Latin Markets and Carnicerias Worth Checking out in Denver

There is no doubt that Denver’s Latin scene makes the city a more vibrant, multicultural place to call home, or even set up shop. Every Denverite can tell you their favorite place to get tacos al pastor, or which place makes chilaquiles that are not just delicious, but superb. But what if you’d like to try making your Latin specialty at home? Or if you want to start a culinary adventure? Thankfully, Denver also has a variety of Latin-owned markets and butcher shops where you can get unique products rarely found in general supermarkets. Whether you are looking to recreate your Abuela’s secret beans recipe or you are looking to dive into a new cuisine, here are some of the best Latin markets and carnicerias in Denver.

READ: The Best International Markets in Denver and What to Buy According to Grocers

Carnicería y Frutería La Mexicana

Carniceria La Mexicana. Photo by Marissa Kozma.

Where: 704 Sheridan Blvd., Denver
Nationalities Represented: Mexican
Groceries to Buy: papaya, Carne Picada, chicharrones

The Lowdown: You can’t dive into that steak fajitas recipe without going to a great carnicería, which means butcher shop in Spanish. At Carnicería La Mexicana, you’ll find a variety of spiced meats and other savory cuts. Additionally, it has a small market with fresh produce grown in Latin America. Stock up on ripe plantains, juicy papaya and habanero peppers. The market also stocks canned products and typical snacks that can only be found in Mexico.

Panaderia La Guatemalteca

Panaderia La Guatemalteca. Photo by Marissa Kozma.

Where: 10329 East Colfax Ave., Aurora
Nationalities Represented: Guatemalan
Groceries to Buy: tamales, Guatemalan bread, plantain chips

The Lowdown: The Guatemalan bakery is one of the best-kept secrets of East Colfax in Aurora. The smell of freshly-baked bread permeates the shop and welcomes its guests. Enjoy a black coffee with a side of Guatemalan cookies and pastries. If you’ve worked up an appetite, stick around for a hearty lunch in the form of carne asada with a heaping side of frijoles.

Carnicería La Sierra

Photo courtesy of Carnicería La Sierra on Facebook.

Where: 3170 West Alameda Ave., Denver
Nationalities Represented: Mexican
Groceries to Buy: tacos, Mexican candy, mango popsicles

The Lowdown: La Sierra has everything- tacos, authentic Mexican hot sauce, menudo… Everything. The butcher shop and taqueria provide locals with a pure selection of Mexican products, from sour candy to spicy beverages. Feel free to order some tacos or tamales to go while you shop in their produce section. The highlight of the shop, of course, is its selection of meats. La Sierra also offers weekly discounts of cuts so make sure to head there on a Wednesday for the best prices.

Mi Pueblo Market

Photo courtesy of Mi Pueblo Market on Facebook.

Where: 125 Knox Ct., Denver
Nationalities Represented: Mexican, Argentinian, Colombian, Puerto Rican and more
Groceries to Buy: guava paste, Tropical sodas, Salvadorean cheese

The Lowdown: The multinational market brings a piece, and a taste, of home to every Latin American that has relocated to Denver. Mi Pueblo stocks its shelves from a variety of brands commonly found in countries like Venezuela, Colombia, Peru and others. It also carries a varied selection of bulk dry grains, home-made tortillas and fresh produce. Like many Latin markets, Mi Pueblo has a mini cafeteria where you can enjoy a plate of quesadillas, carnitas and more.

Super Carnicería Compare

Photo courtesy of Super Carnicería Compare’s website.

Where:  2796 South Federal Blvd., Denver
Nationalities Represented: Mexican
Groceries to Buy: seasoned skirt steak, dried bulk beans, dried peppers

The Lowdown: The bright red store near Harvey Park South is a small oasis for Latin Denverites looking for familiar vegetables and products. Compare, like many Latin markets, has a bit of everything. However, going by its name, it specializes in a wide variety of meat selections. From pre-seasoned ribs to Mexican-style chorizo, Compare has everything you need for a succulent barbecue. If you’re lucky, you can grab a bag of chicharrones — crispy pork rinds — by the meat counter. If you are feeling brave, you can opt for the chicharron de espuma, which is the large unbroken piece of pork crackling.

Additionally, the butcher shop and market carry a variety of unique imported products to spice up your pantry. However, if you need an immediate sample, you can always stop by their in-store restaurant or their bakery for a box of sweet bread, pastries and cakes.

Carnicería La Guadalajara

Photo courtesy of Carnicería La Guadalajara’s website.

Where: 5185 West 1st Ave., Denver
Nationalities Represented: Mexican, Caribbean, South American
Groceries to Buy: masa, imported candy, tamale flour

The Lowdown: La Guadalajara welcomes its customers with a colorful mural exhibiting its name. The color scheme continues inside the shop with its bright selection of fresh produce. But the most mouth-watering display takes place at the carniceria where you can find all kinds of meat cuts. It also carries a wide selection of Argentinian cuts for a delectable grilled dinner.  In addition to its traditional butcher shop, La Guadalajara is also a small-scale market abundant with imported essentials. Shop its varied selection of dried spices for a reasonable price and stop by its taqueria for a coma-inducing lunch. Some of its specialties are tacos, barbecued pork and beef steak with caramelized onions.

Lowe’s Mercado

Where: 1320 South Federal Blvd., Denver
Nationalities Represented: Mexican
Groceries to Buy: Limes in bulk, Mexican candy, dried chiles

The Lowdown: Lowe’s established itself as one of Denver’s staples for Latin American products. With a bright pink facade and hanging piñatas decorating its interior, Lowe’s prides itself on getting you more produce for less money. Grocers frequently rave about its deals on fruits and vegetables. Depending on the deals, you can get up to eight limes for a dollar, or plantains for 99 cents each. Not only does Lowe’s Mercado have a huge produce selection but it also carries a unique selection of dried chiles. You can find anything from dried cascabel chiles to habaneros.

Carnicería Los Dos Toros

Photo courtesy of Carnicería Los Dos Toros’ Website.

Where: 2600 West Alameda Ave., Denver
Nationalities Represented: Mexican
Groceries to Buy: dried meat, malta soda, tres leches cake

The Lowdown: The reasons to shop at Los Dos Toros are three-fold. For one, and the principal reason you should go, is its meat selection. From custom cuts to traditional grilling cuts, Los Dos Toros sells a wide variety of beef cuts, pork, and sausages.  The second reason to visit is its small-scale grocer market. You can find a diverse selection of imported products, home-made cheeses and canned goods.

But the secret reason to shop at Los Dos Toros is its exceptional Mexican bakery. Whether you are in the mood for a snack or need a dessert for dinner, its traditional baked goods will surely satisfy. The selection is endless, from polvorones (shortbread-like) cookies with sprinkles to the typical tres leches cake. Additionally, the bakery bakes a daily selection of specialty bread like pan de muerto, bolillos (bread rolls) and sweet breads.