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French onion soup in crockery
LeRoux’s French onion soup.
Savanna Ronco (LeRoux)

13 Soups to Try on Snowy Denver Days

Where to slurp when the weather outside is frightful

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LeRoux’s French onion soup.
| Savanna Ronco (LeRoux)

Long autumns are a perk of life on the Front Range — but when winter finally comes, it comes hard. And the 2020 season looks especially bleak as of November 20, given the announcement that restaurants must once again cease dining-room operations to rely on outdoor, takeout, and delivery service only.

While a warming bowl of soup can only do so much to stave off either the cold or the closure of favorite kitchens, it certainly travels well, which makes it an obvious choice for those looking to soothe their souls and support local businesses at the same time. Stretching from Boulder to Aurora, here are 13 places to fight the good fight — as well as the frost — with a spoon.

(Note that ramen, pho, and green chile have been excluded on the grounds that they’re categories unto themselves, warranting lists of their own. But suggestions for other top soup spots can be left in the comments — or send us a tip.)

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Little Tibet | Restaurant & Bar

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Here’s a charming change of pace from ramen and pho: Tibetan thenthuk. Featuring hand-pulled flat noodles and a choice of beef or chicken, it also seemingly contains at least half the servings of vegetables the USDA requires in a day — including spinach, bok choy, radishes, and scallions.

Bowl of beef-noodle soup
Thenthuk is a hearty Tibetan noodle soup.
Ruth Tobias

That New Mexican native Hosea Rosenberg’s red chile posole has been on Santo’s menu since day one is a testament to just how craveable it is. With or without the addition of pork adovada, it’s smoky, tangy, and chewy with hominy beneath garnishes of radish, avocado, and cabbage, accompanied by flour tortillas.

Bowl of posole with avocado and radish
Santo’s red chile posole comes with flour tortillas and optional pork adovada.
Jonathan Phillips/Eater

Cracovia Polish-American Restaurant & Bar

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Beets, pickles, sauerkraut, potatoes, and all, roots and fermented vegetables give the soups at one of metro Denver’s only Polish restaurants their earthy, tangy, often refreshingly sour savor. Any one of them, plus a plate of pierogi or kielbasa, makes for the ultimate belly-warming lunch come winter.

To-go containers of Polish food, including soup, sausage, and mashed potatoes
Cracovia’s pickle and sauerkraut soups to go, along with blood sausage and mashed potatoes.
Ruth Tobias

Rosenberg's Bagels & Delicatessen (Five Points)

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Brimming with nostalgia as well as onion, celery, carrots, and herbs, Rosenberg’s matzoh ball soup is the real homey deal — from the fluffy dumplings to the broth made from whole, locally raised chicken. There may be no cure for the common cold, but this is as close as it gets.

Matzoh ball floating in soup
Rosenberg’s matzoh ball soup comes with one or two balls.
Ruth Tobias

Stoic & Genuine

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Clam chowder is all about balance: neither too thin nor too thick, with just the right amount of sweetness from the shellfish and salt from the pork. The crew at Jennifer Jasinski and Beth Gruitch’s Union Station seafood spot knows how it’s done — and the same goes for a side of cast-iron cornbread.

Bowl of clam chowder with oyster crackers
Stoic & Genuine’s clam chowder with bacon, potatoes, and chives.
Stoic & Genuine

Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar - LoDo

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While a dark roux loaded with roasted okra, green pepper, onion, and celery is the soul of Jax’s gumbo, Louisiana crawfish and andouille sausage are its heart. Velvety and deeply savory, it goes down easy on its own, but it’s also available atop fries during happy hour — which beat spoons any day, as edible utensils go.

Gumbo in a wide-brimmed bowl
Gumbo is a longtime staple at Jax.
Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar

You can’t have French onion–soup dumplings without French onion soup. Seeing as how Lon Symensma’s famous for the former at ChoLon, it only makes sense that he’s perfected the art of the latter, in all its bubbling cheese- and crouton-topped glory, next door at LeRoux.

Crock of French onion soup with a spoon
LeRoux’s French onion soup
Savanna Ronco (LeRoux)

9 Thai Restaurant

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The moo tom yum this cute little Thai cafe in Hale serves up is as exhilaratingly spicy as its red-hot hue suggests. But it’s also chock-full of goodies to enrich, brighten, and otherwise balance the flavor, including rice noodles, marinated pork, fish balls, egg, bean sprouts, peanuts, and scallions. 

Noodle soup with pork and fish balls
9 Thai’s moo tom yum.
Ruth Tobias/Eater

City O' City

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While curried carrot soup might be this Cap Hill herbivore hub’s calling card, it’s usually got a seasonal stew or two going too —  maybe vegetarian chili, udon noodles with tofu, or the cult favorite kimchi stew.

