A lot of decisions impact your restaurant choice: preferred cuisine, proximity to other activities (such as the theater), trying something new, and supporting local businesses. If you’re interested in supporting the Black community in Denver, there are many local Black-owned restaurants to choose from for the next time you dine out—maybe before or after going to see a show! Also consider this list of places that are within three miles of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
Saucy’s Southern BBQ & Cuisine, 2100 S. University Blvd., is fast casual dining but so tasty you want to linger. Owners Ki’erre Dawkins and Khristian Matthews, who met in college in Mississippi, started out with an open-air food truck that was so popular they had to find space for all of their customers to sit and enjoy their food. This Mississippi-style BBQ menu offers diners a choice of meats and sides with as many sauces as meats. Choose between ribs, wings, or hot links to eat with mac-n-cheese, corn, green beans, or corn.
Le French, 4901 S. Newport St., is owned by two sisters from Senegal, Aminata Dia and Rougui Dia, who bring globally-influenced Parisian food to the Tech Center area. This bakery and café is open for lunch and dinner with familiar French food—crepes, quiche, escargot—but a few Senegalese twists added here and there. The bakery turns into a dessert bar after dark so save a little room for a sweet treat.
Konjo Ethiopian Food, 5505 W. 20th Ave. in Edgewater, is a restaurant, a catering company and also a popular food truck co-owned by Fetien Gebre-Michael and Yoseph Assafa. Try vegetarian or meat entrees with injera or a side of sambusas. The menus for each of the businesses are a little different, but the food is all nut free, dairy free, gluten free, and soy free.
Jamaican Grille, 709 W. 8th Ave., is owned by Tammy Braziel and Randal Whyte who are all about that jerk spice seasoning to bring the island flavor to the Mile High City. The restaurant originated in Colorado Springs before rebranding and moving to Denver in 2013. If you’ve been to Jamaica, you know that goat has to be on the menu, not just chicken. There is also seafood and generous portions of rice, plantains, and cabbage. At the bar, sip a cold Red Stripe beer or try a Rum Punch cocktail.
Genna Rae’s Wings & More, 1819 E. 28th Ave., is strictly a takeout place (think about a picnic option) owned by the eponymous Genna Rae who moved to Colorado from his home of the Virgin Islands. He was working as auto mechanic who made some killer chicken wings that were so tasty, friends encouraged him to open his own place. The wings come with 10 signature sauces and from six pieces an order to 48 pieces. There are also burgers, sandwiches, meat platters, fish & chips, and classic side dishes.