My series about local food halls around Denver ends this week with one of the first. When I mentioned Super Mega Bien a few weeks ago and its location, the RiNo Arts District, I observed that much of it has been transformed from dilapidated warehouses to hip galleries and eateries. Denver Central Market (DCM) has been one of the centerpieces of that change.

Located in a historic building from the 1920s, which at different times has housed industrial processing, cabinet construction, antiques and exotic used cars, the Market arguably started the food hall trend back in 2008. That was still when many people didn’t go to RiNo, even with the Rockies and Coors Field drawing baseball fans nearby.

The historic 1920s building that now houses The Denver Central Market

Today, it’s one of the most popular venues for dining in an area chock-full of them. The difference, of course, is that you’ll have eleven eateries to choose from.

Like with Freedom Street Social and Edgewater Public Market, I could only visit a handful of these places because my appetite can only handle so much. I will note the places we tried.  One thing that made it easier is that DCM has fewer vendors selling ready-made food, so I could make a clear-cut decision.

Vero Italian

This is more proof that wood-fired baking is the culinary standard for any pizza worth its weight.  There are twelve varieties of pie, along with three kinds of pasta. You can also buy food items commonly found in Italian markets.

Deli sandwiches are served at Culture Meat & Cheese

Culture Meat & Cheese

Do you love charcuterie as much as I do?  Then you’ve come to the right place with this elevated deli that aims to educate its customers on its selection of meats and cheeses. There are also eight different sandwiches, two kid-friendly options (hot dog and grilled cheese), and tomato soup and bagel breakfast sandwiches.

The counter at Green Seed almost looks like a farmers market

Green Seed

This stand provides a good start if you want to increase your produce intake. I personally tried their Kale Yeah Mother Brussel salad, packed with superfood goodness (kale, Brussel sprouts, cherry tomatoes, apples, almonds and golden raisins) and goodies (Gorgonzola, bacon, vinaigrette). There are also plenty of other salads, smoothies, juices, soups and warm and acai bowls.

The yummy cornbread and strawberry jam flavor at High Point Creamery

High Point Creamery

You must love a place whose mission is using “happy ingredients, to make happy ice cream…to make you a happy customer.” Some of their more creative offerings include basil with blackberry swirl, Earl Grey and shortbread, Tin Cup whiskey & pistachio brittle and cornbread with Strawberry Jam, which I sampled and loved. It mixed just the right amount of buttery bread and summer-ready sweetness.

Some of the fun merchandise to buy at Crema Bodega

Crema Bodega

More than just a coffee house, this stand also sells different items that you would find in a small corner store. But since this is in a food hall in a hip area of town, you’ll also find beans from nearly two dozen roasters and a variety of coffee drinks, breakfast food and artisan sandwiches.

Patrons enjoying a drink and food at Curio Bar


DCM’s bar mixes classic and signature cocktails with a menu that may overwhelm you with its sheer volume. If you can’t decide on one of those creations, opt for beer, wine or a single shot of your favorite spirits. And it’s perfectly fine to order your food and bring it to the seating area or vice versa.

Fresh fish on display at Tammen's Fish Market

Tammen’s Fish Market

Who knew a fresh fish market was available in one of the most landlocked states? While you can buy different kinds of seafood, you can also order from an extensive selection of prepared hot and cold entrees. These include favorites like fish and chips, salmon burgers, sushi and poke bowls.

Colorful chocolates at Temper

Temper Chocolates and Confections

Any chocolate lover will appreciate this stand, which offers innovative filled confections with fun pop culture and music names like Baywatch and Strawberry Fields. They also sell a wide variety of American and European artisan bars.

If you need chicken, The Local Butcher has great options

The Local Butcher

All kinds of proteins are available for sale here, especially choice and prime beef aged for at least 21 days. But you can also get ready-made smoked and barbecued items like pulled pork, brisket and ribs.

Irresistible baked goods from Izzio

Izzio Artisan Bakery

A bakery specializing in the layered French pastry, kouign-amann, and other breads, cakes and pastries, Izzio also serves creative takes on breakfast and lunch items. These include croffles (a cross between a croissant and a waffle) and a veggie-forward quinoa bowl.

Maybe you had a lunch box like one of these vintage ones at Lunch Boxx

Lunch Boxx

This stand is ideal if you tend to share plates like RAS and I do. With a wide selection of international plates, deli sandwiches and snacks like the Sticky Icky Popcorn Chicken, you’re sure to find something good here. Check out their collection of vintage lunch boxes, too.