And the Springs is no exception. These tasty packets of fresh fish goodness are simply addictive, and we had to find some. So hoist a cold Pacifico as we show you our top five favs. You’ll be in taco heaven.
The Bonefish Grill offers market-fresh fish, creatively prepared and beautifully presented, for every occasion.
If you’re in the mood for a laid back evening, meet your friends in the Big City Bar and check out their selection of Hand Helds, mouthwatering options for a more casual meal.
That’s where you’ll find the Baja fish tacos.
“We season fresh tilapia with our signature Cajun blackening seasoning for a nice kick and top it with chimichurri sauce, fresh mangos and lime sour cream,” says Shannon Moore, Managing Partner.
If you’re thirsty, Moore recommends a Parker’s Margarita, named after one of the founders of Bonefish, Chris Parker. It combines Sauza Tequila with fresh-squeezed lime sour mix and a touch of fresh-squeezed orange juice.
Another favorite? The Bang Bang Tacos, an exciting new way to serve their signature appetizer. Crispy fried shrimp are tossed in their spicy Bang Bang sauce and topped with diced tomatoes, romaine and lime sour cream.
To drink with that? Moore recommends a glass of Riesling or a bottle of Bristol Beehive Honey Wheat.
If you go: 5102 N. Nevada Ave. 80918, (719) 598-0826
Crystal Park Cantina
The Crystal Park Cantina’s Baja fish tacos are the real deal.
Owners Justin and Anne Armour spent five years in Baja, Mexico and fell in love with the fish tacos from their favorite taco stand at the nearby fishing beach.
When they opened their Manitou Springs cantina three years ago, they knew they wanted to include these flavor-filled delights on their menu.
Double-wrapped, like a Mexican street taco, the tacos are overstuffed with juicy pieces of mahi mahi or shrimp then served with fresh, hand-cut mango-pineapple salsa.
They’re either pan-seared or dipped in a Mexican beer batter. And every entree includes fresh Mexican crema, guacamole, a shredded cabbage garnish and pico de gallo.
To accompany the tacos, Justin recommends a cold Pacifico on tap. In Baja they sell them in 40 oz bottles called ballena, meaning “whale,” so you’re drinking a whale of a beer.
Another must-try beverage is a Walk Home Margarita, made with Hornitos Reposado Tequila, Patron Citronge, fresh orange and lime juice.
Justin’s final thought: “Our tacos, with their good fish and mostly raw vegetable toppings, are practically like eating vitamins.”
If you go: 178 Crystal Park Road, Manitou Springs, 80829 / (719) 685-5999
The Margarita at Pine Creek
For 39 years, the Margarita has offered guests an oasis of tranquility with fresh, seasonally-inspired cuisine that’s bursting with flavor and made with love.
Their fish tacos are always a customer favorite.
“We like to add a lot of layers of flavors and textures,” Chef Cathy Werle says, “from spicy rubs to crispy slaws and tangy sauces. No boring tacos here.”
“For battering, we use a firm white fish such as mahi mahi or seabass,” Chef Cathy says. “When we blacken our tacos we like to use a fish with a higher fat content like salmon, so it doesn’t dry out in a hot cast iron pan.”
For the Blackened Fish Tacos they create their own blend of Southwestern spice rub. The garnishes vary with the season. “There never seems to be a bad combination when using fresh ingredients, “ Chef Cathy says.
Their classic dish of Southwestern Blackened Salmon Tacos is served with a pineapple-jicama slaw, cilantro-coconut curry crema, and tomatillo salsa verde.
To quench your thirst, Chef Cathy recommends their house blend margarita.
If You Go: 7350 Pine Creek Road 80919, (719) 598-8667
At the Sonterra Grill, bold Southwestern colors and textures provide a dramatic backdrop for Chef Josh Davis’s seasonally-changing Southwestern menu.
“All our recipes utilize local ingredients when available,” says Randy Price, President of the Rocky Mountain Restaurant Group, “and fresh fish from sustainable populations that are not endangered.”
Their Baja fish tacos are a perfect example.
If you’re in the mood for heartier fare, choose the lightly-fried haddock. It’s served in steamed corn tortillas with a Napa cabbage slaw and ancho guajillo aioli—a combination of roasted chilies that provide a smoky, earthy flavor with a hint of garlic and lime.
For a lighter version, choose the pan-seared, specially-seasoned Skuna Bay salmon from Vancouver Island or the halibut, which is line caught and wild. Both the salmon and halibut tacos are served with a roasted sweet corn relish for additional flavor, texture, and freshness.
To complement the tacos, Price recommends the signature hand-shaken top shelf margarita, the award-winning Strawberry Jalapeno Margarita, or any of their signature mojitos.
A match made in heaven.
If you go: 28 B S. Tejon Street, 80903, (719) 471-9222
Since 1999, Walter’s Bistro has been known for fine dining, serving American Continental cuisine such as Pan-Seared Chilean Sea Bass, Filet Mignon and Colorado Rack of Lamb in his elegantly-appointed dining room.
What you may not know is that Walter’s also has a huge following for his more casual lunch and bar menu. And his fish tacos are one of their top sellers.
“They’re Baja with our own American spin,” Executive Chef Sean Gibbons says.
Three crispy corn tortillas in red, white and blue are bursting with lightly-grilled Cajun-spiced tilapia that’s still moist inside. They’re served with a cilantro-lime cream, fresh pico de gallo, jasmine rice, and seasoned black beans.
To accompany the tacos, guests choose everything from a lemon drop martini to a glass of chardonnay or a nice sauvignon blanc.
But one thing is certain. Everyone loves the tacos. “The bar menu has so many favorites,” Walter says, “that I have a hard time when I want to make changes.”
In this case, there’s no reason to. The fish tacos are here to stay.
If you go: 146 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd., 80906, (719) 630-0201