Food & Drink

Here's Every Single Taco You Have to Try in the Valley

Published On 06/07/2016 Published On 06/07/2016
Diego Pops

Diego Pops

Old Town Scottsdale

Diego Pops was one of the big winners at the 2015 Arizona Taco Festival, so it's probably worth checking out. If you do (and you should), order up the braised pineapple pork taco. It wonderfully mixes the tropical flavor of pineapple relish with a smoky pork -- kind of like the name suggests. While a simple choice, that cotija cheese and house slaw topping takes it to a whole new level.

Joyride Taco House

Joyride Taco House

Central Phoenix

This is one of the simpler, yet satisfying, tacos in the Valley. Featuring chicken, avocado, Mexican slaw, and just the right amount of spice from the aji amarillo, the Standard is made on a corn tortilla and comes in at just under $4. Sure, it's... standard, but dammit, it's worth it.

America's Taco Shop

America's Taco Shop

Phoenix

It’s hard to go wrong with classic carne asada. Even when it's bad, it's still pretty good. But this one takes it to the next level, thanks to America's Taco Shop's commitment to using authentic family recipes, perfectly sautéed onions, and citrus marinade.

Blanco Tacos & Tequila

Blanco Tacos + Tequila

Scottsdale

Blanco Tacos + Tequila might not be where you go for the most authentic tacos in town, but the ingredients it uses do make for a damn tasty taco, especially the chipotle shrimp, house-chopped cabbage, pico de gallo, and fresh lime. It's zesty, it's spicy, and it's worth every penny.

Modern Margarita

Modern Margarita

North Phoenix

Modern Margarita flawlessly lives up to its name with every dish. It adds a modern twist to everything on the menu, from the tacos to the margaritas (and even the burgers). A perfect example: the fish taco. It features beer-battered mahi mahi and lime-spiked aioli. Yes, there’s a time and place for a simple taco, but the complexities of this one are too good to pass up.

Otro Cafe

Otro Cafe

Central Phoenix

Veggies are often overlooked in the taco world. In fact, they’re usually just an addition. But not at Otro Café. This place boasts a great veggie taco that's never exactly the same (read: the ingredients change), so you'll never be bored with the same old creation.

Barrio Café

Central Phoenix

It’s hard to decide which of Barrio's tacos are the best because all of them are just that good. But the fresh cabbage, avocado, and beer-battered fish in this joint's fish taco truly do deserve some praise. In a sea of fish tacos (HA!), it's hard to stand out. But this one does.

Retaurant Atoyac

Restaurant Atoyac

Glendale

If you’re looking for authentic Mexican food and tacos that'll make you forget you’re still in the US, head on over to Restaurant Atoyac. Among the great options are the Tacos de Lengua, which translates to -- yikes! -- cow tongue. BUT WAIT. Don't scroll yet. Hear us out: it tastes much better than you think. Seriously. Live a little! It's only $2.25, anyway.

The Stand

Arcadia

The Stand's chicken taco is so fresh, you can practically taste each individual ingredient used to make it. It's stuffed with pickled red onion, queso, and fresh cilantro, and placed on a warm tortilla. Both the freshness and portion size are unprecedented, and the speed at this authentic restaurant is incredibly impressive. So if you're famished and in need of a taco now, here's your pick.

La Santisima Gourmet Taco Shop

La Santisima Gourmet Taco Shop

Glendale

This taco is simple, yet flavorful, and what's most exciting is that if you order it, you're eating a taco made from a shark. A beer-battered shark. One that tastes delicious, and not at all like chicken. Using locally sourced produce and tortillas imported directly from Mexico, La Santisima is as authentic as it gets. Come for the experience, or just to plot your revenge on a shark.

Taqueria Los Yaquis

Central Phoenix

These little grilled chicken tacos have the perfect mix of cilantro, salsa, and guacamole. Plus, at just a dollar, the price is beyond right.

Urban Taco

Urban Tacos

Central Phoenix

This wouldn’t be a proper taco bucket list without some unusual picks, and this gourmet asada taco is almost as unusual as it gets (it's no cow tongue, but still weird). It's of octopus origin, and combines that with cilantro aioli and cucumber salsa. Just trust us, it's worth the try.

