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Healthy Grocery Stores In Denver

Natural Grocers

Multiple locations in Colorado and several other states

I am starting with my go-to grocery store. There are several locations all over Denver and just about every area of Colorado. Everything at Natural Grocers is organic, which makes shopping healthily very easy. Every location is relatively small, and so it’s always a stress-free shopping experience. It has an extensive supplement section, bulk flour and seeds, healthy cookbooks, and a small packaged meal section. Most products are eco-friendly and sustainable as well. Some of my favorite things they carry are Honey Mama’s chocolate, Organic Girl lettuce, all of the organic produce literally everything, I love it. It’s also a bagless store! You can either bring your own, buy a reusable bag, or grab a card box from the bin by the registers.

Leever’s Locavore

2630 W. 38th Ave., Denver

This place is super, super cool. Only one location settled in Denver’s Highlands neighborhood; it has a 50s vibe with a modern twist. It’s got everything you’d ever need: local produce, a butcher, a sushi counter, pre-made salads and dips, take-out dine pizza, and beer. But also all of your grocery and household needs. It carries local Denver coffees, which makes it super unique, in my opinion. In addition, you can find local kombucha, beer, and other local food brands. It’s got quality herbs, supplements, and natural beauty care as well. And like I said, with the 50s vibe of the exterior, they even play old-school music in there as well. It’s a quality, exciting local grocery store.

Marczyk Fine Foods

770 E. 17th Ave. and 5100 E. Colfax Ave., Denver

Marczyk Fine Foods is the staple neighborhood market in Denver, with locations on 17th and East Colfax. It specializes in quality meats and seafood through its butcher counter. It also has a sandwich counter and a ton of in-house dips, roasted garlic, and specialties like chicken salad, southwest bean salad, pre-made sandwiches, and lots more. Also, they have a vast beer and wine section. One of the best aspects is their emphasis on local food makers like Bjorn’s Honey, Dar Chocolate, Copper Door Coffee, Sweet Action Ice Cream, and tons of local produce. It’s a great place to stop in and buy ingredients for a fancy dinner and don’t forget the wine (or kombucha if you don’t drink) and dessert.

Sprouts Farmers Market

Multiple locations in Colorado and several other states

Sprouts is a top grocery store in Colorado; it’s a relatively big store and a healthier alternative to King Soopers. It has an extensive bakery selection, pre-made meals, butcher, and sushi counter. It has a giant bulk candy and nut section, which is pretty cool. The produce section is about half organic, half not, so you’ll have to check the labels and signs. Its packaged food section is all pretty healthy. Whether you’re vegan, gluten-free, paleo, it has options for everyone. It has bulk coffee, eco-friendly household products, lots of CBD-infused products, and a supplement and clean beauty section. Sprouts is my second go-to after Natural Grocers.

3 Cafes with Excellent Avocado Toast

Yes, I’m a millennial, and yes, I love avocado toast. I suppose I’m a cliche but let’s be honest, avocado toast is one of the few luxuries we have these days. None of us can afford to have a kid or buy a house, so can you just let us enjoy our avocado toast? Anyways, here are a few places in and around Denver that serve great avo toast:

Thump Coffee

Photo by Thump Coffee

1201 E. 13th Ave. and 601 N. Broadway, Denver

Starting with my favorite, Thump Coffee which started in Bend, Oregon with two locations there and having expanded to Denver with two locations here, has insanely good toast. The bread is by Jackson’s Corner sourdough bread— aka you can taste the freshness and that it’s crafted with care and expertise. Then it’s coated with quality butter, smashed avocado, sea salt, and Aleppo crushed red pepper. It melts in your mouth  it’s so simple yet so flavorful. You can also add a poached egg, but I’d argue it’s better plain.

Alpine Modern Cafe

Photo by Alpine Modern

904 College Ave. and 1048 Pearl St., Boulder

I recently visited its College Avenue location, which I was drawn to by its beautiful facade and area with great views of the neighborhood and the Flatirons. Alpine Modern is just like its name  a modern, Nordic-style cafe. If you’re a lover of avocado toast, you must try this place. The menu consists of several varieties of tartine: prosciutto, smoked salmon, egg, nut butter, and of course, avocado. The avocado tartine is served with shaved radish, fresh dill, smoked paprika, and drizzled with a healthy serving of olive oil. Pair it with a CBD-infused coffee, and savor every last bite. 

Port Side

Photo by Bridget Douglas

2500 Larimer St., Denver

Port Side is one of the coffee shops in the hip RiNo neighborhood alongside Stowaway Kitchen, Crema, and Denver Central Market. It is a small space serving local Huckleberry Roasters coffee, quality lattes, and boozy drinks like mimosas and white Russians to go with your breakfast or lunch. And the food is the winner here with creative breakfast and lunch sandwiches, and more. The avocado toast is hearty and delicious, served on sourdough with lots of avocado smash and covered with radish and togarashi. It’s a must-try.

