Trying out new foods with your kids can expand their diet and teach them about different people and cultures. Of course, it can feel like a challenge to find tasty restaurants to check out when you don’t know where to look.

That’s why Crème de la Crème of Lone Tree put together this list of the best ethnic cuisines in and around our hometown! Whether your kids are in the mood for a hearty bowl of noodle soup or you’re interested in trying out some of the spicier options out there, our area has it all. Try the restaurants on this list, and find a new family favorite, without going far from home.

Thai Basil

You don’t have to travel far to introduce the kiddos to delicious cuisines from around the world. Thornton’s very own Thai Basil makes it easy to enjoy a tasty meal as a family. The wide-ranging menu includes everything from chicken to seafood to veggie-based dishes, so you’re sure to find something for everyone in your group here. You can come to this restaurant for either lunch or dinner, and since various spice levels are available (you can choose from mild to “Thai hot” when you order), you’ll find something to please adventurous and picky eaters alike.

Start off the meal by sharing an appetizer like satay chicken, grilled and marinated chicken strips served with Thai peanut sauce, or crispy egg rolls, cooked Thai-style with vegetables and clear noodles. Can’t decide on an appetizer to try? You can get an appetizer sampler.

Add a soup or salad, or move right to main dishes like a Thai curry dish or a rice noodle bowl with a protein of your choice and rice noodles, lettuce, bean sprouts, ground peanuts, and a tasty chili-lime sauce. With chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, and tofu all available, this restaurant makes it easy to find the perfect meal.

Vietnamese Cafe

A beautifully plated bowl of Thai seafood soup.

Image via Unsplash by nickkarvounis

Vietnamese Cafe is another delicious restaurant right here in Thornton. This family-owned and -operated spot has been treating Thornton families to fresh, homemade dishes since 1999. Their Vietnamese fare is both tasty and health-conscious, making this the perfect place to treat your kids to global flavors.

You’ll find an assortment of dishes available here, starting with soups and salads and continuing with lunch and dinner meals. Their rice paper wraps offer a unique opportunity for fun family bonding, letting guests wrap their own spring rolls right at the table. These dishes include a bed of rice noodles, delicious nuoc mam dipping sauce, garden greens, your choice of lemongrass seasoned meats or tofu, and of course, rice papers. In fact, many menu options offer both meat- and vegetable-based choices, making it easier than ever to find the ideal meal for your family’s needs.

Kids are sure to love a menu that offers beef broccoli or grilled, sesame, or sweet and sour chicken. Not to mention the plentiful options on the main menu that includes everything from savory noodle bowls to fried rice dishes. Searching for a sweet treat? Vietnamese Cafe’s “Boba Smoothie” includes slightly chewy and sweet tapioca pearls and dairy or fruit-only ingredients (think banana, strawberry, or lychee, a sweet and juicy fruit from Southeast Asia).

Himalayan Curry House

You’ll find Himalayan Curry House serving up authentic Nepali and Indian cuisine in nearby Westminster. Traditional dishes made from scratch draw on original family recipes, combining fresh ingredients and fragrant spices to create mouthwatering meals for locals. When you’re planning your meal here, just keep in mind that they’re closed on Tuesdays.

The menu features a range of treats, so whether you’re in the mood for chicken, seafood, lamb, or vegetarian dishes, you’ll find a new dish to love every time you stop by Himalayan Curry House. They even offer a “kids and seniors” menu section to take the guesswork out of discovering something your kids will enjoy. Options on this menu include vegetable or chicken chow-chow, which include noodles and mild seasonings, as well as standard kid-pleasers like chicken tenders or grilled cheese and french fries.

Of course, the main menu includes plenty of tasty treats, as well. From saag paneer, which is creamed spinach made with fresh cheese, to Himalayan Combination Curry including lamb, chicken, shrimp, and potatoes in curry sauce, this restaurant has it all. Make sure you add some naan (a popular baked Indian bread) for your table, then sample a range of flavors with the family.

Saigon Basil

Northglenn’s Saigon Basil offers another spot to sample delicious Vietnamese dishes in a relaxing environment. If you’re looking for a comforting meal, you can’t go wrong with a warm bowl of pho. This Vietnamese soup typically includes broth filled with rice noodles, spices, and meat (usually beef) in thin slices.

Saigon Basil’s options include traditional beef, pho ga (chicken and rice noodle soup), and pho chay, a rice noodle soup made with tofu and mixed vegetables in a vegetable broth. From rare steak to well-done brisket, this restaurant features dishes suited to anyone’s tastes.

Maandeeq Restaurant and Cafe

Drive over to Aurora if you’re in the mood for delicious African cuisine. Maandeeq Restaurant and Cafe serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner — and there’s no bad time to indulge in these flavors.

Put a twist on an egg breakfast by getting it with injera, a slightly spongy, fermented flatbread common in Ethiopian and Eritrean kitchens, or head in for a hearty lunch or dinner. Options include chicken, beef, lamb, goat, or fish. You can even get a spaghetti dinner, served with rice, soup, salad, beans, sauce, and a banana.

There you have it, Crème de la Crème of Lone Tree’s list of the best ethnic cuisines to try out close to home. We hope you feel inspired to take a trip around the world with your kids — without driving far, of course! Does your family have a favorite restaurant in or close to Thornton that we missed? Drop us a line so we can check it out!