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Perhaps because they’re infinitely customizable, tacos have captured our culinary hearts. We love that they’re just as good prepared by a street vendor and filled with cabeza or carne asada as they are gussied up in a restaurant with duck confit or octopus. We’ve tried them all—some 300-plus tacos between us—to find Denver’s best tacos.
Editor’s Note: This is a living list of Denver’s best tacos, last updated on June 28, 2022. Did we miss your favorite? Email us at [email protected]
Table of Contents
Cabrón Carbón joined the North Broadway scene in late 2021, and since then we’ve become regulars for the griddled quesabirria tacos. The gooey cheese, juicy beef marinated in a rich chile sauce, and crispy, griddled soft shell tortillas are the stuff taco dreams are made of. Bonus: Thursday to Sunday, Cabrón Carbón is open until 3 a.m.
1043 N. Broadway | 720-598-6934 | cabroncarbon.com
Brothers Josh and Ryan Carrera serve up West Coast–style street tacos with house-marinated meats, including the juicy, chile-drenched birria. Order it on a vampiro taco (which comes without a shell, just a crispy casing of griddled cheese) for the ultimate indulgence.
7939 E. Arapahoe Rd., St. 170, Greenwood Village, | 720-689-8035 | carrerastacos.com
The ultimate order (and the one we get more often than we should admit) at D’Corazon is a crispy, hard-shell taco piled high with marinated beef and topped with shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, and a cheddar blend. The flavors are so right-on that there’s no need for salsa or hot sauce.
1530 Blake St., Unit C | 720-904-8226 | dcorazonrestaurant.com
Tacos El Amigo
El Amigo’s eponymous tacos are served four to a plate, each stuffed with shredded beef, perfectly fried, then loaded with fresh cabbage, tomatoes, jalapeños, cucumbers, and sliced avocado. The result is a crunchy yet chewy taco that’s the perfect mix of marinated meat and crisp veggies. Add green tomatillo salsa or the sweet-and-spicy chile de árbol.
16399 S. Golden Rd., Golden | 303-279-2633 | elamigoco.com
Each time we go to “El Taco” we’re reminded why it’s such an institution: Service is nothing if not efficient, the prices are almost embarrassingly low, and the small but mighty cabeza tacos (listed in English as beef cheek) deliver with long-cooked flavor on chewy corn tortillas.
714 Santa Fe Dr. | 303-623-3926 | eltacodemexicodenver.com
In early 2022, this bustling taqueria, which also has a food truck, relocated to a larger space on North Federal Boulevard in Westminster. There, we recommend the Veloz alambre with asada, strips of juicy beef tangled in a mess of mushrooms, peppers, onions, and cheese served with your choice of corn or flour tortillas on the side.
7169 Federal Blvd., Westminster | 303-477-1881 | el-taco-veloz.business.site
Guadalajara’s asada tacos—heaping piles of chopped steak snuggled in toasted tortillas— arrive at your table on a plate loaded with all of the BYO fixings you could ask for, including house-made hot sauce, chopped cilantro, and lime wedges.
2835 W. 72nd Ave., Westminster | 303-426-9540 | guadalajaramexicanrest.com
Kike’s Red Tacos (pronounced kee-kays)
Since the Silva Gonzalez family debuted their food truck (pronounced kee-kays) about 18 months ago, they’ve gotten Denverites hooked on birria, a meaty Mexican stew they make with beef and serve in tacos, burritos, tortas, and cheesy ramen bowls. Opt for the quesabirria, tortillas stuffed with cheese and birria and fried on the flattop to melty, toasty perfection. The dish is accompanied by a side of rich consommé for dipping. Tip: Order in advance and be prepared to wait in line.
3640 W. 38th Ave. | 720-397-0591 | kikesredtacos.com
This Denver institution serves excellent carnitas tacos. While the tender beef and grilled-tomato- and-jalapeño-laced sauce are superb, it’s the pastry-like, house-made flour tortillas that take this dish over the top. Squeeze a lime on top and dig in.
1801 Broadway | 303-433-8300 | lalomamexican.com
Track down the Luchador food truck to taste the culinary prowess of chef Zuri Resendiz, formerly of Cattivella and Shanahan’s Steakhouse. His asada tacos—piled high with flat-top-charred skirt steak, tangy nopales (cactus) salad, fresh guac, cilantro, and red onion—are delicious paired with a squeeze of lime and a dollop of his salsa verde or roja.
