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Best of 2020 included many On Havana Street Restaurants

January 12th, 2021

Asian Avenue Magazine featured many of our On Havana Street businesses in their Best of 2020 Awards. Many of our businesses won the Best of categories and honorable mentions.

In their December issue, they collected votes from their viewers and determined the best Asian restaurants and businesses this year!

They added a few new categories this year such as Best Banh Mi (Vietnamese Sandwich), Best Dumplings, Best Asian-Style Chicken, and so on.

Please check out Part 1 and Part 2 of the Best of 2020, a total of 20 restaurants and businesses that were recognized in 2020.

 

Best Banh Mi (Vietnamese Sandwich)

New Saigon Bakery and Deli

640 S. Federal Blvd, Denver, CO 80219

newsaigon.com | @newsaigonbakery

 

Located in the heart of Denver’s Vietnamese community, New Saigon® Bakery and Deli was established in 2012, specializing in banh mi sandwiches and food to go such as pâté chaud, a savory puff pastry, bánh bao, a bun containing pork or chicken meat, onions, eggs, mushrooms and vegetables, and other pastries and cakes. Be sure to try their top-selling sandwich, the grilled lemongrass pork banh mi and get a cup of Vietnamese iced coffee to go!

 

Honorable mentions: 1) Baker’s Palace; 2) 5280 Banh Mi and Grill

 

Best Pho

Pho Duy

925 S Federal Blvd, Denver, CO 80011

phoduyrestaurant.com

 

For years, Pho Duy and Pho 95 have sat at the top for the best pho in Denver. This year, Pho Duy reigns. If you are craving a bowl of warm and savory pho, Pho Duy always hits the spot! Delicious soup, tender meat, and a variety of options, Pho Duy has all the essentials you need to survive this pandemic as well as the cold winter months ahead!

 

Honorable mentions:

1) Pho 95; 2) Now Pho

 
 

Best Dumplings

Mason’s Dumpling Shop

9655 E Montview Blvd, Aurora, CO 80010

masonsdumplingshop.com | @masonsdumplingshop_co

 

Mason’s Dumpling’s story started in California, where the owner opened their first store in LA in 2001. At the beginning of 2018, the couple expanded to Highland Park, Colo., naming their new eatery Mason’s Dumpling Shop after their son. The new store in Colorado continues the tradition of hand making each dumpling from scratch and bringing delicious food to all dumpling lovers throughout the Denver metro. The menu includes boiled dumplings, steam dumplings, and pan fried dumplings as well as other delicious noodles and rice dishes.

 

Honorable mentions:

1) Yuan Wonton; 2) Uncle Zoe’s Chinese Kitchen

 
 

Best Sushi

Sushi Den

1487 S. Pearl St., Denver, CO 80210

sushiden.net | @sushidendenver

 

Opened on Christmas Eve 1984, and celebrating 36 years, Sushi Den continues to set the standard for high-quality seafood and is on the cutting-edge of Japanese cuisine. Prior to the pandemic, the restaurant served an average of 700 guests daily. Currently, the dine-in service is open by reservation and walk-in at Sushi Den. Sushi Den provides lunch and dinner take-out menus and they are also accepting online orders up to 5 days in advance.

 

Honorable mentions:

1) Uchi Denver 2) Izu Sushi

 
 

Best Dim Sum

Star Kitchen

2917 W Mississippi Ave Ste 5, Denver, CO 80219

starkitchenseafooddimsum.com

 

Ask any long-time Denver resident for their favorite dim sum restaurant and nine times out of ten they will say Star Kitchen. In fact, during Chinese New Year, this restaurant is packed with diners from all over metro Denver and the surrounding suburbs. It is common to experience two-hour wait times on weekends to get your favorite shrimp balls, pork shu mai, and turnip cakes. Dine-in and take out are currently available at Star Kitchen, so stop by and pick up your go-to dim sum items, which are just as delicious when heated up at home!

 

Honorable mentions:

1) Super Star Asian Cuisine ; 2) Empress Seafood Restaurant

 
 

Best Ramen

Katsu Ramen

1930 S Havana St #4, Aurora, CO 80014

ramendenver.com | @katsuramen_co

 

As the traditional Japanese ramen spot of Aurora, Katsu Ramen offers steamy and rich broth with fresh made noodles and an authentic Japanese experience in every bite. All of the food is authentically prepared by an experienced Japanese chef from Osaka, Japan. They also offer rice bowls, poke bowls, rice balls and other delicious appetizers. Now serving Japanese sakes, beers, and cocktails, enjoy a lunch or dinner meal from Katsu Ramen to go!

