It is hard to leave home, especially a home as unique as Texas in terms of temperature, lingo and food. While many of your favorite Texan meals seem to be absent in the plains of Denver, one transplant has compiled a list for “y’all” so “y’all” don’t have to go scouring Southwest for cheap tickets every time you need a breakfast taco or a kolache.
Santiago’s – Breakfast Tacos
Where: Multiple locations
Santiago’s serves “breakfast burritos,” but don’t let the name fool you, Texas transplants. We know these as the coveted breakfast tacos. These “‘burritos,” to speak to the local language, come in all the hometown favorites: breakfast with eggs and meat, bean and cheese, carnitas, steak and many more. The food is authentic, so stick around and enjoy some churros and sopapillas.
Torchy’s Tacos – Tacos
Where: 1085 N. Broadway St., Denver; 8281 E. Northfield Blvd., Denver.
This taco joint recently expanded to Denver from its home base in Texas a sought-after hot spot on Broadway. Torchy’s Tacos boasts an eclectic menu with tacos including barbacoa, fried avocado, Jamaican jerk chicken and poblano chile. They are committed to responsibly sourced ingredients, protecting our mother Earth, and of course, “damn good” tacos. With the newly opened Stapleton location and a forthcoming Greenwood Village outpost, Texas transplants need not look further for a taste of home.
Glazed and Confused – Kolaches
Where: 5301 Leetsdale Dr, Denver, CO 80246
Coloradans might seem thrown off when the word “kolache” is mentioned. These treats hail from the Czech Republic, but they are beloved by Texans young and old. Kolaches are simply dough filled with savory or sweet items. Glazed and Confused kolaches are a trip back home. Their take on kolaches is signature donut dough filled with jalapeño, bacon, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and a brat. Be sure to call ahead as they are baked to order.
Adelita’s Cocina y Cantina – Margaritas
Where: 1294 S. Broadway, Denver
Texans remember their first sweet sip of a cool margarita—usually at weekly dinners at their favorite Mexican restaurant. For that sought-after sensation, look no further than Adelita’s. The house marg is enough to transport Texans to the Lone Star State, but they also boast a wide range of reposados, añejo, mezcal and more. With two happy hours from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to close, it is a great place to get your margarita fix.
La Loma Restaurant – Tex Mex
Where: 2527 W 26th Ave., Denver
Family owned and operated since its humble beginnings in a small brick house, the food tastes like traditional Tex Mex found in the small corners of a quiet Texas town. They have all the staples: Fajitas, enchiladas, quesadillas and tortilla soup with some surprising additions, such as tequila shrimp. They are moving to a new downtown location toward the end of summer, but don’t be deterred—the food will be the same home-cooked Tex Mex it has always been.
Smokin Yard’s BBQ – Barbecue & bonus: Shiner Bock
Where: 2736 Colorado Blvd., Idaho Springs
Take a trip to mountains and get to know the local hobbies such as skiing and hiking any and all of the 14ers. On the way, stop for a midway BBQ meal in the mountain town of Idaho Springs. They have your favorite, Shiner Bock, on tap as well as local craft beers for the second round. The authentic southern barbecue menu is complete with pulled pork, ribs, brisket and tons of sides, including baked beans and chili. Top it off with their house made barbecue sauces on every table. Be sure to stop by in the summer to get a seat on their porch overlooking Clear Creek and take in the beauty of the mountains.