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Best Green Chile Denver 2009 - Santiago's



571 Santa Fe Drive

Denver, CO 80204


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Readers' Choice: Brewery Bar
It took us a year to make this decision. Seriously, a year. We spooned our way through bowl after bowl around the city, through green chiles thick and thin, sweet and sour, dull and devilishly hot. And we kept coming back to Santiago's. Fortunately, it was easy to do so, because this homegrown chain keeps opening up more stores all around the city, and all of them serve the same great green. With its moderated heat and perfect balance of the chile's vegetable sweetness to the savor of pork fat, this elixir goes with everything from eggs to tacos to midnight snacks — and is also just splendid on its own. In our hearts, we knew Santiago's green chile was the winner from the start. All that testing and experimentation? Just an excuse to eat the leftovers, really.
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Mario N Rick
Mario N Rick

and they ALL are 2ne rate compared to what you can get anywhere in Albuquerque or Sante Fe.

The best green chile (or red) you can eat is approximately 400 miles south on I-25.

Denver is NOT a seafood nor a green chile town in the first place.


The reviewer talks about what an agonizing decision this was, and how much chili he ate ... and SANTIAGO'S is what he comes up with? Everyone knows about Santiago's, and everyone knows it's good. NOT GREAT. Just good. It's not worthy of carrying the banner for what might be the only cuisine that this state can claim to have created (or at least co-opted/improved upon from the New Mexicans).

My problem with Santiago's is that it's too watery, which beyond being undesirable is also a betrayal of our state's stylistic interpretations of the dish. I would echo the earlier commenter's sentiment regarding the "Best Colorado Style" category. Or at least change things up from time to time for god's sake; if picking a Best Green Chili is so hard that you are forced to pick the same two (mediocre) places every year, then make the award merely informative. Pick a new place each year that many of us aren't aware of.

Juan's, Old Curtis Street, La Fiesta, City Grille, Brewery Bar II, and Jack 'N Grill all make better green than Santiago's. I would even put Meade Street higher, I think.

It sure would be nice if the most important category of Westword's "Best Of" weren't a perennial disappointment.


Pure Vomit! Really, I can't believe that this swill was voted Best Green Chile in Denver. Santiago's has either paid off the reviewer, or this person hasn't a credible palate. I have never, ever written a review, but this food was so putrid not only did it go in the trash after two bites, but I felt compelled to write in the hopes that someone will save their money and time and get their Verde somewhere else.

Santiago's Green Chile is simply a chicken stock and cornstarch rue with a modicum of canned Ortega chilis and maybe, just maybe some garlic and onion powder. In my entire take home vat of this junk there was not even one single piece of pork. Not ONE! The odd light yellow/orangey color should have been a dead giveaway. Thin and watery without the savory heat and complexity of even the most simple of Chile Verde. Not even good enough to sauce a burrito at Taco Bell I'm afraid.

As for the other food? A store bought tortilla, cheap cheddar and boiled flavorless meat hidden in large proportions of iceberg lettuce does not a good nor authentic Mexican meal make. Literally every single item that we ordered was gross. I don't understand how these people are opening more restaurants. Just goes to show you that the vast majority of people have no interest in quality aside from filling their guts. Any taco stand on Federal is infinitly better. And much cheaper. You should be ashamed to serve that crap Santiago's. Your Abuelitas are churning in their graves.


Jack n' Grill and Santiagos ALWAYS win best green chile. Don't get me wrong, both are good, but you can't really eat them as a soup. They're too watery. I remember a few years back Westword had a category called "Best Colorado Style Green Chile" or something like that. "Colorado style" being the thick, pork-laden type that eats like a meal. That award went to CityGrille for some unfathomable reason. It was accompanied by a chastising diatribe by the food critic about how Jack n' Grill had "real" green chile and Colorado-style chile needed its own category. If the writers hate Colorado so much, why don't they move to New Mexico?

Anyhow, I think they should bring back the Best Colorado Style Green Chile category, except this time, they should actually put some effort into finding the best instead of giving it to CityGrille. That's like giving Reynaldo Balkman the best Denver Nugget award. I know CityGrille is only 7 or 8 blocks from the Westword offices, but green chile is serious business here in D-town, and laziness like that won't be tolerated.


Sorry, but. . .don't even go near Monterrey House. The food is marginal at best, and pricey for what you get. Why it doesn't appear in any "best of" listings is because. . . well. . .the place belongs in the mexican food "worst of" category. You're much better off going to Santiago's--except for the 1st and Sheridan location, where they screw up orders regularly. Santiago's green chile is still the best, though.


Would somebody, just once, make the fucking trip to Monterray House in Arvada and check out the chile? The people that owned this restaurant for years with, at one time, 3 locations in the Denver metro area, sold to an outsider. There is only the one location left.From what I know, the recipe for their chile was included in the cost of the place and it's closely guarded.All of the cooks were retained, their supply chain was never broken and things didn't change much as far as the taste of the most delicious chile I've ever had goes.The chile is paper thin, loaded with huge chunks of pork that taste like grandma's easter ham, from the midwest if it had been stewing in the best tasting green chile you've ever tasted, for hours on end. The peppers really stand out too. Fresh anaheims, jalapenos, sweet habeneros make it so good.There are no shredded beef dishes, everything as far as beef goes is ground and spicy. They don't serve liquor. The salsa is yummy hot with hot round corn chips and they're reasonably priced.I know that the best green chile category is one of the most hotly contested in this mag but this is worth at least a look.