10 Best Taco joints In The US

TripBlog
Oct 25, 2019

The taco culture has taken over the US, and there are several taco joints across the country to prove just that! Bacon, eggs, potatoes, cheese wrapped up in a bite-sized tortilla that brings together all the goodness of Mexican food – What’s not to love about tacos? Whether you’re a Taco Tuesdays stan or you’re more of a Taco everyday kind of person, there are so many variations of this simplistic, rustic meal that you can’t get enough of. One of the most portable breakfasts around the world, tacos are a delightful dish, and America’s obsession over it is justified! Tacos are served in many forms – from cozy food trucks to fine-dines and Michelin stars. But when it comes to this delectable, we recommend that you get over the fear of getting your hands dirty and try out any taco joint in line of sight as you’re sure to find some surprises.

Contents

What Is A True Mexican Taco?
1.Los Tacos No. 1, New York
2. Carnitas Uruapan, Chicago
3. Al Pastor Taco at Los Guachos Taqueria, Columbus
4. Veracruz All Natural, Austin
5. La Taqueria, San Francisco
6. Mas Tacos Por Favor, Nashville
7. Hankook Taqueria, Atlanta
8. Chilo’s Brooklyn
9. PGH Taco Truck, Pittsburgh
10. Paco’s Tacos & Tequila, Charlotte

What Is A True Mexican Taco?

As a global food, the Mexican Taco has taken several shapes and forms as it traveled through the thousands of taco joints on the US culinary trail, no doubt starting from Texas. But any one of these variations has their roots deeply seated in the true Mexican Taco recipe. The Mexican taco predates the arrival of Spanish in the country. The oldest reference to nixtamal, a process used in preparing tortilla dates back to 1500 BC. The word taco is derived from the Nahuatl word “Tlahco” meaning “in the middle,” referring to its form. The taco has an incredible variety that has grown over generations in many forms to suit all kinds of tastes, making it an unmissable delight even for the pickiest eaters. While you can expect almost any meat, including beef, pork, chicken, or seafood in an authentic Mexican Taco, the real element that stands out is that Mexican tacos use only small and soft tortillas that are either lightly grilled or steamed. While Tex-Mex style tacos usually feature shredded cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes, most authentic recipes stick to good old lime, onion, and cilantro to bring out the tarty freshness. And of course, “Mexican cheese” is no nowhere close to the flavor of a fresh white cheese that authentic Mexican food uses. Most authentic Mexican Tacos also use crema instead of sour cream. Crema is special because it is much less runny than sour cream. Whether you prefer an authentic taco, a street taco, a fusion, Tex-Mex, or even vegetarian – one thing for sure is that there’s a taco type for everyone. So, get daring as you chomp down on your basket of tacos and make sure to taste all the varieties, as there’s nothing more comforting than this little present wrapped up in a tortilla. It’s like Christmas for your mouth every day, should you get so addicted and there’s no saying that it won’t happen.

1.Los Tacos No. 1, New York

A quaint stand tucked away inside New York City’s Chelsea Market, and this taco joint celebrates authenticity. This unassuming stand gives you just four taco choices (steak, pork, chicken or cactus) and keeps things simple. Started by three friends who brought their family recipes along with them to the east coast. They are all about using fresh, simple and tasteful ingredients brought straight from home. They now have a second location in Times Square, and both are just as busy. If you ever find yourself in the middle of nowhere and regretted the bad touristy choice you made of going to Times Square, your way out of the drama is to head over to Los Tacos No. 1 and get lost in the simplistic beauty of Los Tacos No.1.

10 Best Taco joints In The US

2. Carnitas Uruapan, Chicago

A warm and welcoming eatery in Chicago’s iconic Pilsen neighborhood, Carnitas Uruapan, has been a favorite on the Chicago taco joints list since 1975! One with a very homey feel to it, you can still see the original owner greeting the loyal customers every evening. The charming walls lined with decorations, masks, and photos that scream Mexico, this place has a very retro vibe and is an instant hit. While it may be intimidating to buy pork by the pound while you’re picking up Carnitas, this place gives you the option of picking up tacos, and two or three that you can take away are sure to make a hearty lunch. The Carnitas Uruapan is one for the meat-lover, slow-cooked, juicy, tender morsels of pork with crispy edges wrapped up in an authentic soft-shell taco – Carnitas Uruapan knows how to get to your heart through your stomach. The tacos are served with salsas and jalapeno chiles that go oh-so-well with the succulent chunks. For the seasoned pork enthusiast, we suggest that you ask for what cut of pork you want (Hint: Leaner cuts tend to be drier.

10 Best Taco joints In The US

3. Al Pastor Taco at Los Guachos Taqueria, Columbus

A jolting combination of shawarma-style grilled meat filled in tacos – al pastor tacos brings two worlds together like no other. And the Nanatos family of Los Guachos Taqueria knows how to do it right! A humble family of taqueros, the family immigrated to the US, and with unparalleled hard work started their food truck, which grew to become the full-service bar and restaurant that Los Guachos Taqueria is today. Today they have three locations, and the first thing on their extensive authentic Mexican taco menu is their original al pastor tacos! The original place is a tiny location in a strip mall in the city and still uses Starbucks style service. The juicy meat-filled in corn tortillas are very affordably priced despite the stellar growth story, and oh boy are they a treat to the taste buds.

