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Best Mexican Food in Denver (area)

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bennyt Jun 4, 2007 08:20 AM

Wife is traveling to Denver (actually, Aurora); any recommendations?

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  1. j
    jtc RE: bennyt Jun 4, 2007 11:49 AM

    Is she willing to travel around the city for good chow?

    1 Reply
    1. re: jtc
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      bennyt RE: jtc Jun 4, 2007 01:14 PM

      Yes- and recommendations do not have to be limited to Mexican, by the way, it's just that we live on the East Coast, so that is always something we look for when we travel out west.

    2. GroovinGourmet RE: bennyt Jun 4, 2007 02:03 PM

      Mezcal on E. Colfax serves up regional Mex that is pretty darned good. Kitchen is open WAY late, and as their name implies, they have a serious roster of tequilas available.

      Jack N Grill is DO NOT MISS New Mex, on Federal, not too far from Mile High Stadium.
      Cash only, so be forewarned, but the chow is top notch as is the vibe.

      1. j
        jtc RE: bennyt Jun 4, 2007 04:39 PM

        I suggest El Tepehuan at 3457 South Broadway. Anything with the shredded beef is excellent: smothered burritos, soft tacos, etc. I usually order the BOB burrito, which is a shredded beef and bean burrito smothered with green chili and topped with sliced avacado. The rellenos are very good also. Their green chili has a good bite without being too intense.

        1. Bill Hunt RE: bennyt Jun 4, 2007 07:37 PM

          If she is in Aurora, my first choice would be La Cueva, on E. Colfax, pretty much in the "heart" of old Aurora. Great, homemade Mex, with some hints of Tex-Mex added. Nabor Nuñez and his wife (cannot recall her name right now), have been an Aurora fixture for decades. It is not a fine-dining establishment, but has the best that I had found, in the 20 years, that we lived there.

          In the time that I frequented it, Wednesday's lunch was "Tamal Day," and I'd add a cheese enchilada to go with it. I took most of my clients there, and never got one complaint - this was the Tante Louise crowd, so they knew good food. Many of those same folk, who still live in Denver/Aurora go frequently, after that first lunch.

          One caveat: "downtown" Aurora was undergoing a re-birth, but late evenings on Colfax were not the best. I do not know how that may have changed. Maybe the locals can chime in and tell you how that re-birth has progressed.

          Hunt

          2 Replies
          1. re: Bill Hunt
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            aka_zoe RE: Bill Hunt Jun 4, 2007 08:31 PM

            I agree with Bill but want to clarify, Norma Nunez runs the restaurant with her family. Nabor passed away a while ago. see their website for menu options:

            http://www.lacueva.net/index.html

            If you can make it, note that there is a parking lot in the back of the restaurant if you can't find parking on the street. The area is a little more gentrified than a few years ago, I always feel safe going in and out. Also with the sun going down later there is comfort in that.

            I am very fond of their outstanding service. Also you can create your own combination by ordering ala carte since sometimes some places combinations include something I don't like I don't have to worry about that there.

            And they usually have a seafood special.

            Also El Taco de Mexico on 7th and Sante Fe is terrific, but go during the day the neighborhood can get sketchie. Next door is another neighborhood standby is Joe's Buffet also.

            1. re: aka_zoe
              Bill Hunt RE: aka_zoe Jun 5, 2007 07:33 PM

              Thank you for the sad update. It's been too long, since I lived there. Last trip back, a few years ago, he was still at the helm and Norma (thanks, the brain cells could not complete the necessary circuit) was cooking. Many of the family was still working the restaurant, and the food was as good as I recalled.

              Hunt

          2. Veggo RE: bennyt Jun 4, 2007 08:39 PM

            The carnitas at Las Delicias (the riv) in Glendale. Sabroso

            1. gastronaughty RE: bennyt Jun 5, 2007 08:57 AM

              She should absolutely go to Rancho Liborio, a bona fide Hispanic grocer and market, tortilleria, panaderia, taqueria and carniceria on the southwest corner of Havana and East Colfax, smack dab in downtown Aurora. Excellent carnitas, ceviches, pupusas, aguas frescas, and soft corn tacos, all of which can be consumed in the small dining area. It's a huge space overall, housed in an antiquated King Soopers, and you can spend the majority of the day there.

              I also highly recommend Tacos Y Salsas. There are two locations, one at 9103 E. Colfax, in Aurora (the original location) and another, newer location at Kentucky and Federal, in west Denver. The original space is an absolute dive and there is no liquor license, while the new location is much larger, brighter and serves liquor, including terrific michiladas. The authentic -- and wonderful -- Mexican street food menu is the same at both locations, although I think the food is slightly better at the new location.

              1. i
                ijack RE: bennyt Jun 7, 2007 02:20 PM

                I wouldn't recommend Mezcal if you're really looking for good Mexican food, that place is hit or miss and even when it's good, it isn't that good. I second Rancho Liborio, it seems weird to eat at a grocery store, but their papusas are amazing! Jack n Grill has a sister restaurant on 40th and Chamber-ish called Margarita Cantina I think that is pretty good (only been 2x so far). I know a lot of the hispanic guys I work with like El Parall at 830 S. Buckley in Aurora, but I've only been there once (it was good).

                2 Replies
                1. re: ijack
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                  jtc RE: ijack Jun 7, 2007 05:02 PM

                  Is the Menu at Margarita Cantina the same as Jack n Crill?

                  1. re: jtc
                    i
                    ijack RE: jtc Jun 12, 2007 12:07 PM

                    unfortunately they have changed it, but it's still very good!

                2. b
                  Booger RE: bennyt Jun 8, 2007 11:17 AM

                  I have always loved "La Cocina de Marcos". It is a family run establishment, and the proprietors make everyone who comes in feel the love. Prices are wonderful. Be aware, that they have quite a following, if you go during prime lunchtime hours, expect a fairly long wait (but never more than 30 minutes).

                  Chips and salsa are terrific, with the chips always fresh out of the fryer. The smothered burritos are fantastic (I always get the breakfast with chorizo - available all day), lots of pork in the green chile, and just the right amount of heat (not knock your socks off, but you know it is there).

                  They are located at Iliff and Quebec, which is kind of on the border of Aurora, and Denver.

                  There are a ton of great Mexican restaurants in Denver. La Cocina is my hands down favorite.

                  If you looking for a scene (pretty people, drinking margs), head to Mezcal, or Rio Grande - close to downtown, and in downtown respectively. They have decent food, but probably a funner vibe (more Tequila involved in their operations).

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Booger
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                    Pampatz RE: Booger Jun 9, 2007 11:00 AM

                    "Cocina" is our favorite also. Chips and salsa are fantastic and tacos are always a hit. We have eaten there since they first opened across the street from the current location. Friendly owners and safe.
                    Tacos y Salsa also good and we like Tacos Jalisco on 38th Ave. for breakfast.
                    Carnitas at Las Delicias are as good as we get here in Michoacan.

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