Locations vary | instagram.com/luchador.foodtruck
This downtown restaurant has been slinging its famous fried tacos for over 60 years. Taste one and you’ll know why it’s a favorite: deep-fried corn tortillas are coated with American cheese, a generous portion of meat (we suggest the steak, which comes with avocado), and topped with lettuce and tomato.
2115 Larimer St. | 303-296-0563 | mexicocitydenver.com
It was a great day in 2006 when Tacos DF went from being a taco trailer to opening a brick-and-mortar on Parker Road. What’s never changed are the real-deal tacos served plainly and proudly. Order the cabeza (roasted cow) for meat that is rich in flavor and melty-tender in texture.
2020 S. Parker Rd. | 303-671-2986
Tacos La Morenita
Since the very best tongue tacos are those where the meat has been crisped, we wonder why more taquerias skip this step. At Tacos La Morenita in Aurora, the caramelized edges offset any mushiness and highlight the meat’s rich, fatty flavors.
15493 E. Hampden Ave., Aurora | 720-379-3058
El Trompito Taqueria
Among the 20-plus options for taco fillings at this festive spot, the tripe stands out. Order it crispy or soft (we opt for crispy) and hit up the well-stocked salsa bar in the middle of the room for pickled jalapeños, cactus salad, fresh radish, and an array of blazingly hot salsas.
1540 W. 70th Ave. | 720-540-3483
This Capitol Hill joint, which opened in May, has a stellar happy hour menu with tacos for $3 to $4 and a classic marg for $5. Go for the Korean-inspired beef bulgogi variety, which is zinged with tamari, garlic, and ginger and sprinkled with calabacitas, kimchi, and scallions.
215 E. 7th Ave. | 303-856-7145 | wildtacodenver.com
A generous portion of chopped steak, chorizo, and grilled onions coated in chipotle salsa make Xicamiti’s campechanos a meat-lover’s dream. The tacos are finished with a delicate sprinkling of queso fresco and cilantro and accompanied by a tangy, lime-infused salsa.
715 Washington Ave., Golden | 303-215-3436 | xicamitibistro.com
Juicy, 12-hour-smoked carnitas are the object of our affection at Adobo. The tacos are garnished with your choice of three topping combinations: lime fig jam, cilantro, and crushed chicharones; cilantro, onion, salsa, and cotija cheese; or pineapple, green chile, green onions, and sesame seeds.
3109 Federal Blvd. | adobodenver.com
At this no-frills joint, the distinctive tacos al pastor include saucy shredded pork, strips of tender red pepper, and chunks of fresh pineapple. Be sure to top yours with the roasted peanut salsa from the generous bar.
3001 W. Evans Ave. (303-922-2508), 1130 S. Federal Blvd. (303-922-0160) | carnitasestilomichoacan
Taste Dos Santos’ take on cochinita pibil (Yucatán slow-cooked pork), and you’ll be in taco heaven. For this messy treat, the kitchen braises pork belly in a heady broth of achiote and other spices for 12 hours until meltingly tender. Guac, slivers of pickled red onion, and poblano sauce add textural contrast and zing.
1475 E. 17th Ave. (also in Colorado Springs and Castle Rock) | 303-386-3509 | dossantosdenver.com
Tacos might be rustic, functional, and delicious—but rarely would you call them beautiful. That is until you see El Camino’s citrus-kissed al pastor crowned with pickled red onion, grilled pineapple, and cilantro. The tang and crunch of the onion combined with the sweetness of the pineapple and the saltiness of the pork creates a bold flavor profile.
3628 W. 32nd Ave. | 720-889-7946 | elcaminotavern.com
Garibaldi Tacos Azules
Tucked into a gas station next to an auto shop on South Broadway lives a restaurant serving some of the best Mexican food in town: Garibaldi Mexican Bistro. Try the tacos azules plate, which comes with one chorizo and one cecina (dried beef) taco, each wrapped in a soft blue corn tortilla and topped with queso fresco, pico de gallo, sautéed onions, and nopales.
