Local Restaurant: Nacho and Kika’s Cafe in Johnstown, CO

Nacho & Kika’s Cafe, located at 204 E. South 1st Street in Johnstown, Colorado, is a family-owned business situated in a home that has been converted into a restaurant. Johnstown, population about 10,000, is located just off I-25 about 30 miles north of Denver and 70 miles south of Cheyenne.

Exterior, showing the right hand side of the building which is the Nacho & Kika's Cafe

Exterior, showing the right hand side of the building which is the Nacho & Kika’s Cafe

When I drew up in front of the café, it wasn’t clear to me that half of the building served as offices for an insurance company – because there was a deck with tables on the lawn in front of that portion of the building, with a sign on it indicating that it was part of Nacho & Kika’s Cafe.

Pleasant outdoors patio in warm weather

Pleasant outdoors patio in warm weather

However, eventually I did find the correct door and entered.

Inside it’s pleasant, with a few tables just inside the door, and a larger dining area to the left as you enter, separated by a low wall (you can see the fan on the shelf in the photo below. I sat in the table on the other side of that fan (not visible).

On one of the walls are framed newspaper articles of the founder of the restaurant, Don Ignacio Rivera, who immigrated to the United States from Mexico decades ago. (Nacho & Kika’s has been in business for two years at the time of this writing.)

Interior, Nacho & Kiki's Cafe

Interior, inner dining area of Nacho & Kiki’s Cafe

As per usual, I ordered the chimichanga plate. The menu said that it was a chicken and rice chimichanga, smothered in green chile. The server who took my order asked if I did indeed want it smothered, and I requested that she leave it off altogether.

Chicken and rice chimichanga without sauche. Inset - the chimichanga cut in half

Chicken and rice chimichanga without sauce of any kind. Inset – the chimichanga cut in half

A rarity – no refried beans served with it!

I enjoyed the chimichanga. The tortilla was nice and crispy as a deep-fried tortilla should be, and the meat was seasoned and went well with the rice. Not my favorite chimichanga, but good. Certainly not the worst I’ve had so far!

I then had a Smore’s sopapilla for dessert, just because I was in the mood.

Sopapilla with chocolate and melted marshmallow paste inside

Sopapilla with chocolate and melted marshmallow paste inside

I liked it – it came nice and hot out of the deep fryer. However, it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped. I love toasted marshmallows and that’s what a s’more is – a toasted marshmallow atop a square of chocolate (preferably milk chocolate) in between two graham crackers.

But this sopapilla, while it had delicious chocolate, had marshmallow paste which certainly didn’t have the flavor of a roasted marshmallow, which comes from the “skin” being nicely toasted.

So, while good, it wasn’t worth the excess calories given with the marshmallow paste.

The menu

What’s on the menu here besides my obligatory chimichanga?

Other chimichangas on offer were bean, beaf, bean & chorizo, potato, potato & beef and bean & beef.

Sopapillas, which I’d always thought of as desserts, were entrees and could be ordered stuffed with the same fillings as the chimichangas and smothered in pork green chile if desired. Burritos cold also be ordered with those same fillings.

Tortas and chile rellenos were also on the menu. If enchiladas, tostadas or tacos were ordered, they’d come with rice and beans.

Hamburgers could also be ordered.

Service

My young woman server was attentive and pleasant. I was there early in the morning, before the lunch hour crowd arrived. While I was there a couple of people came in and ordered carry-out. I judge therefore that it’s quite a popular place in Johnstown

Bathroom

The bathroom door was of the doorknob type, and the door was light enough for anyone of average strength or mobility to open and close.

It was just like the bathroom in a residential house, which this once had been. There was a changing crib inside the large room as well as a single toilet, and sink. Everything was clean. Since it was in the middle of the home rather than stuck into an exterior hallway added onto an existing building (which seemed to be the case at the Tortilla Factory on Greeley Highway) the interior would be quite warm in winter.

Verdict

I wouldn’t say Nacho & Kika’s Cafe was worth a special trip all the way from Cheyenne, Fort Collins or Denver, just to eat their food, but if you’re in Johnstown, or nearby, for some other reason, it’s a pleasant place to stop for some Mexican food.

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