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Around the World in 10 Dishes: Stuffed Buns & Pastries Edition

Exploring the global food scene on the Front Range, dish by dish.

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In honor of Cheap Eats Week, here's a roundup of 10 stuffed breads, buns, and pastries not only as satisfying as anything else you could put in your mouth today, but also found at a really great deal.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Azitra

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(303) 465-4444
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Samosas
The fried tricorn pastries known to most Americans as samosas actually have their roots in the Middle East and appear by various names from Ethiopia to China. Still, India gets most of the credit for spreading their gospel worldwide. In addition to making fine flatbreads, this stylish suburban sanctuary gives its version of the crunchy-shelled snack a sharp twist, adding craisins to its soft, fragrantly savory potato-and-lentil filling for a sweet-tart kick ($6).

2. Buchi Cafe Cubano

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2651 W 38th Ave
Denver, CO 80211
(303) 458-1328
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Pasteles
Humans have yet to devise a more civilized ritual than the afternoon coffee-and-pastry break; Cuba’s version—a shot of sugared espresso alongside one of the flaky turnovers known as pasteles, oozing guava paste and cream cheese ($2.25)—is among the sweetest in every respect.

3. Dad & Dude's Breweria

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6730 S Cornerstar Way Ste D
Centennial, CO 80016
(303) 400-5699
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Stromboli
Basically a cylindrical calzone (see next item), the stromboli has its roots in Italian-American kitchens—so the fact that this Aurora brewpub slices its version up into what it calls “bombers” and serves them with ranch dressing as well as marinara is entirely in the spirit of immigrant ingenuity. Besides, wrapped in the house spent-grain dough, they’re just plain delicious (and, yes, cheap: $5 for a small basket, $8 for a large).

4. Dolce Sicilia Italian Bakery

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3210 Wadsworth Blvd
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
(303) 233-3755
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Calzoni
Much as New Yorkers like to think they invented the folded-over pizza slice, the calzone (which is essentially the same thing) hails from the southern Italian region of Campagna, just like pizza itself. At this old-school Wheat Ridge pasticceria, the fat yet thin-crusted pocket pies come stuffed to bursting with spinach and ricotta or sausage and provolone, plus onions, peppers and mushrooms; they also come with extra marinara for dipping. All that and a bag of chips, literally, will run you $7.50.

5. Jamaican Grill

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708 W. 8th Ave
Denver, CO 80204
(303) 623-0013
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Patties
Pattie, pattee, pate: across town (as well as the islands themselves) you’ll encounter these Caribbean pies by variously spelled names. But the result is the same—crumbly rather than tender golden-yellow shells filled with beef, cheese, chicken and/or veggies, plus plenty of curry spice. The $4 beef versions go quick at this laid-back charmer on the edge of the Santa Fe Art District, so come for lunch if your heart's set on 'em.

6. Maria Empanada

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1298 S Broadway
Denver, CO 80210
www.mariaempanada.com/
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Empanadas
We all have those blind spots en route to mastering the Denver dining scene. If this adorable Argentine bakery is in yours—you know it’s there, but you just haven’t quite been able to see your way to it—it’s time for an eye-opening experience in the form of Lorena Cantarovici’s beautifully hand-crafted and hand-held pies. Stuffed with the likes of a three cheese-mushroom blend or eggplant parmesan, they couldn’t taste more luxurious for a lower price (less than $4 apiece).

7. Omonoia Greek Bakery

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2813 E Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80206
(303) 394-9333
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Spanakopita
Far too often, Greece’s famous spinach-and-feta triangles arrive limp and soggy or dry and stale; phyllo dough, after all, is as tough to work with as it is delicate to eat. But when they’re done right, the salty-rich and tender results earn their reputation—and this City Park longtime not only does them right, it charges mere pocket change for them.

8. The Pasty Republic

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4166 Tennyson St
Denver, CO 80212
(303) 455-3558
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Cornish pasties
Since the obvious answer to “what could be better than cheeseburgers, chicken pot pies or S’mores?” is “cheeseburgers, chicken pot pies or S’mores encased entirely in pastry dough for $8.50 or less,” this Berkeley shop serves just that, along with more traditionally English fillings like steak and potato or lamb with mint.

9. Super Star Asian Cuisine

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2200 W Alameda Ave
Denver, CO 80223
(303) 727-9889
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Gai mei bao
We’d take comforting Cantonese coconut buns—a sticky-soft, not-too-sweet dim sum staple—over fancy French pastries any day, not least because they're half the price (about $3 each).

10. Suvipa Thai

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Curry puffs
To reward yourself for ordering something as healthy as Suvipa’s glass-noodle salad with shrimp, why not get a curry puff or two on the side? Whether stuffed with sweetened, mashed taro root and sesame seeds or potatoes and onions, they’ll only set you back less than $2 (and a few hundred totally worth-it calories) a pop.

