As we continue exploring Boulder’s vibrant food scene, we profile some locally-owned restaurants that take the cake in one way or another. These come from a thorough review of the local restaurant scene, conversations with restaurateurs and locals in BLDRfly editors’ network. If you have one to nominate, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tierra y Fuego — 4550 Broadway Street (brick-and-mortar outpost)
Born in July 2018 as a food truck fueled by a three-and-a-half acre family farm, Tierra y Fuego recently opened its first brick-and-mortar outpost in North Boulder on June 9. (Not an easy thing to pull off amid a pandemic, but according to founder Pepe Diaz, successful so far!)
Pepe and his wife Victoria started the Diaz Farm in 2012 with the goal of making a living as urban farmers, but when that didn’t produce enough, they turned to their Mexican roots and launched the mobile taqueria.
Probably best known for its home-made corn tortillas, the taqueria grows most of its own veggies and Victoria makes all the salsa from scratch by roasting different types of chiles. Tierra y Fuego also grills or smokes its meats daily using a wood or charcoal grill, so if you’re on the hunt for a classic, juicy street taco garnished with onions and cilantro, not a bad place to go.
T/ACO — 1175 Walnut Street
Tucked along Walnut Street near Rosetta Hall, T/ACO has one of the best covered side-patios in Boulder for sipping on a ‘rita and an urban speak-easy atmosphere through the red curtains inside.
A group of partners formerly of burger joint H-Burger (now closed), including Peter Waters (think Ruthie’s Boardwalk Social) and restaurateur Josh Dinar, founded the taqueria in 2012, and Chef Matt Collier, who now runs Seeds Cafe inside Boulder Library’s main branch, created the menu which the kitchen still runs.
T/ACO makes its corn torillas in house, and on Taco Tuesday, margaritas and $2.50 tacos flow like a tender pork belly taco doused in good salsa. In fact, one of T/ACO’s best-sellers includes its six-hour-braised pork belly marinated in guajillo pepper sauce and topped with pickled red onions, cotija cheese and cilantro. Another popular favorite is its Classico taco, ground beef in a hard shell, and we love its Cotija taco — grilled, fresh-grated cotija cheese topped with guacamole, pico de gallo and tomatilla salsa. Most tacos go for between $3.75 and $4.25.
It also serves up a strong margarita.
Mojo Taqueria Boulder — 2785 Iris Avenue
Spurred by a passion for building sauces and salsas, husband-and-wife team Ty Hammes and Erika Anderson first opened Mojo Taqueria’s flagship spot in Lyons in 2016, followed by its NoBo outpost in 2019. The couple met at Centro Mexican Kitchen where Erika worked and Ty’s Brazilian band played, and the pair spent a year developing their recipes before launching their taqueria.
Some of Mojo’s best-sellers include its braised short rib taco, the baja fish, carnitas and its chicken enchiladas and kids get to eat for free on Tuesdays (one free kids meal per adult meal).
It also has a great selection of mezcals and tequilas; on the first Thursday of each month, Mojo cracks a new bottle and serves up $5 pours.
McDevitt Taco Supply — 4800 Baseline Road
McDevitt Taco Supply stuck its claim in Boulder’s food scene in 2017 when Bradford McDevitt traded in his Super Heady taco cart on Pearl Street Mall for a lease in southeast Boulder. Since Bradford first launch his taco cart in 2011, it has become a local staple with a mobile cart at Sanitas Brewing Co. in addition to its Baseline Road outpost and up until Covid, served up its tacos at the Boulder Theater during shows.
The taqueria has a menu of over 100 taco recipes, with a handful always on rotation. Some of McDevitt’s best-sellers include its green chili and chicken taco and the brazed pork belly featuring pickled onions and topped with chili-lime mayo.
This spring, in response to Covid-19, McDevitt launched an in-store mini mart featuring everything from McDevitt’s regular menu to-go to meal kits, pickled cabbage, onions and kimchi, quarts of house-made margaritas to Speedwell Farm & Gardens produce — and then just for fun — succulents and toilet paper.
Verde — 3070 28th Street
Another food truck-turned-taqueria taqueria, Verde got its start in 2011 when childhood friends T.J. Ingraham and Mike Sethney wanted to bring flavors of their Arizona home to Boulder The team opened its first brick-and-mortar Verde restaurant at 3070 28th Street in 2014 followed by a Louisville outpost in 2018.
Verde features the Sonoran-style Mexican food native to Sonora, of the Mexican state that boarders Arizona. Sonoran food focuses on corn, beans, and squash, what some call the “holy trinity” of U.S. Southwest agriculture. (Also known as the Three Sisters.) Some of its popular dishes include the mushroom and corn taco, made with mixed ‘shrooms, green chilis, cilantro creamed corn, cotija and spicy crema, and its chicken taco with Tinga sauce, cilantro and avocado.
It also serves up great burritos and recently started selling its chips, which it previously offered bottomless.
Header Image: Verde Boulder. Image: Tatyana Sharpton.