One of my favorite things to do in Denver is to go to ethnic markets and Denver has many of them!
It doesn’t matter whether you need to get items on your list for a recipe or if you are just browsing…it is a very interesting experience. I normally go with an open mind instead of an agenda because it is a lot more relaxing to just go and see what happens instead of feeling pressure to get some exotic item…and perhaps experience disappointment if you leave empty handed.
I remember taking my mother on a tour of Middle Eastern Markets to experience the many different spices that she was interested in and she was thrilled!
She always wanted to cook with a hard to get spice called saffron...which is not always easy to find and can be pretty expensive when you find it. So we set out to go to the International Markets on the East Side…now I know Markets In Denver very well and my mother had moved out to the country many years ago and well before Denver had any Middle Easter Markets. In Denver if you want to discover the markets for Middle Eastern food you have to go to the east side.
Starting at Colorado Boulevard and Evans we went to the Jerusalem Market a clean and comfortable store that is in a great location…but a busy location because even though the intersection is easy to find you can ride right by if you are not careful but if you know it is on the North East corner you will be okay.
The first thing you notice when you get inside is the little tickle you get in your nose when you smell the spices. Curry, turmeric and dill seems to be the most noticeable combination from what I remember and it is fantastic!
Turmeric, for those of you who are not familiar is one of the active ingredients of yellow mustard and gives it the yellow tint and the familiar tangy flavor.
Spices are great but not the reason why I come here…those reasons are many…it is the Middle Eastern Market that is closest to my home, it has great meat and cheese and it is the beginning of a route I take when exploring all my favorite things to do in Denver.
I like restaurants but since I know how to cook I try to recreate things at home and nothing is more fun than shopping for ingredients at international markets.
My mother didn’t want to leave but I asked her
“… trust me…I know what I’m doing”
She did and we went north down Colorado Boulevard and turned on Leetsdale and then up to Parker Road…where the action is...and just like that...there where 3 unbelievable Middle Eastern markets in a row...all within a minute of one another.
Nazar Market at 1842 South Parker Road
Diyar Market at 2159 South Parker Road
Arash Market at 2720 South Parker Road
All I can tell you is that if you don’t know anything at all about Middle Eastern food or Markets In Denver you can trust that some of the stuff to do in Denver includes eating like royalty!