Kachina Cantina – Vibrant Dining in Downtown Denver’s Dairy Block

We did not expect such delicious Mexican fare, which is a blatant bias when this San Diegan family spent a weekend in Denver. But there we were at Kachina, fully enjoying a modern spin on some classic Mexican dishes.

The restaurant holds a prime position on a corner of Dairy Block, the sparkling rejuvenated section of a once broken down part of downtown Denver known as LoDo. The restaurant enjoys an architecturally coupled and wonderfully symbiotic connection to The Maven Hotel, where we were staying.

The bright, open layout of the restaurant creates a welcoming atmosphere. The design motif reflects the menu, a blend of the Four Corners region of Southwest America coupled with Baja Mexico. We got underway with the requisite margaritas, which set the palate for the fresh shrimp ceviche to follow. The tart freshness of the lime and seafood angled nicely against the crisp tortillas. Brusell sprouts have gone through a collective re-branding from when they were swerved anywhere back in the day, and here they are coupled with crispy cauliflower and romesco for a modern twist.

A bounty of seven different tacos were on offer, as were three types of guacamole and four types of salsa. We leaned into a roasted corn guacamole, which was excellent. We all dipped into the roasted vegetable relleno, which was comprised of roasted vegetables, asadero, cowboy beans and avocado salsa.

A second superb comida main dish was the seared salmon Veracruz, which blended olive relish, confit potatoes, spinach and capers.

Another round of margaritas and a delicious flan capped our evening.

Kudos to Executive Chef Denis Zvekic for the eclectic and delicious menu, and a shout out to the staff for being attentive. Kachina Cantina offers excellent food at surprisngly reasonable prices.

Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.