One got its start as a food truck, another offers unbeatable $1 taco Tuesdays and all pour strong and flavorful margaritas. When in search of a night out or a dine-in taco fix, these five taco & tequila spots should be on any list, all with extensive Mexican-inspired menus to complement.
Machete Tacos + Tequila
A Mexico City cantina in the heart of Cherry Creek North, Machete Tacos + Tequila piles an array of ingredients atop house-made corn tortillas. Single-order street tacos include smoked pork rib meat with chile-puya rub, sautéed green apples and green onions; Tecate-beer-battered mako shark with Valentia aioli, jicama-carrot cilantro and a hibiscus tortilla; and Mexican zucchini, corn, mushrooms, poblano pesto and queso fresco. Not only does Machete’s tequila list feature more than 50 bottles, the margarita menu proves just as eclectic with options such as the Kona with pineapple- and coconut-infused tequila, or the Hot Mess made with habanero- and serrano pepper-infused tequila—both with fresh lime juice, organic agave nectar and Cointreau.
Tahona Tequila Bistro
Tahona’s tequila menu is organized into four categories based on how long the tequila has been aged, and then categorized further depending on taste and smoothness—perfect for the tequila-tasting novice. Tacos can be ordered separately or as a plate of two or three, including the slow-cooked duck tacos with pineapple-jalapeño jam, spinach, tomato, onions, fried shallots, raisins and cotija cheese; and the carne con cerveza tacos with Mexican spices, shaved cabbage, red onions and queso fresco. A wide selection of margaritas, additional alcoholic beverages and appetizers make the cut for happy hour, which includes all-day on Mondays beginning at 4 pm.
Tacos, Tequila, Whiskey
Born as a food truck under the name Pinche Tacos, shortly lived as the food cart Tacos Borrachos, and finally the brick-and-mortar locale Pinche Taqueria—one by one, the food truck, cart and restaurant all faced an uproar regarding its naming. “Tacos, Tequila, Whiskey” has, therefore, become the undercover name. Name confusion aside, street tacos are divinely created with ingredients such as pan-roasted shrimp and scallops, Yucatan pico de gallo, avocado crema and lime; or grilled shiitake, crimini and oyster mushrooms, griddled cotija cheese, creamed cilantro corn and ancho chile crema. Breakfast tacos are also served, and more than 30 tequilas balance the menu.
Lime An American Cantina & Tequila Bar
Denver has two locations of this taco Tuesday staple: Lime at the Denver Pavilions provides easy access to downtown nightlife, and Lime XS is a smaller venue with a large connecting patio in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. The taco selection is simplistic but delicious—with $1 tacos on Tuesdays—and tequila is poured heavy-handed into popular margaritas. Don’t be surprised to receive tequila-filled lime halves during your visit.
Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant
Three is the limit—eat your heart out on tacos, but the strong frozen and on-the-rocks margs stop pouring after number three. The lengthy tequila list varies at Rio Grande’s six Colorado locations, and both Denver locations’ vaults hold some high-priced and well-aged selections. Margaritas are $4 and a shot of Cuervo is $2 on Thursday nights in downtown Denver and Boulder, and taco plates include adobe chicken and pan-seared mahi.