Bowl of chili with bread
Veggie chili at City O’ City.
City O’ City/Facebook

Melita's Greek Cafe & Market

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It may not win any beauty contests, but the avgolemono at this Golden Triangle fixture could easily contend for the title of Best Personality. Richly textured with plenty of rice and shreds of chicken, it’s also as bright and sunny with lemon juice as its name indicates, bringing some cheer to dreary winter days.

Chicken-rice soup in bowl with crackers
Avgolemono is a classic Greek soup made with chicken, rice, egg, and lemon.
Ruth Tobias/Eater

Tarascos Mexican restaurant

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This Federal Boulevard favorite has long been known for two things: Michoacán-style Mexican cuisine on the one hand, vegetarian-friendliness on the other. The signature sopa Tarasca exemplifies both, with a super-smooth and creamy pinto-bean base plus an abundance of queso fresco and tortilla strips to mix into it.

Bowl of bean soup with roasted cactus, salsa, and lime
Sopa Tarasca with a side of nopales asados (roasted cactus).
Ruth Tobias/Eater

Vert Kitchen

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Though the menu at this sustainability-focused daytime cafe changes seasonally, it always boasts a solid selection of soups. Current options include turkey and wild rice laced with cream, Sherry, and almonds; vegan mushroom bisque with potatoes; and classic tomato — a particularly powerful elixir on cold days, sprinkled with parmesan and parsley.

A photo of a roasted turkey sandwich and a cup of tomato soup from Vert Kitchen
A roasted turkey sandwich and a cup of tomato soup from Vert Kitchen
Vert Kitchen [Official]

Silla Restaurant

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The soup selection at this cozy Korean longtimer in an Aurora strip mall goes on and on, from the mild, milky, and thoroughly comforting tuk gook laden with chewy rice cakes to gamjatang, a rich pork soup featuring pork neck bones and potatoes. Short ribs, codfish, dumplings, kimchi, tofu, blood sausage — whatever the itch, Silla likely has a soup to scratch it.

Bowl of rice cake soup with seaweed on top
Silla’s tuk gook, or rice cake soup.
Ruth Tobias/Eater

Little Tibet | Restaurant & Bar

Bowl of beef-noodle soup
Thenthuk is a hearty Tibetan noodle soup.
Ruth Tobias

Here’s a charming change of pace from ramen and pho: Tibetan thenthuk. Featuring hand-pulled flat noodles and a choice of beef or chicken, it also seemingly contains at least half the servings of vegetables the USDA requires in a day — including spinach, bok choy, radishes, and scallions.

Bowl of beef-noodle soup
Thenthuk is a hearty Tibetan noodle soup.
Ruth Tobias

Santo

Bowl of posole with avocado and radish
Santo’s red chile posole comes with flour tortillas and optional pork adovada.
Jonathan Phillips/Eater

That New Mexican native Hosea Rosenberg’s red chile posole has been on Santo’s menu since day one is a testament to just how craveable it is. With or without the addition of pork adovada, it’s smoky, tangy, and chewy with hominy beneath garnishes of radish, avocado, and cabbage, accompanied by flour tortillas.

Bowl of posole with avocado and radish
Santo’s red chile posole comes with flour tortillas and optional pork adovada.
Jonathan Phillips/Eater

Cracovia Polish-American Restaurant & Bar

To-go containers of Polish food, including soup, sausage, and mashed potatoes
Cracovia’s pickle and sauerkraut soups to go, along with blood sausage and mashed potatoes.
Ruth Tobias

Beets, pickles, sauerkraut, potatoes, and all, roots and fermented vegetables give the soups at one of metro Denver’s only Polish restaurants their earthy, tangy, often refreshingly sour savor. Any one of them, plus a plate of pierogi or kielbasa, makes for the ultimate belly-warming lunch come winter.

To-go containers of Polish food, including soup, sausage, and mashed potatoes
Cracovia’s pickle and sauerkraut soups to go, along with blood sausage and mashed potatoes.
Ruth Tobias

Rosenberg's Bagels & Delicatessen (Five Points)

Matzoh ball floating in soup
Rosenberg’s matzoh ball soup comes with one or two balls.
Ruth Tobias

Brimming with nostalgia as well as onion, celery, carrots, and herbs, Rosenberg’s matzoh ball soup is the real homey deal — from the fluffy dumplings to the broth made from whole, locally raised chicken. There may be no cure for the common cold, but this is as close as it gets.

Matzoh ball floating in soup
Rosenberg’s matzoh ball soup comes with one or two balls.
Ruth Tobias

Stoic & Genuine

Bowl of clam chowder with oyster crackers
Stoic & Genuine’s clam chowder with bacon, potatoes, and chives.
Stoic & Genuine

Clam chowder is all about balance: neither too thin nor too thick, with just the right amount of sweetness from the shellfish and salt from the pork. The crew at Jennifer Jasinski and Beth Gruitch’s Union Station seafood spot knows how it’s done — and the same goes for a side of cast-iron cornbread.

