Brunch: The Empress (2825 West Alameda Avenue)
A block off of Federal, dim sum is served all day, every day here. Servers wheel carts of piping hot dumplings, ribs in black bean sauce, sesame balls, and more in an endless parade of bite-sized Chinese delicacies.
Pastries: San Antonio Fresh Mexican Bakery & Juice Bar (2007 South Federal Boulevard)
Grab a plastic cafeteria tray and some tongs and sample any of the myriad traditional Mexican pastries. The smell of freshly baked Bolillo rolls is in the air, and case after case of treats awaits, from fruit-filled empanadas to palmiers, conchas, and churros. There’s even pan de muerto for El Dia de los Muertos.
Drinks: Lollicup (1046 South Federal Boulevard)
Here’s a stop for Tawainese-style boba teas, with fruity flavors like mango, lychee, and watermelon, plus Thai tea, jasmine tea, and Royal Milk tea.
Lunch: Pupuseria San Salvador (4385 South Federal Boulevard)
Salvadoran food can be hard to come by in Denver, but the owner, operator, and cook at this tiny bolthole of a restaurant serves pupusas (round corn pancake-pockets stuffed with savory ingredients) daily. The variety changes, but expect stuffings like refried beans and cheese and chicharron (in this case finely chopped pork rather than pork cracklings). This place is cash only.
Ice Cream: La Oaxaqueña Helados y Paletas (3060 West Mississippi Avenue)
This ice cream shop features Oaxacan-style treats in flavors found south of the border, like elote (corn), aguacate (avocado), chicle (bubble gum), queso (cheese), tequila, coconut, and mamey. They also sell fresh-cut fruit cups typically found at Mexican street carts.