A Guide to Fried Chicken Sandwiches In Denver

I consider myself a pretty healthy eater, but I have my vices   fried chicken sandwiches being one of them. It’s strange because when I was a kid, I thought fried chicken, in general, to be gross. (One thing I’ve always disliked and will always dislike is hot dogs.) But nowadays, I’ve found fried chicken sandwiches to be one of my favorite things to eat when I’m feeling careless. Luckily, today there are many restaurants and even chains that source locally farmed chickens which are healthier for people and the environment. Rather than eating Popeye’s, KFC, or Chick-Fil-A, eating at local institutions that aren’t using factory-farmed chicken is a much better alternative.  So here is the lowdown on good quality chicken sandwiches, specifically in the city of Denver:

Birdcall

Photo by Bridget Douglas

Various Locations: Five Points, University & the Union Station Whole Foods, Denver

My love for hot chicken began at this lovely establishment. I live near one of the locations, so I’ve had it more times than I’d like to say. My take on Birdcall is a high-quality, futuristic fast food joint. You go in, and it has kiosks where you put in your order on the screen and pay there as well. Some would say that seems anti-social, but the employees there are amicable and helpful. But on to the sandwich, it has several varieties, but I’ve only ever had the Original and the Nashville Hot. Its base is a nice buttery aspen bun with dill or sweet pickles and some juicy, crispy chicken breast. The french fries are great, too  some might say similar to McDonald’s but way better quality. I will say, though, it’s not always perfectly served, but 95 percent of the time, it is. 

The Budlong

Photo by Bridget Douglas

81 S. Pennsylvania St., Denver

The Budlong started in Chicago, a long-established foodie city, and this eatery lives up to its foodie roots. The specialty at the Budlong is Nashville hot chicken featuring sandwiches, tenders, wings, and more. I had the coveted Hot Chicken sandwich (it’s perfect). It has the right amount of heat, a slather of its flavorful ‘comeback’ sauce, and a heap of coleslaw to cool it down. It comes on a brioche bun, too, which is always good.

Chicken Rebel

Photo by Chicken Rebel

3618 Tejon St., Denver

I have yet to try Chicken Rebel, but I’ve heard many good things. It started as a food truck regularly housed at Finn’s Manor, a bar with a back patio that houses a few food trucks. It gained such popularity that it got a spot as a vendor in Avanti F&B, one of Denver’s first food collectives with an amazing upstairs patio with great views of the city. After a few month’s stint there, they decided to open their own brick-and-mortar location. It’s an all-out restaurant with a full bar and wait service. Its chicken sandwiches are unique because they are beer-battered and come in several creative variations like the Hometown Rebel with bacon, guacamole, and its ‘rebel’ sauce. You bet your bottom dollar I’m going to be trying this soon.

Lou’s Hot and Naked

Photo by Bridget Douglas

701 Grant St. and Denver Milk Market, 1800 Wazee St., Denver

Denver chef Frank Bonnano owns several restaurants in the city and recently opened a big downtown food hall near Union Station. The Denver Milk Market is grandiose with tons of food vendors, bars, a pasta maker, a butcher, and more. One of the food stalls is Lou’s Hot and Naked, which was inspired by a trip Bonnano made to Nashville trying all of the city’s infamous hot chicken. Milk Market is a lively and fun place  I went and, of course, had to try the hot chicken. I got the ‘Lou’s sandwich,’ which is just a potato roll, crispy chicken breast, and pickles — you can request naked, medium, or hot; I got the hot. It was solid, definitely the most like Chick-Fil-A, but slightly better. This past summer, it also opened a separate brick and mortar, Lou’s Food Bar in Capitol Hill. 

Lucky Bird

Photo by Bridget Douglas

Edgewater Public Market, 5505 W. 20th Ave., Edgewater

Denver’s newest food hall and the largest one in the city, Edgewater Public Market, is home to tons of unique food stalls. It has everything from Ethiopian to lobster rolls  and a fried chicken spot  Lucky Bird. It started as a food truck and still is, but has now expanded to have a physical space at the Edgewater hall. It’s not your average chicken; it has an Asian twist, though it does have some standard American offerings. I ordered the Spicy Bird, which comes on a potato bun with a healthy-sized fried chicken breast, gochujang butter, and house pickles. Gochujang is a Korean chili paste that is both sweet and spicy. If you enjoy Asian or Korean flavors, I would recommend, if not, try the Big Bird with mustard slaw and cheddar.

7 Witchy Shops In Denver

When it comes to witches and witchcraft, many of us think of the Salem witch trials, the movie Hocus Pocus and the evil queen in Snow White. Witches are associated with Halloween and the dark side, but in reality, most witches use their practices and spirituality for good, not bad. 

In our modern culture, practicing witchcraft can mean many things: tarot, palmistry, meditation, art, astrology, holistic medicine, making potions, crystal healing, and more. The ultimate meaning is about employing plants, herbs, rocks, and other elements to shift energy to manifest change. 

