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Best tacos in Cap Hill: La Abeja dominates Denver’s taco scene

Editor’s note: This is part of our series, Staff Favorites. Each week, we will offer our opinions on the best that Colorado has to offer for dining, shopping, entertainment, outdoor activities and more. (We’ll also let you in on some hidden gems.) 

As a taco fiend, I devour all varieties. I grew up with the faint Tex-Mex echo that passes for Mexican food in the Midwest and, once moving to Colorado, was floored to discover the rest: the fancy-chef takes on street tacos; the regional, green chile-heavy plates; actual Tex-Mex; even the fusion stunts that pour out of food trucks and upscale tequila bars.

But my favorites tend to be the interior-Mexican styles, where shredded cheddar, sour cream, hard shells and ground beef are hard to find. (I love those places, too, but don’t crave them as much anymore.) Among the more humble citadels of flavor — El Taco de México and Taqueria La Familia are two great purveyors — La Abeja quietly dominates Capitol Hill.

A decade ago, I praised its burritos, tortas, flautas, enchiladas, chiliquiles and more in a Denver Post blurb. “The carne asada shames many of the indeterminate protein chunks other joints pass off as steak, and the amount of meat on the steaming corn tortillas make the huge tacos — spiked with lime, onions and green salsa or red-hot salsa — seem like ridiculous bargains,” I wrote.

That’s all still true, but post-pandemic, I’ve doubled down on supporting independent, family-owned businesses that I love. Fortunately, La Abeja is as delicious as it’s always been, whether grabbing rapid-fire takeout or eating-in at its modest, seat-yourself dining room. You can’t go wrong with any kind of taco, but the al pastor and carnitas — which visitors can occasionally see/hear being butchered in the kitchen — are pillowy, melt-in-your-mouth, consistently prepared blessings. There’s no wrong way to love a taco, but La Abeja’s are here to love you back. 8 a.m.-3 p.m. daily. 508 E. Colfax Ave. 303-832-1911 or visit its Facebook page.

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