Readers: There's a hell of a lot of talk about El Diablo

Categories: Cafe Society

Mark Manger
El Diablo, which won our Best New Bar award in the Best of Denver 2011 and is reviewed this week in Cafe, turns one this month. It's been busy from the start -- and that's both good and bad news, according to Angel Hernandez.

as good as this place may be, it saddens me that it is likely pulling people away from the family-owned tex-mex restaurant (senor burrito) across the street that has been a fixture there on east first avenue for decades. it's a shame. this city often has no heart.

Laura Shunk's review prompted many more comments, including this assessment from Dan5280:

I think this review is spot on. The food, especially the tacos are dry and underwhelming, but there is a few bright spot: for me it is the Pozole, filled with a tasty broth, hominy and well-seasoned pork bits (although down the road at El Tejado it's even better with shredded pork shoulder). Their food all comes with a superfluous and unappetizing drizzle of creme as well, which makes sense when you realize that this restaurant is all about the flare (image) and not about the sizzle (flavor).

That's fine for now, however. It really is a good place to grab a drink and chips, since until Argyll opens in this neighborhood there are very limited choices outside of the dive bars. Hornet is very decent but a bit tired (or I'm tired of going there), and Delite/Deluxe doesn't open until 4, and even then it's hard to get a seat.

At Diablo they offer a cheap can of Tecate (although Modelo would be better) and often have good and very hard to find tequilas on special (Maestro Dobel, Oro Azul to name a couple). The chips and salsa is very good, and sometimes that's all I need.

But if it's the meal I'm going after, that's not the place. El Taco de Mexico has killer tacos and burritos, and if I want something a bit fancier in that category, well, Southwest is running a $9 special to Albuquerque, and from there it's only an hour to Pasqual's.

and this from JoeyB:
Haters hate all you want; I love this place and think it's a terrific value, especially the house specials like the Puerco Pibil which is a ridiculous amount (2 meals worth) of fantastic pork for like 15 bucks. Service is spot on, friendly and conversational (especially about their mescal selections) even when busy and I love the vibe. We're there constantly. Keep it up guys.

Read them all -- and post your own -- here, after the El Diablo review.

Location Info

El Diablo - CLOSED

101 Broadway, Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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There aren't enough stupid overpaying douches in the area to support both El Diablo and Argyll.  One of them will go down, and probably Argyll, if it even reopens.  Hominy beats turnips any day.


Agreed about Senior Burritos.  The food is great, staff couldn't be nicer - no booze though.  I'd say get your buzz on at Diablo but head across the street for better food.

Jon S
Jon S

Yeah, El Diablo is really a bar first and foremost. It serves food, but as everyone has mentioned, they tend to have dry, overcooked meats and the quality is wildly inconsistent.

But I also don't know why anyone tries to seriously pass off Cafe Pasquals as a good restaurant anymore, either. That place is definitely running on past reputation alone. And in a town full of over-hyped, overpriced, underwhelming restaurants, Pasquals managed to be the single most disappointing, overpriced, over-hyped restaurant I experienced in Santa Fe.


Senor Burrito is much better, foodwise, and I don't think El Diablo is similar enough to steal their business.  For me, Senor Burrito was a great place to go grab inexpensive takeout without cooking.  The restaurant is definitely not about the ambience.  El Diablo was better for hanging out with drinks (not neccessarily food) and Sunday afternoons when Senor Burrito was closed.

Agree with the general consensus though.  I've never been impressed with the food at El Diablo.  It was convenient when I lived in that neighborhood, but I wouldn't have a reason to go there now.


I like the concept of Diablo and the bar is great, but I've been a little disappointed with the food myself.  "Dry" is definitely the operative word here.  The puerco pibil and the couple of varieties of tacos I've tried have been mostly overcooked and flavorless.  I was very excited about the place, because I've mostly loved the other places where Yontz was chef (Tamayo at its best, the amazing Vega, the original Sketch, and Chama were all standouts), but after three attempts, I'm not excited to go back.  It's a good place to go get drinks with friends, but if I'm at the Mayan and hankering for Mexican, I'm probably more likely to go get a smothered chicharrón burrito or some chuletas from Señor Burrito.


Man, I went there several times when it first opened & thought the meat cookery was the best part. But since then I've heard such disappointing reports...bummer.

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