FOR A QUICK LUNCH: Makan Malaysian Cafe
At this South Pearl Street gem, try the Murtabok, a flat bread filled with meat, cabbage, and onions; the Siu Mai, or Malaysian steamed pork dumplings; and the Laksa, noodles in a spicy coconut broth with tofu and fish.
FOR DINNER: La Chiva
Jorge Aguirre, chef-owner of the popular Colombian food truck of the same name, has brought the flavors of his native country to South Broadway. Diners should start with the Leña Frita — fried yuca served with aji casero, lime, and garlic sauce — then follow it up with a Colombian classic, the Arepa Andina — fried corn masa pockets filled with chorizo, chicken, chicharron, or pulled pork. Wash it down with a refajo, the Colombian version of a shandy.
FOR DRINKS: The Way Back
Denverites are clamoring to welcome the newly reopened Way Back, relocated and expanded in the Berkeley neighborhood. With cozy booths and vintage floral wallpaper, the vibe is playful yet sultry. Helmed by Chad Michael George, a veteran behind the bar and president of the Colorado Bartenders Guild, the cocktail menu features whimsical new inventions. Try the Fluffer, a blend of Tequila Ocho, Aperol, and Rocky Mountain Orange Cream Soda.
FOR BRUNCH: The Empress Seafood Restaurant
This dim-sum staple offers a virtual trip to Hong Kong just off Federal Boulevard. Roaming carts serve shrimp dumplings, sesame balls, spare ribs, meat buns, spring rolls, and every other dish that makes brunchers’ dreams come true. It’s a great way to nosh and share with friends, Best of all, each item runs between $2 and $3, so guests can fill up for under $15.
ALL DAY: Maria Empanada
Is there ever a bad time for a hot pocket of savory fillings wrapped in flaky pastry? With locations all over the city, it’s easy to get a hold of some authentic Argentine-style empanadas, and they’re open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Each of the hand pies are sealed with a different technique according to what’s inside. See fillings such as ham and cheese, caprese, and beef.
Note: An earlier version of this article included Post Oak Hall, which is closed for the month of March.