Written by Omar Zapata
Illustration by Madison Otten
Nestled in the heart of Brighton, Kiko’s Authentic Mexican Food provides a great and affordable dining experience for those seeking authentic Mexican cuisine and a family-friendly environment. Since its opening on July 7, 2012, the family-owned restaurant has tried to maintain its mission of delighting the local community with good customer service and food.
It has worked to fulfill its mission with the value provided through its atmosphere, service, quality of food, and price. With that, you may want to consider trying Kiko’s for a simple and laid-back dining option with the family.
As a small, family-owned business, its size and simplistic décor give off a cozy, yet unconventionally Mexican atmosphere. The colors and interior design give the restaurant an urban contemporary ambiance that contrasts with traditional Mexican restaurants. Personally, I was able to relate its design to that of northern Mexican cities such as Chihuahua, from my traveling experiences.
The bustling kitchen sounds, dining room clamor, and full-view glass wall fill the room with a joyful family spirit on weekends. With its cool beach-like color scheme, it may not give off a warm feeling at first, but it is complimented by its panoramic view of the train tracks and sunset during dinner.
Kiko’s attentive service is evident from the start. Due to its small size and predictable flow of customers, waiting in line and getting seated is not a problem. You should have an idea of what you want to drink before being seated though, as you are immediately asked about your beverage choice. Fortunately, on my visits, the consistency of service has not been too overwhelming but just right. When your drink runs low, don’t hesitate to ask for a refill, as there are usually a couple waiters in a dining room area fit for one.
Deciding on a drink should not be a problem after trying their horchata for the first time. Its subtle cinnamon taste, creamy texture, and apparent hint of almond milk makes the classic Mexican drink refreshing and distinctly Kiko’s. Claiming to use locally grown fresh ingredients, it has a positive effect on the restaurants taste. Its hot and freshly cooked platters accommodate a variety of diets including gluten-free and Paleo customers.
The carne asada platter is served steaming hot with an admirable amount of protein in a spicy, savory arrangement with bell peppers and onions. Its tortillas are locally sourced from tortilla shops and have a preservative-free taste. Overall, the foods I have been able to try so far have been good, especially considering the value provided at their prices.
Offering good portion sizes and premium quality meats for an average price of $10, this restaurant certainly provides great value at an affordable price, especially compared to other Mexican restaurants of its style. If you’re looking for an authentic Mexican dining experience on a budget, don’t think twice about paying Kiko’s a visit for its $8 tortas and $1.50 tacos.
Taking our family of five for dinner gave us a ticket price of $50, including our entrees and drinks. For what we had ordered, we would have easily paid $80 to $100 at other Mexican restaurants we were familiar with. With steak platters that are $18 anywhere else, its $13 steak options are reasonably priced and sure to make you feel guilt-free with the wallet, yet filled in the stomach.
Atmosphere, service, food quality, and prices/value are factors to take into consideration when choosing a dining option, and Kiko’s seems to be a simple and authentic Mexican option to satisfy those criteria. I would recommend the restaurant for those not expecting a luxurious dining experience but rather an affordable and enjoyable experience alone or with the family. Give Kiko’s a try when you get the chance. You’ll find a place that provides food with a feeling of being at home, Mexican style.
Address: 290 N Main St, Brighton, CO 80601
Hours: Tuesday through Friday 10:30 a.m – 8 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m – 8 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m – 3 p.m., closed Mondays
Phone: (303) 659-0262
Overall Evaluation: 8.2/10