Tacos are one of life’s simplest pleasures: easy to assemble, delicious, and they come in almost every shape, size and flavor. Sure, we can celebrate tacos every Tuesday or any other day of the week, but one day a year is dedicated to these savory little latin wraps in all their glory. This National Taco Day (10/4), don't just taco 'bout it -- eat and indulge.
Leave it to the Pros
All over the country, the tradition of taco stands, taquerias, and Mexican restaurants is being gloriously upheld. But, as experienced travelers and taco connoisseurs already know, some are definitely better than others. Here are a few of our favorite places to snag a bite across the US.
Adelitas Cocina y Cantina - Denver, Colorado
There’s no shortage of excellent taco joints around Colorado, or in the broader Southwest region, but none are more highly revered than the family owned restaurant known as Adelitas Cocina y Cantina. If you find yourself in the neighborhood, stop by to try the house-made pico de gallo, sautéed portobellos, and killer margaritas that make this place stand out from the fierce competition.
Guisados - Los Angeles, California
Some taco joints are known for mixing haute ingredients and fancy meats, but it's the street food vibe that attract Angelos to Guisados with their authentic, down home flavors. Drawing foodies from across LA and around the world, their homemade corn tortillas and slow-braised meats are beyond satiable. It’s simple, cheap, mouthwatering, and we guarantee you can't have just one.
Taco Guild Gastropub - Phoenix, ArizonaLike the guilds of old, exclusive clubs formed by craftsmen and skilled artisans, this taco artisan crafts their tacos from top to bottom, inside and outside. And just like any artist, they use only the best organic, locally farmed produce and ingredients. The restaurant is set in an old church and radiates special vibes with sustainable Mexican fare sure to leave a lasting impression.
Torchy’s Taco’s - Austin, Texas
The story behind Torchy’s is almost as good as the food they serve. Chef Michael Rypka ditched his job in a fancy kitchen to chase his dreams on the streets by vespa and trailer. In an attempt to attract customers, Mike rode around Austin like Mexican Santa handing out chips and his award-winning green salsa to anyone who willing to taste a bite. Fast forward a decade and Torchy’s has outposts across the U.S. and is nationally recognized as one of the most creative and delicious brands on the planet.
If You'd Prefer to Make Your Own...
You can always find good tacos at a restaurant, but sometimes you just want to pour your heart and soul into a meal. If cooking is good for the soul, cooking tacos is great for it. Here are a few of our favorite recipes.
Grilled Carne Asada
Carne Asada is a classic dish that's hard to beat and easy to make. Get yourself a flank or skirt steak and grill it on high heat until it's browned on both sides (3-5 minutes for each side). Right as it comes off the grill, slice the meat into thin strips to stop the internal cooking. Now you're ready to assemble your tacos. Take two tortillas (flour or corn, soft or hard, it doesn’t matter) and add cilantro, onions, corn, and jalapeños for spice. Enjoy!
Crunchy Deep-Fried Fish
Most people use halibut or cod for fish tacos, but you can get creative and fry crab, lobster, salmon, or even shrimp. The possibilities are as plentiful as there are fish in the sea! To make the breading, combine flour, black pepper, paprika, and salt with eggs, and a splash of beer (our secret ingredient). Dip the fish in batter and fry in hot oil. After you extract the fish from the fryer, heat the remaining batter to up the crunch. Continue to fry occasionally until the fish is golden-brown. You can top your tacos with cabbage, pickled red onions, Sriracha mayo, and cilantro.
Grilled Queso Blanco
Tacos don't discriminate and there are as many delicious vegetarian variations as there are meat. One of our favorites? grilled queso blanco, or grilled cheese tacos. The cheese adds a hefty substance, while avocado and spicy pico de gallo contribute bright vivid flavors that will leave you feeling full and satisfied. You can also add scrambled eggs to up your breakfast game.
Avocado, Bean and Veggie
Here’s another one for the herbivores out there: the avocado, bean and vegetable taco. It’s simple, cheap, and easy to make. Cook up some beans - pinto, refried, or black all make fine options, slice up some avocado, toss in red onion and cilantro, and squeeze a lime over top. You can add any other fruits or legumes you think would work well - the more creative you get, the better!
Smoked Lamb Barbacoa
This one takes a bit more preparation, but it's worth the effort. Get yourself to the store and collect all the necessary ingredients: salt, chili powder, guajillo chili powder, cumin, dried oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, garlic, lamb shoulder, and a whole bunch of other seasoning for the sauce. You’ll smoke the lamb shoulder over coals for about three hours to achieve that perfect melt in your mouth texture. Check out the recipe for more detailed instructions and let us all cheers to taco time.