Meet the 2021 Top Taco Restaurant Participants
A South Texas native, pitmaster Alejandro Barbosa is committed to tried-and-true live-fire barbecue. His offerings of expertly smoked beef brisket, beef cheek barbacoa, caramelized pork belly, and red chile brisket enchiladas have not only earned him a slot on the Cooking Channel’s “Man Fire Food,” but a loyal base of barbecue buffs willing to follow his food trailer all across Colorado.
Inspired by a healthy, outdoor lifestyle, Bartaco combines fresh, upscale street food with a coastal vibe in a relaxed environment. Bartaco offers specialty cocktails crafted with fresh-squeezed juices, beer out of a bottle, and hand-held foods delivered on metal trays. The rustic design complements the spirited bold and bright flavors of Bartaco’s eclectic menu. The stylish ambiance, cocktails, and freshly prepared tacos, and “not tacos” create an unforgettable experience.
Behind the Scenes Tap House was born from a love of beer, taverns, community, and the idea of an ages-old family business. Our “behind the scenes” movie theme stems from Goldberg Brothers, Inc. whose name you can find on nearly any legitimate old movie reel as they were the number one reel producer in the United States going back over 150 years! Goldberg Brothers moved into the Centennial Road establishment in 2017 and inspired the theme for the building name as well, “The Reel Factory”.
From the creative minds of Smok and Acorn comes Bellota. Spanish for Acorn, Bellota taps into a shared culture and heritage to bring a menu of lively regional Mexican dishes deeply rooted in tradition and steeped in custom. Bellota’s a-la-carte menu features family-style dishes, regionally inspired tacos, a half-dozen house-made salsas, and numerous offerings that take advantage of the wood-fired oven.
The Beltran family proudly presents a culinary project highlighting the well-known tastes of Mexican cuisine and revolutionary tacos. In addition to the food, they round out their menus using the mixology of tasteful Mezcals, Sotols and Tequilas. The experience is unforgettable.
Serving North Denver Highlands since 1933, Billy’s Inn offers a Baja-style menu featuring our famous, fresh fish tacos, big salads, sandwiches as well as traditional plates. Our bar favorites include the best burgers in Denver, nachos, wings, and homemade green chili. Billy’s Inn also boasts one of the city’s most extensive tequila and mezcal lists and is known for its award-winning margaritas and mojitos.
Bits & Pieces Con Cerveza is a 100% gluten-free food truck specializing in coastal Mexican-influenced cuisine, fulfilling foodies and hungry customers alike. The truck offers dishes using high-quality ingredients with various meats, vegetables, flavors, textures, and sauces, complementing our passion for coastal Mexican cuisine. Our tortillas are made from a Chef’s recipe out of Roasted Hatch, New Mexico Red & Green Chiles!
Our building at 1526 Blake Street has a storied past as one of the earliest brick structures in historic Lower Downtown (LoDo). It was built 5 years after gold was discovered in Cherry Creek, and right after an April 1863 fire that devastated early Denver. Completed in August 1863, it served as one of Denver’s first saloons. In the years that followed, it housed a liquor distribution business, cigar factory, machinery business and a costume shop. It was renovated in the mid-1880s before many of the larger buildings in Lower Downtown were first built. At that time, the ground floor was raised off the street level, the secret basement vault and elevator were added. The vault, elevator machinery and entrance to the old tunnels under the streets of Denver still exist. Today, over 150 years after its original construction, visitors can still step back into early Denver at Brass Tacks – where good drinks, great food, and even better stories tell of a time when life – and the occasional indiscretion – was lived for the moment.
As one of Denver’s first ghost kitchen taquerias, Combi Taco serves the classic interpretation of authentic Mexican fare. The menu incorporates local vendors to feature “Street Style” tacos with fresh and flavorful components.
Comida offers simple, small-plate dining at its best. We feature slow-cooked Mexican Soul Food (Mexican Street Food with just a hint of the American South), incredible handmade desserts and refreshing beverages, using the freshest ingredients and artisanal preparation, all served with care in an environment that is visually rich but unpretentious – a feast for the senses on all levels.
Con Safos is a brand new Mexican street taco restaurant and cantina in the heart of Denver. Located at 1411 Market St and opening this Summer, Con Safos aims to be the place you can go to fulfill all your taco, tequila, and cerveza needs.
