Get To Know Chef Ni and Anna Nguyen of Sap Sua

Chef Ni and Anna Nguyen
Photo by Casey Wilson.

Chef Ni and Anna Nguyen’s reputations proceed them. Their restaurant, Sap Sua, had not even opened when we started seeing their name pop up on lists of Denver’s Michelin contenders, and Bon Appétite included Sap Sua on their list of the “8 Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings of Summer 2023.” The husband and wife duo and their general manager, Heeji Kim, are well versed in fine dining, having trained at restaurants with a collective five Michelin stars among them. With the opening of Sap Sua, the couple is celebrating the first-generation American Vietnamese journey with nontraditional Vietnamese cuisine on East Colfax, while bringing different strengths to the table. Ni grew up eating Vietnamese food and is intimately familiar with the flavor profiles and techniques, whereas Anna is newer to the cuisine, but backed by years of baking experience that she employs as the restaurant’s chef-baker. Since the summer of 2022, they have been hosting pop-up dinners at GetRight’s, Sunday Vinyl, Lucina, and other Denver restaurants where they honed their recipes, streamlined their prepping, and developed a complete concept. Ten years in the making, Sap Sua is now open, but the couple will never forget what they learned as visitors in other chefs’ kitchens. We asked them for a few recommendations around town that might inspire you on your culinary or creative journey as well.

The Basics

Names: Anna and Ni Nguyen
Your Occupations: Sap Sua chefs and owners
Your Neighborhood: North Park Hill
Lived in Denver Since: 2021 (and previously 2014–2015)

Dining + Drinks

Favorite coffee shop: Copper Door Coffee Roasters at the Botanic Gardens
Love this wine bar: Sunday Vinyl
Great happy hour: Lucina
Quick lunch: Tessa Delicatessen
Great spot for dinner with friends: Hop Alley
Go-to for weekday breakfast: Fox Run Cafe
Favorite hotel bar: Death & Co
Favorite pizza joint: Cart-Driver (RiNo)
Favorite spot to take out-of-town friends: La Diabla Pozole y Mezcal
An under-the-radar hidden gem: Tacos Y Pupusas Los Reyes
Favorite neighborhood spot: Annette

- Advertisement -

Around Town

Favorite book store: Tattered Cover
Favorite local ceramicists: See Saw Ceramics
Favorite florist: Moss Pink Flora & Botanicals
Favorite park: City Park (we got married there)
Favorite philanthropy/nonprofit: Asian Girls Ignite and Little Willows
Favorite annual event: Mile High Asian Food Week
Favorite hair salon/barber shop: Salon Joa