No less than 42 restaurants participated in yesterday's Top Taco event that took place at the Sculpture Garden at the Denver Performing Arts Center. An early monsoon-like storm threatened the success of the festivities but the weather blew off quickly and hundreds of attendants got on to eating and drinking until well after the sun had set.
A panel formed of nine judges including Amanda Faison of 5280 Magazine, Lori Midson of Zagat, and Jennifer Olson of Eater Denver, chose the judges' winners in two categories, traditional and creative. In the traditional category, Comida took the first place. The second place went to Pinche Tacos with the third going to Work & Class. In the Creative category, the restaurants that ranked in the first three spots are: (1) Lena, (2) North County, and (3) Comida.
In the Margarita battle, a different panel of judges chose Dos Santos as the top winner with Pinche Tacos coming in second and Central Bistro and Bar in third place. There were 38 entries in the best drink battle.
The popular vote on tacos went like this. In the traditional category: Highland Tap & Burger; in the creative category: Kachina Southwestern Grill; in the Margarita category: Highland Tap & Burger.
If you missed the event this year, check it out next summer and consider attending a related but unassociated event, Denver Taco Festival, which will take place this weekend.