For a taste of Asia, On Havana Street, is one of the best Asian foodie corridors in Aurora, Colorado. This area showcases destination restaurants, eateries, and unique dining experiences. On Havana Street is proud to be recognized as one of the Best Food Neighborhoods in the United States and “is a culinary oases that keep us coming back for more.
South Havana Street borders Denver, Colorado and is home to many global cuisines, including a variety of specialty Asian restaurants. Seven restaurants On Havana Street won Best of 2022 from readers and subscribers of Asian Avenue Magazine selected from 24 categories.
Check out the issue by visiting this link on Asian Avenue Magazine. The winning categories that include establishments from On Havana Street are:
Best Asian Bakery
Best Korean Soup
Best New Asian Restaurant
Best Dining Experiences
The same restaurants are also found on Yelp Colorado with positive, glowing reviews. As you look over the list, there are many K-Town eateries featured along On Havana Street with so many restaurant choices from South Korea. On Havana Street’s special district is included in Korea Town Aurora and Aurora, Colorado is also a sister city to Seongnam, Korea, the fourth largest city in South Korean’s Gyeonggi Province. Some of the recognized restaurants are Korean franchises, that are locally owned and managed by small business owners, while others are family-owned enterprises.Typically, restaurants represent current population figures. It is a sign of the growing population of Koreans in Colorado.
Here are the seven must-try, winning restaurants located On Havana Street:
2892 S. Havana St, Aurora, CO 80014
The South Korean bakery that specializes in French-Asian inspired baked goods, offers a wide variety of cake flavors such as hazelnut, pistachio, vanilla, nutella, and of course, chocolate. Savory pastries include spinach, tomato, and olive flavors. Hot and cold beverages, such as ube latte and pumpkin pie macchiato are also café favorites. This Asian Bakery is locally owned and managed by the Lee family and also operates two other Colorado locations in Thornton and Westminster.
2852 S. Havana St., Aurora, CO 80014
Just next door to Tous Les Jours, this spacious restaurant offers a variety of broths for every diner’s taste buds. Old Town Hot Pot is the largest hot pot restaurant in Colorado and won the best dining experience. This Chinese hot pot is a destination restaurant in the Aurora-Denver metro area and a favorite for large families and gatherings of big groups. Every table offers an individual hot pot and there is a wide variety of ingredients from various raw meats, vegetables, noodles, tofu, seafood, and dumplings. Chinese-style hot pot is one of the best comfort foods, especially during the cold and winter season when everyone craves for something to warm them up.
2080 S. Havana St, Aurora, CO 80014
Seoul Korean BBQ & Hot Pot has been recognized by so many awards over the years and remains to be a destination restaurant in Aurora, along On Havana Street and in Korea Town Aurora. This establishment serves authentic Korean cuisine, and this year was awarded for the Best Korean Soup. Favorite entrée selections includes soon tofu, kimchi, sulnongtang. With a photo menu, diners can easily select their choices by sight. Seoul Korean BBQ & Hot Pot continues to raise the bar and set the standards for high quality Korean & Japanese cuisine. Serving in large quantities, expect to bring home leftovers for the rest of the week.
2680 S. Havana St., Unit M, Aurora, CO 80014
Mr. Tang is in the former and popular “DMZ Pub” location. Tang means soup in Korean, and Mr. Tang is serving the most unique and tasty Korean soups. They are in the same corner, at the other end of Shin Myung Gwan Korean BBQ and Yum Yum Cake & Pastries. This cozy specialty soup and Korean cuisine restaurant offers a wide selection of authentic and hard to find Korean soups. Some of their specialties include beef cheek soup, ox leg bone with slices of beef brisket, Samgye-tang (ginseng chicken soup), ox tail soup, ox knee soup, beef brisket mushroom soup, beef short rib soup, blood sausage soup, beef cabbage soup with ox blood and more. Mr. Tang has become a must-visit for the specialty soup lover and offers great shareable Korean specialty dishes.
2222 S. Havana St Unit J, Aurora, CO 80014
Just northeast of Tous Les Jours and Seoul Korean BBQ & Hot, this small specialty dumpling eatery won the category for best dumplings. Mandoo/Mandu is dumpling in Korean and Seoul Mandoo specializes in traditional Korean dumplings made from an old family recipe. This popular bite-sized street food offers to-go packages and frozen dumplings for potlucks and holiday gatherings. With great versatility, the popular snack food can be fried, steamed, boiled, or baked. The tiny grab and go eatery offers limited space for dining at this location, but the eatery’s to-go window is efficient and quick. The recommended option for first-time diners is the Combo 4 Giant Dumpling option which includes, kimchi, galbi, meat, and shrimp dumplings.
1930 S. Havana St #4, Aurora, CO 80014
Along the east side of South Havana Street and Jewel Avenue, Katsu Ramen offers authentic ramen bowls from Japan. This is a destination for a quick lunch during the week. The weekend brings diners, who crave this comfort food of noodles, curries, and soup, especially during the winter. Yelp reviewers rave about the black garlic ramen as the all-time favorite, while the Miso Ramen is droolingly delicious with savory flavors. Other must order menu items include their poke bowls, karaage/JFC (Japanese Fried Chicken), specialty onigiri (rice balls), gyoza (Japanese homemade dumplings), hiyayaykko (chilled soft tofu) and the gyudon (beef rice bowl). Katsu Ramen sits in a corner shopping center located near other destination restaurants like Angry Chicken, Snowl Café and Dae Gee Korean BBQ. The small shopping center is packed with cars during the weekend, so plan accordingly. Don’t let the long lines scare you, it just means the food is divine. This restaurant offers table buttons to flag down the busy wait staff.
1930 S. Havana St #13, aurora, CO 80014
For the second year in a row, this Korean fried chicken specialty restaurant offers the best chicken in the area. With sounds and texture of crunch, the delicious chicken skin packs a punch of spices of sauces that includes spicy soy, honey garlic, snow cheese, angry sauce and the original. Kentucky Fried Chicken, move over – this is the place with all the modernization of call buttons for service, too. It’s also the perfect “hangover” food to wake one up as the flavors danced in one’s mouth, especially the crispy, crunchiness of honey garlic.
For honorable mentions, Old Town Hot Pot and Seoul Korean BBQ & Hot Pot were under the category of Best Hot Pot, while U & I BBQ Karaoke Room Bar also were placed under the Best Mapo Tofu. U & I BBQ Karaoke Room Bar is located on 1555 S. Havana St., Unit C, Aurora, CO 80012 (https://www.uibbq.com).
Other honorable mentions included Snowl Cafe, located on 1930 S. Havana St., #5-6, Aurora, CO 80014 (https://www.snowlcafe.com) for Best Dessert, while Tofu House 1962 at 2353 S. Havana St., #D-1, Aurora, CO 80014 (https://www.tofuhouse1962co.com) and Dae Gee Korean BBQ at 1910 S. Havana St., Unit 1, Aurora, CO 80014 (https://www.daegee.com) also were placed under Best Korean Soup. Snowl is a popular hang-out location during the evenings and weekends since it provides the best meet-up place for those living in Aurora. Dae Gee Korean operates numerous locations in both Denver and Aurora.
Before driving out to these locations, check their websites for hours and times of operations. Many restaurants are closed during the early parts of the week to help staff take a break and refill inventory of food.
On Havana Street is a destination food neighborhood and shopping corridor with over 100 diverse restaurants, more than 20 international markets and about 20 shopping centers.
For more information about On Havana Street visit their website here.
Visit their directory list of the 100+ restaurants here.