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Some like it hot—and some like it flaming, feverishly hot. If you’re looking to spice up your Valentine’s Day festivities with the spiciest foods in Denver, you’ve come to the right place. Because nothing says romance quite like capsaicin-induced heartburn and indigestion.
We’re talking the hottest hot chicken, the most masochistic wings, and even a chocolate that will give you a good kick in the pants. For those who like to feel the heat, to get all hot and bothered, or who just really, really like to suffer at the hands of the one they love, here are eight of the spiciest foods in and around Denver.
Ringing in at about one million Scoville heat units (compared to, say, a jalapeño at a measly 8,000), ghost peppers are most definitely hot. At CD’s Wings, the team adds ghost peppers to their Buffalo sauce to create the epic No 1 Left Standing sauce (which is even hotter than its Uncle Nasty’s House and XXX-Hot sauces, so that’s saying something). Order your wings swimming in No 1 Left Standing and you will for sure be feeling the pain. 7685 W. 88th Ave., Westminster
When we ranked Denver’s hottest hot chicken sandwiches, the Blazing Bird’s was the biggest burner. In fact, when you order this fiery sandwich from the Arvada restaurant, you have to sign a waiver acknowledging that you really do want to scorch off your taste buds and won’t hold them accountable for the intense discomfort you’re inflicting upon yourself. Our analysis: “The Blazing provoked tears, sweat, and snot, and is our clear winner of hottest hot chicken in the Denver area.” And really, what’s more romantic than tears, sweat, and snot? 12368 W. 64th Ave., Arvada
The Halal Guys’ hot sauce is 100 times spicier than Sriracha, so anything you pour it on will basically become flammable. It’s good in moderation on the American Halal restaurant’s beef gyro platter or falafel sandwich, but you’re not here for moderation. Some locations offer “the Hot Sauce Challenge,” which involves downing 20 lines of the hot stuff squirted over your go-to order in 10 minutes, without water. While our Aurora spot doesn’t do anything official, you’re free to pour as much hot sauce as your heartburn-loving heart desires, so go get ’em spicy tigers. 14535 E. Alameda Ave., Aurora
Green chile is ubiquitous in Colorado, but truly spicy green chile? That’s harder to find. Brewery Bar II and III have your Valentine’s Day wishes for tear-inducing green chile granted (that’s a common V-Day wish, right?), with their chunky—and actually red—green chile. Order it on a burrito or Mexican hamburger, or suffer through a flaming bowl of the stuff on its own. 150 Kalamath St. and 9228 Park Meadows Drive, Lone Tree
While anything can be spiced up with peppers, the hottest Thai dishes are the ones naturally made with super-hot Thai, or bird’s eye, chiles. Jungle curry, blended with those tiny peppers that pack a major punch (and without coconut milk to cool it down) always brings the heat. Ask for US Thai’s extra-hot version, which will have you feeling flaming hot in no time. 5228 W. 25th Ave., Edgewater
Vindaloo, a blend of dried red chiles, vinegar, and garlic, is one of India’s spiciest dishes. In the hands of heat-loving Himalayan Curry House, it can become downright combustible. (Ask them to go extra hot.) Order the hot-blooded curry with mahi mahi, cod, chicken, salmon, lamb, or shrimp. 2851 W. 120th Ave., Westminster
OK, so dessert may not exactly be the hottest of the hot courses, but you can still get some fire from Cioccolatier’s cayenne pepper treats. Don’t be fooled if you don’t feel the heat on first bite: The kick takes about 10 seconds to hit the back of your tongue. Load up on the peppery dark chocolate bonbons, or grab any of their 27 other amazing flavors for your less masochistic Valentine. 300 Josephine St., Denver and Park Meadows Mall
For a romantic dinner at home, why not douse whatever you’re cooking in Exhorresco sauce and then spend the rest of the night sticking your tongue in a glass of milk to try to erase the unforgiving burn? (Spoiler alert: You cannot erase the unforgiving burn. The taste bud torching from this sauce is enduring.) We’ve tried a lot of Colorado-made hot sauces, but the Fort Collins–based Burns & McCoy outspices them all with Exhorresco. Made with 7-Pot Primo peppers, it will have you screaming, “Oh God, make it stop!” all night long.