In part four of our Taco Tour series, we’re featuring taco joints around downtown Tucson.
To view previous segments, read ‘Tour de Taco’ Part I: South 12th Avenue, Tucson Tour de Taco Part II: West 22nd Street & South Sixth Avenue, and Taco Tour Part III: West Tucson.
Hidden in a residential neighborhood just north of downtown surrounded by train tracks, Anita Street Market has a cult following among local foodies. Take advantage of the pillowy fresh tortillas alone at home with butter or in the restaurant as taco — skip the carne asada and go with the braised meats here such as birria, machaca, and cabeza.
Keep up with Anita Street Market on Facebook.
A stacked salsa bar and free chips are always a plus, but come here for the soft and succulent carnitas or the pineapple-laced al pastor.
Keep up with Street Taco and Beer Co. on Facebook.
While you won’t find a salsa bar at Penca, their gourmet tacos on made-to-order corn tortillas aren’t available at any other restaurant in Tucson. The guajalote is shredded herb-roasted turkey, chipotle crema, red cabbage, and green onion. The nopales features grilled prickly pear cactus, salsa verde, pickled onion, queso fresco, and cilantro.
For more information, visit pencarestaurante.com.
Tacos aren’t even on the menu at Ermanos. However, they offer two varieties of $2 tacos every Tuesday — one meat and one veggie. While flavors and ingredients vary every week, you can usually look forward to a smoked element and a pickled element. Don’t forget to pair it with beer or wine.
For more information, visit ermanosbrew.com.
The Tarascan tacos at La Indita look similar to empanadas, but are actually fried pockets of corn masa stuffed with a filling of your choice. Go for the almost-healthy spinach or the meaty carne seca.
For more information, visit lainditarestauranttucson.com.
What downtown taco tour is complete without BOCA? Their ribeye is actually pink in the center and tastes like steak instead of the thin-shaved stuff you’d find elsewhere. The pescado stays remarkably crispy. The octopus has just the right amount of chew with its addictive lemon butter. The A.M. features a crispy hash brown with a fried egg and basil cilantro jalapeño crema. The rajas features roasted Anaheims, poblanos, and corn in a creamy, cheesy sauce. With countless more creative options here, you can’t go wrong.
For more information, visit bocatacos.com.
Jackie Tran is a Tucson-based food writer, photographer, culinary educator, and owner-chef of the food truck Tran’s Fats. Although he is best known locally for his work for Tucson Foodie, his work has also appeared in publications such as Bon...