I’ve rounded up seven beautiful shops in the Denver area that celebrate witchcraft, whether wholly or partially. There are a few other shops in the city that I’m not listing; this list speaks to me authentically. If you’re interested in the occult or just pretty things, you should check out these shops:

Arcana Herbal

Photo by Arcana Herbal

2836 W. 44th Ave., Denver

A cute little space in the Sunnyside neighborhood houses an occult apothecary run by three women. Open four days a week, making it an even more sought out place to check it out, it is full of handmade goods produced by the shop owners. Here you can find beautiful candles made with essential oils, herbs, and flowers — and bath salts like the Black Moon Lilith made with charcoal, rose, and cypress. In addition, it has soaps, smelling salts, herbal teas, and more. Often the shop holds events like its ‘Tarot and Tinsel,‘ which is a day of tarot readings and getting tinsel put in your hair. Check out their Instagram to stay updated on events and new products. 

Alchemy Ritual Goods

Photo by Alchemy Ritual Goods

2536 Champa St., Denver

In an unassuming residential spot on Champa, a few blocks from the RiNo district, Alchemy Ritual Goods is the cozy little magic shop of dreams. Alchemy means transforming essential metals like lead into gold, so essentially it’s magic. The goods and services offered here are meant to make you a more enchanted, whole being. Here, you can find tarot decks, crystals, incense, candles, books, homemade herbal kits, and more. On top of that, it has a weekly schedule of readings (walk-in or call) ranging from tarot to ancestral medicine to spiritual readings — and even hand poke tattoos on Fridays

The Terrorium Shop

Photo by Bridget Douglas

3611 W. 49th Ave., Denver

Denver is home to many plant shops, some more unique than others. A few blocks the Regis University and around the bin from the popular Noshery bakery and cafe  is The Terrorium Shop. The owners are a husband and wife duo who have blended their gardening and taxidermy hobbies into a business. Terroriums are glass bowls filled with sand or soil, succulents, plants, and other objects. Here, the majority of them have a tiny skull inside them from animals like foxes, raccoons, and more. You can also find floral arrangements, individual plants  and ‘preserved mini worlds’ with things like bones and preserved beetles and butterflies. If you’re into this stuff, it also offers several terrorium and taxidermy classes.

Ritualcravt

Photo by Ritualcravt

7700 W. 44th Ave., Wheat Ridge

Ritualcravt is THE witch shop in Denver. All the shops I’m listing have some elements relating to the occult  but this place is ALL about witchcraft. Once in a small space in Denver, it has now moved to a bigger space full of all the metaphysical goods you could ever need. It has books, tarot cards, incense, crystals, candles, oils, soaps, and all kinds of oddities. Everything is very well curated, meaning it is majority handmade and ethically sourced. In addition, it hosts events several times a week relating to different aspects of witchcraft, such as moon rituals, ancestral healing, working with herbs, and more. 

Spirit Ways

Photo by SpiritWays Metaphysical Shop

3301 E. Colfax Ave., Denver

In the heart of East Colfax, near the Bluebird Theater and several bars and restaurants, is a charming, bright, mystical shop  Spirit Ways. You can’t miss this spot with its colorful decorations in the windows. It’s chock full of stones and crystals, incense, candles, oils, books, and tarot cards. In addition, it has jewelry, clothing, accessories, journals, cards, pottery, archangel, and goddess figurines. It’s a fun place to walk around and gawk at all the pretty stuff. Tarot readings are offered almost daily as well as other services such as reiki and guided shamanic meditation. 

Apothecary Tinctura

Photo by Apothecary Tinctura

2900 E. 6th Ave., Denver

If you’re an aspiring herbalist, whether for health or witchy potion-making — Apothecary Tinctura is the place. This herbal shop has been around for over 20 years as both a shop and clinic, helping clients heal their ailments through a holistic approach. Here, you can find bulk herbs from A to Z as well as tons of herbal tinctures. In addition, handmade essential oils, herbal extracts  and a section full of healthy chocolate bars and tarot cards. It holds workshops weekly about different topics around health and spirituality. Be a healthy witch, folks.

Rosehouse Botanicals

Photo by Rosehouse

14 S. Broadway, Denver

One of the first shops I ever stepped foot in in Denver is Rosehouse Botanicals, and it’s still one of my favorites. In the heart of South Broadway/Baker, surrounded by thrift stores and bars, is this gorgeous little shop. The colorful exterior and the plants in the window draw you in, and inside, it’s full of beautiful plants and a magical witchy vibe. It is an apothecary and botanical shop with a large selection of home and garden plants ranging from succulents to orchids to medicinal plants. In addition, it offers handmade teas, green beauty products, terrariums, and other goods. It hosts many events, and the owners even have a plant podcast called Up the Plants. It has a resident black cat as well.