Happy National Taco day! While it sometimes seems that our calendars are overrun with a barrage of slightly strange food holidays (i.e. National Cold Cuts Day on March 3rd, or National Beans ‘n Franks day on July 13th), National Taco Day is one holiday that us Denverites can really get behind. Our fair city is teeming with taco options, from street carts to upscale cantinas. Here are a five of our favorite picks to celebrate National Taco Day in Denver.
1. Marg’s Taco Bistro
With three locations spread out across the city, Marg’s globally inspired take on the taco has quite a few followers. Don’t expect traditional options when you walk into Marg’s. With staples like Korean pork and Philly steak, Marg’s makes it clear that just about anything can taste great when it’s sandwiched by a warm corn tortilla. I recommend the newest addition to the menu: the lamb barbacoa taco. The tender meat is slow braised in a peppy mixture of wine and lime juice, and served with cilantro, pickled corn, and crema.
2. Taquería el Trompito
Where: 1540 W 70th Ave, Denver, CO 80221
Though El Trompito (located just North of Denver in Twin Lakes) is little bit of hike from downtown, it’s well worth it for the authentic Mexican food. The atmosphere is welcoming and festive and the menu quite extensive. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the pancita de borrego (a.k.a. lamb stomach) or cabeza de rez (savory beef head) tacos. My personal favorite here is the barbacoa de res taco, featuring succulent beef cheek. The meat is well seasoned and just the right amount of greasy. The self-serve salsa bar features a nice array of both spicy and mild condiments to top your taco off just right.
3. Pinche Tacos
With two locations and a food truck, Pinche Taquería should definitely be on your trendy taco radar. With rap music blaring and a solid happy hour (try the strong and slightly effervescent margaritas), Pinche draws a young, hip crowd. The tacos, however, speak for themselves. Think traditional Mexican with a fresh twist. Try the lengua taco, which features triple-cooked crispy Colorado beef tongue, avocado, onion, cilantro, roasted tomatillo salsa and guajillo honey mayo. The tacos are all generously portioned and well balanced in terms of flavor.
4. El Taco Veloz
Where: 400 Federal Blvd, Denver, CO 80204
With two locations on Federal, you don’t have to go too far for your Taco Veloz fix. This no frills joint serves up authentic street tacos, all of which come on sturdy, handmade tortillas. While the carnitas are worth noting, the tacos al pastor are a must-try. The pork is spit roasted right in front of you, and has an amazingly deep, spiced flavor and slightly charred texture that you will be dreaming of. Finish it off with a trip to the loaded salsa bar for the assortment of salsas and marinated vegetables. Add a tall glass of horchata and you’ve got a winning meal for well under ten dollars. El Taco Veloz stays open until 3 a.m., so it’s also a great place for some late night eats.
While Comida began as a hot pink food truck roaming around Boulder county, the business has since grown to include two brick and mortar locations: one in Longmont, the other in RiNo located inside The Source. The drinks are killer and the popular happy hour here is a no-brainer. While many come for the booze, they stay for the tacos, which are rooted in street food tradition, yet have a unique spin. My personal favorite has to be the heavenly bacon and jalapeno griddled taco, which features a grilled corn tortilla filled with melty cotija, asadero, and smoked gouda, soft jalapeno, and of course, bacon.
These are just a few of our picks for great tacos in Denver. Where will you celebrate National Taco Day this year?