Let's be very clear: Nobody's trying to be New Mexico here. We know that our neighbors to the south have green chile in the bag. But that doesn't mean we can't enjoy it, too.
Take one look at any Mexican restaurant menu in Colorado, and you'll see "green chile" casually listed as an ingredient to be smothered on burritos, enchiladas, omelets—you name it. An affinity for green chile "sauce" (a concoction based on Hatch green chiles) is what sets our Mexican food apart from other states—like, say, Texas (Tex-Mex), or any place in New England. We wanted to know where to find the best green chile in the Denver metro area (it's a never-ending quest, really), so we put the question in the hands of our friends on social media, asking you to weigh in. And here's what we've learned:
Technically, chile (when referring to either the Hatch green chile pepper itself or the sauce that comes from it) is spelled with an E at the end. Not an I. Chili (with an I) is the red bean soup.
Restaurants with the Best Green Chile in Denver:
Brewery Bar II | 150 Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80223
Brewery Bar was a popular choice on our Facebook pages! We like how Westword put it best: "thin, reddish-orange from tomatoes, studded with nuggets of pork and infuriatingly inconsistent in its heat level—just doesn't need to be thought about in any manner but the most concrete: It's hot, it's wet, it's salty. It binds everything on the plate together so that combinations are really just casseroles with slight variations in texture from one side of the oval dish to the other." Yum!
Brewery Bar, courtesy of Yelp
La Loma | 1801 Broadway, Unit 116, Denver, Colorado 80202
This upscale restaurant was touted for its amazing green chile—over and over again! It's a family recipe that La Loma has proudly been serving up for more than 40 years. Reviewers often say that the green chile is complex and flavorful, with just a hint of heat!
Courtesy of La Loma's Facebook page
La Casa Del Rey | 7035 E. 72nd Ave., Commerce City, CO 80022
Commerce City's La Casa Del Rey has literally won awards for their green chile, even being voted "Best Green Chile in Colorado." They have a green chile for every taste level: extra hot, hot, medium, and mild!
Courtesy of La Casa Del Rey's Facebook page
Efrain's | 1630 63rd St., Boulder, Colorado 80303
A CitySearch review describes this New Mexico-style green chile in the best way possible: "If you're looking for authentic green chile, this is the place to get it on the Front Range. None of this anemic, gelatinous goo the other places dribble over their fare. This is the real deal, with chunks of lean pork in a flavorful, roasted green chile sauce packing plenty of heat. Put out the fire with fresh made tortillas and perfectly mixed margaritas." Sounds good to me!
Courtesy of Westword
Denver peeps love the Adobo Food Truck, a mobile transport for New Mexican flavors and favorites. And it even won an award for its green chile burger! From what we're seeing on social media, it sounds like we need to find this place and try it out! (Love me a good food truck!)
Courtesy of Adobo Food Truck Facebook page
Santiago's | Multiple locations
This Denver chain is going on 30 years, and either you love it or you hate it. A lot of people love it, when you take into account the long lines that snake out the door, as well as the multiple awards the restaurant has won. And it's all thanks to their "Authentic Green Chile Sauce with Pork,” which they say has been the foundation of their fast-growing, successful chain. But then, there are also the haters ... We'll let you decide.
The Original Chubbys |1231 W 38th Ave, Denver, CO 80211
This is another long-time Denver fixture that elicits a violently mixed response. But the ones that love it are passionate, and as Zagat says, it's "packed morning, noon and late night with green-chile lovers lining the order counter to get their fix of smothered burritos or burgers washed down with horchata." The green chile made this place a legend.
Courtesy of Zagat
Sam's No. 3 | Multiple locations
Sam's No. 3 goes through 60 gallons of green chile each day, and it's no wonder why. No matter how much I'm craving a hamburger, one walk through those doors, and I revert to my default: the Macho Nachos with a side of green chile. This award-winning diner has been a local favorite since its humble beginnings in 1927.
Courtesy of Yelp
Best Store-Bought Green Chile in Denver:
If you want to have green chile at home, but don't want to take the time to make it, OCN friends weighed in with these recommendations for the best stuff you can pick up at your local grocery store:
505 Southwestern Green Chile
Santiago's (Colorado's own chain, all packaged up for your home enjoyment)
Mark Schlereth's Stinkin' Good! Green Chile Sauce
And Mark is a former Broncos player, so it's super local!
So no matter what kind of green chile you gravitate towards, it seems that Denver has more than adequate options! Thank you to everyone who offered opinions to help us identify the favorites! You guys are truly the best, and we really enjoyed reading and compiling all your responses! There was no way we could mention all of the good ones, but if you think we missed the mark on something, please tell us in the comments below!
Now, excuse me ... I'm off to try some of your suggestions!