Food & Drink

The 11 Best Under-the-Radar Taco Spots in Houston

Published On 08/12/2015 Published On 08/12/2015
Taquito Joes
Karanchos
Taco Keto
Brooke Viggiano/Thrillist
Dona Maria
Flickr/Katharine Shilcutt
Taqueria Taconmadre
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1. Sunrise Taquito 5601 Memorial Dr, Houston, TX 77007 (Memorial City)

While this taqueria may look like a Shell station, it's actually home to some of the city's best breakfast tacos. Come by for a taco loaded with chorizo, potato, and eggs with beans and cheese.

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2. Karanchos 620 Sheldon Rd, Channelview, TX 77530

This former tiny taco stand might have transformed itself into a full-fledged Mexican restaurant, but that doesn't mean it ever lost touch with its authentic street food roots. With tacos for only a buck a pop, you can load up on al pastor, trompo, chicken and barbacoa with cilantro and onion (wrapped in your choice or flour or corn tortilla) for a ridiculously low price. The restaurant has ample seating and full bar inside, but the best way to eat from Karanchos is still to take your food outside to the patio (it is street food, after all).

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3. TacoKeto 1401 Cullen Blvd, Houston, TX 77023 (East End)

Here you will find two-biter tacos wrapped in tortillas coated in a fiery rust-colored secret sauce, and accompanied by a whole roasted jalape帽o, grilled potatoes & onions, and a wedge of lime.

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4. El Gallo De Jalisco 3220 White Oak Dr, Houston, TX 77007

This tiny, unassuming building in the Heights looks almost like a little prison, with cinderblock walls and barred doors. And I guess we can say that the Mexican food being cooked up inside is so good it should be illegal. This spot is only open until 3pm during the week and 5pm on weekends, so get in early to order your fill of tacos

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5. Taqueria Tacambaro 2520 Airline Dr, Houston, TX 77009 (The Greater Heights)

This under-the-radar food truck, which is usually parked behind a farmer's market in Heights, is what locals call the best taco truck in the city (a bold statement for Houston). The menu is pretty standard for a Mexican joint, but what's special about this place, according to regulars, is the way it's all cooked. The mollejas, tacos and gorditas are practically worshipped for the beautiful crunch of the tortillas and the meat's crispy outsides and tender insides. Because this place has no seating, ordering to go is your best option unless you want to east as you explore the market.

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6. Dona Maria Mexican Cafe 2601 Navigation Blvd, Houston, TX 77003

This East End restaurant/catering business offers up homemade corn tortillas, chorizo-packed huevos, and top-notch house salsa verde.

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7. Villa Arcos 3009 Navigation Blvd, Houston, TX 77003 (East End)

This East End Tex-Mex treasure has been around for almost 40 years, and here there are two very important words you need to know: Breakfast tacos. This joint's serves them (and other breakfast dishes) all day long, and the options are almost endless. For the few spare dollars in your pockets you can load up on a combination of eggs, cheese, potatoes, beans, rice, bacon, chorizo or pork sausage. Dining atmosphere here is ... well, it's your typical Tex-Mex restaurant. If you don't want to sit, however, takeout is incredibly quick.

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8. El Ultimo Taco Truck 7403 Long Point Rd, Houston, TX 77055

Want big flavor without spending big bucks? Look no further than El Ultimo. Tacos start at $1.50 and ratchet all the way up to $1.75 for el ultimo on thick flour tortillas. This place is known for its breakfast taco selection, but you can never go wrong stopping by on your lunch break (shouldn't be hard, their usual spots are right outside the loop). Pick your meat (go for the de chicharron y barbacoa, trust us) and have it topped with salsa verde, grilled onions, cilantro, white cheese, and avocado slices.

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9. El Taconazo Taco Truck 4001 Fulton St, Houston, TX 77009

At this no-frills truck, you you really can't go wrong, but the real winner are the trompo tacos -- stuffed with spiced and marinated pork cooked on a rotating spit.

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10. Taqueria Taconmadre 905 Edgebrook Dr, Houston, TX 77034

This 24/7 bright green taqueria-and-taco-truck hybrid has $1 breakfast tacos plus tender al pastor and crisp chicharr贸nes, both loaded with fiery salsa, chopped onion, and lime, for later in the day.

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11. 100% Taquito 3245 Southwest Fwy, Houston, TX 77027

This 100% fantastic taco shop offers order of three small tacos on your choice of house-made corn or flour tortillas. Bigger appetites may need to add on sides like chicharr贸n con guac or salsa.

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