Colorado is fortunate to borrow from nearby states’ twists on Mexican cuisine—Tex-Mex loaded nachos and deep-fried chimichangas, New Mexican red and green chile, Arizona’s Sonoran-style beef dishes—but isn’t it about time we had our own brand of the fare? Trudy Gonzales, owner of the two-year-old 5th Sun Cafe & Lounge near the intersection of Federal and Speer boulevards, thinks so. Her definition of Colorado Mexican emphasizes healthier versions of the classics.

The kitchen, sans deep-fat fryer, pumps out vegetarian red and seriously spicy pork green chile (both gluten-free), serves multigrain tortillas, and uses lean bison in its burgers and salads. The velvety chicken mole is served in a bowl with tortillas for dipping—not poured over cheese-filled enchiladas. Be forewarned that if you order the posole (a soup of chicken, onions, and chewy hominy) with the green chile, you’ll need a pitcher of water—alongside a margarita—to tame the heat. But don’t let that scare you off. Fresh ingredients, white tablecloths, and the warm ambience of a family-run spot await at 5th Sun—along with a Colorado variety of Mexican eats. 3024 N. Speer Blvd., 303-433-6935,


Chicken Mole
Beef Potato Tacos
Calabacitas (Squash) Enchiladas
Extra Chips & Salsa