Some of The Best Tacos in America: Part 1
The best tacos in America aren't just found in the southwest. You can find delicious tacos in spots ranging from San Antonio all the way to Chicago, and from Los Angeles to Boston. Below, we've begun assembling a list of some of our favorite taco places. Of course, that's a lot of ground to cover, so check back often. Who knows, your favorite spot just might make our list. Enjoy!
El Taco Azteca
This gourmet-taco restaurant sits in the heart of Chicago's Pilsen/Little Village neighborhood, renowned for its authentic Mexican food. It ranks with the best of them, with nine different tacos ranging from pollo en mole to grilled rib-eye. The star of the show might be the al pastor, paired delectably with pineapple.
Las Leyendas de Mexico Restaurant
Hearty portions in a large, colorful dining room with bright murals make Las Leyendas de Mexico a pure joy for family events. This is an excellent spot to try tacos packed with cecina, a type of dried beef that's marinated to perfection.
Helmed by chef Ralph Pagano (of Iron Chef and Hell's Kitchen), Naked Taco takes its tortilla creations to new extremes. This is the only place to try "General Tso's Cauliflower" or "Crispy Key West Shrimp" in a taco. No wonder the Miami New Times awarded the joint its "Best Taco" in the city designation in 2014.
Los Cinco Puntos
Los Angeles, CA
Praised by LA Weekly, Los Angeles magazine, and Rachel Ray, Los Cincos Puntos has provided Mexican delicacies from family recipes since 1967. House-made corn tortillas make every taco here a gem, but one must try the carnitas, exquisitely juicy and topped with creamy guacamole.
Pancho Villa Taqueria
San Francisco, CA
An icon of San Francisco's Mission District, Pancho Villa Taqueria might be better known for its Mission-style burritos than anything. But owing to its coastal location, the taqueria has some of America's best seafood tacos, especially the tasty prawn tacos.
Carlos Miguel's Mexican Bar & Grill
With five locations around Colorado, Carlos Miguel's Mexican Bar & Grill is known throughout the state. Its menu is expansive, with a number of tempting treats, but we would advise you to think simple: its street tacos (filled with either grilled chicken or top sirloin) can't be beat.
Papaya Mexican Grill
This small, unassuming taco joint in the Dallas suburbs may not seem like much, but it offers some of Texas's best street tacos. Find barbacoa and carnitas meat cooked tender and topped with grilled onions and cilantro–just as they should be.
This casual spot in Olde Kensington really only has one taco, but it's a doozy: the "Cancun taco," a decadent fish taco made from mouth-watering tilapia, chipotle mayo, and jicama slaw.
An Atlanta-area staple (with 11 locations), Tin Lizzy's might be best known for its signature margaritas, but its 15 different tacos are a blast. Whether its the beer-battered lobster with bacon-cilantro slaw or the goat-cheese "Southern Comfort" taco (which is topped with fried pickles), Tin Lizzy's creative tacos put them on the map.
Senor Lopez Mexican Restaurant
It's pretty much impossible not to have a taco at Senor Lopez Mexican Restaurant–the taqueria typically offers you a complimentary one as soon as you sit down. But we recommend buying a couple of more for good measure: the carne asada, chorizo con huevo, and five other tacos are only $1.25 a piece, making this one of the best taco places in terms of value.
Have you seen a tamale on a menu and wondered, "what is that, exactly?" We'll fill you in.