1. Azitra

Broomfield, CO
Samosas
The fried tricorn pastries known to most Americans as samosas actually have their roots in the Middle East and appear by various names from Ethiopia to China. Still, India gets most of the credit for spreading their gospel worldwide. In addition to making fine flatbreads, this stylish suburban sanctuary gives its version of the crunchy-shelled snack a sharp twist, adding craisins to its soft, fragrantly savory potato-and-lentil filling for a sweet-tart kick ($6).

2. Buchi Cafe Cubano

2651 W 38th Ave, Denver, CO 80211
Pasteles
Humans have yet to devise a more civilized ritual than the afternoon coffee-and-pastry break; Cuba’s version—a shot of sugared espresso alongside one of the flaky turnovers known as pasteles, oozing guava paste and cream cheese ($2.25)—is among the sweetest in every respect.
2651 W 38th Ave
Denver, CO 80211

3. Dad & Dude's Breweria

6730 S Cornerstar Way Ste D, Centennial, CO 80016
Stromboli
Basically a cylindrical calzone (see next item), the stromboli has its roots in Italian-American kitchens—so the fact that this Aurora brewpub slices its version up into what it calls “bombers” and serves them with ranch dressing as well as marinara is entirely in the spirit of immigrant ingenuity. Besides, wrapped in the house spent-grain dough, they’re just plain delicious (and, yes, cheap: $5 for a small basket, $8 for a large).
6730 S Cornerstar Way Ste D
Centennial, CO 80016

4. Dolce Sicilia Italian Bakery

3210 Wadsworth Blvd, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
Calzoni
Much as New Yorkers like to think they invented the folded-over pizza slice, the calzone (which is essentially the same thing) hails from the southern Italian region of Campagna, just like pizza itself. At this old-school Wheat Ridge pasticceria, the fat yet thin-crusted pocket pies come stuffed to bursting with spinach and ricotta or sausage and provolone, plus onions, peppers and mushrooms; they also come with extra marinara for dipping. All that and a bag of chips, literally, will run you $7.50.
3210 Wadsworth Blvd
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033

5. Jamaican Grill

708 W. 8th Ave, Denver, CO 80204
Patties
Pattie, pattee, pate: across town (as well as the islands themselves) you’ll encounter these Caribbean pies by variously spelled names. But the result is the same—crumbly rather than tender golden-yellow shells filled with beef, cheese, chicken and/or veggies, plus plenty of curry spice. The $4 beef versions go quick at this laid-back charmer on the edge of the Santa Fe Art District, so come for lunch if your heart's set on 'em.
708 W. 8th Ave
Denver, CO 80204

6. Maria Empanada

1298 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80210
Empanadas
We all have those blind spots en route to mastering the Denver dining scene. If this adorable Argentine bakery is in yours—you know it’s there, but you just haven’t quite been able to see your way to it—it’s time for an eye-opening experience in the form of Lorena Cantarovici’s beautifully hand-crafted and hand-held pies. Stuffed with the likes of a three cheese-mushroom blend or eggplant parmesan, they couldn’t taste more luxurious for a lower price (less than $4 apiece).
1298 S Broadway
Denver, CO 80210

7. Omonoia Greek Bakery

2813 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206
Spanakopita
Far too often, Greece’s famous spinach-and-feta triangles arrive limp and soggy or dry and stale; phyllo dough, after all, is as tough to work with as it is delicate to eat. But when they’re done right, the salty-rich and tender results earn their reputation—and this City Park longtime not only does them right, it charges mere pocket change for them.
2813 E Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80206

8. The Pasty Republic

4166 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212
Cornish pasties
Since the obvious answer to “what could be better than cheeseburgers, chicken pot pies or S’mores?” is “cheeseburgers, chicken pot pies or S’mores encased entirely in pastry dough for $8.50 or less,” this Berkeley shop serves just that, along with more traditionally English fillings like steak and potato or lamb with mint.
4166 Tennyson St
Denver, CO 80212

9. Super Star Asian Cuisine

2200 W Alameda Ave, Denver, CO 80223
Gai mei bao
We’d take comforting Cantonese coconut buns—a sticky-soft, not-too-sweet dim sum staple—over fancy French pastries any day, not least because they're half the price (about $3 each).
2200 W Alameda Ave
Denver, CO 80223

10. Suvipa Thai

Denver, CO 80219
Curry puffs
To reward yourself for ordering something as healthy as Suvipa’s glass-noodle salad with shrimp, why not get a curry puff or two on the side? Whether stuffed with sweetened, mashed taro root and sesame seeds or potatoes and onions, they’ll only set you back less than $2 (and a few hundred totally worth-it calories) a pop.

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