It’s that wonderful time of year again – National Taco Day! 🌮
Tacos, those glorious pockets of flavor and texture, have captured our hearts and palates in countless ways. Crispy or soft, meaty or vegan, spicy or mild – there’s a taco for every craving. And if you’re in search of the ultimate taco experience, look no further; we’ve got your back.
We’ve gone through the vast tapestry of taco joints across the United States and handpicked the crème de la crème, the top 20 taco spots of 2023. These are the places that have conquered the hearts and bellies of taco aficionados far and wide with their dedication to authentic recipes, farm-fresh ingredients, and ingenious combinations. From the northern reaches of Alaska to the sunny shores of Florida, from the soul-warming birria to the delicate dance of fish tacos, from bustling street food vendors to the culinary heights of fine dining, this is your definitive guide to the taco destinations you absolutely must try.
Here’s a rundown of the best 20 taco spots in America for 2023:
Aroma Latin American Cocina in Henderson, Nevada
Nestled in the heart of Henderson, Nevada, you’ll find Aroma Latin American Cocina, a charming restaurant that puts a modern spin on traditional Latin American flavors. Their must-try dish? The delectable pork belly tacos, featuring succulent pork marinated and slow-cooked for over 30 hours. These culinary masterpieces are then crowned with a symphony of pickled onions, fragrant cilantro, and a zesty salsa verde.
Birrieria Little Tijuana in San Diego, California
On the streets of sunny San Diego, a food truck named Birrieria Little Tijuana reigns supreme, specializing in the art of birria—a Mexican stew that’s a symphony of flavors. Their quesabirria tacos, a beloved crowd pleaser, boast two tortillas cradling a blanket of melted cheese, generously filled with tender birria meat, and served with a flavorful consomé for dipping.
Deckhand Dave’s Fish Tacos in Juneau, Alaska
Along the picturesque waterfront of Juneau, Alaska, Deckhand Dave’s Fish Tacos awaits seafood enthusiasts. Their devotion to freshness shines through in every bite. Take your pick from halibut, salmon, rockfish, cod, or shrimp, all expertly battered and fried to perfection. These delectable creations are then crowned with a vibrant cabbage slaw, zesty pico de gallo, and house-made sauces.
Taco Nazo in Bellflower, California
Since its inception in 1978, the family-owned Taco Nazo has been serving up authentic Mexican cuisine with unwavering dedication. Their claim to fame is the “World Famous Fish Taco”—a crispy, battered white fish fillet resting on a corn tortilla, harmonized with crisp cabbage, lively salsa fresca, and a creamy sauce. With options extending to shrimp, octopus, scallop, and veggie tacos, there’s something to satisfy every palate.
Frogtowns Gourmet Tacos in Los Angeles, California
Nestled in the heart of Los Angeles lies a hidden culinary gem: Frogtowns Gourmet Tacos. Their grilled shrimp tacos are a culinary marvel, featuring charred shrimp nestled on a soft flour tortilla, harmonized with creamy avocado, vibrant cilantro-lime crema, and a delightful mango salsa⁵. Don’t miss out on their creative concoctions like Korean BBQ chicken, jerk chicken, and vegan chorizo tacos.
Xalisco Latin Cuisine in Redmond, Washington
In Redmond, Washington, Xalisco Latin Cuisine creates culinary magic by infusing Latin American dishes with fresh ingredients and bold flavors. Their tacos kraken are a revelation, with tender grilled octopus adorning a corn tortilla, embraced by the smoky allure of chipotle aioli, crisp cabbage slaw, zesty radish, and aromatic cilantro. Other tantalizing options include carne asada, al pastor, chicken tinga, and mushroom tacos.
Milpa Mexican Cafe in Las Vegas, Nevada
At Milpa Mexican Cafe, simplicity meets elegance in the realm of traditional Mexican cuisine. Their house-made tortillas, crafted from heirloom corn ground on-site, lay the foundation for a palate-pleasing taco experience. Choose from a selection of meats or veggies—carnitas, barbacoa, chicken mole, or cauliflower al pastor—all adorned with the classic combination of onion and cilantro.
Tacos Jalisco in Pensacola Beach, Florida
Located by the Gulf of Mexico, Tacos Jalisco offers an authentic Mexican feast with a view to match. The quesabirria tacos are a must-try, featuring savory beef birria nestled between two cheesy tortillas, served with a side of consomé and a squeeze of lime. The menu also boasts other mouthwatering options like fish, shrimp, pastor, and chorizo tacos.
Buenos Sabores in Austin, Texas
Austin’s Buenos Sabores food truck offers a delightful twist on Mexican street food. Their quesatacos are an instant crowd-pleaser, featuring a pair of tortillas gently cradling melted cheese and your choice of meat or veggies—think brisket, chicken tinga, or jackfruit. Top it all off with a generous sprinkling of onion, cilantro, and salsa. For more variety, explore their breakfast tacos, burritos, and bowls.
