Mexican Eats in the Mile High City

Where to get Mexican treats in Denver

Although you might not immediately think of Mexican food when thinking of Denver, Mexican cuisine is actually an abundant part of the city’s food scene. Specifically, Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe Drive is lined with some of the city’s best Mexican eats.

Santa Fe Drive has had a long history of artists and art studios, but it wasn’t until 2003 that a group of galleries, museums, and theaters organized the Art District on Santa Fe. Every first Friday of the month this district hosts an art walk with more than 60 participating galleries, studios, and restaurants.

Art and Mexican food — authentic, traditional, and Tex-Mex — all have a home in this unique neighborhood. Denver foodies with an appreciation for art can explore the galleries and then enjoy some of the best Mexican fare in the city.

Green chili is the order of the day in the Mile High City. This spicy sauce made from pork and green chiles goes well on everything Mexican and is a Denver foodie favorite. The following restaurants make their own green chili:

El Taco de Mexico: This small, diner-style restaurant offers authentic Mexican food. Awarded "Best Taste of Mexico" and "Best Green Chili" by the Denver Westword, El Taco’s offers comfort food standards like chile rellenos and beef tacos.

El Noa Noa: El Noa Noa is a restaurant and full bar that has been located in Denver’s Art District for more than 30 years. El Noa Noa has hearty breakfast options, like their machaca con huevos and breakfast burritos that are served all day long. But the kitchen isn’t only known for its breakfast; it has a large menu full of fish dishes, enchiladas, nachos and, of course, green chili.

Santiago’s: Modest, locally owned Santiago’s Mexican is known for its to-go breakfasts and green chili sauce. Dishes are available in mild, medium, and hot, and diners can even order the chili sauce for home delivery. The restaurant has multiple locations in Denver, but art lovers enjoy its proximity to the street’s art galleries.