As summer comes around and the days get longer, we want to eat delicious food that stretches out the good times, too. Nothing does that quite like Mexican cuisine–and it’s not just the tequila.
Flavorful, fresh, sophisticated dishes abound in Mexican eateries across Northern Colorado. Here are a few to try this summer.
Luna’s Tacos & Tequila
Located in the heart of downtown Greeley, Luna’s offers a combination of good food and good vibes.
Luna’s features a scratch kitchen that strives to source fresh, local ingredients. Some local food partners include the Mcdonald Family Farm in Brush, Los Comales Tortillas in Greeley and Innovative Foods in Evans.
A rooftop patio makes summer dining an elite experience, while indoor murals by local artist Armando Silva bring an element of creativity into the mix.
For the libation lovers out there, the bar features more than 330 different agave spirits, including mezcal, tequila, sotol, bacanora, racilla and more.
Sunday through Thursday:
11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
806 9th St.
Birrieria Doña Maria
This restaurant is a fairly new addition to the Mexican food scene in Greeley. With a 2020 opening, Birrieria Doña Maria features plenty of tasty, authentic Mexican food–but it specializes in birria.
Birria is a dish that originated in the state of Jalisco, located in western Mexico. One of the most popular iterations of the flavorful stew features goat meat that undergoes a long, slow cooking process.
Try delicious goat or beef birria dishes at Birrieria Doña Maria, or other dishes such as quesabirrias, fresh seafood and more.
Monday: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Tuesday through Saturday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
1825 9th St.
Blue Agave Grill
Blue Agave Grill specializes in contemporary southwestern style eats in Old Town Fort Collins. Those looking for gluten free and vegan-friendly options won’t be disappointed.
Whether hungry patrons find themselves in the mood for grilled chili lime chicken tacos, pork carnitas street tacos, tofu-walnut enchilada or steak rojo, there’s something for everyone.
Founders Richard and Brenda Lucio pride the restaurant on featuring made-from-scratch food and 13 types of margaritas, in addition to a tasty house-made sangria. The two opened Blue Agave Grill in 2014 but have owned and operated restaurants since 1999.
In true Fort Collins fashion, Blue Agave Grill has also committed to transitioning to 100% wind and solar power.
Sunday through Thursday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
201 S. College Ave., Ste. 100
Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant
The Rio offers standard Mexican fare as well as a kids’ menu sure to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.
With space for larger groups and a newly renovated patio, the Rio is set to be a hot spot this summer.
It also features salsa dancing. During the first Tuesday of each month, FoCo Connections Event hosts beginner-friendly salsa lessons at 7:30 p.m. followed by a salsa dance social from 8:30-10:30 p.m. Whether you bring a partner or fly solo, a live band performance by Salsa Forte or other guest artists is sure to get your blood pumping.
Cost of admission is $10.
Sunday through Tuesday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Wednesday: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Thursday through Saturday:
11 a.m.-11 p.m.
143 W. Mountain Ave.
Food Truck El Don
This food truck offers a satisfying array of food, including tacos, tortas, alambre, burritos, quesadillas, norteñas and hamburguesas–but you have to try the breakfast burritos.
The breakfast burritos are simple–potatoes, egg, cheese and your choice of chorizo, ham or bacon–and scrumptious.
Monday through Friday: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
1617 E. Mulberry St.
Tortilleria La Autentica
What would Mexican cuisine be without the humble tortilla? It’s impossible to imagine. Yet while the tortilla is essentially everywhere, good ones still stand out–and deservedly so. At Tortilleria La Autentica, the warm, fresh, homemade tortillas are a major hit. Scan the reviews of the restaurant and nearly every commentor mentions the staple.
Plus, Tortilleria La Autentica is extremely affordable. For mouthwatering meals that won’t break your budget, this restaurant is the way to go.
Monday through Wednesday: 7 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Thursday: 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
Friday: 7 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Saturday: 7 a.m.-6 p.m.
510 E. 4th St.
Casa Real recently got a makeover thanks to reality show Restaurant: Impossible with Robert Irvine. In 2021, Irvine and his team had two days and $10,000 to update the space, the menu and the operations.
While the food has always been popular with locals, for years, mother and son duo Ritchie and Alma lost money on the restaurant. But after Restaurant: Impossible, things seem to be looking up with pricing that better covers costs.
Try flavors from Guadalajara, Mexico, in the form of calamari frito, carnitas michoacana, camarones españoles or the vegetarian nachos for your next night out.
Monday through Saturday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
243 E. 29th St.
Kelly Ragan is a writer based in Greeley.