Best Mexican food in Boulder and Denver

huevos rancheros casa alegre

Huevos rancheros at Casa Alegre in Louisville

 

Metro Denver seems to have a bit of a rough rep when it comes to great Mexican food, but there *are* some very good options around town…

 

Metro Boulder/Denver

Lafayette

Lunada Eatery & Cantina – Try the spicy chicken tacos and local craft beer on tap from Front Range Brewing.

Taqueria La Esperanza – Quick, authentic, and inexpensive – no frills.

Taco Wagon – Lafayette’s staple for breakfast burritos.

Efrain’s Mexican Restaurant & Cantina – Quote from a local: “If I was allowed just one more meal, it would be Efrain’s Chili Verde.” (additional locations in Boulder and Longmont; Note: Per one of our readers – “Efrain’s locations in Boulder and Longmont are owned and operated by Efrain himself. The Lafayette location is owned/operated by another family member.”)

Santiago’s (25+ Colorado locations)

Louisville

Casa Alegre Mexican Restaurant – Huevos Rancheros are fantastic.

La Revolución Taqueria y Cantina (La Rev) – Locals love the mole sauce and house margarita.

Old Santa Fe Mexican Grille – New address @ 592 McCaslin Blvd.

Loco Hermanos – Regulars dig the huge burritos and green chile (aka chili).

Pica’s Mexican Taqueria (expected Spring, 2016 – see Boulder notes below)

Longmont

Antonio’s of Longmont – Excellent gluten-free and vegan options.

Las Palmeras Mexican Cuisine – Order the tasty refritos!

Comida Cantina – Exceptional street food, formerly available from a pink truck – now served from a brick/mortar cantina in Prospect.

photo of salsa verde, carrot habanero and pineapple habanero salsas

Three salsas at Comida in Longmont (see also The Source, Denver)

Erie

Azteca Family Mexican Restaurant – Sister restaurant to Casa Alegre in Louisville.

Broomfield

Ana’s Mexican Grill – Try the infused Tequila.

El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant – Looking for huge portions? You’ll find them at Tapatio.

La Casa Del Burrito – Traditional Mexican fare with a great burrito selection.

Tres (3) Margaritas (multiple Colorado locations)

Westminster

Tacos Y Salsas – Try the Machaca burrito.

Hacienda Colorado (four Denver locations)

Los Arcos Mexican Restaurant (three Denver locations)

 

Boulder

Agave Mexican Bistro & Tequila House – Upscale Mexican with a huge, awesome lounge upstairs.

Pica’s Mexican Taqueria – Try the pozole, tacos, burritos, or tortas paired with a lemon-lime-orange-juice margarita. New Louisville location to open in 2016.

La Choza Mexican Restaurant – One of Boulder’s most authentic Mexican spots (NoBo).

Sancho’s Authentic Mexican Restaurant – Formerly 100% Mexicano – thank goodness they’re back!

Tahona Tequila Bistro – The slow-cooked duck tacos are incredible.

Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant (multiple Colorado locations)

 

Denver

Chili Verde Mexican Cuisine

D’Corazon Mexican Comfort Food – Visit the “D” for potent margaritas and the traditional style mole poblano.

El Chapultepec – Stop in for jazz and green chile (aka chili).

El Taco de Mexico

Los Chingones Mexican

Las Delicias

La Loma Mexican

Lola Mexican Fish House

Patzcuaro’s Mexican Restaurant

Rosa Linda’s Mexican Cafe

Tacos, Tequila & Whiskey (aka Pinche Tacos, Pinche Taqueria, Pinch) – Worth the trip just for the queso with salty/limey chips. Definitely try the Queso a la Plancha tacos.

Tamayo Modern Mexican Kitchen & Tequileria

 

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Best restaurants in Boulder, Colorado

This concept worked well for nearby Louisville, so here are our top choices for Boulder, CO eateries and breweries


Sanitas Brewing - beer samples

Craft beer and Boulder… almost as popular as weed and Boulder… Almost.

Argentine Fare

Rincon Argentino

Bar + Socializing

Absinthe House (rhymes with “neat market”)
T-Zero Lounge
The Rio Grande Restaurant (go for the margs, stay for the chips)
The Attic Bar + Bistro
Walrus Saloon

Bistro Cuisine

Chautauqua Dining Hall

Breakfast Bagels

Moe’s Bagels

Brunch

Brasserie Ten Ten (try the crepes, and order a cheese plate)
Lucile’s Creole Cafe (perfect brunch after a soccer game or hike; bring your appetite for the biscuits)
Snooze AM Eatery
Tangerine

Lunch @ Larkburger

Seriously good burgers – turkey, beef, tuna, truffle, portobello – at Larkburger

Burgers

The Sink (Obama was here)
Rueben’s Burger Bistro
(try the sweet potato fries)
West End Tavern (Boulder’s hidden gem for craft beer and distinctive bourbon)
Larkburger