At Denver Poke Company, we strive to provide the freshest sushi-grade fish available every morning. Our fish is brought in whole each day and never frozen, and we prepare our poke fresh daily. We recognized the food culture has changed, and we have designed a menu that is 100% gluten-free to serve everyone in the community.
El Camino Community Tavern is a Mexican kitchen with an artsy ambiance that uses area-sourced ingredients. It is known for happy hour & brunch.
The “Sultan of Swine” and “Maestro of Meat,” Jason Ganahal of G-Que is a decorated barbecue champion who knows how to bring the heat. G-Que BBQ lays claim to Denver’s barbecue scene, offering meticulously crafted signature sandwiches for dine-in and fresh meats by the pound for take-away. Bragging the “finest quality meats, best seasonings, and freshest ingredients,” G-Que has won dozens of competitions and awards, most recently taking first place at Denver’s Chicken Fight Festival.
Eat your way around the world with twisted takes on barbecue styles from across the globe at H3SHER BBQ CO. From Chef Jeff Gebott and restaurateur Tony Fitzgeralot, H3RSH3R is not your traditional wings and brisket. This fun, funky menu dives into the unexpected, spanning global flavors such as Korean BBQ Tacos, south of the border mac n’ cheese, and Asian sticky ribs.
Hailing from the kitchen line at Old Major — once the fresh meat mecca of Denver — Chef Christopher Nicki is no stranger to slicing, smoking, and searing. Nicki brings a taste of his hometown to the Mile High with this tribute to Texas-style smoked meats: Hank’s Texas Barbecue. Here, “lower and slower” is the motto, and the secret to success is simple: fresh ingredients, quality meat, classic recipes, and patience. Order brisket, ribs, hot links, and smoked turkey and chicken by the pound. Or, take your pick from Nicki’s selection of signature sandwiches.
Kachina is a free-spirited, modern cantina providing an escape in LoDo. Kachina’s inspiration is found in the Four Corners region of Southwest America and Baja Mexico. Go on an adventurous culinary road trip with offerings of twists on Mexican and Southwestern standards, like shrimp ceviche, green chili stew, our selections of guacamoles and salsas, and the seven different types of tacos with your choice of corn tortillas, flour tortillas, bibb lettuce wrap or Navajo fry bread.
La Cabaña Mexican Bar and Grill serves Authentic Mexican food from the traditional style of South West Mexico, Jalisco in downtown Estes Park, Colorado. For an excellent dining experience, make the hike up to the top of the Courtyard Shops! Our giant patio has spectacular views towards the Stanley Hotel, Elkhorn Avenue, and Bond Park; inside is an open and spacious dining room and in the room below is the tavern bar. Dine-in, take-out, catering, and private space for group parties available for rent in downtown Estes Park.
Enjoy authentic Mexican food & a vast tequila selection in the casual yet lively La Sandia. Guests can enjoy delicious Mexican classics carefully re-invented by world-renowned Chef Richard Sandoval & a healthier selection of favorites from the “Latin Light” menu. Cocktails are crafted with inspiration from all regions of Latin America & made with house-infused tequila.
The original LoHi destination since 2006, Lola is an oasis for the authentic flavors and beachy vibes of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula.
Perched on a hill in Denver’s vibrant LoHi neighborhood, Lola serves the cuisine of Northern Baja cuisine from chef/partner Javier Plascencia in a casual and fun atmosphere. With a bar named one of the Top Five Places to Drink Tequila in North America by Food & Wine magazine, Lola is always ready to party.
Los Chingones is chef/owner Troy Guard’s Mexican concept. While we don’t claim to be “authentic”, we do claim to be delicious. Come check out Denver’s hottest taqueria, party on one of our spacious patios, and live life like a chingon.
Los Dos Potrillos provides customers in the South Metro area with “Real Mexican Food” while maintaining a family-friendly, “hole-in-the-wall” experience thanks to years of hard work by Jose Ramirez and his family. Jose saved up enough money to open up the first Los Dos Potrillos location in Centennial in 2002 and now has four locations in Centennial (the original location), Littleton, Highlands Ranch, and Parker.