 

Honorable mentions:

1) Ajinoya Ramen; 2) Tokio ; 3) Uncle

 
 

Best Hot Pot

Seoul Korean BBQ & Hot Pot

2080 S. Havana Street, Aurora, CO 80014

seoulkoreanbbq.com | @seoul.koreanbbq

 

For many years, Seoul Korean BBQ has lured diners, who love Korean dishes and sushi. Seoul Korean BBQ has won many awards for best of Korean cuisine in Aurora. Last year, Seoul Korean BBQ began providing All You Can Eat Hot Pot, which includes a variety of meats, fresh seafood, noodles and vegetables. They have quickly become our readers’ favorite hot pot spot, which some even say they love more than their KBBQ! The experience is different than other hot pot locations in that you serve yourself versus having toppings brought to you (pre-pandemic). Seoul Korean BBQ & Hot Pot now offers dine-in, delivery and pick-up options.

 

Honorable Mentions:

1) Aki Asian Hot Pot 2) The Bronze Empire

 
 

Best Seafood & Crawfish Boil

The Yabby Hut

3355 S Yarrow St, Lakewood, CO 80227

yabbyhut.com | @yabbyhut

 

The Yabby Hut is a place to relax, scream for your favorite sports team with a beer in hand alongside with friends and family (pre-pandemic). Decked out their genuine fisherman gear, this casual restaurant has a unique bayside theme and food. Specialized in crawfish, their one-of-a-kind Cajun seasoning gives a little twist to your taste buds that is irresistible. With a twist of the bayside theme and traditional Philippines way of eating food (everything with bare hands and fingers), the good ol’ day is back in action. Ordering The Yabby Hut to go and getting excited for your seafood boil is just as exciting at home!

 

Honorable Mentions:

1) The Crawling Crab 2) The Asian Cajun

 
 

Best Korean Soup

Seoul Korean BBQ & Hot Pot

2080 S. Havana Street, Aurora, CO 80014

seoulkoreanbbq.com | @seoul.koreanbbq

 

Not only voted as best hot pot, Seoul Korean BBQ & Hot Pot also won the Best Korean Soup this year (a new category)! Seoul offers over 13 different soup and stew dishes including some of the most traditional ones such as Doenjang-Jjige, Kimchi-Jjige, Mandu-guk, and Soon-tofu. Definitely try out their Korean soup the next time you are enjoying your BBQ there!

 

Honorable Mentions:

1) Tofu House 2) DAE GEE Korean BBQ

 
 

Best Indian

Monsoon Cuisine of India

Monsoon Cuisine of India

24107 E Commons Ave, Aurora, CO 80016

monsoonsouthlands.com

 

Monsoon Cuisine of India remains faithful to the eatery’s Indian roots by wholeheartedly embracing the country’s bold, age-old cooking techniques and by using fresh, preservative-free ingredients, with no artificial flavors or food coloring. Simple-old fashioned great tasting favorites executed with over years of combined experience under one roof-making for a delicious traditional Indian meal served in a contemporary setting.

 

Honorable Mentions:

1) Yak & Yeti 2) Star of India

 

Best Asian Dessert

SNOWL

1930 S Havana St #5-6, Aurora, CO 80014

snowlcafe.com | @snowl.cafe

 

Decorated in a boho manner, the interior of SNOWL lures customers to stay and enjoy their dessert. The favorite at SNOWL is taiyaki, a fish-shaped waffle cone filled with ice cream. The menu board shows a wide range of options. Ask for suggestions because it’s hard to decide on which dessert to order!

 

Honorable mentions:

1) Meet Fresh 2) Milk Rolled Ice Cream

 
 

Best Asian-Style Chicken

Bonchon Chicken

8340 E Northfield Blvd, Denver, CO 80238

bonchon.com | @bonchonstapleton

 

A new category for 2020 – Bonchon Chicken in Stapleton is this year’s best Asian-Style Chicken. And what we are really talking about here is fried chicken! Bonchon is a global restaurant chain best known for its crunchy double-fried chicken, savory signature sauces, and unique pan-Asian menu. Founded in South Korea in 2002, the word “Bonchon” means “my hometown” in Korean which represents their authentic, traditional ingredients and cooking techniques, ensuring the highest level of flavor and care with each dish. For these reasons, Bonchon has been recognized by many industry leaders and has won many awards for best chicken wings restaurant chains.

 

Honorable Mentions:

1) Angry Chicken 2) Funny Plus

 
 

Best Asian Bakery

Tokyo Premium Bakery

1540 S Pearl Street, Denver, CO 80210

tokyopremiumbakery.com | @tokyopremiumbakery

 

Tokyo Premium Bakery provides all kinds of Japanese-style breads and pastries. Their products are made from scratch and baked fresh. Tokyo Premium Bakery also provides a variety of drinks such as their staff recommended authentic matcha latte and hojicha latte which pair nicely with their fresh bread and fruit tarts. On the weekend, Tokyo Premium Bakery shows lines of customers waiting to order their favorite morning delights. Customers can also order their Shoku-Pan (loaf of bread) online.

