17 Best Mexican Dishes to Try in Denver, Colorado

From tacos and burritos to regional specialties, Denver, Colorado is a haven for Mexican cuisine. With a vibrant food scene, the city is home to some of the best Mexican restaurants in the country. From classic green chili to tacos with lamb or beef barbecue, here are 17 places to start your culinary journey. Chef Dana Rodriguez has been causing a stir in the Denver food scene for the past few years.

The James Beard-nominated chef was named executive chef in Work& Class before creating her own venue, Cantina Loca. In addition, they have also chosen it to renew the menu of the renovated Casa Bonita. At Cantina Loca, you can expect to find home-cooked favorites like drool-worthy chili peppers, roasted meat, chicken mole, shrimp tacos, and more. If you're having trouble choosing a single item, they have multiple plates combined.

La Fogata is another great option for Mexican cuisine in Denver. Unlike many other authentic Mexican places, La Fogata doesn't put lard or pork in its beans and sauces, making it a fantastic option for vegetarians. They are also ideal for families and have an impressive children's menu. For drinks, they have a full bar, but the huge list of margaritas made with the unique bittersweet blend steals the show.

They come in several sizes, including table mugs. Opened by Raúl and Hortensia Medina in 1980, El Noa Noa is known for serving authentic homemade Mexican cuisine with no frills. They are located in the historic Santa Fe Art District and, from the moment you arrive, the environment and atmosphere transport you to Mexico. The space has a vibrant and colorful indoor dining room, plus a fantastic patio with a waterfall, fountain, and multicolored flag chains.

Some nights have even been known to have a live mariachi band. All of El Noa Noa's food is prepared fresh every day. From homemade French fries and salsa to fresh guacamole, churros and sopapillas, their care and attention to detail are evident in every bite. The menu contains favorites such as seafood tacos, barbecue, fajitas, nachos, and chili fillers.

They even have hamburgers and fries, just in case. Los Chingones is the ideal place to enjoy modern Mexican cuisine in the Rino neighborhood. It has lively decor dotted with graffiti and an impressive second-floor patio that's a fantastic place to spend the afternoon eating and enjoying great craft cocktails, such as large fish-shaped margaritas. They're also located in DTC and Central Park, so they're never too far away.

Reflecting both the history of Colorado's settlements and current demographic trends, Mexican food is as vital to Denver's gastronomic landscape as craft beer and homegrown beef. Although dishes from other countries sometimes fall into rotation, Mexican food is Comal's everyday bread and butter (or handmade tortillas and salsa). A typical day's menu can include chicken in hot pumpkin seed sauce, pork shoulder in salsa verde or chipotle shrimp tacos. Whether you're in the mood for tacos, stuffed chili peppers, burritos, tamales, sopapillas, street corn salsa fresca or guacamole - or simply crave a plate of green chili with homemade tortillas - Denver's Mexican food scene won't disappoint.

Located in the South Broadway neighborhood is La Adelita - a staple of exceptional Mexican cuisine in Denver. Her name “La Adelita” represents the archetype of women warriors in the story of a woman during the Mexican Revolution who fell in love with a sergeant and left her home to travel. From authentic to modern Tex-Mex food - you can find any type of Mexican food you like in almost any corner of the city. Santiago's is another Denver classic that offers fast and affordable Mexican food to take away.

From its unique green chili and impeccable beans and rice to its famous stuffed chili burrito - there are countless reasons why this decades-old institution ranks as Eater 38 and also has the James Beard Foundation America's Classics Award.

Alan Martinel
Alan Martinel

Devoted food evangelist. Friendly food fan. Friendly bacon nerd. General beer evangelist. Proud web trailblazer.