Taqueria Mi Ranchito in Chicago, Illinois
A warm family welcome awaits at Taqueria Mi Ranchito, a Chicago gem offering authentic Mexican fare. Their al pastor tacos, crafted from marinated pork slow-cooked on a vertical spit, are a beloved classic. Served on a corn tortilla with the traditional garnishes of onion, cilantro, and pineapple, these tacos are a flavor-packed delight. Explore other options like steak, chicken, lengua, and tripe tacos for a complete culinary journey.
Taco Loco in Birmingham, Alabama
In Birmingham, Taco Loco adds a vibrant twist to Mexican cuisine with a dash of Southern flair. Their fried chicken tacos are a sensation, featuring crispy chicken nestled on a soft flour tortilla and adorned with lettuce, tomato, cheese, and a drizzle of ranch dressing. Dive into other options like beef, pork, fish, or veggie tacos for a taste of Mexico with a Southern twist.
Taco y Taco in Henderson, Nevada
Henderson’s beloved Taco y Taco offers a diverse array of tacos, each a culinary masterpiece in its own right. The vampiro tacos are an absolute delight, featuring two crispy tortillas sandwiching melted cheese and your choice of meat, whether it’s carne asada, carnitas, or al pastor. Top it all off with a generous helping of onion, cilantro, and salsa. The menu extends to soft tacos, mulitas, and quesadillas for the ultimate taco exploration.
Taqueria El Asador in Pensacola, Florida
At Pensacola’s Taqueria El Asador, Mexican cuisine takes on a smoky and savory dimension. Their pollo asado tacos are a standout, showcasing grilled chicken infused with the smoky essence of Mexican mesquite charcoal. Served on a corn tortilla with traditional garnishes of onion, cilantro, and salsa verde, these tacos are a symphony of flavor. Explore other options like steak, pork, chorizo, or veggie tacos for a diverse taco adventure.
Taco Bamba in Falls Church, Virginia
Taco Bamba, located in Falls Church, Virginia, is a vibrant spot known for its creative take on Mexican cuisine. Be sure to explore their “taco of the month,” a delightful surprise featuring unique combinations like duck confit, lamb barbacoa, or lobster thermidor. The menu also boasts classic tacos, tortas, sopes, and nachos, ensuring there’s something for everyone.
Taco Chukis in Seattle, Washington
In the heart of Seattle, Taco Chukis delights taco enthusiasts with a focus on quality and freshness. Their baby burrito tacos are a must-try, showcasing mini flour tortillas cradling your choice of meat or veggies—whether it’s carne asada, adobada, or nopal—complemented by a generous helping of cheese, guacamole, and pico de gallo. Explore their range of regular tacos, burritos, and quesadillas for a truly satisfying meal.
Taco Boy in Charleston, South Carolina
Taco Boy infuses Mexican cuisine with Southern charm in Charleston, South Carolina. The fried chicken taco is a crowd-pleaser, featuring crispy chicken on a soft flour tortilla, crowned with crisp cabbage slaw, pickled jalapeños, and a drizzle of honey-chipotle sauce. Dive into other tantalizing options like fish, shrimp, carnitas, or tofu tacos to experience a fusion of flavors.
Taco Express in Austin, Texas
A taste of tradition awaits at Taco Express, a family-owned spot in Austin, Texas. Their breakfast tacos are a cherished delight, featuring fluffy eggs partnered with your choice of meat or veggies—whether it’s bacon, sausage, potato, or bean—all enveloped in a warm tortilla. The menu extends to lunch and dinner tacos, enchiladas, and gorditas for a full-fledged Tex-Mex experience.
Taco Mesa in Costa Mesa, California
Taco Mesa in Costa Mesa, California, is an eco-conscious eatery that marries Mexican cuisine with a health-conscious twist. The blackened calamari taco is a standout, featuring grilled calamari resting on a corn tortilla, complemented by crisp cabbage slaw, zesty mango salsa, and a drizzle of chipotle cream. Explore other options like chicken mole, beef barbacoa, and veggie tacos for a delectable and nutritious dining experience.
Taco Rico in Miami Beach, Florida
In the heart of Miami Beach, Taco Rico offers a cozy haven with a tropical twist. Their fish taco is an absolute must-try, featuring grilled mahi-mahi on a corn tortilla, adorned with crisp lettuce, ripe tomato, cheese, and a delectable cilantro sauce. Dive into other options like steak, chicken, pork, or bean tacos for a taste of Mexico with a tropical flair.
Taco Shop in Wichita Falls, Texas
At Wichita Falls’ unassuming Taco Shop, you’ll discover Mexican cuisine with a Tex-Mex flourish. The brisket taco is a local favorite, boasting smoked brisket resting on a flour tortilla, harmonized with a generous sprinkling of cheese, vibrant pico de gallo, and a drizzle of barbecue sauce. Explore other mouthwatering options like ground beef, shredded chicken, and cheese tacos for a hearty Tex-Mex feast.
There you have it – the crème de la crème, the top 20 taco spots in America for 2023. Whether you’re a purist or an adventurous eater, there’s a taco with your name on it in this list. So gather your amigos and familia, embark on a taco pilgrimage, and be sure to share your experiences on Yelp to guide fellow taco enthusiasts to their next gastronomic delight.
Once again, Happy National Taco Day, amigos!