Bowl of clam chowder with oyster crackers
Stoic & Genuine’s clam chowder with bacon, potatoes, and chives.
Stoic & Genuine

Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar - LoDo

Gumbo in a wide-brimmed bowl
Gumbo is a longtime staple at Jax.
Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar

While a dark roux loaded with roasted okra, green pepper, onion, and celery is the soul of Jax’s gumbo, Louisiana crawfish and andouille sausage are its heart. Velvety and deeply savory, it goes down easy on its own, but it’s also available atop fries during happy hour — which beat spoons any day, as edible utensils go.

Gumbo in a wide-brimmed bowl
Gumbo is a longtime staple at Jax.
Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar

LeRoux

Crock of French onion soup with a spoon
LeRoux’s French onion soup
Savanna Ronco (LeRoux)

You can’t have French onion–soup dumplings without French onion soup. Seeing as how Lon Symensma’s famous for the former at ChoLon, it only makes sense that he’s perfected the art of the latter, in all its bubbling cheese- and crouton-topped glory, next door at LeRoux.

Crock of French onion soup with a spoon
LeRoux’s French onion soup
Savanna Ronco (LeRoux)

9 Thai Restaurant

Noodle soup with pork and fish balls
9 Thai’s moo tom yum.
Ruth Tobias/Eater

The moo tom yum this cute little Thai cafe in Hale serves up is as exhilaratingly spicy as its red-hot hue suggests. But it’s also chock-full of goodies to enrich, brighten, and otherwise balance the flavor, including rice noodles, marinated pork, fish balls, egg, bean sprouts, peanuts, and scallions. 

Noodle soup with pork and fish balls
9 Thai’s moo tom yum.
Ruth Tobias/Eater

City O' City

Bowl of chili with bread
Veggie chili at City O’ City.
City O’ City/Facebook

While curried carrot soup might be this Cap Hill herbivore hub’s calling card, it’s usually got a seasonal stew or two going too —  maybe vegetarian chili, udon noodles with tofu, or the cult favorite kimchi stew.

Bowl of chili with bread
Veggie chili at City O’ City.
City O’ City/Facebook

Melita's Greek Cafe & Market

Chicken-rice soup in bowl with crackers
Avgolemono is a classic Greek soup made with chicken, rice, egg, and lemon.
Ruth Tobias/Eater

It may not win any beauty contests, but the avgolemono at this Golden Triangle fixture could easily contend for the title of Best Personality. Richly textured with plenty of rice and shreds of chicken, it’s also as bright and sunny with lemon juice as its name indicates, bringing some cheer to dreary winter days.

Chicken-rice soup in bowl with crackers
Avgolemono is a classic Greek soup made with chicken, rice, egg, and lemon.
Ruth Tobias/Eater

Tarascos Mexican restaurant

Bowl of bean soup with roasted cactus, salsa, and lime
Sopa Tarasca with a side of nopales asados (roasted cactus).
Ruth Tobias/Eater

This Federal Boulevard favorite has long been known for two things: Michoacán-style Mexican cuisine on the one hand, vegetarian-friendliness on the other. The signature sopa Tarasca exemplifies both, with a super-smooth and creamy pinto-bean base plus an abundance of queso fresco and tortilla strips to mix into it.

Bowl of bean soup with roasted cactus, salsa, and lime
Sopa Tarasca with a side of nopales asados (roasted cactus).
Ruth Tobias/Eater

Vert Kitchen

A photo of a roasted turkey sandwich and a cup of tomato soup from Vert Kitchen
A roasted turkey sandwich and a cup of tomato soup from Vert Kitchen
Vert Kitchen [Official]

Though the menu at this sustainability-focused daytime cafe changes seasonally, it always boasts a solid selection of soups. Current options include turkey and wild rice laced with cream, Sherry, and almonds; vegan mushroom bisque with potatoes; and classic tomato — a particularly powerful elixir on cold days, sprinkled with parmesan and parsley.

A photo of a roasted turkey sandwich and a cup of tomato soup from Vert Kitchen
A roasted turkey sandwich and a cup of tomato soup from Vert Kitchen
Vert Kitchen [Official]

Silla Restaurant

Bowl of rice cake soup with seaweed on top
Silla’s tuk gook, or rice cake soup.
Ruth Tobias/Eater

The soup selection at this cozy Korean longtimer in an Aurora strip mall goes on and on, from the mild, milky, and thoroughly comforting tuk gook laden with chewy rice cakes to gamjatang, a rich pork soup featuring pork neck bones and potatoes. Short ribs, codfish, dumplings, kimchi, tofu, blood sausage — whatever the itch, Silla likely has a soup to scratch it.

Bowl of rice cake soup with seaweed on top
Silla’s tuk gook, or rice cake soup.
Ruth Tobias/Eater

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