How To Shop Local: Denver Basics


How to Eat Local: Denver Basics

You are what you eat, but where that food comes from also makes a difference. Denver locals are known for being DIYers that fully support going local with just about everything, and food is no exception.

In a place where Mother Nature’s majesty is on full display, people are much more mindful of preservation. Eating local is just one more way to protect the natural beauty. Shipping distance is kept at a minimum and biodiversity is supported when your food is sourced locally. Each bite of food that was grown locally is even more delicious knowing that it didn’t come at a high carbon cost.

It’s also nice to know exactly where your food comes from and where your money is going. And let’s not forget the flavor. When produce is freshly picked and foods have just been whipped up, nutrients and flavors are at an all-time high.

Any foodie who’s moving to Denver will be happy to know there are a lot of local food sources to fill your plate and social calendar.

Use Food to Connect With the Local Denver Community

Food is one of the few things in life that every person on the planet has in common. Given that food is something we all need for sustenance and eating is such a communal event, it’s only natural that community gardens, markets and restaurants are places where people can come together. Get involved with the groups below!

Slow Food Denver

Local organizations like Slow Food Denver use what we eat as a way to connect the community. They even have a 30-day Eat Local Challenge in September, which is designed to increase awareness about local food sources.

Denver Urban Gardens

Want to start a community garden for cooking and socializing? Denver Urban Gardens can teach you how.

Grow Local Colorado

Feed your soul by helping Grow Local Colorado to cultivate city park gardens that provide produce for local food banks.

Local Food Shift

Keep up to date with the latest local food happenings by using Local Food Shift’s resource directory. 

Denver Farmers’ Markets

All around the Mile High City you’ll find an abundance of fresh produce, local fare and artisanal beverages at farmers’ markets. If you’re the type the prefers to enjoy culinary delights from your own kitchen here’s where you want to shop for the freshest ingredients:

Harry’s Urban Farmer’s Market

Hours: Saturdays, June-Sept. 10sm-2pm

Location: 2409 Arapahoe St

Right in the heart of downtown, Harry’s Urban Farmer’s Market features produce from farmers and local gardeners.

City Park Esplanade Fresh Market

Hours:Sundays, June-Oct. 9am-1pm

Location: E. Colfax Ave. and Columbine St.

Come by one of the longest running markets in the area for a relaxing Sunday escape.

The Farmers’ Market at Highland Square

Hours: Sundays, June-Oct. 9am-1pm

Location: 32nd Ave. and Lowell Blvd.

This is the spot to come if you want to enjoy craft beer, mimosas and live music while you shop.

Old South Pearl Farmers’ Market

Hours: Sundays, May-Nov. 9am-1pm

Location: 1500 Block of Old South Pearl St.

This farmers’ market is known for having some of the best baked goods alongside fresh produce.

Cherry Creek Farmers Market

Hours: Saturdays, May-Oct. 8am-1pm / Wednesdays, June-Sept. 9am-1pm

Location: 1st Ave. and University Blvd.

Get a taste of the largest farmers market in Denver. This award winning market also has live music, chef events and more.

Union Station Farmer’ Market

Hours: Saturdays, June-Oct. 9am-2pm

Location: Denver Union Station Plaza

This is the latest farmers market to open in the city, but it’s got everything from fresh meat to homemade sauces.

Grocery Shopping for Fresh Food in Denver

If you need groceries in the middle of the week so you don’t go hungry before the next farmers’ market you still have options for finding local food.

  • Go straight to the farm – The farmers that show up to the markets are more than happy to sell directly to customers at their farm.
  • Join a co-op – Co-op grocery stores are locally owned and carry a great selection of local food products.
  • Make a reservation at a farm-to-table restaurant – The list of restaurants that serve locally grown food is growing by the day.
  • Buy into a CSA – Community-supported agriculture (CSA) groups will deliver farm fresh foods to your door every week. Monroe Organic Farms is one to try in the Denver area for produce and eggs. 

Food That Denver Locals Are Known For

Every region has their own unique cuisine and specialties that set them apart from the rest of the world. Look for these locally grown foods whenever you’re at the market.

  • Honey
  • Canned Goods
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Tortillas
  • Quinoa
  • Corn
  • Millet
  • Whole wheat flour

In 2016 the City of Denver began developing a local food infrastructure for growing, processing, distribution and retailing fresh foods. Do your part by shopping and eating local every chance you get!

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