Denvers best stoner eats for 4/20, according to “Stoned Appetit”

Stoner holiday 4/20 may only come once a year, but Denver residents Kip Wilson and Chris Byard celebrate practically every day.

That’s because they’re co-hosts of “Stoned Appetit,” a food- and weed-focused podcast that enables listeners to follow Wilson and Byard as they explore Colorado’s robust cannabis and restaurant scenes. And it’s fair to say that the podcast has been a hit.

In the five years since its debut, Wilson has been able to transition to working full-time on “Stoned Appetit,” while Byard joins him when not working as senior grant officer at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. The two have also collaborated with local marijuana companies on specialty products, such as a vape pen and oil release with Denver’s Seed & Smith.

“We like to consider ourselves at the intersect of culinary and cannabis worlds,” Wilson said.

Together they’ve traversed the Mile High City corner to corner, from cuisine to cuisine. That’s why this 4/20, we asked Wilson and Byard to dish on their favorite munchies to ensure other local tokers don’t go hungry this holiday.

From local restaurants to delis to tortilla factories, here’s where you’ll find Wilson and Byard satisfying their cannabis cravings.

Best eats a stoner’s throw from Civic Center park

Denver’s signature stoner event is the Mile High 420 Festival at Civic Center park, and there are plenty of nearby restaurants to grab a bite before or during the event.

Wilson, a self-described “sandwich slut,” recommends hitting Leven Deli Co. (123 W. 12th Ave., Denver). Even though he eats meat, Wilson’s go-to order is the vegetarian focaccia and mozzarella sandwich with roasted tomato pesto and arugula. Between the “excellent bread” and other fun recipes, you’re sure to find a winner, he said.

Meanwhile, Byard, an Alabama native, can’t pass by the area without stopping by Bourbon Grill (571 E. Colfax Ave., Denver) to get a taste of home. In this case, that’s a to-go container brimming with chicken plus sides such as mac-n-cheese and steamed cabbage.

Where to roll up to a ressy

Both Wilson and Byard agree that if they have a reservation at Hop Alley in RiNo (3500 Larimer St., Denver), they’re showing up significantly stoned so they can indulge in every aspect of the experience.

“The level of food that you get there is top notch and it’s more relaxed than a lot of other places,” Byard said. “So you can go in there stoned off your gourd, sit back, have a couple of cocktails and then sweat it all out.”

“It’s, in my opinion, the best restaurant in Denver. It’s a little more refined, but it’s the Chinese street food style that has a playful, loud rap/hip-hop music playing, a very fun biodynamic wine list,” Wilson said. “Spice levels are something that really tickle my pickle and so the chili dumplings there as well as the la zi ji, which is like fried chicken nuggets. They have a chilled tofu that will calm down the palate. And then they have things like dan dan noodles or a new oxtail noodle that is just so good.”

Pro tip: Hop Alley accepts walk-ins at the bar, so if you arrive early enough you might get lucky enough to get a seat on a whim.

  • Eric Lutzens, The Denver Post

    Flour tortillas sit on shelves for purchase at Pochitos Tortilla Factory in Denver on Saturday, March 19.

  • Provided by Pochitos Tortilla Factory

    Tortillas on the conveyor belt at Pochitos Tortilla Factory in Sunnyside.

  • Eric Lutzens, The Denver Post

    A sign in the preparation area at Pochitos Tortilla Factory in Denver on Saturday, March 19.

  • Eric Lutzens, The Denver Post

    Selene Cano (right) helps customer Gabby Suazo (left) at Pochitos Tortilla Factory in Denver on Saturday, March 19.

  • DENVER, CO – MARCH 19: Corn and flour tortillas along with a row of chips sit on shelves for purchase at Pochitos Tortilla Factory in Denver on Saturday, March 19, 2022. (Photo by Eric Lutzens/The Denver Post)

Best takeout for a blazy day on the couch

Say you feel like celebrating 4/20 from the comfort of your couch. No sweat. Byard suggests picking up Mexican food in bulk from Pochitos Tortilla Factory (4421 Tejon St., Denver), including house-made tortillas, tamales and refried beans. And no matter what else you order, don’t skip the salsas, which comes as large as 16-ounce containers.

“They have bulk salsas that are absolutely (expletive) delicious,” he said.

Wilson prefers more traditional takeout, like Detroit-style ‘za from Blue Pan Pizza (multiple locations). Or if he’s going for something handheld, he’ll go to Carmine Lonardo’s Italian Meat Deli (7585 W. Florida Ave., Lakewood) where “the sandwiches are the size of your leg.”

“If you eat half there, you take the other half home for a second sesh. And if you take whole this home you can share it with your significant other, your family, your kids because the sandwiches are huge,” he said.

When you’re in the mood for a quick munch

When hunger strikes unexpectedly, Wilson and Byard said they crave specific cuisines.

For Wilson, it’s Asian food and he usually goes to Dating Yumy (12203 E. Iliff Ave. D, Aurora) for the “juicy as can be” pork dumplings in a chili pepper broth. Byard, on the other hand, heads to Jerusalem Restaurant (1890 E. Evans Ave., Denver) to get his fix of Mediterranean fare, including falafel and a big bag of pita bread. Otherwise, you might find Byard at Spinelli’s Market (4621 E. 23rd Ave., Denver) ordering the Gino’s Hot Italian Roast Beef sandwich.

When Byard’s looking for a restaurant where he knows he can walk in and eat something delicious quickly, it’s La Diabla Pozole y Mezcal (2233 Larimer St., Denver) for the tacos paired with an agave cocktail. Wilson agrees on that cuisine, but he sticks closer to his home in west Denver at El Taco Veloz (7169 Federal Blvd., Westminster), which boasts budget-friendly prices and a killer salsa bar, he said.

Best canna-bites

We’d be remiss if we didn’t ask the “Stoned Appetit” guys to combine their two specialities and shout out their favorite cannabis edibles. Both Wilson and Byard agreed on their go-to purchase: Denver-based Dialed In’s live rosin gummies, which they praised for the taste and ingenuity.

Each tin of Dialed In gummies comes with two different flavors made with full-spectrum live rosin. Byard loves that they don’t taste too sugary, the onset is quick and the effects are largely consistent. Dialed In also often partners with other local companies in the cannabis industry and beyond on special releases – like rapper/actor Method Man’s own line of TICAL gummies – adding clout and a community vibe to their products.

“If Kip and I are on Dialed In on a podcast, you’ll notice,” Byard said. “They’re crucial.”

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