Taco Guild

Central Phoenix

This steak taco is topped with bleu cheese and chile aioli. It might sound a little strange, but after one order it'll likely become your next go-to. Aside from the food, Taco Guild is also one of the hippest spots for Mexican food in Phoenix, thanks to the impressive cathedral-esque interior and a live DJ on Friday nights. So even if you don't like the taco you’re in for a fun time.

Two Hippies Beach House

Two Hippies Beach House

Central Phoenix

This eclectic hippie paradise boasts a beach vibe, an always-friendly staff, and some great food. The standout is this grilled fish taco, one of the freshest in the Valley -- and not just because of that ocean vibe. It's topped with (an addicting) chipotle mayo sauce, plenty of cheese, and pico de gallo, so be ready for a mouthful of flavor to come alongside the fish.

Speedy Street Tacos

Speedy Street Tacos

Phoenix

The breakfast taco proves that this food knows no boundaries. If you're in the vicinity of Speedy Street Tacos, you can get all different variations around the clock. There's a vast selection on the menu, but start with the egg, steak, and cheese taco. It's a safe bet. Of course, the plain egg & cheese and chicken versions aren’t bad, either.

Barrio Queen

Barrio Queen

Old Town Scottsdale

The cochinita pibil goes way beyond your typical pork taco. It's marinated in sour orange, which gives it that distinct citrus flavor. It's then topped with sour orange onions and perhaps the tastiest pico de gallo in town.

El Hefe

El Hefe

Old Town Scottsdale

Yes, El Hefe is a great option for a wild night out when you’re looking to drink a little more tequila than you should. But believe it or not, the restaurant also serves excellent food. Case in point: the chicken tinga taco. It offers a little bit of chorizo, some mango passion fruit salsa, and a dash of jicama relish.

Phoenix Burrito House

Central Phoenix

If you're a fan of that authentic green chili flavor, this particular taco is a no-brainer for a number of reasons: the sauce is incredible; the pork is tender; and the combination of flavors in the soft corn tortilla is about as good as it gets.

LuLu's Taco Shop

Lulu’s Taco Shop

Gilbert

These tacos are arguably the most authentic you’ll find in Gilbert. They’re made from traditional family recipes that have been perfected over the last 20 years. The shrimp tacos are simple and straight-up, with plenty of shrimp and just enough vegetables. So if you want that "authentic" taco in Gilbert, you've found it.

The Henry

Arcadia

The Henry heirloom quinoa tacos are a vegetarian's dream. The combination of corn, avocado, quinoa, and black beans is a surprisingly delicious mix, one that's more hearty and filling than your typical veggie taco. It's probably not enough to convert a hardcore carnivore to the veggie scene, but it'll definitely satisfy them for a while.

The Coronado

The Coronado

Phoenix

You certainly don't have to be a vegetarian to enjoy a good vegan restaurant -- or a vegan taco. Even carnivores won't be able to get enough of The Coronado's potato taco. Topped with cotija cheese and a cilantro-lime dressing, this thing might make you question your meat-eating habits… probably only for a few minutes. Afterwards, you can tell all your friends how you "went vegan" that one time.

Mi Patio

Central Phoenix

Mi Patio has been one of Arizona’s go-tos for Mexican food for over three decades, and this sour cream beef taco is partially why. It's simple, sure, but it's also a staple. This taco is full of flavor, packed with delicious beef and topped with lettuce and cheese (and tomatoes, and onions, if you ask nicely).

SumoMaya

SumoMaya

Scottsdale

Just when you thought you've seen nearly every kind of taco imaginable, something comes along and shocks you. Such is the case with SumoMaya's sesame ginger chicken taco. It hits the perfect combination of Mexican-Asian fusion, mixing Asian-inspired chicken with traditional Mexican flavors (avocado and chili coleslaw). If you thought you've tasted it all, think again.

The Mission

The Mission

Scottsdale

Each taco at The Mission is handmade, created with top-quality ingredients, and tastes as delicious as can be. And while the menu as a whole is notable, the pork shoulder taco is the star. Featuring beef that's been smoked and braised, and a spicy pineapple glaze, this taco is a definite can't-miss. So really, don't.