Food & Drink

Everywhere in Mile High to celebrate not-Mexican independence

Published On 04/28/2013 Published On 04/28/2013

What does independence mean to you? How does independence taste to you? If the answer in the past has been anything but "amazeballs", you're going to the wrong Mexican places (also, using the wrong adjectives!). Never fear: we've rounded up the area's best Mexa-raunts and listed them by extremely academic category. Hottest Waitresses T/ACO 1175 Walnut St; LoDo; 303.443.9468 What's better than freshly-made street tacos, ceviche, and guac? Freshly-made street tacos, ceviche, and guac delivered to you by beautiful women. They've got those here. T/ACO's more than just pretty faces. Click for menus. Hottest Hot Sauce Mezcal 3230 E Colfax Ave; City Park; 303.322.5219 Even after a decade of servicing hungry Colfax crowds, Mezcal has to warn people that dousing their food with the 11000 Scoville unit El Yucateco XXXTra Hot Habanero sauce could "ruin your meal". Unless there's some culture in the world where crying and not being able to finish a plate of enchiladas is considered heroic. Check out more on Mezcal Best Margaritas El Diablo 101 Broadway; Baker; 303.954.0324 The always lively El Diablo pours consistently delicious margs, stemming from their use of fresh-squeezed juices instead of mixes. Go for the Picoso with muddled jalapenos, Espolon Reposado, lime juice & Cointreau. Go for the gold. Click here. Diablo's got more than just margs. Best Nachos El Camino 3628 W 32nd Ave; Highland; 720.889.7946 A beloved Highland tavern with Mexican eats that'll fill you up, EC's got nachos that are meant to be shared by a table of hungry people, and layer chips with housemade pickled jalapenos, pico, and everything from carnitas to chorizo. On Wednesdays, an order is just $5, or $1 for every inch it'll add to your waistline. More here on the hottest 'chos spot in town Craziest Taco Filling Marg's Taco Bistro 1519 Wynkoop St; LoDo; 303.534.6274 This minimalist LoDo spot is totally maximist when it comes to weird tacos, which include one packed with spicy red Vindaloo chicken, carrots, Spanish rice, and a cucumber sour cream. Proposed name: Indian-aco. Can you handle it? Learn more here. Best Guacamole Lola 1575 Boulder St; Highland; 720.570.8686 The always busy Highland spot serving up "coastal Mexican" offers guacamole prepared tableside and spiced specifically to your tastes, so make like a thermostat and vary your heat day-to-day. Hit up Lola's site for more Best Outdoor Space Black Crow 1525 Blake St; LoDo; 303.642.5432 With a lantern-filled, picnic table-laden outdoor patio next to their sister resto Rio Grande, Black Crow is that band with that lighting candles song because mama something something something a great place to enjoy the humidity-free Mile High weather before catching a Rockies game with a cold marg and barbacoa tacos. Link here for more Black Crow goodness Best Tequila Selection Tamayo 1400 Larimer St; LoDo; 720.946.1433 After a huge remodeling, Richard Sandoval's Tamayo added 60+ bottles of the good stuff to its already impressive collection. And among the newness is a tequila specifically made for Sandoval by Herradura. Tap here for more on Tamayo

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1. T|ACO 1550 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202 (Lodo)

This Denver branch of the two-locations chain T|ACO, pronounced Tee-Aco, is much bigger than the Boulder spot, and good thing because this place will likely be packed thanks to its menu of cheap tacos, fresh chips & salsa, and even a Saturday-Sunday brunch offering. If that's not enough, they've also got a list of killer cocktails and a bunch of tequilas to help you wash it all down.

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2. Mezcal 3230 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206

With nearly 300 tequila options, happy hour 7 days a week, and delicious food including fajitas, fish tacos, and huevos rancheros, East Colfax joint Mezcal has all your Mexican cravings covered.

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3. El Diablo 101 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203

Devilishly good Mexican eats await you here, like the Panza de Puerco (braised pork belly and roasted chile pico de gallo) and award-winning margaritas. Holy molé.

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4. El Camino 3628 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80211 (Highland)

This Highland eatery is dedicated to remaining an unaltered community space in the heart of a neighborhood that is getting hipper by the second. Purchased in the 90's, El Camino is a popular mainstay for Denver natives and tourists alike -- the exposed brick, tables crafted of recycled rail-car wood, and complete menu are all composed of local elements, holding true to the tavern's community-oriented manifesto. It serves fantastically fresh classic Mexican dishes -- infamously good guac, enchiladas, and tacos al pastor -- along with a brunch menu filled with churros, dios mio (french toast topped with plantains, eggs and bacon), huevos rancheros with handmade corn tortillas, and plenty of extra spicy Bloody Marys. Between the extensive all-day menus, the weekend tequila tastings, and the fully stocked bar, El Camino is in no danger of losing its Highland acclaim.

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5. Margs Taco Bistro 1519 Wynkoop St, Denver, CO 80202 (Lodo)

Although we tend to think of tacos as inherently Mexican/Latin, the guys behind MTB want to challenge our predispositions by introducing our tastebuds to "world tacos," full of flavors from places like Italy, Morocco, and Thailand. The results? Pretty outstanding. The menu includes caprese, bahn mi, Korean pork, and blackened tilapia tacos. So if you don't have a passport, you can at least pretend to have journeyed across the globe after sampling the 'international' cuisine at Marg's Taco Bistro.

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6. Lola 1575 Boulder St, Denver, CO 80211 (Highland)

This go-to Mexican spot sports sweeping city views, table-side guac, and other traditional Mexican fare, and a daily 4-6p happy hour (Mondays are happy hour all night!) featuring $4 sangria. Step things up with a Fuego Verde cocktail (Corazon blanco, muddled jalapeno, agave).

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7. Black Crow 1525 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202 (Northwest)

Black Crow is a food truck located right outside the Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant in downtown. From a retrofitted Airstream BC is serving an impressive selection of tortas (barbacoa, chorizo), tacos (pork, shrimp), and all the necessary sides like nachos and Mexican street corn, which, no, isn't slang for some sort of narcotic. It's also got on-site outdoor seating where you can enjoy your food, choice of tequila shots, and some sun.

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8. Tamayo 1400 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80202 (Lodo)

This Larimer Square spot is a culinary canvas on which Chef Richard Sandoval blends earthy flavors of his native Mexico with creative cooking techniques to craft Tamayo’s modern Mexican cuisine. The substantial menu consists of starters, soups and salads, tacos, enchiladas, chef specials like chicken mole poblano and grilled striped bass wrapped in corn husk, and guacamoles, including traditional, bacon, tuna tartare, and spicy crab varieties. Equally extensive is the tequila collection (there are over 100 options); opt for homemade serrano- or prickly pear-infused tequila, or, if you’re like us and can’t choose just one, order a flight like the Casamigos, a trio of blanco, reposado, and añejo.



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