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Asada Rico. Photo by Sarah Boyum
Eat and Drink

The Best Local Food on the 16th Street Mall

Forget the chains eateries and join the queue at one of these locally owned kiosks instead.

1. Philadelphia Filly

Go For: The cheesesteak ($8), which has been built on a crusty hoagie roll with tender, thinly shaved steak, white American cheese, and grilled onions since husband-and-wife team Dale Goin and Sally Rock opened the cart in this spot in 1996. Mon.–Fri.

2. Planet of the Krepes

Go For: Creative crêpes—barbecue chicken with spinach and cheddar ($6.95), a savory egg-and-hash-brown breakfast number with a side of maple syrup for dipping ($5)—that are as cleverly conceived as the cart’s name. Mon.–Fri.

3. Liang’s Thai food

Go For: Thai favorites such as spicy green curry or “pad see ew” (stir-fried noodles) with your choice of chicken, pork, or beef ($7.50 to $9)—always made to order at this tiny, single-burner stall. Mon.–Fri.

4. Shondiz

Go For: The classic Turkish sandwich doner kebab ($7.25), a #lunchgoals combination of rotisserie lamb and beef, hummus, and fresh veggies atop a warm pita. Mon.–Sat.

5. Lil D’s Mini Donuts

Go For: Fresh-from-the-fryer, one-bite doughnuts in a bag ($4.35 to $5) or a cup ($6) with your choice of sweet sauces, glazes, and toppings—our go-to is chocolate sauce, caramel, whipped cream, and nuts—and a big smile from owner Rafael Barcacel, too. Mon.–Sun.

6. Lechuga’s Italian

Go For: This local OG’s (58 years and counting at its LoHi brick-and-mortar) signature savory cannoli, stuffed with meatballs or sausage, with marinara on the side ($5.45). Mon.–Sat.

7. Asada Rico

Go For: One of Denver’s best breakfast burritos. Whether you opt for an express, prerolled version ($4 with bacon, sausage, chorizo, or veggies) or a made-to-order marvel (for $4.75, you can augment your eggs with the likes of carne asada and spicy beef green chile), you’ll wait in a long line to place your order, but it’s worth it. Mon.–Fri.

8. Calle 16 Peruvian Joint

Go For: “Pollo a la brasa,” or tender Peruvian roast chicken, which comes with fries and a salad ($8) or tucked into toasted French bread as a mayo-and-mustard-bound chicken salad sandwich ($5). Tue.–Sat.

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