The Pupusas food cart in Louisville (credit: CBS)
You live in the Denver area, which means you are lucky enough to be in a very diverse area with lots of different foods to try. There are so many parts of town where you can stop for traditional dishes, and if you are a fan of Latin American cuisine, then you are in luck. One of the most traditional foods from El Savaldor is called a pupusa. It is a handmade corn tortilla, usually much thicker than what you typically think of when you think of a tortilla. It is filled with a blend of cheeses, meats, beans and usually some type of salsa or a cabbage slaw. When done right, a pupusa is a delicious treat that is perfect for an inexpensive late night snack or anytime meal.
1205 Washington Ave.
Golden, CO 80401
This small restaurant in Golden is always a popular hangout. Why? The food is good, the prices are low and you can get amazing pupusas here. The burritos are also quite popular, but you are visiting to try the pupusas and you can enjoy a variety of flavors. Try traditional cheese or pork or check out zucchini or green chili or even spinach and mushroom. There are lots of ways to enjoy your pupusas, but just be aware that El Callejon is a very small spot so you may end up eating outside.
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8890 E. Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80220
If you have driven down East Colfax and you are particularly sharp eyed, you may have noticed a small building with “Tacos y pupusas” written on the side. One guess what is served here. It’s a small spot but it’s packed with big flavors. Once inside, you are treated to some of the most amazing, traditional Salvadorian pupusas in town. There are four flavors to try – queso (cheese), chicharron (pork), frijoles (beans) and loroco (an edible flower.) All four are fantastic, usually a little greasy and stuffed full of your chosen ingredient. The slaw on the side is also delicious, giving it just the right amount of vinegar and tartness. One caution here, however, it’s a cash-only establishment.
Parking lot of Union Jack Liquor
1160 E. South Boulder Road
Louisville, CO 80027
If you want an authentic, cultural meal, then one of the best places to go is the food cart. The Pupusas food cart located in the parking lot near Union Jack Liquor in Louisville is quite possibly the location of the finest pupusas in town. Sure, it is a bit of a drive and you’ll be ordering at a food cart so there is really nowhere to sit or hang out. However, once you try the handmade, made-to-order pupusas, you’ll be hooked and you’ll be coming back. There are a lot of different pupusas to try, including chicken, bean, zucchini, pork, loroco, spinach, pepperoni, mushrooms, olive and more. For just five dollars, you get enough pupusa and slaw to make your trip worth it. If you are driving from a distance, you may want to call first, as it’s just one person and she occasionally steps out.
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Tarasco’s New Latino Cuisine
470 S. Federal Blvd.
Denver, CO 80219
Tarasco’s is a great place to visit if not everyone in your party wants pupusas but you still do. There is a large menu here, and the mole is some of the best in town. It also has a huge vegetarian menu and offers to make just about anything on the menu vegan friendly. The pupusas are buried on a full menu but are well worth the search. Plus, you can get fresh cactus leaves that have been peeled, chopped and seasoned to perfection. So, if you want to try pupusas but you also want some variety, this is the place to visit.
8119 E. Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80220
There are several traditional Salvadorian dishes to try at El Chalate, and the pupusa is at the top of that list. It comes in the most traditional varieties – pork, cheese with loroco and squash. When you order the pupusa, it will come with the famous cabbage slaw and some salsa, both of which add just the right amount of tang and spice to the dish. Plus, part of the restaurant is a small grocery where you can pick up some hard-to-find Salvadorian ingredients to make your own food at home.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.