Weekend Brunch: Kachina Cantina

BY Linnea Covington

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It’s no secret Denver loves brunch. Each Friday we’ll divulge the newest and best brunches around. Not only do 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.

Visiting the Dairy Block downtown is an adventure on its own, but add in an energetic brunch stop to Kachina Cantina, and the whole day is set. Inspired by Baja Mexico and the Four Corners regions, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah, the menu blends American fare with southwestern ingredients, both on the Mexican and indigenous peoples side. 

But it’s not just the food, the restaurant exudes an artistic energy, making one want to hang out long after the churro waffles have been consumed. Kachina opened in 2017 as the main restaurant for the Maven Hotel. Whether inside the eatery, on the hotel lobby “patio,” or even in the Airstream located right outside the main entrance, there’s something beyond the plate to look at. And, if Instagram is your thing, there are plenty of spots to shoot a selfie or have the staff take a picture of the group. 

Eat the Menu

blue plate with enchiladas and a pepper
For a vegetarian option, try the calabacitas enchiladas at Kachina Cantina. | Photo by Linnea Covington

No matter one’s dietary needs, the menu at Kachina makes picking items easy thanks to a detailed system. The cactus stamp means vegetarian, the wheat stalk with the no symbol stands for gluten-free, and the Zia sun symbol denotes spicier dishes. The later notation, an actual religious symbol from the Pueblo of Zia, also speaks to the style of food served at restaurant, which blends Native American cuisine with New Mexican. 

See the native influence through fry bread tacos, a dish Kachina has become known for. The upgrade costs 50-cents more, and can be used for any of the options including chorizo with potatoes ($4.50), crispy cauliflower with carrots and cashew salsa ($4), and the brunch taco with bacon, avocado, pico de gallo, and pork green chile ($4.50). 

The rest of the menu leans heavy on the New Mexican-Mexican side, offering fan favorites such a smothered, burrito with chorizo, asadero, and eggs ($13). The calabacitas enchiladas ($20) surprised with earthy notes thanks to the squash, and a thick cheesy coating browned to perfection. Don’t skip the platanos con crema ($6), an appetizer that could easily be a side dish. Either way, the tender, sweet-yet-savory plantains are a highlight, and not found often on brunch menus.

Drink Up

blue and white plate with taco
The cauliflower taco goes great with a blood orange mimosa or margarita flight. | Photo by Linnea Covington

Though we didn’t include Kachina in our list of bottomless brunches, on Friday through Sunday, the restaurant also offers a $25 endless mimosa deal with choice of orange, grapefruit, cranberry, and pineapple juices. Add an extra $10 for the upscale option including Segura Viudas Organic Brut and choice of blood orange, guava, and passion fruit agua frescas. 

A large format margarita pitcher ($35) will also satisfy thirsty brunch goers. The drink has El Jimador tequila, Family Jones orange liqueur, fresh orange, lime, and touch of agave to sweeten the combination. If you’re brunching on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Kachina offers a frozen margarita flight ($25) with lime, strawberry, sangria swirl, and pomegranate flavors.

For a less boozy brunch, the coffee fortifies the most hungover of patrons. Also order a michelada, a low-AVB brunch drink made with Modelo Negra beer and the house-crafted bloody mary mix.

Don’t Miss 

open taco with cheese and meat
The quesabirria tacos are a crave-worthy dish to share, or not. | Photo by Linnea Covington

Personally, it’s hard to pass up quesabirria when it’s on a menu, especially for $10. In a nut shell, the cheesy, crispy, rich dish comprises of a tortilla with asadero cheese that’s crisped up, piled with birria-style meat and drizzled with an avocado salsa. While served flat, the proper way to eat it is to fold the it like a taco. It’s a little messy, but that’s what the napkins are for. Two come in an order, perfect for sharing. 

Visit Kachina Cantina for brunch Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m, and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 1890 Wazee St., Denver, kachinadenver.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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