You already know about the best tacos spots in Houston. And you’ve likely hit up killer trucks and shops like Tacos Tierra Caliente, Brothers, and Laredo Taqueria (or at least we really hope you have). But there are a number of tiny-yet-fantastic taquerias and trucks that likely aren’t on your current taco rotation, and that's a crime in and of itself. These 11, to be exact...
The 11 Best Under-the-Radar Taco Spots in Houston
Chorizo & egg taco
Sunrise Taquito (address and info)
Though this sister restaurant to Taquito Joe’s and offshoot of Villa Arcos has garnered some loyal fans, you may have missed this legitimately great taqueria anyway. Why? Because you probably thought it was a gas station. Look past the Shell sign and you’ll find some of the city’s finest breakfast tacos, locked and loaded with chorizo & eggs, potato & eggs, or (if you really know what you’re doing) chorizo, potato & eggs with beans and cheese.
Karanchos (address and info)
Gone is the tiny taco stand this once was. Today you’ll find a full-service eatery with waitstaff, a patio, and TVs to boot. Don’t worry. The street-style tacos are still as authentic as ever. Get yours loaded with fantastically delicious trompo, but know you’ll need about five of them to quench your appetite.
Carne deshebrada (braised beef in red sauce)
TacoKeto (address and info)
The fiery rust-colored sauce that coats each tortilla may be a house secret, but the tiny red taqueria on wheels shouldn’t be. Hit it to get a packet filled with a duo of seriously addicting two-biters accompanied by a whole roasted jalapeño, grilled potatoes and onions, and wedge of lime.
El Gallo de Jalisco (address and info)
Don’t forget your cash. You’ll need multiple two-dollar bills to get your fill of nice-sized, made-to-order tacos packed with carne guisada, cactus and egg, lengua, and house salsa verde. Or you could bring a few ones, a five, or a 10-dollar bill. All of those would work, too.
Taqueria Tacambaro (address and info)
Don’t fill up on samples at Canino Produce. You’ll want to save room for this taco trailer in the back of the farmers' market, where you can stuff yourself silly with fat, greasy gorditas and cheap, freshly made tacos loaded with hard-to-score things like birria (goat stew) and mollejas (sweetbread).
The breakfast taco
Dona Maria (address and info)
This family-owned haunt on Navigation cranks out homemade eats just as good as your abuela made. Light and fluffy corn tortillas make the perfect bed for bright orange, oily-in-the-best-way chorizo & huevos. And don’t forget to pack on some house-made salsa verde.
Villa Arcos (address and info)
This almost 40-year-old taco house on Navigation may be known for dope-as-hell breakfast tacos, but the lunch-ier chicken and beef options are no joke, either. Don’t worry, everything comes on the same addicting, cooked-to-order flour tortillas.
El Ultimo Taco Truck (address and info)
This Long Point standby may not be fancy, but it’s an absolute must-hit for taco aficionados. Load up on chubby flour and corn tortillas stacked with everything from barbacoa and machacado (shredded beef & eggs) to tripe and nopalitos (cactus). Then pour on some salsa verde and wash it all down with aguas frescas.
El Taconazo Taco Truck (address and info)
Don’t let the no-frills look of this Northside taco truck fool you. A double stack of thick corn tortillas filled with things like lengua and tender barbacoa will have you dreaming of your last Mexican getaway (unless your last Mexican getaway was your college spring break, in which case you’re diet more likely consisted of tequila shots with tequila chasers). While you can’t go wrong, the trompo tacos -- stuffed with spiced and marinated pork cooked on a rotating spit -- are a must-eat.
Al pastor or chicharrónes
Taqueria Taconmadre (address and info)
$1 breakfast tacos aren’t the only things that make this bright green taqueria-and-taco-truck hybrid special (though those really, really help the cause). It’s the fact that you can get fat, beautifully greasy tacos 24/7 that really makes this spot next level. The tender al pastor and crisp chicharrónes, both loaded with fiery salsa, chopped onion, and lime, are particularly excellent after a night out at the bars.
Tacos de mixtos
100% Taquito (address and info)
What started out as a school project has blossomed into a 100% fantastic taco shop. Though every order comes with three small tacos of your choice of house-made corn or flour tortillas, big appetites may need to add on sides like chicharrón con guac or salsa. Get the tacos de mixtos to get a sampler of carne asada, al pastor, AND tinga (spicy chipotle brisket).
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1. Sunrise Taquito5601 Memorial Dr, Houston
2. Karanchos620 Sheldon Rd, Channelview
3. TacoKeto1401 Cullen Blvd, Houston
4. El Gallo De Jalisco3220 White Oak Dr, Houston
5. Taqueria Tacambaro2520 Airline Dr, Houston
6. Dona Maria Mexican Cafe2601 Navigation Blvd, Houston
7. Villa Arcos3009 Navigation Blvd, Houston
8. El Ultimo Taco Truck7403 Long Point Rd, Houston
9. El Taconazo Taco Truck4001 Fulton St, Houston
10. Taqueria Taconmadre905 Edgebrook Dr, Houston
11. 100% Taquito3245 Southwest Fwy, Houston
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.
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).
Here you will find two-biter tacos wrapped in tortillas coated in a fiery rust-colored secret sauce, and accompanied by a whole roasted jalapeño, grilled potatoes & onions, and a wedge of lime.
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
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.
This East End restaurant/catering business offers up homemade corn tortillas, chorizo-packed huevos, and top-notch house salsa verde.
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.
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.
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.
This 24/7 bright green taqueria-and-taco-truck hybrid has $1 breakfast tacos plus tender al pastor and crisp chicharrónes, both loaded with fiery salsa, chopped onion, and lime, for later in the day.