Kinga’s Lounge is a laid-back and cozy place that serves some of Denver’s most authentic Polish food. An unassuming entrance right off of busy Colfax avenue leads directly into a dim, wooded bar, with a pool table and, past that, a small number of tables for dining, made for a cozy location for one of The Same Plate’s cultural food experiences.
Most charming about the restaurant is the fact that it was built in an old historic mansion, specifically the old Colmar mansion built in 1889 and throughout it’s time was home to a number of influential historical figures that influenced Denver as it developed. Now, it’s grown with the times and serves as a popular late night watering hole, and even features an Escape Room experience for those who are interested.
We went on relatively early on a Sunday night and had few others to share the space with, which we didn’t mind. We sat in their seated dining area just off from thar bar, at a dark wood table, with a wooden bench and wooden chairs, all of with added to the low-maintenance vibe of the space.
We took our time ordering drinks and ultimately decided on the most Eastern European beers on the menu [expand]
For food, we all opted for some version of Pieorgis and Kielbasa and at the end of the meal all of us were completely satisfied. For a low maintenance bar on busy east Colfax, Kinga’s Lounge was a genuinely authentic and surprisingly delicious way to spend a Sunday evening.
Denver’s Globeville neighborhood was originally settled in the late 1880s, and many of the early smelting and refining company workers were Eastern European immigrants, including Poles. Prior to more official settlement in Globeville, more than a dozen had come to Denver during the 1859 Gold Rush. However, “the Globeville Poles were nevertheless the first to come to the area from partitioned Poland as part of the so-called economic immigration, which brought millions of European immigrants to the United States between the end of the Civil War and 1914.”
Fast forward to modern-day Denver and now Poles make up an estimated 2% of immigrants who report European ancestry and as a result Denver has a somewhat underground but well-established Polish population that has laid down it’s roots through churches, markets and, of course, restaurants.
We’ve already mentioned Kinga’s Lounge.
Belvedere is an elegant Eastern European restaurant with a number of Polish offerings.
Polished Tavern is a light night spot well reputed for their food offerings and vodka cocktails.
If you’re looking to try to make some Polish specialities at home, there are a couple of markets around town that can help with the supplies:
Visit these links to stay in the know about yearly Polish food and culture festivals:
Polish Club of Denver event calendar
And stay on the lookout for the Pierogies Factory Food Truck cruising around Denver city streets!