Pacific Mercantile Firm is our favourite Denver Asian market

publisher’s Note: This is part of The Know series, Staff Favorites. Each week we share our opinions on the best that Colorado has to offer for dining, shopping, entertainment, the outdoors, and more. (We’ll also reveal some hidden gems to you).

In last week’s employee favorites we told you about our most popular Eastern European market in Denver. This week we’re sharing our favorite market in Asia – right in the heart of downtown.

Growing up as a kid on a tiny rural peninsula in northeast Ohio, it took a two-hour drive to one of the nearby cities – usually Detroit or Cleveland if you wanted to try something other than burgers, pizza, or Italian. where I would marvel at international enclaves and dishes and kitchens that I had never heard of.

Fast forward to 2019 when I finally moved near the heart of a large American metropolitan area – Denver. But meanwhile, the rising cost of doing business in a city center has driven many cities’ best international dishes to the suburbs, and I hate the idea of ​​driving 20 minutes in the car just to find decent fresh lemongrass, galangal, or pork belly.

Pacific Mercantile Company, a Japanese grocery store on Lawrence St. 1925, has been a staple of downtown Denver for more than 75 years. (Beth Rankin, The Denver Post)

Because of this, I fell deeply in love with the Pacific Mercantile Company on Lawrence and 19th Street, a Japanese grocery store that sells everything from handmade ceramics to specialty cookbooks to an incredible selection of teas, snacks, confectionery and fresh seafood. Even better, grocer Sakura Square has been owned by the same family for more than 75 years, and you can feel the love in sourcing.

Next time you need primo sesame oil, white miso, or dumpling wrappers, skip the drive to H-Mart and head downtown to spend your money at a family-run grocer with phenomenal service. Remember to bring reusable bags. There is also plenty of street parking on the block.

Pacific Mercantile Company, 1925 Lawrence St., 303-295-0293,

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