The beats of lean cuts of meat sizzling on the grill and ladles clanking against trays of zesty vegetables fill Qdoba Mexican Grill during construction of made-to-order Mexican fare. As healthy-eating devotees, Qdoba's staff stocks its kitchen with nutritious ingredients, seasonal flavors, and 100% cotton candy–free tortillas.
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.
The patio at El Noa Noa Mexican Restaurant is a lush, enchanting garden, where roving mariachis strum guitars on warm weekends and water gushes from a stone fountain. Tall glasses seem to magically refill with fruity margaritas, and there is never any shortage of warm chips and tangy salsa. Diners bask beneath colorful umbrellas, oblivious to the chatter and canvas-munching sounds of passing pedestrians eating their way though the Art District on Santa Fe just beyond the patio's brick walls.
Past walls speckled with Mexican artwork, chefs in the kitchen whip up authentic south-of-the-border dishes that have been lauded by Denver Westword. These skilled cooks fold fresh seafood and meats into a variety of tacos, burritos, and enchiladas, topping them with scoops of guacamole, pico de gallo, and Mexican-style cream. To whip up their specialty sopapilla, they stuff a puffy pastry with pork, refried beans, and cheese before showering it with fiery green chili.
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.
The year was 1967, and Stella Cordova was working in a restaurant called Chubby's Burger Drive In. One day, the owner made approached her with a curious offer?would she like to buy the place? Stella said yes, and today she keeps locals well-fed by managing the eatery she once worked in. Since then, The Original Chubby's has changed locations, altered its name, and sprouted a second spot in the arts district?now in the hands of Stella's grandson Julian. This time, though, the menu's fare features a Mexican twist. Stella's own favorite is the green chile-topped Mexican burger served with a side of cheese fries, but dozens of burgers, tacos, and burritos fly across the counter at Chubby's until midnight.
Authenticity is at the heart of Las Fuentes Mexican Restaurant. The menu consists of secret family recipes known only to the chefs and the kitchen's most discrete pots and pans, and every dish is made using only the freshest ingredients. Breakfast kicks off with eggs scrambled with pico de gallo and green chile sauce before chefs start building classic burritos, tacos, and enchiladas for the lunch and dinner crowds. Beyond the classics, specialty dishes include tamales smothered in homemade green chile, and a carnitas plate featuring tender bites of pork tossed with grilled onions and guacamole. Daily happy hours, meanwhile, offer deals on Mexican beer and margaritas available in an array of flavors including peach, mango, and strawberry.