How did an unassuming Mexican mineral water — one that’s been around since the 1860s, no less — suddenly become a cult favorite? Perhaps the appeal lies in the hunt. By no means as common as the queen of all fizzy waters, LaCroix (how do you pronounce that name?), Topo Chico has historically been a rare find in Denver, popping up sporadically in mom-and-pop Mexican restaurants and select 7-Elevens.
But recently, Topo Chico has become the hip new mixer and refresher in local cocktail bars, coffee shops and even high-end restaurants, a favorite for both its effervescent bubbles and retro-nostalgic label.
If you're wondering what the big deal is, here are thirteen spots in Denver where you can get a Topo Chico fix.
3350 Brighton Boulevard, 303-484-1632
2501 Dallas Street, Aurora, 303-296-2747
What more would you expect from a taco-truck-turned-brick-and-mortar spot? The sit-down extensions of Rayme Rossello’s wildly popular food truck dish out south-of-the-border street food, innovative margarita recipes and (of course, given its street cred) everyone’s favorite handheld Mexican soda water. There are Comida locations at the Source and Stanley Marketplace; “Tina the Taco Truck” still roams the streets of Boulder.
1475 California Street
Corinne, a full-service restaurant highlighting “honest food and drink,” is located inside downtown’s highbrow Le Méridien hotel. Needless to say, Corinne's bar didn’t skimp when crafting the perfect cocktail menu. Take the “Sage Advice,” for example, made with Mile High vodka, pomegranate, sage and Topo Chico. The fall flavors pair well with a crispy halibut sandwich, roasted B
258 Santa Fe Drive
In a town filled with “Mountain Mex,” El Tazumal’s Salvadoran fare is a refreshing departure from the standard Southwest fusion that litters Santa Fe Drive. This
The Family Jones Spirit House
3245 Osage Street
A born-and-bred Colorado classic, the Family Jones Spirit House is a Denver distillery and tasting room that “keeps it local” in nearly every sense, making all spirits and tinctures in-house. To infuse the bar's salted grapefruit spritz with the right flavor, however, a splash of Topo Chico tops Jones house gin, Jones house blanc and grapefruit juice. Enjoy an upscale take on the fizzy Mexican water at the horseshoe-shaped bar or in a stylish velvet booth.
4301 Pecos Street, 866-558-2201
1800 Wazee Street (inside the Maven Hotel)
A staple in the Sunnyside neighborhood and a recent addition to the up-and-coming Dairy Block development, Huckleberry Roasters caters to the hardcore coffee critic and intimidated novice alike. Both locations offer nice, cold Topo Chico bottles from a grab-and-go fridge.
Lola Coastal Mexican
1575 Boulder Street
Where else would you look for your favorite Mexican mineral water than LoHi's favorite Mexican restaurant? Lola is a cantina made for the choosy beverage connoisseur, whether you’re into the comprehensive tequila selection or Topo Chico galore (plus, tableside guacamole service, fresh oysters and all-night Monday happy hour). For something fruity, sip the house Paloma, made with grapefruit Topo Sabores, the beverage company's flavored soda.
920 South Federal Boulevard
A not-so-hidden gem if there ever was one, Los Mangos is a strip-mall snack bar with a flair for the dramatic (see: the prismatically colored, fedora-wearing mango mascot). Along with your Sonoran hot dog (pictured above, wrapped in bacon and armed with salsa verde), ice cream sundae or sandía
1315 26th Street
An example of the Austin-to-Denver invasion that may have helped fuel the Top Chico craze in town, Lustre Pearl is a recent RiNo installation that hails straight from the Lone Star State. Far from shy regarding its roots, Lustre Pearl offers an upscale twist on Texas’s unofficial cocktail: “Ranch Water” is an artfully crafted blend of Espolón Blanco tequila, lime, Cointreau and Topo Chico. Happy hour starts at 2 p.m. on Fridays so you can get an early jump on your weekend.
3316 Tejon Street
A distinctly “rustic-chic”
Roaming Buffalo Bar-B-Que
2387 South Downing Street
Following the strict barbecue tradition of serving until sold out, Roaming Buffalo BBQ often has an out-the-door line for lunch (Tuesday through Sunday beginning at 11 a.m.) and dinner (Friday and Saturday beginning at 5:30 p.m.). Patrons are invited to wash down Colorado barbecue specialties like smoked lamb shanks and shoulder, bison ribs and game sausage, as well as classic pork, ribs, beef brisket and smoky chicken, with an ice-cold Topo.
3301 Tejon Street
Another addition to the greater Central and South American food scene in the Denver area, Señor Bear set up shop on Tejon and West 33rd Avenue in early 2017, bent on reinterpreting traditional Latin American dishes in a chic atmosphere with a creative kitchen — not to mention creating a killer cocktail menu. We recommend the Caliente Como Jalapeño: pineapple-jalapeño tequila, citrus and Topo Chico.
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1201 East 13th Avenue
A hip coffee transplant from Bend, Oregon, Thump is a combination cafe and roastery in the heart of Capitol Hill. With a menu that prides itself on “more than just coffee” (a European trend that has been sweeping the Denver coffee scene in recent years), Thump offers remote workers and
2215 West 32nd Avenue
Though Topo Chico isn’t exactly considered a standard Japanese beverage, Uncle is far from the average ramen eatery. Owner Tommy Lee’s take on ramen serves up Japanese and Korean influences with a Denver twist, a combination resulting in such favorites as spicy chicken and a miso-based veggie ramen many local vegetarians swear by. Wash down the spicy broth with a fizzy Topo Chico and call it a distinctly Mexican-Asian fusion day.