The 7 most important tacos in Denver

Best Tacos for Cinco de Mayo DEN
All Photos: Connor Green
All Photos: Connor Green

Being in Denver, it's likely that you know your way around tortilla-based eats, but man cannot live on breakfast burritos alone. Enter the taco -- compact, cheap, portable, and always there when you need one. Denver has many fine examples, but which of them rise above the rest? Find the answer, seven times over, below:

The Spot: Los Carboncitos, Highland
The Taco: Spicy chorizo or al pastor
The Reason: Los Carboncitos translates (very roughly) to "b*tchin' tacos", and their spicy chorizo and sweet-yet-piquant al pastor are the crowd faves. In this case, the wisdom of the herd is on point. Do yourself a favor and go for a porcine double play.

El Taco de Mexico Best Tacos for Cinco de Mayo DEN

The Spot: El Taco de Mexico, Lincoln Park
The Taco: Beef taco
The Reason: Ask, "What’s good?" and without hesitation, the lovely señoritas at Taco de Mexico will chime back with "beef tacos". Topped with green onions, cilantro, and a just-spicy-enough salsa, these little amigos will make you glad you didn’t question their taco authority.

Tacos Rapidos Best Tacos for Cinco de Mayo DEN

The Spot: Tacos Rapidos, South Platte
The Taco: Carne asada
The Reason: Your late-late-night alternative to the Taco Bell drive-thru, Rapidos dishes out legit tacos (with 100% beef!). The carne asada is the move here, wrapped in canary yellow paper that is eerily Taco Bell-esque -- but the meaty hunks of steak are anything but.

La Mexicana Taqueria Best Tacos for Cinco de Mayo DEN

The Spot: La Mexicana Taqueria, Highland
The Taco: Barbacoa
The Reason: Beef steamed until mind-blowingly tender and tossed onto a fresh tortilla with cilantro and onion is where it's at, and where it's at is at La Mexicana Taqueria.

La Loma Best Tacos for Cinco de Mayo DEN

The Spot: La Loma, Jefferson Park
The Taco: Tacos al carbon
The Reason: Your grandmother’s house was converted into a taco joint, and now dishes out seriously good Mexican eats like the tacos al carbon; sirloin strips sautéed with jalapeños and tomato salsa, then wrapped in a flour tortilla.

Pinche Tacos Best Tacos for Cinco de Mayo DEN

The Spot: Pinche Tacos, City Park
The Taco: Lengua
The Reason: For the Spanish-challenged, lengua means tongue. More specifically (and fortunately), cow tongue. Cooked close enough for you to to hear the sizzle, the lengua tacos are topped with avo, onion, cilantro, salsa, and a guajillo honey salsa (you might as well ask for extra right off the bat). You might think you don't like tongue. They'll prove you wrong.

La Abeja Best Tacos for Cinco de Mayo DEN

The Spot: La Abeja, Capitol Hill
The Taco: Carnitas
The Reason: Spring cleaning has surely yielded some spare coin, and La Abeja is the perfect spot to spend your newfound couch money. No other taco here will satisfy like their onion-, cilantro-, and salsa verde-topped, slow-cooked carnitas.