South Pearl Street has long been a destination for Denverites looking for good eats and local shopping in the city. This historic Platt Park district was built around a trolley car line in the 1800s and has evolved over the years in response to the changing community that surrounds it.
Even today, South Pearl continues to transform. Its roots remain, but an onslaught of healthy eateries is sure to play to the hearts (and bellies) of visitors in a whole new way.
The first is Chook, the brainchild of one of Denver’s favorite restaurateurs, Alex Seidel. It’s a casual farm-to-table coal-fired rotisserie chicken joint serving up fresh and healthy plates at an affordable price. Then there’s Hoja, a breakfast, brunch, and lunch spot created by Ben Susnick, the man behind the Base Camp Provisions food truck, a popular stop at the neighborhood’s farmers market.
It’s not just new names, though — two fan favorites that got their start at Avanti F+B are now upgrading to brick-and-mortar stores. Quiero Arepas serves up deliciously authentic, famously fresh, and naturally gluten-free Venezuelan arepas. Their South Pearl Street location will allow them to expand their menu to include other (fresh and gluten-free) Venezuelan eats. American Grind, meanwhile, is also spreading its wings to a bigger and more permanent space. Their grass-fed burgers are made from only the best local beef, while all other menu items are made in-house with ingredients sourced from farmers who share their commitment to good-for-you and sustainable eats.
But all these healthy new spots aren’t a total shock to South Pearl. After all, there are plenty of existing places that are favorites among the health-conscious crowd. Like the crew of sister restaurants, for example. Uno Mas and Kaos Pizzeria focus on garden-to-plate eats in the form of tacos and pizza. They’re the real deal, committed to sourcing locally — even from their own farm. If it’s Japanese you crave, check out the ultra-fresh fish flown in daily from Tokyo for the plates at OTOTO, Sushi Den, and Izakaya Den.
And, of course, there’s the farmers market — it’s one of Denver’s biggest and most beloved. Full of local farmers, ranchers, makers, and food trucks, it goes down every Sunday from May through November.
So, if healthy is your scene, take another look at South Pearl. The trolley may be long gone, but in its place are some seriously delicious options. Get there by foot, bike, car, bus, or train. You’ll be glad you did.