Hip urbanites, downtown denizens and multi-cultural culinary fiends all flock to Margs Taco Bistro, a trendy downtown Mexican joint known for its fresh fruit margaritas and globetrotting tacos. The urbanized interior is a mash up of exposed brick, shelves of tequila, chartreuse banquettes and eclectic light fixtures, all of which set the scene for a party vibe that extends to the streetside patio. Tacos arrive in multiple guises: pork with pickled cucumbers, scallions, sriracha and hoisin sauce; tempura-battered shrimp topped with ropes of cabbage and avocado; and lamb crowned with lettuce, cucumber-tomato relish and tzatziki sauce scented with mint. The sampler platter comes with a half-dozen different tacos, served with rice and beans. The daily happy hour, which runs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., features $5 house margaritas and $2 cans of PBR, Tecate and Modelo Especial, making it way too easy to sneak away from your cubicle.
With a menu comprised only of two sections—'before tacos' and 'tacos'—T/aco's chef Matt Collier understands the power of the white-glove approach. In a recent interview, he divulged to Thrillist that each tortilla, like everything else on the restaurant's menu, is handmade. Harnessing a diverse culinary palette of fresh herbs and ingredients to craft bold flavors, Chef Matt and his team top their braised pork belly, Ahi tuna, and veggie tacos with such gourmet fixings as poblano crema, queso cotija, and chayote-squash salsa. To add a touch of diversity to their taco-heavy menu, they whip up fresh ceviches and guacamole with housemade chips. T/aco's bartenders have also honed an all-important craft. They mix smoky and fruity margaritas with 25 reposado, anejo, and blanco tequilas—one for each year an American must live before she can eat tacos in the US House of Representatives.
Although reviewers are mixed on authenticity, customers agree that the location is convenient and the atmosphere is fun. Four Citysearchers give Croc's Mexican Bar & Grill an average of four stars. Four TripAdvisors rate it an average of 3.5 owl eyes.
In addition to classic Mexican food staples like sizzling fajitas and tacos al carbon, chefs at Lime incorporate international influences into their Central American cuisine. Steamed edamame and chipotle crema dipping sauce, as well as the scorpion plate’s shrimp flash-fried in a wonton wrapper, mingle Mexican cooking methods and ingredients from Asian traditions. And American fair makes its mark with the Lime's Mexican burger which wraps a flour tortilla around a beef burger patty, served with fries. The restaurant creates a festive atmosphere with margaritas, mojitos, and board games that double as giant maracas.
Established in 1927 and featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives, Sam’s No. 3 in Denver is a family-owned restaurant that embraces its old fashioned diner personality. There’s plenty of seating inside the large space, with traditional vinyl booths and long counter seating available to all, plus a bar in the back for anyone looking to grab a quick drink. Serving oversized portions of breakfast, lunch and dinner, the menu at Sam’s is a creative mix of American classics and tasty Tex-Mex meals, with a few Greek options thrown in for good measure. That means char-grilled burgers, large, looming burritos and shaved Greek gyros. Looking for a chili fix? You’ll get your fill here with their family recipes of red chili and kickin’ green chili ready to top any item on the menu, while its downtown location makes for great people-watching.
At Los Cabos II, owners Hernan and Francesca Ruiz showcase a rich variety of Peruvian cuisine, which itself is an amalgamation of multi-ethnic culinary traditions, including Spanish and Incan. Their ceviche—one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes and a Peruvian staple—presents plates of citrus-marinated shrimp, fish, and octopus, all seasoned with spices imported from Peru. They also plate Peruvian-style fried rice, and they simmer a diverse array of piquant fish stews, including Peruvian bouillabaisse with white wine and bay laurel. LocalEats recently honored Los Cabos II with its 2013 award for Best Peruvian cuisine, and Talk of the Town praised the eatery with an award for Excellence in Customer Satisfaction in 2012.
To complement the cuisine, which was also dubbed the Best Central/South American Restaurant of 2010 by Westword, the duo imports a selection of South American beers such as Cusqueña and Cristal, as well as Inca Kola, a Peruvian soda. They also import authentic Peruvian folk art, which brightens up the low-lit dining room with murals and a stuffed-animal llama that is happy to recommend a wine served straight from the eatery's miniature barrels.