Food emporiums. I know what you’re probably thinking. And I’m guessing it involves you in middle school with your closest friends, crowded around a Cinnabon carefully cut into five tiny pie pieces after inhaling some could-be, should-be Chinese food from a Styrofoam container at some suburban shopping establishment. Yes, the concept of vastly different eateries down-sized and packed into a dining hall with communal tables did come right out of the suburban American mall food court, but in recent years the idea has been largely reinvented… and we like it.
We know Denver loves to revitalize. What was once old and forgotten is now new or coveted, and what was once inconvenient or lame is now pretty damn rad. Denver has done it again with its reinvention of food markets and emporiums. But instead of offering plastic trays and pubescent teenagers they rival the likes of Paris and Rome with the concept of specialized artisan food shopping. You can purchase your five-grain from an actual baker, and your gruyere from a proper cheese monger, but with the modern simplification of having it all in one place.
The Denver Central Market is one of the great innovators in this space, no pun intended. In a beautifully restored 12,000 square foot building in the heart of our favorite city, it brings food artists, chefs, sommeliers, and culinary connoisseurs under one roof to offer Denver residents access to meticulously prepared local foods and ingredients. It feels like a place you might stumble upon in Copenhagen or Berlin – a modern, European-like concept right smack in the middle of the busy lives of Colorado residents.
The market is bringing the art back to selecting your foods in a world full of processed cheeses on aisle 39 and carts racing into express lanes. The 13 local artisans calling Central Market home don’t just slow down to savor the joy of having a vibrant meal with friends and family, but the process of selecting the finest ingredients and learning the history behind our local food treasures. They encourage patrons to select the perfect glass of wine to sip while browsing and chatting with the local vendors. It’s a community, not a supermarket.
The Source is another market paving the path for purposeful grocery shopping with its artisan food market that occupies a former 1880s brick foundry building in Denver’s River North District. Here you can enjoy worldly cuisine in a traditional Mexican taqueria, a French bakery full of crusty breads, a creative cocktail bar, and even places to find fresh local produce, carefully selected fine wines, and a gallery to please your visual palette.
While packing more than a dozen vendors into one space may paint the picture of convenience, these markets are after quite the opposite. The owners and vendors don’t mind if things take a little extra time or effort, because it’s about the experience of getting to the perfect result. Whether it’s a flawlessly curated space, an obscure wine that change your life, or just trying something you’ve never had before with people you love – Denver markets delivery… and not within three to six hours within an 8-mile radius like your other grocery stores. Slow down a little, and stop by.