3298 S. Broadway, Ste. B, Englewood | 303-781-0812 | garibaldimexican.com
The carnitas taco at this Colfax gem is a house favorite. It’s both juicy and crispy, topped generously with cilantro and onion, and served on two freshly warmed corn tortillas with a side of medium green salsa.
508 E. Colfax Ave. | 303-832-1911
La Calle Taqueria Y Carnitas
For a study in delicious simplicity, order the cochinita pibil at this charming taqueria. A double stack of corn tortillas supports a mound of shredded pork and a sprinkle of onion and cilantro. Jazz it up with the good-enough-to-drink green avocado salsa from the bar and sip on the refreshing tepache, a fermented pineapple drink.
1565 W. Alameda Ave. | 720-583-6586
La Grande Mexicana
This bustling Highland spot has struck gold with their choriqueso taco, a rich little number starring crumbles of spicy chorizo sausage and melted cheese. Balance out the saltiness with a squeeze of lime, a bit of the smoky chipotle salsa, and an ice-cold michelada.
2538 W. 32nd Ave. | 303-433-3008
If you’re a purist, look no further than Patzcuaro’s carnitas. The slow-braised, Michoacán-style pork at this old-school Denver staple is fatty in just the right way, with lightly crunchy, caramelized bits throughout. A bit of the fresh pico de gallo provides a nice contrast to the richness.
2616 W. 32nd Ave. | 303-455-4389 | patzcuaros.com
While the spit-carved al pastor at this mini-chain deserves a mention, order the adovada (red-chile marinated pork), and you may never look back. The earthy spices imbue the sumptuous pork with deep flavor and color, and a bit of the chunky green salsa keeps it bright. Wash it down with a pineapple agua fresca.
9277 Federal Blvd. (303-427-0121), 1280 S. Sheridan Blvd. (303-922-6494)
The beauty of well made al pastor is the play between the spices, the pork, and the pineapple. That’s just what you’ll find at this Aurora shop, where the sprawling space is filled with diners enjoying tacos al pastor and several other varieties.
15343 E. Sixth Ave., Aurora | 303-343-7879
This tiny spot is easy to miss, but find it and you’ll be rewarded with highly seasoned chorizo tacos that have a hint of citrus. Snack on those plus the extra-crispy chips, and you’ll quickly vow to become a regular. Pay at the window when you’re finished.
796 Peoria St., Aurora | 303-360-8765 | tortas-y-tacos-el-chino.business.site
Finding a vegetarian taco that doesn’t taste like a rework of a veggie fajita (barely cooked peppers and onions) can be a challenge. Enter Las Margs’ rajas, where deeply roasted poblanos and onions mingle with corn, crema, and crumbles of Cotija.
1521 Marion St. | 720-361-2137 | lasmargsdenver.com
It’s not hard to resist ordering a comforting bowl of pozole at this buzzy restaurant (and you shouldn’t)—but the tacos are worth your attention, too. Savor a plate of the Niño Popre—a soft corn tortilla layered with velvety refried red beans, melted menonita cheese, and an epazote leaf (known for its minty, citrusy flavor).
2233 Larimer St. | 720-519-1060 | ladiabladenver.com
At North County, charcoal-grilled poblano peppers and broiled-until-golden Chihuahua cheese combine to form a taco that deliciously bridges the gap between taco and quesadilla.
94 Rampart Way | 720-532-0106 | northcountydenver.com
Queso A La Plancha
If you haven’t had a griddled Cotija taco from chef-owner Kevin Morrison’s food-truck-turned-chain restaurant, you haven’t lived. Avocado adds smooth decadence, roasted tomatillo salsa adds addictive depth, and a squeeze of lime cuts the cheese’s saltiness. Sip on a paloma for good measure.
3300 W. 32nd Ave. (720-475-1337), 1514 York St. (720-475-1337) | tacostequilawhiskey.com
At this vegan-friendly haven in Baker, a plate of no-meat tacos includes three corn tortillas dressed with spice-marinated (chili powder, cumin, garlic, Mexican oregano, paprika) jackfruit, salsa verde, shredded cabbage, onion, cilantro, and lime.
