Nachos are one of our go-to drunk junk-food snacks, and we're partial to versions that are gooey, spicy and so packed with toppings that they're impossible to eat without making a mess. Our award for Best Nachos in the Best of Denver 2011 went to El Camino, where the chips are housemade, each stacked with refried beans and tender, marinated meat, smothered with melted cheddar and Jack, then topped with pickled onions, slices of jalapeño and pico de gallo.
But other joints in Denver make great nachos, too. Here are four more of our favorites:
To get Lola's nachos, you've got to sit in the bar, but it's worth skipping the table to partake. White corn chips laden with smoky strips of pork marinated in bourbon, as well as diced onions and tomatoes, are covered with molten goat queso and topped with pickled jalapeños and onions for a combo that's unique, decadent and the perfect pairing with a Tecate or coin-style margarita.
Racines and Dixons, two restaurants with different menus but the same owners, share a nacho recipe, too. Homemade tortilla chips, toasted along the edges and coated with melted white cheddar, are piled high with black olives, refried or black beans, pickled jalapeños and mess of pico de gallo; a dollop each of sour cream and guacamole quivers on top. Add steak or chicken, and you've got enough to feed a small army. Blake Street Tavern
Since nachos are one of the foods we associate with just about every sporting event around, we'd expect them to be decent at just about every sports bar in town. But the nachos at Blake Street Tavern transcend any other versions in the Ballpark neighborhood. The secret? Four kinds of cheese: Jack, pepper Jack, cheddar and muenster. The gooey mess that results gets topped with black olives, pickled jalapeños, biting red onions, tomatoes and sour cream -- and served with housemade salsa and guacamole.
The nachos at Billy's Inn are an orgy of toppings, a massive heap of corn tortilla chips smothered in cheddar and loaded with black olives, black beans and pico de gallo, drizzled with sour cream, sprinkled with scallions and served with salsa and guacamole. And if you add meat -- chicken, steak, pork, shrimp or mahi -- it's piled high, nestling in the curl of each chip, providing a succulent, protein-packed bite.
Know of other great nachos? Tell us about them below.
More Best of Denver Lists: - Denver's five best restaurants for blind dates
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