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Surviving Spring Break: Best Ski Town Mexican and Margaritas

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It's that time of year, when sunny skies, slushy snow, and rookie drinkers signal the onset of spring break. And while Curbed Ski has brought you the best dive bars, distilleries, pizza joints, and breweries, we knew something was missing. To help you cope with the Spring Break crazy- whether you're a local who's counting down to a mud season vacation, or a visitor on holiday, Curbed Ski has the ultimate warm weather inspiration for you: a guide to the best ski town Mexican eats and Margaritas from Truckee to Jackson Hole. Need another excuse to tap into the tequila? The second annual Après Ski Cocktail Classic kicks off in Snowmass, March 13-16. Salud!

Note: The bars and restaurants are listed based on geography, not in any particular ranking. Upset your fav spot didn't make the list? Send us an email or let us know in the comments.


-By Laurel Miller · From Family Fun to Après Partying, Go Here For Spring Break [Curbed Ski]
· All Eater Ski Coverage [Curbed Ski Archives]

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1. Boca

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131 Washington Ave
Ketchum, ID 83340
(208) 928-7773
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Locals flock to this Ketchum favorite for the best margarita in town and plenty of tasty tapas and flatbreads. Order the El Fuego Dulce, a blissful combo of Sauza's 100% Blue Agave Silver Tequila, Cointreau, Fresh Lime Juice, and Seasonal Fresh Fruit all muddled with Jalapeno's, Cilantro, and Agave Honey. It pairs perfectly with the House Smoked Baby Back Pork Ribs with Candied Serrano Chilies for a sweet and spicy combo that will blow your mind. Other highlights include the Cocas (flatbreads) and make sure to ask about Sawtooth Brewery's special poblano chile brew made just for Boca.

2. Spur Restaurant & Bar

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3385 Cody Lane
Teton Village, WY 83025
(307) 732-6932
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In the mood for a fancypants take on a margarita? Hit this popular restaurant in the Teton Mountain Lodge and ask for The Perfect Puree, a tangy, heated concoction made with house-infused jalapeno tequila, muddled lime and orange, margarita mix, OJ, and passion fruit. Also aces: the Spicy Margarita with Blood Orange.

3. El Chubasco

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1890 Bonanza Dr, #115
Park City, UT 84060
(435) 645-9114
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Big-ass portions of delicious, unlarded Mexican classics are a huge draw for locals and visitors alike but it’s the drool-worthy salsa bar that makes this friendly restaurant destination-worthy. Get your condiment on with all manner of housemade sauces, charred jalapenos, and escabeche.

4. Casa Baeza

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10010 Bridge St.
Truckee, CA

Totally unremarkable food is forgiven in the face of the nuclear-strength margs at this little family-joint in North Tahoe (and Truckee knows its cocktails). Says one local, “One and you’re done. Call a cab.”

5. Tacos Jalisco

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8717 North Lake Boulevard
Kings Beach, CA

Bummed you’re not Mexico right now? This is the next best thing in North Lake Tahoe. Grab a seat at one of the four bar stools or two miniscule tables and chow down on taqueria classics like carnitas, tortas, or tacos de lengua. Too many margs at Casa Baeza the night before? Order up a steaming bowl of menudo.

6. Taqueria El Nopal

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22826 2 Rivers Road
Basalt, CO 81621

The Roaring Fork Valley’s best hole-in-the-wall Mexican and Salvadorean is tucked away on a service road near downtown Basalt, on the way into Aspen. Big honkin’ specialty platos are great, but the pupusas and weekend menudo and pozole will ease the most throbbing hangover.

7. Jimmy's An American Restaurant

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205 S Mill St
Aspen, CO 81611
(970) 925-6020
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Curbed Ski recommends the Dulce Caliente, a well-balanced, refreshing mix of (Jalisco-made, Boulder-based) Suerte Blanco tequila, St. Germain, lemon and lime juice, and muddled cucumber and jalapeno, served with Jimmy’s housemade, signature“BFIC” (that’s Big Fucking Ice Cube, fyi).

