Which is the better food City? Denver or Seattle

Today is the day of the big game and for many, Superbowl Sunday isn’t a day about football. Rather for most casual folk the day is about food, drinks, and the party surrounding the game.   In homes and bars across America, people will be gathering around big screens and noshing on chips and dip, buffalo wings, and of course, drinking lots of beer. This got me thinking- what if the Superbowl was really the Super “Bowl”? A competition between each city’s ability to throw a Superbowl party with food and drinks. Instead of each city's football team battling it out on a field, we'd judge what each city could bring to the table in terms of food and drinks a crown one city as the champion.

In honor of this today’s big match up, we're looking at Denver vs. Seattle in a few different categories.  Here's how they compare:



Denver.  Denver has beer, and lots of it.  There is more beer brewed in Denver than any other American City, and the Coors brewery in nearby Golden, Colorado is the largest single brewery facility in the world producing 1.5 million gallons of beer each day.  Denver also plays host to the annual Great American Beer Festival, one of the most prestigious beer competitions in the US. 

Seattle.  Seattle has coffee, and lots of it.  Maybe that's why Tom Hank's was Sleepless in Seattle... get it?... nevermind.  Seattle may be the world’s center for coffee chains with the likes of Seattle's Best, Tully's, and of course, Starbucks, the largest coffeehouse company in the world, making Seattle their corporate home.  Coffee access and consumption amongst residents in Seattle is tops in the nation.  According to a 2011 Daily Beast study that factored in measures such as Coffee shops per 100,000 residents and average monthly spending on coffee, Seattle came out on top in the US. (35 shops per 100k residents; $36 per month).

The Coors Brewery in Golden, Colorado

The Coors Brewery in Golden, Colorado

Advantage – Denver.  I love coffee, but it’s an afterthought for a party that requires lots of beer.

Local Ingredients and Public Markets

Seattle. The Puget Sound region of the Pacific Northwest is a seafood lover's paradise.  With the confluence of Pacific waters and freshwater from Olympic and Cascade Mountain watersheds, there is a wide variety of fish species in Seattle to enjoy: pacific salmon, trout, dungeness crab, and oysters are just some of the abundant local ingredients.  On top of the availability of top notch seafood, Seattle boasts one of the best public markets to shop for fresh ingredients: Pike Place Market.   Pike Place Market opened in 1907 and is one of the oldest continually operating public farmer's markets in the United States and consistently ranks as one of the top public markets to visit in the USA from a variety of travel and food guides. 

Denver. Land-locked and a mile above sea level, Denver is a complete contrast to Seattle.  If Seattle is "surf", then Denver is most definitely the "turf".  Beef is big business in Colorado. In fact, Colorado's number one agricultural commodity is cattle and calves, with 2.6 million head of cattle in the state. I searched for local ingredients indigenous to the region, but came up empty.  I also took a look at public markets around the Denver area.  Due to the dramatic weather changes in Denver, looks like there's limited local farmer's markets during warm months.

Pike Place Fish Market at the Pike Place Public Market in Seattle, Washington

Pike Place Fish Market at the Pike Place Public Market in Seattle, Washington

Advantage – Seattle.  Fresh Pacific Northwest seafood would beat out a lot of other regions.

Local Dishes/Regional Style

Seattle.  Salmon and more salmon.  It makes sense that with an abundant of fresh local seafood, restaurant menu's throughout Seattle are dominated with fresh locally caught food.  Relatively speaking, Seattle also boasts a very large Asian population (13% of the City's total populations, compared to the Asians making up on 4% of the US).  Reflected in the population makeup and local ingredients, there is a heavy slant of seafood oriented Asian-fusion restaurants.

Denver.  Again, Denver couldn't be any more different than Seattle.  With 31% of the population identifying themselves as Latino, there's a heavy Hispanic influence in their food style.  Largely similar to the its surrounding states (New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, etc) and production of beef, Colorado cuisine has heavy "Southwest" flavor with leanings towards use of red meat.  As evidence, popular dishes originating from Denver include the Denver Omelette, Rocky Mountain Oysters, Colorado Burrito.

Advantage - Seattle.  This comes to personal preference, but I'd rather spend the day eating locally caught Seafood interestingly prepared with an Asian twist.  Although i love "Southwest" flavors, frankly i'd rather be eating Tex-Mex in Texas or Southwest in New Mexico.

Our Super "Bowl" Winner:  Seattle.  Whatever happens later today, say if the Broncos kill the Seahawks, Seattle players and fans can still go home happy knowing, that at least in my book, they have the better food.  Congratulations Seattle.