The Uptown neighborhood in Denver offers several pairings of similar restaurants: Thai, Mexican, diners, wine bars, and dessert places. I fantasized about doing them all, but I want to lay the Uptown theme to rest this week, so I had to settle for Mexican and dessert.

I’ve been to each of the three Mexican joints listed in the Local Flavor guide, and today I’m writing mainly about two of them, Bocaza Mexican Grille and Las Delicias I, which I promised to do in this old post about Uptown.

Bocaza Mexican Grille
1740 East 17th Avenue, Uptown, Denver
Bus directions: from Market Street Station, the 12 and the 20 go down 17th Avenue

The funny thing about Bocaza (“big mouth”) is that it’s a few blocks east on 17th Avenue from Qdoba, also a Mexican burrito chain that started in Denver but is now owned by Jack in the Box. Qdoba claims it offers “original flavors you won’t find anywhere else,” but you can find similar items (and more variety) at Bocaza. And with only three locations (one in Grand Junction), Bocaza is still close enough to its roots to avoid that chain vibe.

Todd and I went there about 5 o’clock on a Saturday night, and the neighborhood in general and Bocaza’s in particular were sleepy and slow and a bit cool after a warm day. Todd ordered a pork torta (a Mexican sandwich on toasted bread) with jalapenos, which we both liked. I ordered hibiscus tea, which was fine, and the green chile pesto burrito, which I thought was really good. I didn’t eat it as instructed: I took it out of the foil, which was a mistake, because the sauce swam all over. I wanted to stuff every bite in my mouth but had to leave some.

The man at the counter was kind enough to tell me all the ingredients in the pesto, though I had to ask him to repeat his answer because he said pinoñes the first time, and I don’t have enough Spanish for that. To square everything between us, he had me repeat “piñon nuts” for him.
Bocaza Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon

Las Delicias I
439 East 19th Avenue, Uptown, Denver
Bus directions: from Market Street Station, the 12 and the 20 go down 17th Avenue; the 28 goes down 19th Avenue

Down at the northwestern end of Uptown Denver is Las Delicias I, which has been in business for thirty years in Denver. There are five locations total.

I went to the Uptown neighborhood restaurant on October 25, while my husband was amusing himself at Mile Hi Con.

The host seated me kittycorner from the kitchen, in what I suspected might be the hide-the-woman-dining-by-herself maneuver—I could see the trashcans in the kitchen over my shoulder.

The dining room is somewhat narrow but quite long. When I was there on Saturday in the early afternoon, it was not crowded. Las Delicias is comfy, not fancy, and full of light from the windows facing 19th Avenue. The music was audible but not too loud, and college football was on the TVs.

My waitress was efficient but not especially friendly, and the food came quickly. I ordered a chicken chimichanga (with LOTS of chicken) and then wondered if that is the sort of dish that screams “Tex-Mex amateur” to the staff at a Mexican restaurant (this site has a history of the dish, down the page a ways).

The guacamole that came with the chimichanga tasted fresh but unremarkable, and the chimichanga could have been a little crispier, but it tasted good. As far as I could tell, there was red chili mixed in with the chicken on the inside, and green chile on the outside. I liked everything I ate, especially the green chile. It made my nose run.

I ordered one sopapilla for dessert, which was also good. It was huge and brown and smelled yummy.

Maybe my feelings about Las Delicias have to do with eating there alone, but I didn’t get the greatest vibe from the place. And the woman’s bathroom smelled bad.

Some of the reviews I read online indicates it’s gone downhill, but I’m willing to give it another try sometime, especially after the sopapilla.

Las Delicias I on Urbanspoon

Leave A Comment

  1. Amber's Crazy Bloggin' Canuck November 11, 2008 at 10:21 am - Reply

    I’ve found when I don’t get a good vibe, there is a very good reason for that. Love these reviews!

  2. Beth Partin November 11, 2008 at 10:34 am - Reply

    Thanks–hope they direct you to a new place you like!

  3. Todd Bradley November 11, 2008 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    I can’t believe you went to Las Delicias without me! It sounds pretty good.

    I should point out that I think the torta at La Casita de Durango in Broomfield ( is better than the one I had at Bocaza.

    By the way, the hibiscus tea you’re talking about is called “jamaica”. I know that word looks like the country/island called Jamaica, but it’s pronounced the Mexican way: ha-MY-ka. Usually it’s served from a soda fountain like Coke. But I had some homemade jamaica yesterday at Mexico Cantina at Orchard Town Center in Westminster.

  4. Beth Partin November 11, 2008 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    I can’t believe you went to Orchard Towne Center without me! LOL

    We’ll have to go to Las Casita de Durango sometime so I can compare the two. I remembered your comment about it, but I didn’t put it in because the blog’s about Denver. Am I being too narrow-minded?

  5. BernardL November 12, 2008 at 7:47 am - Reply

    The Bocaza has a very tempting corner exterior.

  6. Beth Partin November 12, 2008 at 1:43 pm - Reply


    it is a nice-looking place. Funny thing is, it looks a lot like the exterior of Chedd’s. There must be some building template for buildings situated on corners like that.

  7. saint facetious November 12, 2008 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    I’ll have to check out Bocaza. Just ate at Chedd’s today, love that place. Las Delicias is the best for that kind of food, and is definitely better than that place on 19th and Penn, I think. But yeah, the atmosphere is always that of a complete and total dive.

  8. Beth Partin November 12, 2008 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    Saint Facetious,

    have you been to Chedd’s before? Now that my husband’s gone once, he keeps wanting to go again.

    Las Delicias is at 19th and Penn. Are you talking about another location? Or did you mean Las Margaritas?

  9. saint facetious November 13, 2008 at 11:40 am - Reply

    Oh, I’m thinking Bella Vista. That’s where you need to go. The food’s much better. But it’s a total dive.

  10. saint facetious November 13, 2008 at 11:41 am - Reply

    And yes, I’ve been to Chedd’s a few times. Don’t think “grilled cheese” rather than all sorts of bread+meat+cheese combinations, and some vegetarian options. If you get the right sandwich, they’re delicious.

  11. Beth November 13, 2008 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    I liked all the stuff we had an Chedd’s. I’d definitely be up for going there again.