 

Casual/Hip Dining

The Kitchen Next Door (the kale chips are the best in town)
The Kitchen Upstairs (great place to take out-of-towners, particularly if your company is picking up the tab)

 

Chinese Noodles

Zoe Ma Ma

 

Comfort Food

Murphy’s Neighborhood Restaurant

 

Craft Beer – Brewery

Bru Handbuilt Ales and Eats (can’t say enough great things about Bru; try the unfiltered ales and sourdough pizza)
Fate Brewing (coffee IPA? Yes – and it’s excellent.)
Shine
Southern Sun
Upslope Brewing
Sanitas Brewing
Boulder Beer (Order the barley veggie burger with blue cheese and real bacon. Trust me.)

Bru's 5-beer sampler

Bru’s 5-beer sampler is whatever you want it to be. You pick, they serve, everyone wins.

 

Craft Beer – Tap House

Backcountry Pizza + Tap House (cheap dinner – slice of pizza + Russian River Blind Pig IPA – always on tap)
Old Chicago Pizza + Taproom
Rueben’s Burger Bistro
West End Tavern

 

Craft Cocktails

The Bitter Bar
Salt the Bistro (check out the downstairs bar during happy hour)
Blackbelly Restaurant, Bar & Butcher
Oak at Fourteenth

Blackbelly cheese plate, olives, and happy hour blush

Blackbelly’s happy hour is hard to beat

 

Date Night

Oak at Fourteenth (order small plates and share with your better half)
Salt the Bistro
The Kitchen

 

Date Night (money no object)

Flagstaff House Restaurant (enjoy Boulder’s best view)
Black Cat Farm~Table~Bistro
Frasca Food and Wine (hard to find a better wine list – anywhere)
L’Atelier
Jill’s Restaurant

 

Farm to Table

Blackbelly Restaurant, Bar & Butcher
Bramble and Hare

 

Parisienne Macarons at Brasserie Ten Ten in Boulder

Don’t miss dessert at Brasserie Ten Ten – Parisienne Macarons paired with Taylor-Fladgate 20-year Port

French Fare

Brasserie Ten Ten
Mateo Restaurant Provençal (another top choice in Boulder cheese plates)

 

German Fare + Beer

Bohemian Biergarten (Boulder’s largest beer glasses and longest tables)

 

Gluten-free Menu

Shine (hip eatery + brewery)

 

Grain-free Menu

Blooming Beets (gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free)

Chorizo hash with poached eggs

Chorizo + sweet potato hash with poached eggs and dairy-free hollandaise @ Blooming Beets in Boulder — paired with local Firestone-Colorado-brewed, spiced-apple Wild Cider

 

Indian Fare

Tiffin’s India Cafe

 

Irish Fare

Conor O’Neills (watch futbol [soccer] here)

 

Italian Fare

Il Pastaio
Arugula Bar e Ristorante (grab a spot at this unique bar)

 

Latin Fare

Centro Latin Kitchen
Aji Latin American Restaurant (all-day happy hour on Sundays)

 

Mexican Fare

100% Mexicano (Boulder’s best Mexican food, in my opinion; UPDATE: sad to report 100% Mexicano has closed.)

 

Mexican Fare (higher end)

Tahona Tequila Bistro (try the duck!)
Agave Mexico Bistro + Tequila House

 

Monday Teahouse

Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

 

Nepalese, Indian + Tibetan Fare

Sherpa’s Adventurers Restaurant + Bar

Pizzeria Locale

Delectable pizza dough stretched and tossed before your eyes at Locale

 

Pizza

Pizzeria Locale (Artisan Italian + gluten-free crust)
Basta (foodie)
Backcountry Pizza + Tap House (pub slices + gluten-free crust)
Bru Handbuilt Ales and Eats (sourdough + gluten-free crust)
The Sink (pub pie + gluten-free crust)

 

Pub Fare

Dark Horse Bar + Grill (dive-y in a good way)

 

Sandwiches

Snarf’s Sandwiches
Salvaggio’s Deli (sandwiches served with attitude… for whatever reason)

 

Seafood

Jax Fish House

 

Southwest Fare

Zolo Grill

 

Sports Bar

Harpo’s Sports Grill

 

Steak House

Boulder Chop House

Boulder sushi

It’s OK to eat raw fish in a landlocked state… honest.

 

Sushi

Kasa Japanese Bar + Grill (say hi to Mimi)
Izakaya Amu

 

Tapas + Small Plates

The Med (one of Boulder’s best patios)
Riffs Urban Fare (yet another great tap/bottle list)

 

Turkey Burger

Larkburger
Rueben’s Burger Bistro
The Sink

 

Vegan/Vegetarian

Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant (sit-down dinner)
Julia’s Kitchen (earthy casual/to-go)

 

Vietnamese Noodles

Black Pepper Pho