8. Donita's Cantina

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330 Elk Avenue
Crested Butte, CO 81224
(970) 349-6674
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We know, we know, there are two Crested Butte spots on the list. But it's because Donita’s has been a Crested Butte institution for over 30 years; go for the solid, straightforward Mexican fare, warm, family-friendly atmosphere, and killer margaritas.

9. Teocalli Tamale

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311 1/2 Elk Avenue
Crested Butte, CO 81224
(970) 349-2005

Do you feel like fast, slightly gringo-ized Mexican that’s still fresh and tasty? Then hit up Teocalli Tamale for the excellent namesake masa-based savories, filled with red chili and pork or green chile and cheese, or spring for one of the creative burritos (Green Chile Pesto, Gourmet Veg) or tacos. Don't worry, the line moves fast.

10. La Cocina De Luz

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123 E. Colorado Ave.
Telluride, CO 81435
(970) 728-9355

Telluride’s longtime local’s fave isn’t as affordable as it once was, but it still offers the best Mexican in town, with an emphasis on fresh, often local produce, and housemade almost everything (including juices). Sit on the patio with a marg for a view of Ajax Peak and prime people-watching along Colorado Ave.

11. Zia Taqueria

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3101 Main Ave
Durango, CO 81301
(970) 247-3355
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Post slope-sesh, hit this fast casual joint for what Curbed Ski has dubbed a “tastier and more flavorful version of Chipotle.” Grub down on the barbacoa, chicken tinga, and pulled pork “Burrotes” (burritos packed with meat, veggies, and a ton of toppings).

12. El Paragua Restaurant

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603 Santa Cruz Rd
Española, NM 87532
(505) 753-3211
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Located on the Taos Highway (one hour from the town proper, and 90 minutes from Angel Fire), this gorgeous, hand-hewn rock hacienda adorned with terra-cotta flooring and hefty vigas (wooden ceiling beams) is worth a bit of a detour. It’s been a New Mexico cult fave since 1958, when the Atencio brothers opened it as a roadside food stand. The restaurant and parking lot kiosk are still owned and operated by the family, and mother Frances’ recipes are legendary. Squash post-ski hunger with a plate of the earthy, brick-red adovada, or a bowl of rich, savory posole chock full of tender pork, hominy, and chile, with a side of sopapillas. Don’t forget to get a quart of red or green chile to go.

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1. Boca

131 Washington Ave, Ketchum, ID 83340

Locals flock to this Ketchum favorite for the best margarita in town and plenty of tasty tapas and flatbreads. Order the El Fuego Dulce, a blissful combo of Sauza's 100% Blue Agave Silver Tequila, Cointreau, Fresh Lime Juice, and Seasonal Fresh Fruit all muddled with Jalapeno's, Cilantro, and Agave Honey. It pairs perfectly with the House Smoked Baby Back Pork Ribs with Candied Serrano Chilies for a sweet and spicy combo that will blow your mind. Other highlights include the Cocas (flatbreads) and make sure to ask about Sawtooth Brewery's special poblano chile brew made just for Boca.

131 Washington Ave
Ketchum, ID 83340

2. Spur Restaurant & Bar

3385 Cody Lane, Teton Village, WY 83025

In the mood for a fancypants take on a margarita? Hit this popular restaurant in the Teton Mountain Lodge and ask for The Perfect Puree, a tangy, heated concoction made with house-infused jalapeno tequila, muddled lime and orange, margarita mix, OJ, and passion fruit. Also aces: the Spicy Margarita with Blood Orange.

3385 Cody Lane
Teton Village, WY 83025

3. El Chubasco

1890 Bonanza Dr, #115, Park City, UT 84060

Big-ass portions of delicious, unlarded Mexican classics are a huge draw for locals and visitors alike but it’s the drool-worthy salsa bar that makes this friendly restaurant destination-worthy. Get your condiment on with all manner of housemade sauces, charred jalapenos, and escabeche.