My Neighbor Felix is a Mexican Kitchen + Bar that offers celebratory interpretations of Pan-Mexican Classics that are exciting yet approachable. Our chef-driven cuisine is inspired by all seven regions of Mexico. We created a space, cuisine, and experience that celebrates all aspects of Mexican culture. Enjoy our lively eclectic mosaic of Mexico City influence in a designed environment accented with traditional crafts and natural touches amongst our good-natured staff that feels like friends.
Inspired by the coastal area North of San Diego, where beach culture and the fish taco reign, North County celebrates the cuisine and libations of Baja, California. Our focus is fresh, healthy fare featuring seafood that is flown in daily along with the highest-quality local and seasonal ingredients available. North County’s carefully-crafted menu features traditional ceviches, oysters, mussels, tortas, salads and of course, a collection of the best fish and street tacos around – served on our homemade flour and corn tortillas. Our margaritas and specialty cocktails are all handcrafted using fresh squeezed juices and premium 100% Blue Weber Agave tequilas. In addition, North County offers an extensive wine list, more than 100 premium tequilas, craft beers from California and Mexico and spiked sodas batched and bottled on location.
Owlbear pitmaster Karl Fallenius apprenticed under legendary Texas barbecue buff Aaron Franklin — and it shows. Owlbear’s trophy menu item is a 12-hour-smoked, melt-in-your-mouth brisket seasoned with an intoxicating mix of brown sugar, coffee grounds, and a signature combo of barbecue spices. Most recently, Owlbear was crowned with Westword’s 2021 Best of Denver Barbecue Award.
Palenque Cocina Y Avageria brings traditional Mexican fare, and agave cocktails to the Historic Downtown Littleton neighborhood. We are a family owned, and operated restaurant bringing you a relaxing, comfortable, safe, and enjoyable atmosphere, serving traditional Mexican food. We offer brunch, lunch and dinner for dine-in, delivery and take out 7 days a week. With our famous margaritas, award-winning gluten free options and vegetarian/vegan dishes, we are sure to please everyone! We look forward to serving you!
With Prefare, you can spend more time around the dinner table, with the people you love. As the pace of daily life quickens, we know it becomes harder to carve out time to make a meal from scratch to enjoy with those you love around the dinner table. . . That’s why we came up with PreFare. We are continually searching for local farms as well as pushing the envelope regarding environment stewardship as every turn, be it eliminated plastic within packaging or reuse of all ice packs
With a new aesthetic and updated menu, the Rio brings an approachable yet premium TexMex experience to the Colorado dining scene. From introducing Colorado diners to fajitas over 30 years ago to more recently partnering with local farms for Harvest Days for a late-summer, seasonal menu, there have always been new things to experience and enjoy at the Rio. The Rio is home to those tasty margaritas, flavorful fajitas, and slow-cooked black beans.
Oklahoma native and founder of Rolling Smoke, Terry Walsh specializes in Southern-style, slow-smoked meats. Catering to all barbecue cravings, the menu showcases Smoked Turkey Breast, Burnt Ends, and Honey Bourbon Sausage, along with all the classics, like Pork Spare Ribs and Beef Brisket. The secret ingredient behind Rolling Smoke’s deliciousness? A little bit of wood and a whole lot of time.
At Rosa Mexican Kitchen, Thornton Edgar and his partner Chef restaurateur Fausto Felix invite you to enjoy authentic made-from-scratch Mexican cuisine, delicious margaritas, and organic fresh cocktails in a welcoming space made to feel like home. We invite you to toast with us with a fresh margarita, and rediscover traditional recipes, starting with our very own handcrafted corn tortillas, everything made in-house, and tableside-made guacamole. Savor Chef Ruiz-Felix’s signature dishes.
SOL brings together old world charm and urban comfort. We cook in an open kitchen with counter seating for guests who like to see the bustling kitchen that is much like a Baja taco bar. SOL offers a menu full of fresh, seasonal ingredients and authentic Mexican flavors, along with a vibrant bar that honors the flavors of the Baja region with over 60 artisan tequilas and an inviting fire element.
We cure the munchies! Break up your day in this hustlin’ and bustlin’ city with some kick-ass tacos and beer. We offer a robust menu of delicious munchies (appetizers), tacos, burritos, wraps, wings, fajitas, quesadillas and salads.
