As college basketball fans cheered on their favorite teams during March Madness, the foodie fans of Denver were watching their brackets too. The Know, from the Denver Post, created a competition to find out who has the best tacos in the city.
A sweet sixteen of Denver’s best taco locations have been cooking their way through the brackets and to the surprise of some, a humble underdog food truck parked at the Aria development near 52nd and Federal made it to the dance.
Kike’s Red Tacos food truck, run by Cesar Silva Gonzalez and his parents, Enrique Silva Figueroa and Olivia Gonzalez, is in the final bracket along with Tacos Selene in pursuit of the title of Denver’s Best Tacos.
“Somehow you guys got our small 80 sq ft truck to the finals going up against all these amazing established restaurants. Regardless of the outcome, thank you for voting for us and getting us this far,” said Kike’s Red Taco Truck on its Facebook page.
While Kike’s family is surprised to see their food truck in the headlines, customers aren’t shocked that they’ve made it to the championship round. Instead of trying a new angle on tacos or modernizing a classic staple, Kike’s simply sticks to Hispanic traditional meals to win customers over in their newbie food truck business.
Most take the time to visit this lunch gem hidden in a parking lot for their birria burrito, a slow cooked steak that as one customer said while waiting in line, “practically melts in your mouth.” It’s not a surprise that despite longer wait times and sold out signs posted on the truck, the lines keep getting longer.
“I’ve been here at least a dozen times,” says Michael, a regular of Kike’s Red Tacos, who is thrilled the family owned taco truck is coming out near the top. “We’re very happy to see Kike’s so far into the competition because we’ve been coming here for probably about eight months now.”
Kike’s Red Tacos stays in the same parking lot location instead of traveling around Denver making customers track the food truck down. “We’re about 20 minutes away so we travel a little bit to come here,” said Michael. “The wait is always about 20-45 minutes, so it’s always a good wait, but I know on weekends to come earlier because they sell out around 2 p.m..”
Of course, I had to try the competitor for Denver’s best tacos myself with a simple two set of steak tacos. With a thick outer soft shell and seasoned tenderloin, my head turned. Kike’s simple mix of cheese, onions, and cilantro, paired with a classic bottle of Coke, is a perfect meal for the upcoming summer.
Not only did the March Madness taco competition shine a light on Kike’s, but it’s a champion in online forums too. “There’s a sub Reddit called Denver Food and probably about once every other week someone asks where the best tacos are, and for the last four months every single time the answer is unanimously Kike’s,” says Arron, a first time customer of Kike’s Red Tacos. Luckily, Kike’s Red Tacos also provides a mobile order and pay ahead to help reduce the wait time and get their famous birria burrito into your hands faster.
Kike’s Red Tacos food truck is located in the parking lot at 5256 North Federal Boulevard. It’s open from 11 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday. So it’s down to Kike’s Red Tacos and Tacos Selene. May the best taco win!