3 S. Broadway | 720-570-4503 | sputnikdenver.com
This vegetarian-friendly, banh-mi-sandwich-inspired taco is a stellar, multi-textural treat. This Berkeley cafe packs two corn tortillas with house-made edamame pâté, lemongrass-flavored tofu, bright pickled seasonal vegetables, shaved cucumber, coins of fresh jalapeño, and a drizzle of Sriracha aïoli.
3915 Tennyson St. | 303-474-4131 | vitalrootdenver.com
Camarón a la Parrilla
The grilled shrimp taco at this Wash Park joint is filled with fresh, citrusy flavors—and an extra dose of heat. Use caution when enjoying this fiery street-style, lime-soaked getup, which is topped with habanero pico, avocado crema, cabbage, and served on a single house-made squid ink corn tortilla.
2217 E. Mississippi Ave. | 303-425-6225 | agavetacobar.com
The star of the menu at this Federal Boulevard sit-down spot offering are the tilapia tacos, which are crowned with asadero and queso fresco cheeses, lettuce, tomato, and chipotle sauce. Add a small spoon-full of the garlic chile oil (there’s a jar at every table) on top for an extra layer of flavor.
2311 Federal Blvd. | 720-287-2296 | chiliverdedenver.com
This sprawling restaurant near Empower Field at Mile High has 11 tacos in its lineup—but we’re partial to its contemporary take on the shrimp taco, which sports plump, beer-battered prawns stacked over cilantro and drizzled with jalapeño aïoli. They taste even better paired with one of Cilantro’s margs, such as the chile-dust-rimmed agua fresca and pineapple sipper.
1703 Federal Blvd. | 720-696-7939 | facebook.com/cilantrodenver
Bang Bang Crispy Shrimp
This trendy cantina is a favorite of the happy hour crowd, but you’ll have to turn to the regular menu to spot the Bang Bang Crispy Shrimp. Order it for a bold take on the taco topped with jicama slaw, chipotle aïoli, and pickled onion.
2463 Larimer St. (303-295-0686), 4959 S. Newport St. (303-567-4258) , 10155 E. 29th Dr., Ste. 110 (303-975-6166) | loschingonesmexican.com
There’s a lot to love at Tarasco’s, but we find ourselves craving the simple, fresh shrimp tacos plate again and again. The breezy dish highlights the juicy, sautéed crustaceans with the straightforward garnishes of onion, cilantro, green salsa, and a lime wedge. It’ll transport you to a beach-y state of mind in no time.
470 S. Federal Blvd. | 303-922-2387 | tarascosrestaurantdenver.com
A crunchy lettuce leaf is the perfect canvas for Teocalli Cantina’s taco de tuna, which sports soft chunks of seared bigeye tuna and sticky rice dressed with mango salsa and tamari ginger sesame dressing.
103 N. Public Rd., Lafayette (303-284-6597), 5770 Olde Wadsworth Blvd. (303-923-3170) | teocallicocina.com
Sea of Cortez
While you can’t go wrong with any of the gourmet street tacos from this Pearl Street staple, the Sea of Cortez—with sea scallops and shrimp sprinkled with chili powder and topped with a large slice of avocado, cilantro, ranchera salsa, and Cotija cheese crumbles—is a knockout.
1585 S. Pearl St. | 303-777-2866 | unomastaqueria.com
Los Gallitos Taqueria
Inside this canary-colored taqueria in Athmar Park, you’ll find authentic pulled chicken tacos served on warm, double-stacked corn tortillas with cilantro and onion on top, and a whole roasted poblano on the side. Don’t overlook the salsa bar.
2630 W. Alameda Ave. | 303-955-0175
When a craving for chicken tacos hits, this Berkeley stalwart serves up exactly what we crave: A no-frills plate of four double-stacked warm corn tortillas topped with diced chicken, cilantro, and chopped onion. The real fun starts with the house-made salsas—including a tomatillo-avocado cream, traditional red, pico de gallo, and a seriously intense habanero.
4309 W. 38th Ave. | 303-458-1437 | tacosjalisco.hrpos.heartland.us/menu
Send anyone who says chicken tacos are boring to Tacos y Salsas’ Colfax Avenue location. Here, pulled pollo is crisped on the flattop before landing inside a single (excellent) tortilla. Visit the salsa bar for blistered jalapeños and red or green salsa.
