Is there anything better than a delicious plate of bulky burritos swimming in chili verde and bursting with meat, beans, and cheese? How about oily Birria tacos perfect to be dipped in Consomé and topped with fresh cilantro and crisp onions? If you can’t tell, we have a bit of a love affair with Mexican food, and Colorado has some fantastic places for when you’re craving something South of the border. Here are 7 can’t-miss spots for delicious Mexican food right here in Denver.
1. La Loma
We’re starting out strong with La Loma, a staple of Mexican cuisine in Denver since 1981 with award-winning food, a lovely interior, and a lovelier patio to match. What started off as a family-owned shop has quickly grown into what we know today, a place to get delicious, sizzling fajitas or fresh tableside gaucamole made with only the finest, freshest ingredients. If you want to get a taste of what the restaurant is known for, we’d suggest getting one of their specialties: their Anniversary plate has La Loma’s favorites including a stuffed sopapilla, chile relleno and a chicken flauta topped with guacamole, sour cream and our famous green chile and their famous Green Chile plate is served with rice, refried beans, and fresh flour tortillas.
Where: 1801 Broadway, Denver, CO 80202
2. Cantina Loca
Chef Dana Rodriguez has been causing a stir in Denver’s restaurant scene for the last couple of years. The James Beard Award nominated-chef was named executive chef at Work & Class before creating her own place, Cantina Loca. (Plus, she’s also been tapped to revamp the menu for the revamped Casa Bonita). From classic Green Chile verde to their tacos menu that has Coriander-Colorado Lamb or Beef Barbacoa with dry spices, House-Made Chorizo, or Pork Carnitas tacos. Chef Rodriguez also came out with an exceptional brand of tequila which you can try mixed into an iced or frozen margarita.
Where: 2890 Zuni St, Denver, CO 80211
3. Adelitas Cocina y Cantina
Adelitas recently celebrated 9 years in Denver and for good reason. They’re a great option here in Denver. Their name ‘La Adelita’ represents the archetype of women warriors from the story of a women during the Mexican Revolution who fell in love with a sergeant and left her home behind to travel. Though there’s often a wait here, it’s well worth it to enjoy their full line up of tequila and their extensive menu of appetizers, plates, tacos, burritos, and more.
Where: 1294 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80210
If you’re looking for real deal tacos that are puffy, cheesy, and ready to be dipped in perfectly made consomé, then head to the Kiké’s Red Tacos’ truck over in West Highland. Their tacos have definitely gathered a bit of a cult following, so expect there to be a bit of a wait. It’s well worth it though for deliciously spiced birria meat tucked into red tortillas, topped with fresh cilantro and onions, and paired with their smoky consomé.
Where: 3640 W 38th Ave, Denver, CO 80211
Denver’s first over Pozolería has been a hit in the Mile High City and likely thanks to two things: it’s dedication to perfectly stewed Pozole (over soup made of Mexican ingredients, more on that later) and the fact that it’s run by James Beard Award Nominated Chef, Jose Avila. Here, you can get three types of Pozole: Traditional Rojo, but also Blanco and Verde as well. If you aren’t sure what Pozole is, it’s an important dish that dates back to the 16th century, and is a stew made with hominy, beef or pork, seasoned with a spice blend, and topped with fresh ingredients like radish, cilantro, avocados, and lime. And don’t forget the second part of the restaurants’ title: Mezcal. For that wildly trending smoky spirit, there’s no better place to try it than at La Diabla.
Where: 2233 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
For an affordable and no frills combination platter, you’d do well to head over to El Taco de Mexico. A family-owned restaurant that opened in 1985, they also won an America’s Classic Award from the James Beard Foundation in 2020. Order a platter with delicious Mexican rice and refried beans with their Chili Relleno Burritos or Lengua or Carnitas Tacos, done traditionally. They’re also a great option for breakfast, with a menu that lasts all days so you can get a quick afternoon fix of Huevos Rancheros or a Breakfast Burrito if you wish.
Where: 714 Santa Fe Dr, Denver, CO 80204
Bellota over at the Source Marketplace does a more contemporary spin on classic dishes. These are the same restauranteurs that brought Acorn and Smok to Denver and when Acorn closed, Bellota was the city’s replacement. Not bad. Their menu offers some spins on classics like their Ahi Tuna Tostada and Pork Belly Con Mole, which both sound to die for. If you’re a veggie, they’ve got king trumpet mushroom tacos and a chile relleno platter doused in charred tomato salsa and filled with cotija. And you’d be bummed if you left without trying one of their killer margaritas. Even more exciting, Bellota offers brunch on the weekends with Enchiladas de Huevo, Breakfast Burritos, and more.
Where: The Source, 3350 Brighton Blvd Suite 150, Denver, CO 80216