Oh the controversial taco, the Mexican fare that has divided the masses for generations. There is always a line that separates fans of this great food in two sides. There’s the tortilla vs. flour debate. Another is the soft or hard shell dilemma. And there are even arguments about having it with sauce or without. It’s like listening to iPhone loyalists and Android fanboys argue.
Here in Denver, people do not care about all that. They know what side they are on and they are on the side of delicious. The people of the 303 know their Mexican food and they sure know where to get their taco fix.
Each person has their go-to taco joint. Here’s ours:
Los Carboncitos, Highland
Not the most inviting façade, but do not judge this taco joint by its cover. If you are looking for legit tacos that will really fill you up, then take your sweet behind over this grungy place. Our favorite taco is the Al Pastor or the spicy chorizo but at just above a dollar each, you might as well try as many variants as you can. Savory tacos at dirt cheap prices. Can’t get any better than that.
3757 Pecos St., Denver, CO 303.458.0880
El Taco de Mexico, Lincoln Park
Wish they had a bigger place because the place is almost always full. And with so many people, it is understandable that the service may be iffy at times. But there is good reason why the place is always packed—good food, specifically, great tacos. What to order? You should try their beef steak tacos. Whether in soft or hard shell, the tender meat goes so well with green onions, cilantro, and salsa. Get the $8.40 plate for 3 tacos with rice and beans.
714 Santa Fe Dr Denver, CO, 303.623.3926
Tacos Rapidos, South Platte
After a night of binge-drinking and you suddenly feel the munchies, just drive thru Tacos Rapidos. This Mexican joint is open 24-hours a day but the convenience is not why you will come back. Get the carne asada tacos and pair it with their carne asada fries. The beef is so good that you may come back in the morning just to get a breakfast burrito.
2800 W Evans Ave. Denver, CO 303.035.0453
La Loma, Jefferson Park
A bit pricier than other Mexican joints but the tacos are worth the price. If you like your tacos with a bit of spice, then the Tacos al Carbon will do the trick. The moist sirloin strips are sautéed with salsa and some jalapaño. The final touch of melted cheese, refried beans, and a smothering of green chilis leads this taco to perfection. Tip, Tacos al Carbon is served in flour tortillas. If you prefer corn, you can always ask the waiter to change it.
2527 W. 26th Ave. Denver, CO 303.433.8300
Pinche Tacos, City Park
If you are not familiar with the place then you might have some difficulty finding it. After all, you will not see the name “Pinche” anywhere on their façade. That is because of the many protests on the name, which apparently may mean something dirty in Spanish. But if you do find the place, then treasure that moment by savoring their wide selection of “street” tacos (they started out as a food truck). All their tacos are to die for but their Lengua (cow tongue) might just send you to heaven. The Lengua is topped with cilantro, avo, onion, and salsa. Then it is drizzled with their guajillo honey salsa, which you just want to put in everything you eat from now on. No wonder it is consistently recognized as one of the best taco joints in the nation.
1514 York Street, Denver, CO 720.475.1337
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