Good Mexican Places near Stapleton
Be still my beating heart. I have found not one, but five!, great, Mexican places near my home in Stapleton at Northfield. Just off 72nd and Quebec is a treasure trove of Mexican restaurants, and I’ve visited them all. Here’s my review of 5 mostly cheap, good Mexican places near Stapleton.
But first, let’s define good Mexican food.
I am a Mexican food snob. I grew up on street tacos in Tijuana, ate my first fish taco when I was six, and rate all Mexican food on these experiences. If the food comes on a large platter with tons of sour cream, if mariachis come and sing at my table, or if sombreros hang on the wall, you are NOT in a Mexican restaurant. You’re in a GRINGO restaurant. There’s nothing wrong with Gringo places–they’re good–but they can keep their fajitas and nachos. Give me horchata, menundo, and hombres with cowboy hats for this review.
One last point: this review is about exposing these restaurants and creating an invite to go into them. It’s not so much about the food–it’s more about what to expect when you walk in. I know so many folks who get a bit anxious about walking into a place where the menu is in Spanish, you’re not sure what the meats are, or what to expect. This review is about giving you information to handle your expectations and then just picking one (or all five) and trying them.
In geographic order, going from east to west….
Los Gallitos. 7255 E 72nd Ave ·(720) 353-4567
This small hole-in-the-wall at the end of a small strip mall screams out for your visit. It’s tiny inside. Most people get their food to go. I eat a vegetarian (and occasionally fish) diet, so I am always looking for a good breakfast burrito, flautas de papas, or huevos rancheros. Here, I dive into their eggs and potato burrito, my kid gobbles up their chicken burrito, and my husbands loves the tacos al pastor. There are more types of meat on the menu than any of the other places I review, including tongue, tripe, brain, pork; cooked in asada, machacha, or barbacoa. If taking your food to go, don’t forget to grab some fresh salsa from the bar. Bottom line: CHEAP, QUICK, TAKE-OUT, VARIETY.
La Casa del Rey. 7035 E 72nd Ave ·(303) 287-7480
A sit-down restaurant, more Gringo than Mexican, but still in the Mexican category, great service and good chips and salsa accompany many great vegetarian choices on the menu. You’ll find your typical platter food and platter combos here. I like their cheese enchilada–something I usually don’t order–because their red sauce is very good. My teen says the chicken burritos are the best from those reviewed here. Hubby jumps into the chile relleno with a vengeance. Bottom line: MODERATE, GOOD SERVICE, SIT-DOWN, SLIGHTLY GRINGO
Tacos & Salsas. 6895 E 72nd Ave, ·(303) 287-7480
Every time I walk in here, I’m a bit confused. I speak Spanish, and that doesn’t seem to help. I’m never sure if I should walk up to the cashier and order or sit down. It is a sit-down place, and you’ll find lots of Mexicans in here. None the less, you can get your food to go or you can stay. We stay. The chips and salsa are okay, the service is poor. The food is good. It’s nice to see buche on the menu. I’m not much of a fan, but then again, I’m not a big meat eater. Many Mexicans visit the place and eat lots of tacos, but I just can’t vouch for them. BOTTOM LINE: MODERATE, POOR SERVICE, CUTE CHAIRS
El Camaron Loco. 6740 E 72nd Ave Commerce City, CO 80022 (303) 227-0188
Happy happy happy. Can I say happy again? When I feel the need for something beside vegetarian, I’ll jump into fish. This little place swims into my heart with a giant selection of shrimp, octopus, oysters and fish. Can you say shrimp flautas!!!!!??? These are so hard to find, and here they are, right here at this tiny little hole-in-the wall. When you walk in, you’ll place your order. The wall menu is enormous, but basically it just repeats each dish and changes the type of fish. So, let’s say you want a taco de pulpo…no need to find it on the menu, just order it. After ordering, sit down. The waitress brings chips and salsa, which are bland, but they are nice to gnaw on while waiting. Service is slow, but worth it. BOTTOM LINE: PRICEY (for cheap Mexican), SHRIMP FLAUTAS!, FISH VARIETY, DELICIOUS
La Chiquita Mexican Restaurant. 6185 E 72nd Ave, Commerce City, CO 80022 (303) 227-0188
The only place of the five reviewed here where I could find a website, this little gem is certainly the community’s heartbeat. When entering, you order at the counter to go or sit down. We sat and had great service while we watched hombres in cowboy hats enjoy their cervezas. A cerveza sounded good, and found a little treat when it was served with a cold frosty mug. The huevos rancheros is kicking here; the fried potato chips that come with it are authentic and a nice change from beans and rice. This place isn’t fancy, but we like it as a good sit-down with authentic food. BOTTOM LINE: MODERATE, AUTHENTIC, SPECIAL
A Mexican Bakery and Tortilleria, too?
Thus, within 3 miles of my home in Northfield, are five great Mexican places. In addition, there’s another one right across from La Chiquita that I haven’t gotten to yet. If you’re looking for WONDERFUL Mexican baked goods, stop in at La Dos Americas (6065 Quebec St Commerce City, CO 80022 (303) 227-7791), one of my favorites for boles, tortillas, and frijoles. They have a menu, too, but it’s tough to follow and you’ve got to know Spanish to eat here. None the less, get thyself next door to Commerce City and enjoy the wonderful Mexican flavors coming out of the neighborhoods. Which of the 5 good Mexican places near Stapleton do you like?