the corner, of the market and through the glass you can look at their fresh baked pastries like chocolate croissants and caramel pecan rolls, and long fermented breads. The smells of yeast and baking bread waft through the market, and you can see all the machines and baking at work in their corner.
- Silva’s Fish Market: Silva’s is a full-service fish market that sells whole seafood such as tuna, clams, lobster and more. They also offer scale and filet services. In addition to your seafood shopping, you can indulge in their ceviches or oysters alongside a glass of vino, right within the market. Owner, Jesus Silva spent eight years at Sushi Sasa and Jeff Osaka, is co-owner.
- SK Provisions: From Denver chef and restauranteur, Sean Kelly boasts two antique rotisserie ovens that are slow roasting the likes of poultry, pork, and beef. I love their prepared salads, soups, and sides which are great for those working and/or on the go. The provisions make for great picnic makings, as well.
- Temper Chocolates and Confections: A chocolatier is key to a food hall such as this. They carry gourmet chocolates from American chocolatiers. While they also blend their own housemade, hand-crafted chocolates and sweets.
- The Local Butcher: A full services butcher shop that carries beef, pork, poultry, lamb, bison, and house-made sausage. They also plan to serve two sandwiches daily such as the Italian meatball and pulled beef with rotating soup options. They deeply care about whole animal butchery and you can expect to find educated butchers, behind the counter. The majority of their meat is from Colorado.
- Vero Italian: From Denver’s well-loved, Il Posto, Andrea Frizzi takes a spin on Neapolitan food by serving pasta and wood-fired pizza. One weekday I was there, Frizzi was behind the counter tossing dough and calling out orders as he is keeping it real with this more laid-back version of his Italian food (see photo below, on the left, he’s right up front). He also has a small pantry section where you could purchase the likes of olive oil, spices, and flour.
If you live in the RiNo neighborhood, then you’re in for a real treat for urban grocery shopping and specialty goods.
Even if you don’t live nearby, I think it’s a great place for a lunch meeting or co-working (I see lots of laptops when I’m there), and even a great spot for a date. Note that parking is a bit spotty in the area as you’ll mostly be looking for street parking in the growing-in-popularity neighborhood, but it’s well worth it.
Find Them: denvercentralmarket.com | 2669 Larimer Street Denver, CO