With about a third of our population being of Hispanic or Latino descent, it’s no surprise that Denver is bursting at the seams (and scene) with authentic and innovative Mexican cuisine. While some are serving up traditional dishes just like your abuelita would make, others are creating more Americanized versions with culinary influences from Colorado, Texas, and California. Denverites will always hem and haw (and flat-out argue) about the “best” Mexican food in town, but there is no doubt that these seven Mexican restaurants in Denver are all offering up something truly delicious and utterly unique. Arriba!
1. Tacos Tequila Whiskey
If "modern Mexican street food" is what you're after, look no further! Pinche Tacos' food truck was such a hit, that they now have two brick and mortar locations in City Park and the Highlands. With a small but lively atmosphere, creative cocktails (like their tequila old-fashioned), and homemade churros and chicharrones, this joint will not disappoint. And, did I mention that they have pork belly tacos and happy hour ALL DAY every Monday!? Olé!
2. North County
They may be known for their fresh, healthy Baja-style seafood and tacos, but they're also dishing out some insanely devilish carne aside cheese fries that you won't find anywhere else in Denver. Check out their sunny patio, killer happy hour specials, and fresh fare that falls outside the traditional Mexican menu. Where else can you get ceviche, a fried oyster po' boy, and huevos rancheros all day? (Yes, they serve breakfast ALL DAY!)
3. Patzcuaro's Mexican Restaurant
Stop whatever you're doing and go inhale the ever-so-slowly roasted, tender and juicy Carnitas Michoacán at this newly remodeled neighborhood hangout. This family-owned establishment has been satisfying Denverites with their carnitas and homemade tortillas since 1978. You'll find a chill, laid-back atmosphere with plenty of regulars...and next thing you know, you'll be one.
Authentic Latin cuisine is most certainly what Paxia is all about, and they're even handing it to you in actual dishes with their origins in ancient Aztec culture. Their famed, old-school family-recipe molcajete is a mouthwatering Mexican stew that hails from Central America and is served piping hot in a mortar and pestle made from volcanic rock just like the Aztec used. I dare you to dispute the authenticity of that!
5. Machete Tequila + Tacos
The name says it all at this Cherry Creek taco spot where they pride themselves on hand-crafted margaritas and street tacos inspired by Mexico City cuisine. They've created an adventurous space and a menu that encourages patrons to, "Get after it," and I'm pretty sure their (super strong) margs help their cause. Hit up their happy hour for $3 tacos every M-F from 11am-6pm!
6. La Loma
These guys are doing upscale Tex Mex with a Colorado twist, and you can wash it all away with an outrageously huge 64oz. margarita! Try their "Gramma's Green Chili Plate," served with warm, soft fresh tortillas, "just like Grandma Mendoza use to make." (And, don't miss out on their brunch with bottomless mimosas and seven different juices from which to choose.)
7. El Taco De Mexico
This no-frills, family-owned, female-run operation is on everybody's list when it comes to Mile High Mexican cuisine, and even celebrity chef Aarón Sánchez approves. EVERYthing here is authentic, and their tongue and cheekmeat is anything but tongue-in-cheek. But the coup de grâce is most definitely their chile relleno burrito...smothered in green chile. Don't ask; just eat!
We know there is NO end to the amazingly innovative and authentic Mexican food scene in Mile High City, and we want to hear your favorite Mexican restaurants in Denver! What dishes blow YOUR ever loving mind?