 

Honorable Mentions:

1) New Saigon Bakery 2) Le Petite Bakery

 
 

Best Asian Supermarktet

HMart

2752 S Parker Road, Aurora, CO 80014

myhmart.com

 

H-Mart is our winner for the best Asian Supermarket the seventh year! This Korean-owned supermarket opened its first Colorado location in January 2004. Packed with shoppers, H-Mart is best visited during the weekdays as weekends and holidays show long lines and huge crowds for the large selection of Asian grocery choices. The grocery store offers a mini fish market, where shoppers can ask for cleaning and frying of fish onsite. The produce area has a lot variety of fruit and vegetables, even durian, mangos and papayas; and the bakery offers fresh breads and pastries.

 

Honorable Mentions: 1) Pacific Ocean Supermarket (Aurora)

2) Pacific Ocean Marketplace (Denver)

 
 

Best Thai Curry

US Thai Cafe

5228 W 25th Ave Edgewater, CO 80214

303-233-3345 (no website/social)

 

Head to Edgewater if you like your Thai food spicy! US Thai Cafe brings the heat with force and flavor, but it’s not just a gimmick. Thai chiles enhance and balance massive amounts of other spices — galangal, lemongrass, garlic, kaffir lime leaf and ginger, to name a few. Curries are thick with the pulp of said seasonings, while dressings on papaya salads and larb assert themselves with lime and fish sauce.

 

Honorable mentions:

1) Pearl of Siam 2) Suvipa Thai Food

 
 

Best Boba Tea

Happy Lemon

9686 E Arapahoe Rd, Greenwood Village, CO 80112

happylemoncolorado.com | @happylemonco

 

Happy Lemon opened its doors in Colorado this year and has topped the charts as the local favorite! The global bubble tea chain established in China in 2006, now has over 1,500 locations across the globe. Happy Lemon is determined to use freshly squeezed lemon juice, grapefruit, strawberries, avocado, mint leaves and other natural ingredients in their tea making process. Some of its most popular items include Jasmine Green Tea with Salted Cheese, Milk Tea w/Oreo and Puff Cream, and freshly baked Bubble Waffles.

 

Honorable mentions:

1) Kung Fu Tea 2) Tea Street

 
 

Best Dosa (South Indian Dish)

Bawarchi Biryani Point

11001 E Arapahoe Pl, Centennial, CO 80112

denverbawarchi.com

@bawarchi_denver

 

A dosa/dosai is a rice pancake, originating from South India, made from a fermented batter predominantly consisting of lentils and rice. Bawarchi Biryani Point at Centennial won this new category this year! Bawarchi is a chain restaurant focused on authentic India food. Its name Bawarchi, is synonymous with Authentic Indian Biryanis, where aromatic spices come together to create a tantalizing Pot of Biryani. The Centennial location provides Cone Dosa (made in the shape of cone) and Chocolate Dosa (made with chocolate).

 

Honorable mentions:

1) Tiffins India Cafe 2) Masalaa

 
 

Best Asian Food Truck

Yuan Wonton Food Truck

@yuanwonton

 

Yuan Wonton Food Truck is Denver’s mobile dumpling truck specializing in signature chili-garlic wontons, handmade dumplings and other Asian noms. At Yuan Wonton, every delicious dumpling is made with passion and love.

And for Penelope Wong, owner of this popular food truck, sharing this family tradition with Denver is personal. A long time chef, Penelope, developed a love of food when she was very young. And her unique take on wontons, dumplings, noodles and rice dishes has quickly helped Yuan Wonton become a local favorite. For information on schedules, pop ups, events, and ordering details, be sure to check out their stories on Instagram @yuanwonton.

 

Honorable mentions:

1) No Ke Aloha -Hawaiian/Polynesian 2) BG Dough

 
 

Best Asian Owned Business

Tea Street

4090 E Mississippi Ave, Denver, CO, 80246

teastreetdenver.com | @teastreetdenver

 

Tea Street was recognized as the Best Asian Owned Business of the year by our readers! Tea Street puts a modern twist on classically inspired drinks, building upon the foundation of invigorating bold brews of tea. Their craft drinks do not contain synthetically flavored powders or syrups. Syrups and toppings, including but not limited to their puddings, herbal jelly, red and mung bean are all made from scratch. As one nominator shared: “Tea Street not only has delicious offerings but they are also very supportive of the Asian community in Colorado through donations as well as advocacy.”

 

Honorable mentions:

1) Comrade Brewing 2) Salon Joa

 
 

Best New Food Delivery

Saranya Cooks Thai (Thai meal kit)

saranyacooksthai.com | @saranyacooksthai

 

Want to create your own authentic Thai food at home? ​Saranya Cooks Thai meal kits are the way to go! Saranya Cooks Thai delivers boxes of fresh, authentic ingredients to your front door (in the Denver Metro, Northern Colorado, and Boulder areas) so you can create delicious Thai dishes in the comfort of your own home. Every kit comes with all the ingredients needed for four servings. Founded by Thai American, Zonya Dawson, the business has been thriving especially as many people are eating more at home.

 

Honorable mentions:

1)Jada’s Mochi Donuts 2) Kitsune Bento