1. Al Pastor, Tortilleria Sinaloa (Baltimore, Maryland)
Tortilleria Sinaloa in Baltimore, Maryland, is a location that is always crowded because it is known for its handcrafted tortillas and fresh, abundant fillings, both of which bring customers continuously.
The tamales, pozole, and special fish tacos with Old Bay butter sauce are all worth ordering, but the al pastor is the dish that truly shines on this menu. It is tasty and tender, and it features bits of grilled pineapple throughout.
2. Chorizo, Tacos Morelos (New York, New York)
What started out as a humble street cart in Queens, New York, expanded in 2013 to include a fleet of trucks as well as a brick-and-mortar shop in the East Village. Tacos Morelos has been welcomed with wide arms by New Yorkers who are passionate about Mexican cuisine, and they have expressed their gratitude by proclaiming that their hunt for authentic Mexican food in the city is now over.
They provide no less than a dozen different options for fillings, but the chorizo taco is the one that wins our vote. It is garnished with cilantro, guacamole, and chopped onions.
3. Carne Deshebrada, Loteria Grill (Los Angeles, California)
Loteria Grill has established itself as a bit of a landmark in the Los Angeles area, gaining notoriety for its endearing and energetic atmosphere as well as its outstanding tacos. If you ask many of our regular customers, they will most likely recommend that you buy the taco platter.
However, if we were forced to choose just one taco kind, we would go with the Carne desperado, which is comprised of braised shredded beef, cilantro, guacamole, onions, and red salsa.
4. Shrimp, El Vez (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Stephen Starr, a successful restaurateur, is well aware of the types of foods that people enjoy eating, and he has used this knowledge to his advantage by opening El Vez in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It just takes one order of the tacos al carbon to serve two people, and if you get the shrimp on the grill, you’ll have a masterpiece on your hands.
You may tailor the amount of poblano pepper, pico de gallo, guacamole, and queso fresco that you wish to add, and homemade flour tortillas are used as the vehicle for the shrimp, which are served fresh off the grill and have a mildly spicy and intensely flavorful profile.
5. Shrimp, La Lagartija Taqueria (Chicago, Illinois)
Some of the best tacos in Chicago can be found at this modest eatery, which is tucked away in a less-than-convenient part of the city. Although the al pastor receives a lot of positive feedback, the shrimp taco at La Lagartija is the dish that truly shines.
The shrimp are given a light batter and then fried, which results in them being crunchy, juicy, and delicious without any trace of grease. This taco, which comes with a cheesy sauce on top and is wrapped in a tortilla that was produced in-house, can fool you into thinking that you’ve been transported to Mexico City.
6. Guisado Verde, La Nueva Fresh & Hot Tortilleria (Dallas, Texas)
The modest restaurant La Nueva, which is dominated by a gigantic tortilla machine that elevates the warmth of the room to levels that are on the verge of being inhumane, is known for serving a dish called guisado verde, which translates to “green pork stew.”
However, the wait will be well worth it once you get your order, sprinkle some hot salsa on top of it, and then drive back to your car to enjoy it in the air conditioning. The tortillas are airy and tender, and the ingredients are as fresh as you’ve ever tasted, while the stew is the quintessential dish for cozying up with.
7. Raw Tuna, My Ceviche (Miami, Florida)
My Ceviche is a popular choice for seafood in the fast-casual dining scene in Miami, Florida. It now has six locations spread out over the city. You can have ceviche (prepared with your choice of three different types of seafood and in six different flavors), burritos, bowls, and salads, all of which are good alternatives.
However, you shouldn’t overlook the tacos, which may be made with fish, shrimp, octopus, chicken, or raw tuna. Although it may come as a surprise, eating raw tuna is the best way to go: It is then cut into very small pieces and layered inside a corn or flour tortilla with a colorful combination of pickled red onions, julienned radishes, shredded queso fresco, and cilantro. Additionally, we recommend that you ask for some sliced avocado to be placed on top of the dish.
8. Pork in Red Sauce, Laredo Taqueria (Houston, Texas)
Do not let the long line discourage you from visiting this Houston institution; it moves very fast, and the end result will more than justify the wait. If you are anticipating a taco that is piled high with toppings such as cheese, lettuce, onions, and other similar ingredients, you will be disappointed. At Laredo, the tacos are all about the meat, and you will receive nothing but meat in them. Choose the pork in red sauce since it has an incredible flavor and is very tender.
9. Pulpo Ajillo, Mariscos El Pulpo (San Diego)
When the word “octopus” and “seafood” are both included in the name of a restaurant, you can be sure that the octopus that is served there is going to be delicious. Mariscos El Pulpo is a restaurant that succeeds despite its seemingly inconspicuous location.
On the menu, there are three different preparations for octopus tacos. One of them has the octopus sautéed in garlic butter (mojo de ajo), another has it cooked in a house chile sauce (enchilada), and the third has it cooked in garlic and ancho chile butter (ajillo).
Choose the ajillo dish, which features soft bits of octopus coated in the tastiest butter possible and finished with a dusting of cilantro and onion. You might not have been a big fan of octopus in the past, but after trying this, you definitely will be.
10. Carne Asada, El Buen Gusto Mexican Café (San Antonio, Texas)
The proprietor of El Buen Gusto, Jobita Nuez, makes corn tortillas from scratch, and they are put to good use at the restaurant by being wrapped around crunchy chicharrones with red chile sauce and al pastor that has been griddled and grilled. El Buen Gusto has been a popular destination for residents since it opened in 2011.
However, if you only have room for one taco, we recommend the carne asada, which is a grilled steak that has been seasoned with spices. Make sure to pour on some hot house-made chile de arbol salsa.