The 10 Best Tacos In Texas
Our annual South’s Best Awards posed a difficult question: Which taco joints do you love the most? This is what Texans had to say.
You really can’t name any singular taco as the best in Texas, as it would be quite the unimaginable feat. However, if you allow the Texans in the room to have a voice, there do seem to be a few clear favorites, whether we’re talking about a two-bite street taco topped with onion and cilantro, a hefty barbecue taco that melts in your mouth, or the humble breakfast taco of which Texas has mastered a hundred times over. Our annual South’s Best Awards posed a difficult question: Which taco joints do you love the most? This is what Texans had to say.
Here are the 10 best places to get tacos in Texas, as voted by Southern Living readers.
10. Del Norte Tacos
Chef-owner Chris Garcia transformed an old 1920s gas station into a taqueria in 2008, originally starting with only four items on the menu. Now, the menu has greatly expanded, including his famed Smoked Chile Relleno and larger-than-life burritos and enchiladas. It's a BYOB, kid-friendly, dogs-allowed destination for locals and beyond. delnortetacos.com
9. El Tejavan
If you’re headed to the Panhandle of Texas (also known as cattle country), expect beef on the menu. In fact, the Plato Al Pastor, which is traditionally a pork dish, is instead made with beef at El Tejavan. What started out as a laid-back roadside store became a full-fledged sit-down spot. Plus, we respect any place that offers guacamole two ways: smooth or chunky. eltejavanmexican.com
8. La Calle
With three locations in Houston, this high-reviewed cantina is known for tacos and tortas, as well as its late-night hours which allow you to order snacks like creamy elote, crunchy chicharrones, and street tacos any time of day. The happy hour and daily specials serve up major deals and are popular amongst Houstonites. lacalletacos.com
7. Taqueria Datapoint
The long list of menu items at this authentic taqueria nestled into a quiet storefront makes it hard to choose, but you’ll never go wrong with the machacado con huevo (shredded dry beef scrambled into eggs) for breakfast and the mini tacos for a perfect lunch. You can choose between different proteins, but get a multifaceted taste by ordering the mixed meats, which comes with a combination of asada, carnitas, pastor, and tripa. taqueriadatapoint.net
6. Urban Taco
Mexico City native Markus Pineyro was a pioneer in what would become known as “Modern Mexican” in Dallas. The flagship location in Uptown Dallas offers unique takes on classics, such as salsa flights, ceviche towers, and chilled tequila on draft. The signature dish is its tacos al pastor, which contains meat sliced off the vertical rotisserie known as a trompo. Choose from various locations throughout the city. urban-taco.com
5. Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ
This barbecue trailer by pitmaster Miguel Vidal and his wife Modesty is serious about tacos. Grab one of the picnic tables, and choose from a menu of melt-in-your-mouth meat tacos and barbecue plates. The most popular taco is the brisket, to no surprise, which is served on a fluffy flour tortilla and topped with a dollop of guacamole and lime wedge. You can also get the brisket on one of the breakfast tacos, and you won’t be disappointed. valentinastexmexbbq.com
4. Los Gallos Taco House
This breakfast-and-lunch spot is known for stuffing its tacos to the brim, which is certainly a benefit for those who desire bang for their buck, or who show up extra hungry. The small family-run restaurant has just enough tables to always feel packed, and the to-go meals are perfect for families who need a Tex-Mex fix on a busy weeknight. losgallostacohouse.com
3. Little Taco Factory
This local-favorite taco joint is open for breakfast and lunch. It’s known primarily for having some of the best breakfast tacos in San Antonio. The homemade tortillas are worth any of the fillings, but the Chorizo & Egg taco is especially recommended. It’s a casual hole-in-the-wall type of place with limited table space, and make sure to place your order at the counter. facebook.com/little-taco-factory
2. Joe T. Garcia’s
A Fort Worth staple since 1935, this restaurant is known as much for its hospitality as it is for its authentic food, which stems back to a menu created by founder Joe T. Garcia and his wife Jessie. Locals and tourists alike come together on an oasis-like patio to enjoy pitchers of margaritas and baskets of chips. It’s the perfect place to relax after a day spent exploring the revitalized Fort Worth Stockyards and Mule Alley. Just make sure to come prepared: It’s cash-only. joetgarcias.com
1. Torchy’s Tacos
Austin, Houston, Dallas, & More
It's no surprise that this beloved chain ended up at the top of our Texas' Best list. From the first mobile trailer to a whopping 102 locations in 11 states, Torchy's Tacos offers a fast-casual atmosphere that has something for everyone. The menu includes unique options with quirky names like the Democrat, the Republican, and the Trailer Park, along with a green chile queso that has garnered fanatic popularity. Everything is made fresh in-house daily, including all six sauces, and you'll find a full-service bar of margaritas at most locations. (Just make sure to throw in an order of queso.) torchystacos.com
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