Vail’s original Mexican restaurant, Los Amigos
Los Amigos — it’s not just a restaurant. Sure, it’s a taqueria and bar, with one of the most coveted locations Vail Village. But it’s also an energy, and it’s on the move. Owner Drew Riley has spent the past year dialing in the restaurant’s signature margarita, and now it can come to you. Los Amigos now delivers its margaritas — and more — in both Vail and Lionshead Villages, thanks to a trusty fat tire Blix delivery bike and some changes to local liquor laws. At the moment, the margaritas are available in half- and full-liter options. But in the not-too-distant future, they’ll also be available in cans, just begging to be enjoyed in hot tubs, on hikes or even at home as a vacation souvenir.
And as for that delivery bike, imagine kicking back in the condo after a long day on the slopes and just ordering in, no shoes required. Tacos, burritos, chile rellenos — you get the picture. But back to those margaritas…
“Our Mi Amigo is our flagship margarita,” said Riley. “And we’re still making iterations on that. The more we try things, the better everything is going to come out. I want to finalize the menu and margarita by the end of the winter, and then go into canning.”
Each ingredient in the Mi Amigo has been tried, tweaked and evaluated, not simply on its own but as part of the whole. For consistency’s sake, everything has to be available year-round, meaning no seasonal fruits.
“Pineapple and grapefruit juice are where we’re at, and orange juice and lime juice are already in there,” he said. “Patron Citron, Triple Sec, Cointreau — we’re dialing in the right amount of sweetness.”
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And then there’s the spice. They’ve discovered their customers want the merest hint of spice, more as an accent to make the other flavors bloom. And for that, there’s nothing better than Colorado green chiles, giving the Mexican cocktail a local Colorado connection.
“It’s not so much that the Mi Amigo has changed, we’re really just refining what we’re doing,” Riley says. And that goes for the whole operation. No big menu overhauls, no expansive redesigns, but a commitment to simply making it the best, most customer-friendly experience for people.
It’s still a high-energy hotspot, with views of Bridge Street on the front side and Pepi’s Face out the back. The menu includes classic Mexican-American standards — shrimp enchiladas, carnitas burritos, fajitas — as well as lighter, more contemporary street tacos — mango chicken, lobster, carne asada. Of course shareables like guacamole, queso and nachos work as traditional appetizers or simply apres ski snacks. And a couple of sandwiches, whether it’s the Mexican torta or an American burger, round it out.
Just as important as the food, though, is the service. And that’s where Riley’s engineer’s brain kicks into high gear, plotting efficiencies to make it a better experience for the guest. And so he’s added a shortcut for diners, should they want it. A fairly new father, he’s discovered what parents everywhere discover: When it’s time to go, it’s time to go. When a server brings the check, diners have the option to scan a QR code and pay from their phone.
“We know our customer, we know who we’re catering to,” Riley said. “There are a lot of people who want to just have drinks, be in and out.” And Los Amigos aims to please.
400 Bridge Street
A la carte street tacos start at $5; apps and entrées from $4.50 – $19.75
Energetic bar and taqueria in the heart of Vail Village
Mi Amigo margarita