Food & Drink

Where to Eat Barbacoa in Dallas

Published On 04/21/2015 Published On 04/21/2015
José R. Ralat/Thrillist
José R. Ralat/Thrillist
José R. Ralat/Thrillist
José R. Ralat/Thrillist
Los Torres Taqueria
José R. Ralat/Thrillist
José R. Ralat/Thrillist
José R. Ralat/Thrillist
José R. Ralat/Thrillist
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1. Monterrey BBQ 10920 Garland Rd, Dallas, TX 75218 (East Dallas)

If this East Dallas barbecue joint seems to be stuck in the mid-20th century (what with its wagon-wheel dining room partitions and cafeteria-style ordering system), it’s because it is. Monterrey BBQ was once Raymond’s Bar-B-Que Cafeteria. The barbacoa here is soft, juicy without being greasy, and beefy without being gamey. The handmade corn tortilla, hot and bumpy from its time on a flattop griddle, only improves the meat. The grounded, touched-with-smoke salsa de chile pasilla evokes the beginnings of barbacoa in Latin America. It’s pretty much heaven.

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2. Taco Stop 1900 Irving Blvd, Dallas, TX 75207 (Design District)

Taco Stop is a Design District taco shack serving up some of DFW's most popular tacos, in record time. This roadside taqueria prides itself on making high-quality tacos en masse, offering them in batches up to 22 at a time. In the morning, the breakfast tacos -- stuffed with eggs, cheese, and a variety of toppings -- fly off the griddle, though the prime rib taco, available only at lunch and dinner, is the standout signature. The juicy prime rib is accompanied by magic onions (translation: onions cooked in bacon fat) and served atop locally made corn or flour tortillas -- your choice -- and topped with cilantro.

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3. Barbacoa Agave #2 4525 Maple Ave, Dallas, TX 75219 (Oak Lawn)

The barbacoa de borrego at Barbacoa Agave #2 is a smoky sucker-punch of lamb in a handmade corn tortilla. Available as a $2 taco on weekends only, the barbacoa is the taco to get here. Be warned -- while Barbacoa Agave #2 accepts payment by debit and credit card, the restaurant (which sits across from Maria Luna Park in what was once the Little Mexico neighborhood), will only take cash in denominations of $5 and $10.

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4. Los Torres Taqueria 1322 W Clarendon Dr, Dallas, TX 75208 (Oak Cliff)

This Taqueria pays homage to the Mexican state of Sinaloa with its meaty selection of delicious tacos -- try the birria, a stewed goat meat taco with handmade flour tortillas characteristic of the region.

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5. La Guadalupana Meat Market 902 S Hampton Rd, Dallas, TX 75208 (Oak Cliff)

La Guadalupana Meat Market stocks some of the best barbacoa in Dallas. Get a pack of fresh corn tortillas from Tortilleria La Nueva Puntada, less than two miles away. While there are tables and a counter at La Guadalupana, take your bounty home, where it will be barbacoa for breakfast, the traditional method of enjoying dish.

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6. La Nueva Fresh & Hot 9625 Webb Chapel Rd, Dallas, TX 75220 (North Dallas)

It's tough to go wrong at La Nueva. Try the lamb taco, the barbacoa, al pastor, or the guisado verde -- you won't regret a thing.

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7. Cool & Hot 930 E 8th St, Dallas, TX 75203 (Oak Cliff)

Sometimes one needs compact wallops of slick beef from the most famous taqueria hidden in plain sight. And best on a weekend morning when regrettable memory-coating greasy eats makes living bearable. Cool & Hot, a converted gas station with an attached car wash on 8th St above I-35 awash in blue and yellow with silly representations of their menu, is just the place for it. Find solace in the tiny, spongy flour tortillas scarfed in the covered eating area.

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8. Sanchez Panaderia y Taqueria 5710 Richmond Ave, Dallas, TX 75206

Tucked away on a back road in the Lake June section of South Dallas at the edge of the Great Trinity Forest, Sanchez Panaderia y Taqueria specializes in the lamb barbacoa typical of Hidalgo state in Eastern Mexico. The weekend-only restaurant’s signature dish is an herbaceous, tender meat wrapped in maguey leaves. The dish is ordered by the pound and is presented in an ornate chafing dish. Handmade tortillas, garnishes, and salsa accompany the meat. Adventurous eaters can also order pancita -- essentially a Mexican haggis. Whatever you request, arrive early -- Sanchez gets crowded toward lunchtime -- bring cash, and start with a bowl of consommé punctuated with chickpeas and rice. If you get lost while trying to find Sanchez, fret not. The neighborhood is dotted with barbacoa joints, including Barbacoa Agave #2’s big sister. Barbacoa, like tacos or food in general, should be an adventure.

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