Pierogies Factory | Littleton and Wheat Ridge
Not long after Cezary Grosfeld moved to Denver from his native Lomza, Poland, in 2005, he started selling pierogies—classic Polish dumplings stuffed with ingredients such as earthy spinach and feta and tangy sauerkraut and mushrooms—at local farmers’ markets. Their popularity led Grosfeld to open Pierogies Factory’s first fast-casual, brick-and-mortar outpost in Wheat Ridge in 2015; a Littleton location launched in January. Visit the new bare-bones, yellow-walled space to sample the soft potato- and farmers’-cheese-filled pierogies, topped with velvety sour cream and caramelized onions. The menu also sports Eastern European specialties such as bigos, a gently sweet and zesty hunter’s stew made with sauerkraut, shredded red cabbage, and slow-cooked ground pork.

Gabys German Eatery | Lakewood
When Gaby Berben, who hails from Germany’s Cologne region, debuted her tiny restaurant in April 2018, she crafted a new recipe for her Viennese-style schnitzel with mushroom sauce. Now, the breaded cutlet is one of the most popular offerings on the menu, thanks to Berben’s perfected technique: pounding the slice of pork loin extra thin and frying it in clarified butter. The result is a delicately crisp schnitzel with a richer, meatier flavor than oil-fried versions. Enjoy it alongside an order of sauerbraten—a hearty beef dish zinged with balsamic vinegar and red wine—or käsespätzle. Deutschland’s decadent answer to mac and cheese is made with chewy, homemade egg noodles layered in gooey Emmental and jammy onions.

schnitzel with mushroom sauce at Gabys German Eatery. Photo by Sarah Banks

Cafe Prague | Morrison
Restaurants serving upscale cuisine from the Czech Republic are a rarity in Colorado, but Morrison’s 18-year-old Cafe Prague is a delicious exception. Owner Dennis Cionetti, who was born in the City of a Hundred Spires and moved to Denver in 1978, worked as a bartender at the restaurant before purchasing it from former proprietor (and childhood friend) Tomas Stibral in 2015. Since then, Cionetti—alongside chef and fellow Prague native Aleš Zabilansky—has delighted Coloradans with classic dishes from his homeland. Our go-to: the Bohemian-style roasted duck seasoned with caraway seed; served atop soft, steamed bread and potato dumplings; and accompanied by slow-braised, sweet-and-sour red cabbage. Zabilansky also prepares global fare, including a salmon fillet stuffed with tender crab meat and melted brie. For a sweet finish, get the palačinky, a pair of filled crêpes—one with cream cheese and dark-rum-marinated raisins, one with tart raspberry preserves—for dessert.

Palačinky at Cafe Prague. Photo by Sarah Banks

Cracovia Polish-American Restaurant & Bar |Westminster

Lester and Maria Rodzen are hooking Coloradans on the flavors of their homeland, one platter of sizzling kielbasa at a time. The couple immigrated to Denver from Kraków in the 1980s, running a real estate agency before launching Cracovia, a community hub whose name loosely translates as “essence of Kraków,” in 2008. Since then, the unpretentious orange-walled restaurant, situated in a strip mall off Wadsworth Parkway and 94th Avenue, has satisfied locals’ cravings for hearty Polish fare, vodka cocktails, and European folk music. From the butter-drizzled potato and onion pierogi and traditional “golonka” (slow-roasted pork knuckle) to pickle soup and “golabki” (pork- and rice-stuffed cabbage rolls), every dish on the menu practically defines rib-sticking goodness.

This article was originally published in 5280 June 2022.
Patricia Kaowthumrong
Patricia Kaowthumrong
Patricia joined the 5280 staff in July 2019 and is thrilled to oversee all of the magazine’s dining coverage. Follow her food reporting adventures on Instagram @whatispattyeating.
Riane Menardi Morrison
Riane Menardi Morrison
Riane is 5280’s former digital strategy editor and assistant food editor. She writes food and culture content. Follow her at @riane__eats.