From classic to contemporary tacos, you definitely won’t find a shortage of the handheld gems throughout the Valley. Check out these popular spots serving up a delicious selection because it’s Taco Tuesday everyday in the Southwest.
Serving upscale Latin cuisine, The Mission has been a staple for years in the Valley. Their taco selection is highlighted by the hand-pressed corn tortillas that are standouts on their own. But the elevated fillings like mole duck confit and smoked brisket take it to a higher level. We suggest ordering the insanely juicy roasted pork shoulder tacos which are smoked and slow braised for 12 hours with a pineapple habañero glaze. The order serves two and comes with a stack of tortillas and selections of sides so you can build your own at the table. Visit on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for all-you-can-eat pork tacos.
This little taqueria is located in an unassuming strip mall, churning out award-winning Latin-inspired cuisine. The a la carte tacos are offered crujientes (crunchy) and de la calle (street) style with choices like Koren fried chicken, pork belly and Texas Wagyu Cap Steak. Moreover, the joint has daily specials and happy hour for great savings, but arrive early – this place is popular.
Recently opened in downtown Phoenix, Taco Chelo combines visual arts with great food that pays homage to Monterrey, Mexico, the hometown of its chef Suny Santana. The menu is filled with classic favorites like carnitas, carne asada, chicken and more for downright good tacos. While the choices are somewhat simple, the motto that less is more really shines here.
Located in a 1920’s building in historic Garfield District in downtown Phoenix, Gallo Blanco’s menu ranges from sopas to burritos and more. Owned and operated by a Mexican native, its tacos are perfectly prepared and include classic fillings like carne asada, barbacoa and pork del dia. Try the campechano for a mix of Spanish sausage, al pastor and carne asada.
Joyride Taco House
This playful restaurant has locations in Central Phoenix and Downtown Gilbert and offers up a vibrant atmosphere with fun offerings like corn fries and chicharrones. Its taco selection caters to a wide audience with classic choices like the carne asada taco with salsa, cabbage, cilantro and onion, to more bold options like the pork adobada with guajillo chili, cabbage, cilantro, radish and onion. Make sure to pair it with one of their boozy agua frescas.
Located in a structure that was built in 1893 and formerly served as a church and then a one-room schoolhouse, Taco Guild is a unique destination. The Phoenix outlet fuses Old World flavors with New World style using produce sourced from local farms. Their delicious tacos include the popular chipotle cherry steak, coffee marinated beef and al pastor pork, all served on eclectic handcrafted plateware.
Blanco Tacos & Tequila
For the modern Mexican lover, Blanco’s trendy atmosphere and menu will delight but its tacos are not to be missed. Available a la carte or with rice and beans, diners can pick and choose from an array of flavors. The award-winning slow cooked barbecue pork is one of the most popular on the menu for good reason but its braised short rib machaca and chipotle shrimp are also just as noteworthy. Visit its one of two Valley locations in Phoenix and Scottsdale.
While this might not be the first place you think of when seeking out good tacos, don’t pass it by. This Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives-approved BBQ joint is housed inside a gas station in North Scottsdale and serves up some of the best BBQ in town. And its tacos are a mouthwatering take on the classic Mexican dish. The order comes with a choice of pulled pork, pulled chicken or beef brisket, topped with cotija, red cabbage and chipotle salsa. We suggest getting one of each for the tastiest trio.
With multiple locations across the Valley, Barrio Queen has quickly become a local favorite. It’s varied menu offers something for everyone. Its taco selection alone will leave even the most decisive diners pulled in multiple directions. Order the signature cochinita pibil or indulge in one of their gourmet tacos, like the surf and turf taco or the chicken tinga taco served on blue corn tortillas.
For true taco fans, plan your visit to Phoenix around the annual Arizona Taco Festival. Taking place October 24-25, 2020, the event features 50+ restaurant and food trucks serving $3 tacos. Other fun things include margarita wars, a VIP cantina, live music, lucha libre, a hot sauce expo, chili pepper eating contest and plenty more. aztacofestival.com