7123 Federal Blvd. (720-535-7054), 9103 E. Colfax Ave. (303-367-1046), Aurora | tacos303.com
Although they’re all good, you’ll want to make a pilgrimage for the chicken taco. It’s juicy, perfectly flavored, and topped with lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, onion, and cheese. Add a squeeze of lime and layer on the salsa served with chips for table service (beware: the Serrano chile purée has a kick), or order to-go from the counter.
1411 S. Sheridan Blvd., Lakewood | 303-936-4407
At food stall Xatrucho inside Grange Hall, chef-owner Edwin Sandoval serves up pan-Latin cuisine inspired by his Honduran roots. We love the mole-negro-braised chicken tacos topped with onion, cilantro, and house-made salsa and served with yellow rice and red beans flavored with Sandoval’s family’s sofritos recipe.
Grange Hall, 6575 Greenwood Plaza Blvd., Greenwood Village | 720-760-8247 | xatruchoconcepts.com
These out-of-this-world tacos (there are three to an order) have layers: House-made flour tortillas form the base for a bird’s nest of crispy, duck-fat-fried hash browns topped with organic eggs and strips of griddled mozzarella. What are you waiting for?
1420 E. 18th St. (303-954-0877), 1919 19th St. (720-788-7550) | onefolddenver.com
The menu at this diner spans 12 pages, but tucked above the extensive burrito options on page five sit the chorizo tacos. Three corn tortillas arrive piled with potato home fries, a chorizo-egg scramble, and melted Jack and cheddar cheeses. The result is hearty (one taco might fill you up). Add the side of tomatillo salsa at will.
1500 Curtis St. (303-534-1927), 2580 S. Havana St., Aurora (303-751-0347) | 435 S. Cherry St. Glendale (303-333-4403) | samsno3.com
The breakfast meat is up to you—choose between ham, chorizo, carne asada, or bacon—then sit back and relax as the team piles on a scrambled egg, potatoes, green chile, cheddar, and grilled onions and tomatoes to create a breakfast taco worth rolling out of bed for. For the final touch, visit the salsa bar to choose one of the five house-made sauces.
2060 S. University Blvd. (720-510-9954), 1712 S. Chambers Rd., Aurora (720-353-4095) | tacoselmetateco.com
Chef Dana Rodriguez is an expert at preparing proteins with aromatic seasonings and fresh flavors—and the taco fillings at Cantina Loca are no exception. The borrego features Colorado lamb served with avocado salsa, an ideal complement to the tender, coriander-scented meat (as is a spicy passion-fruit margarita).
2890 Zuni St. | 303-284-6738 | cantinaloca.com
Griddled Bacon and Jalapeño
It might not qualify as authentic, but the griddled bacon-jalapeño taco at Comida certainly is addicting. Thanks to the melty blend of Cotija, smoked Gouda, and asadero cheeses blanketing the bacon and jalapeño bits, this taco eats more like mini folded quesadilla. A drizzle of salsa verde and crema puts it over the top. Don’t make the mistake of ordering just one.
Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas St. Suite 140 | 303-484-1632 | eatcomida.com
Sirloin and Smoked Bacon
Among Edge’s modern steakhouse fare rests a gem: the sirloin and smoked bacon tacos. The meatiest of combinations, the wedges of beef and bacon have a smokiness that’s reminiscent of a summer barbecue. They’re served street-style with onion and cilantro.
1111 14th St. | 303-389-3050 | edgerestaurantdenver.com
Guadalajara Authentic Mexican Buffet
Visit the buffet tables (yes tables!) and survey the scene. If you see something you like—mole, posole, pulled chicken, garlic shrimp, sopa de mariscos—grab it while you can; the selection turns over constantly. For tacos, it’s make your own—but that’s kinda awesome because no one’s saying you can’t add posole to that bundle of pig snout. The $14.99 price tag (plus $3.50 to add a drink) might seem pricey, but with this all-you-can-eat buffet, it’ll feel like a steal.
11385 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora | 303-344-3862
You’ll need a knife and fork to devour this Native American–inspired taco. Pick your own fillings Chipotle-style, and then savor the warm, fluffy, and slightly sweet house-made Indian fry bread that stands in for the tortilla.
3536 W. 44th Ave. (720-524-8282), 8181 E. Arapahoe Rd., Unit C, Greenwood Village (720-485-6738) | tocabe.com