Good Mexican Food and Record Stores in Denver?
July 12, 2004 10:11 PM   Subscribe

Good Mexican Food and Record Stores in Denver, anyone? Enter for more...

A good friend will be in Denver for a week of Insurance training and can't find reliable info for the best record stores (CDs, vinyl, collectable stuff of most genres). Think Amoeba, or The House of Guitars without the piles of vinyl to step over. To the best of his knowledge, he's in 'Downtown Denver.' Bonus points to whomever knows good Mexican food there as well. My friend thanks you, and he reminds you to check your homeowner policy yearly.
posted by TomSophieIvy to Shopping (17 answers total)
There's alot of great Mexican restaurants in Denver, isn't there? The one I've ate at isn't downtown, and it's probably located in what Americans would call a scary neigbourhood, but the New Mexico Restaurant (on Fox between 41st and 39th Avenue) impressed my "Yankee" tastebuds.
posted by sleslie at 10:56 PM on July 12, 2004

I love Monterrey House (about Kipling and maybe 60th?), Gordo's (Sheridan and 6th), and the Brewery Bar (on Kalamath). There are a bunch of good ones, but those are my personal favorites.

For years, the best record store was JB&H, but I'm not sure if it's still there or not.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 12:04 AM on July 13, 2004

Everytime I go to Denver I have to stop at Wax Trax Records. They specialize in punk/indie/alt music, but also have a great vintage and new vinyl store across the street. Their website is pathetic and won't tell you anything, but it's a great store. It is in the Colfax/Capitol Hill area (I believe you can take a bus from downtown) and the sister store Across The Trax has the address listed. Sorry I can't give your more precise directions, I'm not local to Denver and it's one of those places I can drive to but I can't give precise directions.
posted by dual_action at 7:22 AM on July 13, 2004

the blue bonnet on S Broadway's not bad, and i second the Brewery Bar. also, Las Margaritas on South Gaylord is decent, but they really don't have very good margaritas for being named after them. and, if your friend has never tried out Chipotle, it's worth it. there's one on the 16th St. Mall. their food is more burrito-vendor fare than true Mexican, but damn tasty.

i like twist & shout on alameda. black & read in arvada off 80th & wadsworth has an ok selection, sells used books, and is cheap!
posted by littlegirlblue at 7:27 AM on July 13, 2004

If you're going to delve into chain Mexican food with Chipotle, then you really should just skip it and have Qdoba instead. They're around the corner from each other downtown (16th & Market.)

I've found in Denver that it's harder to find bad Mexican food than it is to find good Mexican food. Las Margaritas on South Gaylord is pretty good. Little Anita's on South Colorado Boulevard has the best chips and salsa I've had here yet - it's a ways from downtown, but your friend can take the B-Line bus to get there if no car's involved.
posted by hijinx at 7:33 AM on July 13, 2004

Casa Bonita!

Ok, I don't really know if it's "good" Mexican food, but it could be a fun place if you're into tacky touristy places. I was there once years and years ago on a trip through Denver. Mostly I remember the yummy warm sopapillas with honey.

It was also recently the setting for an episode of "South Park."
posted by dnash at 7:34 AM on July 13, 2004

Stay away from Casa Bonita. Far, far away. It has not improved with age. Fear the Casa.

Second on Wax Trax and Twist and Shout for record stores.
posted by jazon at 9:15 AM on July 13, 2004

If your friend is adventurous and/or falls in with some foodies, Denver has one of the best Japanese restaurants in the US. It focuses on "country style" food and serves a lot you would not normally find in Japanese restaurants. You'd probably have to share a cab, but it's not far from downtown.
posted by carter at 9:34 AM on July 13, 2004

Ooh, Blue Bonnet. How could I forget?

Casa Bonita was one of my favorite places growing up. I went there again a couple of years ago and found that it is NOT a place that grownups should eat. Crikey.

I also second WaxTrax and Across the Trax. They're on 13th Street a couple of blocks east of Broadway.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 10:13 AM on July 13, 2004

re Casa Bonita: Lovely to look at, lovely to drink, if good food you look for, you'd better rethink.

Also second Brewery Bar II on Kalamath if said friend is paying, Cielo on Broadway if company is paying.

Speaking of scary neighborhoods and food that isn't mexican, Patsy's at 36th and Navajo is some of the best italian in Denver.
posted by m@ at 10:48 AM on July 13, 2004

Oh, just remembered, Westword is the local free rag and has a searchable dining review page.
posted by carter at 11:06 AM on July 13, 2004

Casa Bonita is more a theme park than a restaurant. If little kids are in tow, it's great for them. Just don't expect the food to be better than, say, the Mexican food you can get at Disneyland.

Wax Trax was quite the institution when I was growing up in Denver, glad it's still around.

I'd suggest the Taqueria Patzcuaro on West 32nd, Sabor Latino on West 35th, or Julia Blackbird's on West 32nd.

Mezcal on Colfax might be okay for a drinks 'n munchies kind of thing.
posted by ambrosia at 12:03 PM on July 13, 2004

Chipotle started out in Denver, and I've noticed that the original Denver locations still prepare a better burrito than the stores built across the country after the McDonalds takeover.

Wax Trax and Twist & Shout all the way for music.
posted by thewittyname at 12:29 PM on July 13, 2004

Jerry's Records (I think that is the name) on capital hill off Colfax and Grant is good as well. A favorite haunt whenever Neil Young and/or Steven Van Zandt come through down, due to their odd and expansive old vinyl collection.

Favorite Mexican: La Pasadita, Park Ave. and 20th or so, by the Five Points Safeway!

I second (third?) the belief that it is harder to find "bad" Mexican food in town. Whatever you do, have a breakfast burrito, smothered in green chili. It has eclipsed the Denver omelette by far as the food that puts Denver on the map.
posted by majikwah at 1:49 PM on July 13, 2004

I grew up in Denver too, and absolutely cut my record-collecting teeth at Wax Trax and Across the Trax -- great, great stores. The Blue Bonnet cafe is also not to be missed (although I think it's gone from charming hole-in-the-wall to major hot spot?). Casa Bonita is (as others have noted) strictly for the entertainment/kitsch value if you need to amuse some kids for an evening. Los Troncos on 6th is (according to friends -- I've never been) also supposed to be good -- their food comes with a Bolivian flair.

On preview: wow, nice to hear that Jerry's Records is still around! Terrific rare vinyl.
posted by scody at 1:55 PM on July 13, 2004

I use to head to Twist and Shout Records Off Broadway and Alameda every few weeks with my dad growing up. (thanx to #mefi member booradley for reminding me). Also Chubby's burrito is a good time too.

I ninth the belief that most mexican food in Denver is good. That's one of the things I miss about Denver after moving to the North East.
posted by Stynxno at 2:15 PM on July 13, 2004

Response by poster: Rock on, everyone! My friend was blown away by the responses - thanks for surpassing all expectations!
posted by TomSophieIvy at 10:11 PM on July 13, 2004

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