Asian restaurants around the DU campus.

The University of Denver has a multitude of great dining options near its campus, but can sometimes lack variety. 7 of the restaurants in a 4 block radius around campus are Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai. So how can a school with only 6% of its population composed of international students support this many Asian restaurants?

For one, they appeal to a really wide variety of people, and many students have a particular favorite they like to go to. In addition the variety of cuisines mean that you can get something different at each restaurant without feeling as though you are eating the same thing.


In addition many of their prices are low enough that college students don’t feel like they are spending too much when they go out to eat, and so can eat out at these restaurants more frequently.

Hillary A. Smith, a professor of Chinese history at DU believes that one reason these restaurants can stay in business is because a large percentage of the international students at DU are Asian, and are generally wealthy. She also said that many of them want to feel like they’re getting a taste of home when they go out to eat, and the wide variety of cuisines means they can get that wherever they are from.


Smith also thinks that the number of Asian restaurants in the DU area is a result of the increasing numbers of people of all backgrounds moving to Denver. Being one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. it’s natural that people would open a restaurant in a location where they have a large number of customers.

Smith went on to say that she does not eat from a lot of the nearby restaurants because she has young children at home who also need to be fed, and stated that they would rather go somewhere close to where they live.

Xin, an international student we interviewed said that he normally eats further away from campus, at restaurants that he feels are the most authentic. He recommended that people looking for a truly authentic Szechuan experience go to Star Kitchen, which he believes has stayed true to its Chinese roots.

He did say that even authentic Chinese food in the U.S. is much healthier than in China because they use less MSG here. He also believes however that American Chinese food is not as good because it is not as spicy as its true Chinese counterparts.

Asian restaurants in Denver have become so numerous and tasty that, Westword, and all have articles, or rankings of the best in the metro area.

Smith believes this is good for business, saying that increased competition leads to better restaurants, and that an increasing international population at DU will weed out what is, and is not, authentic. She hopes that at some point in the future she will be able to try some of the many options around the campus.

With such a wide variety of restaurants and cuisines its hard to go wrong, but Smith believes that to get the best tips on where to eat students should ask their international peers for authentic tasty recommendations.


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