Award-Winning Food Truck Turned Popular Family-Run Mexican Restaurant
If you decide to get a firsthand look at the progress being made on the four-acre park being built over I-70 in Elyria-Swansea, be sure to also check out the new mural at 46th Avenue and Josephine. And while you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to pop into Tacos el Huequito. According to their many fans near and far, the taqueria serves some of the best authentic Mexican street food in Denver.
Tacos el Huequito owners Ramon Aguirre and Lorena Alvarez have built their family-run taqueria as a labor of love. They started out with a trailer food grill in 2015 and then soon moved to a bigger food truck. Their food truck became so popular that in September 2018 they opened their restaurant.
“For a long time, I cooked and bartended and worked as a server to support other people’s restaurants,” says Ramon. “I gained experience in every aspect of how to run a restaurant. After a while, I decided it was time to start my own business.”
Over the last few years, Tacos el Huequito has built a steady following from locals, food truck loyalists, and curious travelers passing by on I-70. In 2018, Westword named their food truck one of the 10 best in Denver and Boulder. Quite a few people have stopped by, intrigued by Westword’s review and online praise from raving fans. The small restaurant has become known for its consistently excellent food and exceptional service – and, like many great restaurants, for being located a little off the beaten path.
Says Lorena, “All of the positive feedback we get goes a long way toward helping us increase our customer base. We strive for a high level of quality and service, and we’re grateful every time our guests tell us they’ve had a wonderful experience visiting our restaurant and trying our food.”
As it turns out, restaurant ownership is in their blood. Ramon’s father owned a restaurant when Ramon was a teenager, and other family members have also run restaurants. In fact, many of the dishes on Tacos el Huequito’s menu come from Ramon’s parents, including the barbacoa (shredded beef), his mother’s specialty.
“Our menu is filled with family recipes,” says Ramon. “The way we see it, we’re inviting people into our home to enjoy the food we know and love. We only make homemade dishes that we would serve to our own family and that meet their expectations and
Tacos el Huequito is especially known for their barbacoa, their al pastor (marinated pork with pineapple), and all of their street tacos. The menu includes burritos, tortas, Mexican hamburgers, enchiladas, chile rellenos, flautas, quesadillas, and nachos. Menu highlights include chili cheese fries, all-day breakfast (breakfast burritos, huevos rancheros, steak and eggs, huevos a la mexicana, and chilaquiles), and homemade salsas ranging from pico de gallo and tomatillo to spicy chile
The menu also includes churros and sopapillas, along with a couple salad choices for guests looking for lighter fare. Everything is made fresh, even the chips.
One thing that has proved challenging at times: the restaurant’s location. The Central 70 Project construction efforts have created their share of difficulties for many businesses in the vicinity. However, throughout the pandemic construction workers have made up a good part of the day-to-day customers at Tacos el Huequito, along with people who work at the Nestlé Purina plant and other local businesses. Ongoing construction aside, the brick and mortar location is thriving, which has reduced the amount of time the family has to also run their food truck. Ramon and Lorena hope that their business will grow even more rapidly once the dust settles.
With a friendly, welcoming environment, delicious tacos, and reasonable prices, the restaurant’s continued success and future expansion seem highly likely.
Tacos el Huequito is located at 2336 E 46th Ave. (46th and Josephine) and is open Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For Saturday hours, call 720.638.4270. The restaurant offers both indoor seating and takeout options.
Swansea resident Carolyn Daughters runs CarolynDaughters.com, a woman-owned business that offers online marketing and writing courses and corporate brand strategy workshops. She also teaches persuasive writing for corporations, the Pentagon, and Air Force bases nationwide. She has a M.A. in Literature from the University of Virginia. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out her website.