4. Veracruz All Natural, Austin

Undoubtedly the Taco capital of the United States, Austin is home to many a taco joint that is a class apart – from food trucks to pricey fine dining taqueria, you can find everything at Austin. But if there’s one that you should visit even if you’re short of time on your visit to Austin, it’s Veracruz All Natural. As the name suggests, Veracruz prides itself on serving all-natural, homemade Mexican food with fresh ingredients that are teamed with the most delicious organic juices and smoothies. There are several options here, and is one that the vegetarians and vegans would love as they do feature veggie tacos on their menu. A pretty little food truck on Cesar Chavez Street, Veracruz All Natural has several accolades to its name, including top 5 tacos by the Food Network! The duos that started this place are sisters and besties who grew up in Veracruz Mexico and moved to Austin after finishing high school, and ever since they came here, there was no going back.

5. La Taqueria, San Francisco

A no-frills taco joint that is famed for its authentic Mexican meals priced very affordably, La Taqueria is most well-known for its burrito. However, while you’re there, giving the tacos, a shot is a must. In true SF style, the place does serve veggie tacos as well. You can choose from beef, pork, sausage, or chicken if you’re a meat-lover. You also get a choice on the beans (whole, refried or pinto). The pico de gallo puts this whole dish together, and if you have a tolerance for spice, adding hot sauce is recommended. A clean, family-friendly atmosphere on San Francisco’s Mission District, La Taqueria is the best place to a savor a delicious meal that complements the city’s weather perfectly! You may be taken aback by the long lines that are ever-growing, but be assured that the service is speedy and worth the wait.

10 Best Taco joints In The US

6. Mas Tacos Por Favor, Nashville

A fun and happening taco joint in Nashville Tennessee, Mas tacos Por Favor went from food-truck to brick and mortar, thanks to their delicious treats that go beyond expectations A no-frills building with a subtle charm that takes you back in time, the fast and reliable service does justice to the long waiting lines. If you’re there during peak hours, it may be quite hard to grab a table. Scratch-made food with a twist, quinoa tacos are a must-try here. Started in 1974, the place has grown considerably well and has kept up to its traditional taste and quality while meeting the needs of the next-gen tasters.

7. Hankook Taqueria, Atlanta

If you thought that Lebanese Mexican was a wild and thrilling combo, wait till you hear about the global fusions that this taco joint serves. Hankook Taqueria specializes in a Korean-Mex fusion. Yup, you heard that right, Korean and Tex-Mex. Chef Tomas Lee combined his love for Mexico and his attachment to Korea and put it all on a plate in Atlanta, Georgia. Well, a sensational explosion of flavors was what came out of this bold and brilliant decision. Features on Drive-ins and Dives, Food and Wine Magazine, Food Network, and Men’s Heath, Hankook Taqueria, is in a league of its own when it comes to the taco joint craze. Come to think of it though, why did it take so long for someone to infuse the flavors of Korean BBQ to Texan cuisine! A simple taco menu that gives you the meat options, this taco joint serves up some crazy soy-sesame vinaigrette to go with the beloved taco.

8. Chilo’s Brooklyn

The contemporary bar at the front, food-truck in the back(yard) – what could go wrong here? Get your drinks inside, walk out to the back and order up some tacos to go with it. Where else other than Chilo’s in Brooklyn, would one experience that kind of freedom on the east coast? The fish tacos, beef taco, and carnitas are the all-time-favourites here. The bar serves Cerveza on tap and agave spirits to keep the theme running. A chilled-out neighborhood hang, Chilo’s is a taco joint like no other.

9. PGH Taco Truck, Pittsburgh

Having been voted one of Pittsburgh’s favorite food trucks for 6 years, PGH Taco Truck is well-rooted in the city’s food scene. Thanks to the delicious tacos and the courteous staff, owner James Rich very quickly amassed a fan following in the city. Since its revamp in 2013, this taco joint revolves around several areas in the town and also features a specials menu and a changing menu. Apart from food festivals, the PGH Taco Truck has shown up at a variety of obscure locations, making it a recurring theme on the Pittsburgh culinary trail. Ground-beef jacked cheese, and fresh salsa served on a double-thick griddled corn tortilla, this taco joint keeps things simple but delightful. They are renowned for their use of locally-grown ingredients including beef.

10. Paco’s Tacos & Tequila, Charlotte

A lively hang in Charlotte’s Morrison Boulevard, just the name of this taco joint, is enough for some of us to get the tie-dye shirts out of the closet and head out for a girl’s night. Guacamole made tableside for live entertainment, authentic Tex-Mex recipes and over 100 varieties of Tequila, Paco’s has everything you need for a crazy weekend. Each of the items on the menu was carefully crafted under the expertise of James Beard, award-winning culinary expert, Rob Walsh. A casual dine-out with charming interiors, the place is also good for a Friday night hangout with colleagues. Vegan and gluten-free options are available, and the menu is frankly quite extensive. There are six different tacos on the menu (beef brisket, wood-grilled chicken, wood-grilled skirt steak, BBQ shrimp, Red River fish, Gringo beef and veggie) – mix and match to your liking. The interior VIP cage, with a great view of the bar, holds tequila tastings at times.

While you’re on your mission to find the perfect taco joint Austin, you may come across a variety that is newly opening and worth a shot – but it is safe to say that when it comes to authentic Mexican, tried and tested is the way to go with taco joints Austin. And if you’re just not that much into the taco scene, think twice and truly comprehend why this treat even has an emoji of its own. Yes, the taco is a culture now, and you better get on that train before it’s too late. Taking a taco tour is just one of those fun little extra things that perk up your life delightfully and satisfyingly.

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