Weekend Brunch: Cantina Loca

BY Linnea Covington


It’s no secret Denver loves brunch. Each Friday we’ll divulge the newest and best brunches around. Not only will we highlight our favorite spots for all your brunching needs, but also add lists of things you crave. So pour a mimosa, grab a cup of coffee, and get ready to eat. 

One of the newest brunch places on the scene is Cantina Loca, chef Dana Rodriquez’s colorful Mexican hot spot in Highland. We took a deep dive into her menu and came away full and with a craving for the tiny cups of Mexican hot chocolate the restaurant will soon be known for. 

Eat the Menu

Aside from the decadent hot chocolate (made even more so with a shot of the chef’s Doña Loca tequila or mezcal), the menu comes chock full of hearty, spicy, and crave-worthy dishes. Top of the list, the Pozole Rojo, which comes in small ($12) and large ($16) sizes. Yes, soup for brunch is totally a thing everyone should experience. It’s good both for a hangover or that winter cold you want to drown in spice.

bowl of red pozole soup with tortilla on wood table
Pozole for brunch? Yes please. | Photo by Linnea Covington

On the more traditional side, the Pork Belly Benny ($14) offers diners a taste of what chef Alejandro Rodriguez can do with hollandaise. In this case, it coats thick pieces of sourdough and pork belly and offers a subtle kick, which is not often found in the dish. 

Leaning into the Mexican roots, Cantina Loca also boasts perfectly tangy chilaquiles ($12). Made with hand-crafted tortillas, the mesh of chips, salsa roja, crema and queso sing with a bright fried egg on top. Along the same line, the Huevos Rancheros ($12) stand out in an elegant way with carefully layered beans, queso, salsa and crispy tortillas. 

On the sweeter side, the Churro Waffle ($12) and Dana-shes ($11) are both novel and lack the heat of the rest of the menu

Drink Up

Again, that Mexican hot chocolate ($5). You won’t be sorry when sticking to that, but for a refreshing low ABV drink go for the Michelada Verde ($13). The bright green concoction comprises Dos XX and a house-made tomatillo mix. Of course Cantina Loca pours plenty of margaritas ($12) for brunch too, keeping it classic and featuring Rodriquez’s spirits.

bowl of breakfast potatoes on wood table
Don’t snooze on the potato side dish at Cantina Loca. | Photo by Linnea Covington

Don’t Miss Out

Though not highlighted on the line up, the Papas Locas ($8) will bring you back again and again. The potatoes are perfectly fried, with crispy bits lending texture to the soft inside. A handful of crumbled chorizo literally adds more meat to the side dish, and the creamy chile sauce on top doles out a satisfying heat. 

Visit Cantina Loca for brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; 2890 Zuni St., Denver, cantinaloca.com

Good For:

Families and kids

Groups 8 and under




Linnea Covington

Linnea Covington is the managing editor of DiningOut. She comes to us with a long background in food, restaurant and drinks journalism. Over the last two decades she’s written for tons of publications including Denver Post, Washington Post, Forbes Travel Guide, 5280 Magazine, New York Magazine, New York Times, Time Out New York and more.

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