If you’re new to the Mile High, you might have noticed something about Denver’s food culture that baffles you. As a melting pot of transplants and cultures, Denver has everything from pho to gourmet hot dogs, but nobody can agree on who serves the best tacos. There are a few names that always come up, all appealing to different tastes, but there’s never a proven winner and Denverites are very dedicated to their favorite taco places. Here are a few places to try: be warned, if you try any of these places, you might wind up way too attached.
El Taco De Mexico
For taco purists, El Taco De Mexico is always hands down the best place in Denver. Serving up traditional Mexican plates with little fanfare and décor, El Taco De Mexico is a counter joint with menu items like chile relleno, as well as tongue, tripe and cheek. Despite its unassuming exterior at the corner of Santa Fe & 7th Ave, El Taco De Mexico is a local favorite that you’ll hear about over and over until you’re forced to go there at least once.
On the other side of town, El Taco De Mexico’s rival Pinche Taqueria thrives with a food-truck inspired menu focused on street tacos. Besides having some of the lowest priced tacos in town, Pinche is known for its always-fun, always-on bar atmosphere and delicious eats. No matter what time of day, Pinche is a bustling taco joint that stands out in Highlands as a must-have.
As a Colorado chain, Illegal Pete’s embodies the wild side of Denver’s taco scene. Illegal Pete’s provides a rock & roll atmosphere and loud music in addition to a Tex Mex inspired menu, complete with queso that will rock your world. To an outsider, it might seem like IP’s is Chipotle’s rebellious younger brother, but the chain has its own rabid fan base that continues to grow as it expands beyond Colorado’s borders.
A newcomer to the scene, Torchy’s Tacos was so hyped upon its Spring 2016 arrival to Denver that it had lines around the block for weeks. With kitschy names like “The Democrat” and “The Independent”, Torchy’s serves up Texas-style tacos that are larger than most tacos you’ll find in the Mile High City. While the verdict is still out on whether Torchy’s lives up to the hype, it has become a fast favorite for locals.
There are so many taco joints, it may seem impossible to pick a favorite but you’ll probably find yourself rooting for your own choice at some point during your life in Denver. Did we forget your favorite? Leave a comment and let us know!