Reader: Ten Best Places for Green Chile? New Mexico!

Green chile at North County, one of our ten best.
Green chile at North County, one of our ten best.
Danielle Lirette

Whenever we publish a list of our favorite spots for green chile in Denver, we can expect three controversies to crop up even before people start discussing our actual choices. One is the argument over the spelling of chile: We go for "e," since chili generally refers to chili con carne, Texas or Cincinnati style, and we're going for the green. The second is the endless debate over New Mexican green versus Colorado style. And the third? We'll hand that over to Ethan:

WTF is wrong with Westword? How does a list of best green chile in Denver include several restaurants in Boulder? And for that matter, why does the Boulder green chile look and sound so much better than the Denver green chile? Just give it up ... You're not helping this former New Mexican find any green chile in Denver worthy to write home about.

For the record, we never limit our hunt for the best anything to Denver city limits. That would cut out restaurants in Lakewood, Aurora and yes, Boulder, which can be just as fast a drive from downtown as the southern suburbs — and we definitely consider it part of our metro Denver circulation area. We'd go a lot further than Boulder for great green. Pueblo, for example. As for the chile/chili debate, Lisa provided the answer to that:

This is a common question and has fueled many arguments over the subject. There are many accepted versions. Chile with an "e" at the end is the correct spelling in Spanish. Chili with an "i" at the end is the Americanized version. The "i" version began with the name of the dish "Carne con Chili," meaning "Meat with Chile." It evolved into "Chili con Carne" and then shortened to just "Chili." The term ending with an "i" is widely accepted and is often used as the name for "Chili Powder." The term "Chile" with an "e" is the more correct way to spell it, although many forms are accepted.

The Colorado versus New Mexico debate may never end, though, and fans of New Mexican green were quick to weigh in. Says Joshua:

I'm not sure that I've had "bad" green chile in Denver. But the best is still in New Mexico.

Adds Karlson:

I haven't found any good places for green chile in Colorado.. None.
It's all about Hatch! 

Concludes Adam: 

Ten best places for green chili:New Mexico.

Read our list of the Ten Best Places for Green Chile in Denver — 2016 Edition. Now make your own suggestions in our comments section; we'll offer a list of reader favorites this weekend.


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