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Prime Picks Winners: Tacos

Nothing beats these tortilla-bound culinary creations

In honor of the upcoming Top Taco fest (tickets are still available, by the way, so get yours now!), we invited you to vote for your favorite tacos across the Front Range this month. Whether you nosh these gems with a side of añejo or indulge free-form in the park, these always-versatile treats have impressed many of you. Without further ado, here are your picks for the best of the best tacos in Denver and Boulder:

Centro Tacos

Photo courtesy of Centro Mexican Kitchen

Number 1 Taco: Centro {950 Pearl Street, Boulder; 303.442.7771}
The folks at Big Red F (West End Tavern, Jax, ZOLO, etc.) are to thank for the inventive tacos at Centro. With inspiration culled from various regions of Mexico, Baja, and the imaginations of the talented kitchen team, Centro’s taco program is rich in soul, flavor, and fun. Hot Tijuana-style tacos for a cool $5 are the name of the game here, tucked with barbacoa, carnitas, or chile-braised chicken alongside a colorful mélange of toppings (we love the crispy onions and housemade guacamole). Of course, you can also go with lighter, Baja-style tacos; crispy mahi, shrimp, and calabacitas make a meal soar, crafted with myriad flavors and textures. Go whole hog and order your tacos with a Centro Marg, mixed with El Charro silver tequila, lime, orange, and agave.

Los Chingones Taco

Photo courtesy of Los Chingones

Number 2 Taco: Los Chingones {2463 Larimer Street, Denver; 303.295.0686}
Troy Guard has been busy in Denver of late, but while new TAG concepts sprout across the Front Range, the chef’s anchors never fade. Case in point: Los Chingones, which is enjoying expansion into the old Sugarmill space on Larimer. Since launching in 2015, the LC menu has seen everything from rattlesnake tacos to tortilla-pursed tofu. And that’s why we like it; no boundaries means Guard and his team continue to create inspired, engaging tacos never experienced before. These days, we’re leaning on a combo of outside-the-shell ingredients (Lamb Neck tacos with chile pasilla and Octopus tacos with celery and Sriracha stretch the palate) while also savoring the classics (Pork Belly with citrus and Shrimp with chipotle never fail). Inventive cocktails and a killer rooftop patio take the tortilla at this Denver mainstay.

Comida Tacos

Photo courtesy of Comida

Number 3 Taco: Comida {multiple locations}
What started as a humble food truck for Rayme Rossello has blossomed into a multi-unit explosion of tacomania. And that’s a good thing—good for us, that is—because if there’s one thing that Comida has mastered, it’s the taco. With a nod to Mexican street food, Rossello’s menu keeps things both accessible ($3 and $4 tacos!) and dynamic. Craving a seafood snack? The Marinated Fish taco with a serranos, slaw, and lime is a must. Looking for something meatier? The Situation, piled with sirloin cooked in Negra Modelo and topped with smoked Gouda sweet potato hash and roasted onions is a belly-filler. Soft, griddled tacos also rule the plancha; we’re suckers for the Bacon and Jalapeño. And if you come for the tacos, make it a meal—nothing beats a Comida taco paired with a horchata or Watermelon Agua Fresca.

Runners-up: Tamayo, La Loma, and T/ACO

Congrats to the winners! Keep an eye on diningout.com for July’s Prime Picks contest!

Jeffrey Steen, Managing Editor