Not only is the food crucial when the munchies hit, but also the place. Friendly is good, but not so friendly that you’re uncomfortable. No mellow-harshing lighting or music. Comfy chairs.
Elote’s Café in Golden has it all. This small, tucked-away eatery, which bills itself as “New Age Latin American,” is completely chill, with owners who greet you at the door and then usher the experience cheerfully through to the end.
Everything we tried at Elote’s was delicious, but the hearty cachapas — traditional Venezuelan or Colombian corn pancakes made from fresh dough and filled with queso blanco cheese — stood out. Soft and strongly corn-flavored, they came with a variety of toppings; our favorite was the reina pepeada, chicken salad and avocado. Soups are made daily (if the black bean is available, it’s a must-have), and drinks are inexpensive (the margaritas aren’t great, but a carajillo, espresso with rum, hits the spot).
Nothing on the menu costs more than $10, which makes Elote’s a great place to fill up on the cheap. Also, it’s better as a lunch stop or early dinner; they close at 7:30 p.m. during the week and 8 on weekends.
Convenient to: Downtown Golden, which is a little more than a mile away.
Info: 2600 East St., Golden, 720-638-3380