What’s your favorite Soul food? Your favorite restaurants? Text us at 303-291-0666!
This is Black History month, and this is the community we celebrate music, art, and food!
Soul food—a cuisine that fuses West Africa, Western Europe, and the Americas—is no stranger to controversy. Though the label floated around black culture at least a decade earlier, “soul food” had its breakout moment in the 1960s when Black Power advocates declared their independence from the narrative forced upon African Americans by white hegemony. Food was included in that ambitious project. Soul food was presented to the world as a cuisine wholly distinct from southern food, even though they shared common ingredients, culinary techniques, and history. —Adrian “The Soul Food Scholar” Miller, is the author of the 2014 James Beard Foundation Award-winning book Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time. Follow him @soulfoodscholar
Here are a few Black-owned Soul Food Restaurants in the Denver area to support!
Welton Street Cafe
2258 California St, Denver
Since opening in 1986, this family-owned spot has become a community anchor in Five Points — in March, it closed its former location, but it’s back open for takeout only in a temporary spot as it works to open a new brick-and-mortar. In the meantime, the kitchen is dishing up fried chicken, pork chops, wings and mac and cheese, with sweet tea to wash it all down. What are you waiting for?
Pork Chop King
It doesn’t serve the Southern soul food that most people associate with that term, but Miller gives Pork Chop King his “soul food” nod of approval. With an owner from Chicago, the menu packs flavors from the Windy City along with a variety of burgers, dogs, brats and hot links. The pork chop should obviously be your first order, though: It’s a bone-in chop with house spice rub, served on a Hawaiian bun with grilled onions.
CoraFaye’s Home Cook’n & Soul Food
15395 East Colfax Ave, Aurora
Another longtime favorite for fried chicken, CoraFaye’s closed in March 2020 and was MIA during much of the pandemic. But in April 2021, fans were relieved to see it reopen in a new, more visible Colfax location. The menu has been pared down to one page as the staff slowly gets back into the swing of things, but favorites like the fried chicken, smothered pork chops and daily selection of cake are all available.
Swirk Soul Food
2205 South Peoria St, Aurora
The sign outside this small, takeout-only spot in an Aurora strip mall reads “Swirk Supreme Food,” and what a supreme selection it has: barbecue, sandwiches, seafood and more. Not sure where to start? Go for the Southern King Platter Dinner, which includes a fried catfish fillet, two jumbo shrimp, one hot link and barbecue chicken, with your choice of two sides.
Blazing Chicken Shack II
5560 East 33rd Ave, Denver
This soul-food eatery in Park Hill has all the standard items you’d expect, including fried okra, collards and catfish, but Blazing Chicken also has some options that are less common in Denver. Gizzards, pig ears, pork neck bone, and gumbo are all on the menu, as is an oxtail dinner only available on Fridays and Saturdays.
Nola Jane Restaurant and Bar
1435 Market St, Denver
Lea Jane’s Hot Chicken
3200 N Pecos St, Denver
Founded in Denver, Colorado in 2020 by FAM Hospitality partners Johnny Hoang. Lea Jane’s Hot Chicken is a fast-casual concept centered around Nashville-style fried chicken. The concept, which has outposts in the RiNo neighborhood of Denver as well as in downtown Houston at POST Houston, is an homage to the roadside family picnics of Hoang’s childhood, picnics filled with love, laughter, and delicious fried chicken.
Reggae Pot Jamaican Grill
7562 S University Blvd Unit C, Centennial
When you walk into Reggae Pot Jamaican Grill you are greeted by pleasant, friendly, and cool-as-can-be staff, in a vibrant, colorful and laid back chill atmosphere. We offer a family friendly vibe, with a live reggae concert always on the television and reggae music pumping through the speakers.
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