Spice Trade Brewery & Kitchen is located in Greenwood Village Colorado and serves a seasonally rotating menu of globally inspired beer and eclectic, worldly street food. Born out of the Yak & Yeti Indian & Nepalese restaurant, Spice Trade has been brewing culinary-driven and award-winning beer since 2008 prior to expanding into its flagship, stand-alone brewpub in 2020. With an ingredient-driven-from-scratch approach, Spice Trade serves a range of food and drink which focuses on a different global cuisine every 3 months. We offer everything from classic beer styles and traditional gastropub fare to exotic, complex and elevated offerings, all in a casual atmosphere. In addition to award-winning food and beer, Spice Trade offers a limited wine menu as well as rotating signature cocktails on tap. With something for everyone, we invite you to come join us and explore new worlds of flavor.
We are a locally-owned, Colorado-themed sports & music bar in downtown Denver located in the heart of the city. Whether you are looking to watch a football game, soccer, basketball, X Games, or just to play a friendly game of cornhole, Stoney’s has you covered. We have 31 HD TVs, two 120 inch projection screens, and a stage to watch your favorite local bands.
Stoney’s is excited to announce our expansion with a new venture that highlights some of our favorite cocktails and cuisines from our travels around the world! Imbued with the “good time” vibes from our trips south of the border, Stoney’s Cantina will join the diverse, artistic neighborhood in Baker at 30 South Broadway.
SMB is the brainchild of the folks that brought you Work & Class. If you are familiar with W&C, then you probably already know that we like to do things a little bit differently around here. Super Mega Bien continues in that tradition.
Located at 25th and Larimer in The Ramble Hotel, Chef and Owner Dana “Loca” Rodriguez brings you a fun and approachable menu that traverses the world of Latin American cuisine. Additionally, we have chosen to bring you a unique dining experience by creating small plates that are offered tableside “dim sum style” as well as larger entrees meant for sharing among friends. Light snacking to total gluttony…the choice is yours.
The taco came to be embraced as a gourmet street food, composed of perfectly marinated meat and featuring a burst of spice and quality veggies. Tacos la Tradicíon blends creative and authentic flavors, offering a variety of traditional Mexican street tacos, seafood tacos, vegan and vegetarian tacos, as well as other non-tacos delicacies. Tacos la Tradicíon is rated as the best taco establishment in Estes Park, Colorado.
At Tamayo, our cuisine is carefully crafted, yet bold flavored. Rooted in tradition, yet adventuring into contemporary tastes. Chef Richard Sandoval blends the earthy yet complex flavors of his native Mexico with worldly ingredients and creative cooking techniques to create the modern Mexican cuisine at Tamayo. Tequileria Tamayo is inspired by neighborhood Tequilerias in Mexico, where lively conversations are shared over bottles and small plates.
At Teocalli Cocina, we treat it with the reverence it deserves and has had for centuries in kitchens across Mexico— traditional Mexican adage Corn is life in authentic Mexican cooking.
Toro, meaning “bull” in Spanish and “tuna belly” in Japanese, specializes in Pan-Latin cuisine with South American, Japanese, and Chinese influences. One of the best new restaurants in Denver, Toro Latin Kitchen & Lounge brings Latin flair to a casual, yet sophisticated, Cherry Creek Denver setting.
The coziest little food hall and bar on the front range sits at the gateway to the I-70 onramp in the heart of downtown Golden. Tributary offers an array of mouthwatering treats for any time of the day. Enjoy specialty lattes, killer breakfast burritos, healthy smoothies, oat or grain bowls, charcuterie boards, street tacos, gelato and crepes…or any of the other mouthwatering offerings from this gem’s unique roster of vendors.
Uno Mas Taqueria y Cantina is one of those cool little hole-in-the-wall gems that once discovered, you don’t want to tell your friends about in case it gets too busy. We opened in 2013, bringing elevated street tacos to South Pearl, along with specialty tequilas and drinks, traditional tortas, appetizers, and classic Mexican desserts. Delicious upgrades to classical Mexican fare.
At Woodhill Small Batch BBQ, they believe award-winning barbecue comes in small batches because “quality is better than quantity!” At Top Taco 2019, Woodhill took second place in the VIP BBQ Taco Showdown with its show-stopping slow-smoked brisket taco, layered with fresh pico de gallo, elote crema, peach-apricot habanero sauce, and cotija cheese.