Leaving the Hospital at Mealtimes Can Give Your Stomach — and Sanity — a Break

To be perfectly frank, the food served at most hospitals can be either hit or miss. Some hospitals contract caterers that provide a wide selection of palatable options while others prepare meals held to the same standard as that of San Quentin State Prison.

The Uptown area of Denver has the fortune of being home to several reputable hospitals, including Children’s Hospital Colorado Uptown, Presbyterian/St. Luke’s, St. Joseph Hospital, and Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children. Having access to quality medical care is a blessing, but so is the luxury of having options for off-site dining to enjoy a sit-down meal with a fellow hospital staff member or a spouse to relax and regroup.

Food has a way of lifting spirits to those who spend all day surrounded by the smell of disinfectant and stressful situations that are ever-present in a hospital. Even for a patient who craves something off of the hospital menu, the gesture of bringing a to-go box full of deliciousness will make them feel pampered. Besides, there’s only so many snacks you can stomach that fall out of the vending machine coils.

Thankfully, in this neighborhood, there are plenty of restaurants that appeal to a wide variety of tastes that are all accessible within walking distance. No driving, no looking for a valet to retrieve your car, just a short, head-clearing walk is all that’s between you and food that hasn’t been mass produced.

Beet Box 1030 E. 22nd Ave. Does your favorite patient need a sweet treat? This bakery serves vegan cakes, breads, and sandwiches and has a menu for those needing a gluten-free option.

Jack’s Uptown Grille 1600 E. 17th Ave. This hip, new-American restaurant offers Kansas City-style barbecue plus serves a selection of tasty small plates like sliders, ribs, and nachos. For those whose shift ends at 5 p.m., you’ll be glad to know their happy hour runs until 7 p.m.

Onefold1420 E. 18th Ave. If your day starts early, you’re in good company with Onefold. This cozy breakfast spot opens its doors bright and early at 7 a.m. on weekdays to dish out coffee and baked goodies.

Thai Basil 1400 E. 18th Ave. Craving some Thai or Asian-inspired cuisine? Swing by Thai Basil for a flavorful meal paired with a relaxed atmosphere.

Humboldt Farm Fish Wine1700 Humboldt St. Seafood lovers rejoice! This eatery has a menu full of market-fresh fish and oysters plus land-based delights like filet mignon and rosemary-grilled pork chops.

Paxti’s Pizza Uptown — 1598 E. 17th Ave. No matter if you’re on Team Deep-Dish or Team Thin-Crust, Paxti’s aims to please all pizza lovers with fresh, all-natural ingredients.

Olive & Finch1552 E. 17th Ave. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this lively spot also serves fresh-baked goods. Eating on the go? They’ll pack up your meal for you on the spot.

Waffle Brothers Pub Style1707 N. Lafayette St. Leslie Knope would approve of this waffle spot, and so would anyone craving something other than a hospital-tray breakfast!

Kenji Sushi 1422 E. 18th Ave. Take the load off after a long day at the hospital and refuel on a few satisfying rolls at Kenji. Reservations are required for this spot, but they offer free delivery from 4 to 9 p.m. within a three-mile radius.

Dos Santos Taqueria de Mexico –1475 E. 17th Ave. Quite possibly serving the best tacos in Denver, Dos Santos has a wide selection of pork, beef, chicken, and seafood street tacos to whet your whistle.

The District Bistro 1320 E. 17th Ave. Approaching the twentieth hour of your wife’s labor and the cafeteria is closed? This soup, salad and sandwich spot is thankfully open until midnight.

Whether you’re a hospital staff member, patient, or visitor, the Uptown area has plenty of restaurants and bakeries to give you an excuse to pass on the hospital food cart or skip the cafeteria lines.

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