1890 Bonanza Dr, #115
Park City, UT 84060

4. Casa Baeza

10010 Bridge St., Truckee, CA

Totally unremarkable food is forgiven in the face of the nuclear-strength margs at this little family-joint in North Tahoe (and Truckee knows its cocktails). Says one local, “One and you’re done. Call a cab.”

10010 Bridge St.
Truckee, CA

5. Tacos Jalisco

8717 North Lake Boulevard, Kings Beach, CA

Bummed you’re not Mexico right now? This is the next best thing in North Lake Tahoe. Grab a seat at one of the four bar stools or two miniscule tables and chow down on taqueria classics like carnitas, tortas, or tacos de lengua. Too many margs at Casa Baeza the night before? Order up a steaming bowl of menudo.

8717 North Lake Boulevard
Kings Beach, CA

6. Taqueria El Nopal

22826 2 Rivers Road, Basalt, CO 81621

The Roaring Fork Valley’s best hole-in-the-wall Mexican and Salvadorean is tucked away on a service road near downtown Basalt, on the way into Aspen. Big honkin’ specialty platos are great, but the pupusas and weekend menudo and pozole will ease the most throbbing hangover.

22826 2 Rivers Road
Basalt, CO 81621

7. Jimmy's An American Restaurant

205 S Mill St, Aspen, CO 81611

Curbed Ski recommends the Dulce Caliente, a well-balanced, refreshing mix of (Jalisco-made, Boulder-based) Suerte Blanco tequila, St. Germain, lemon and lime juice, and muddled cucumber and jalapeno, served with Jimmy’s housemade, signature“BFIC” (that’s Big Fucking Ice Cube, fyi).

205 S Mill St
Aspen, CO 81611

8. Donita's Cantina

330 Elk Avenue, Crested Butte, CO 81224

We know, we know, there are two Crested Butte spots on the list. But it's because Donita’s has been a Crested Butte institution for over 30 years; go for the solid, straightforward Mexican fare, warm, family-friendly atmosphere, and killer margaritas.

330 Elk Avenue
Crested Butte, CO 81224

9. Teocalli Tamale

311 1/2 Elk Avenue, Crested Butte, CO 81224

Do you feel like fast, slightly gringo-ized Mexican that’s still fresh and tasty? Then hit up Teocalli Tamale for the excellent namesake masa-based savories, filled with red chili and pork or green chile and cheese, or spring for one of the creative burritos (Green Chile Pesto, Gourmet Veg) or tacos. Don't worry, the line moves fast.

311 1/2 Elk Avenue
Crested Butte, CO 81224

10. La Cocina De Luz

123 E. Colorado Ave., Telluride, CO 81435

Telluride’s longtime local’s fave isn’t as affordable as it once was, but it still offers the best Mexican in town, with an emphasis on fresh, often local produce, and housemade almost everything (including juices). Sit on the patio with a marg for a view of Ajax Peak and prime people-watching along Colorado Ave.

123 E. Colorado Ave.
Telluride, CO 81435

11. Zia Taqueria

3101 Main Ave, Durango, CO 81301

Post slope-sesh, hit this fast casual joint for what Curbed Ski has dubbed a “tastier and more flavorful version of Chipotle.” Grub down on the barbacoa, chicken tinga, and pulled pork “Burrotes” (burritos packed with meat, veggies, and a ton of toppings).

3101 Main Ave
Durango, CO 81301

12. El Paragua Restaurant

603 Santa Cruz Rd, Española, NM 87532

Located on the Taos Highway (one hour from the town proper, and 90 minutes from Angel Fire), this gorgeous, hand-hewn rock hacienda adorned with terra-cotta flooring and hefty vigas (wooden ceiling beams) is worth a bit of a detour. It’s been a New Mexico cult fave since 1958, when the Atencio brothers opened it as a roadside food stand. The restaurant and parking lot kiosk are still owned and operated by the family, and mother Frances’ recipes are legendary. Squash post-ski hunger with a plate of the earthy, brick-red adovada, or a bowl of rich, savory posole chock full of tender pork, hominy, and chile, with a side of sopapillas. Don’t forget to get a quart of red or green chile to go.

603 Santa Cruz Rd
Española, NM 87532