Kahlo’s offers a different type of Mexican food in Denver’s Westwood neighborhood — think Michoacán with vegan options

Noe Bermudez, who also owns Denver mainstay Tarasco’s, opened Kahlo’s on Morrison Road earlier this year.
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Kahlos on Morrison Road in Westwood, May 31, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) westwood; denver; colorado; kevinjbeaty; denverite; morrison road;

As the Westwood neighborhood angles for a stronger city-wide identity, new businesses like Noe Bermudez’s restaurant Kahlo’s are beginning to spring up. Bermudez, who also owns Denver mainstay Tarasco's, opened Kahlo’s earlier this year.

“There are too many taco places,” said Bermudez. “This is a different line and a lot of people care about the environment.”

Located along Morrison Road, a street that was recently named a Mexican Cultural District, Kahlo’s gives you something different than what you would receive from other Mexican restaurants. Along with offering dishes that have meat, Kahlo’s also offers vegan and gluten free dishes.

“That’s the future,” said Bermudez. “We offer something different than most Mexican restaurants offer.”

Morrison Road is beginning to change and Bermudez sees potential in the area.

“I’ve lived in Westwood for 20 years already,” said Bermudez. “I love it, man, I love the neighborhood. People are responding, coming to Morrison. People don’t see it like that anymore.”

The restaurant is named after Bermudez’s favorite artist, Frida Kahlo, a popular painter in Mexico who died in 1954. She is famously known for painting self portraits and for covering her casts with a variety of painted images. Kahlo suffered from spinal issues and it caused her to have to wear plaster corsets for most of her life. Her self portraits are displayed all throughout Bermudez’s restaurant.

The menu offers more vegetarian and vegan options than you might expect from a Mexican restaurant.  

Forty percent of the adults in Westwood are considered to be obese, and a lack of resources makes it difficult for people to exercise and eat healthy. Kahlo’s offers Westwood residents and visitors healthy options.

“A lot of people stop in Denver and say, ‘You know what, I like to see real, true Mexican food,'” said Bermudez. “They find this area from outside, or New York, or Texas. They say, ‘Oh man, I love this neighborhood.’”

Kahlo’s food is based off of food you would see in Michoacán, Mexico -- except with an emphasis on vegan dishes.

“I’m from south Mexico and we try to do the real stuff,” said Bermudez. “I know how to cook with the spices, without meat and people like it a lot.”

The restaurant gives the taste of authentic Mexican food that the city is looking for with the creation of a Mexican cultural district. Kahlo’s restaurant offers a wide variety of dishes to choose from including the “Hurache Azteca,” a dish that pairs steak and cactus together and the “Enchiladas Plazeras.”

The Enchiladas Plazeras are one of eight enchilada dishes that Kahlo’s offers. Inside of these enchiladas you will find potatoes, carrots, crema fresca, red salsa, tomatillo and salsa cabbage. Kahlo’s pairs the enchilada dish with steamed rice and beans.

Don’t expect to be able to have a margarita when you come into Kahlo’s. The restaurant doesn’t offer alcohol yet, but it does have a unique beverage menu.

Kahlo’s beverage menu includes blended fruit-and-vegetable drinks like the Juan Colorado, with a mix of avocados and bananas.

Everything in the restaurant is freshly prepared, rather than being pre made. When the restaurant is busy the staff said it can take a little longer to get your food, but Kahlo’s wants to make sure that you get your food freshly prepared.

Here's what you need to know before visiting Kahlo's.

Kahlo’s is currently opened Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Parking is available outside the restaurant. If parking outside the restaurant is full it is relatively easy to find space in the neighborhood alongside Morrison Road.

The prices range from a five-dollar hot dog to $14 dishes. Juices and smoothies are $6.

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