Tucson Taco Tour Part V: Central Tucson

Last modified on January 19th, 2018 at 3:01 pm

In the fifth and final part of our Tucson Taco Tour series, we’re featuring taco joints around central Tucson.

To view previous segments, read ‘Tour de Taco’ Part I: South 12th AvenueTucson Tour de Taco Part II: West 22nd Street & South Sixth Avenue, Taco Tour Part III: West Tucson, and Taco Tour Part IV: Downtown Tucson.

The Quesadillas

2418 N. Craycroft Rd.
Quesadillas and tacos from The Quesadillas (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Quesadillas and tacos from The Quesadillas (Credit: Jackie Tran)

With a name as generic as The Quesadillas, limited parking, and a tiny strip mall location, don’t make the mistake of dismissing this joint. The mesquite-grilled carne asada is easily among the best in town. Everything else from the tortillas to the salsas is also fantastic as well.

Be aware, they operate fairly early with hours from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. everyday but Sunday.

For more information, visit queso520.com.

Karamelo King

3752 E. Grant Rd.
Tacos at Karamelo King (Credit: Melissa Stihl)

Tacos at Karamelo King (Credit: Melissa Stihl)

While Karamelo King naturally makes fantastic caramelos (quesadillas with meat), they could also be a carne king with their excellent mesquite-grilled carne asada. Try it a la Hass with chile verde and cheese, or Dorado as an open, toasty taco.

The piñata and candy shop of the same name where they park at isn’t open the last time we checked, but don’t worry, the taco stand come out at night. They open 6 p.m. everyday except Sunday.

La Botana Tacos + Patio + Amigos

3200 N. 1st Ave.
Chicharron tacos at La Botana Tacos + Patio + Amigos (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Chicharron tacos at La Botana Tacos + Patio + Amigos (Credit: Jackie Tran)

While chicharrones at the grocery store are the puffy fried pork rinds, the chicharrones at La Botana are fried bits of pork — think miniature pork belly cubes. The meat is pleasantly chewy, while the fat melts in your mouth with a smokiness more akin to char-grilled meat rather than bacon. Balance the richness with lime and salsa verde for taco nirvana.

For more information, visit labotanagrill.com. Have you enjoyed one or more of the Tucson Taco Tour series? Let us know below…

Jackie is a food writer and photographer native to Tucson. He loves corgis and still thinks rickrolling is funny. If you'd like to stalk him, visit jackietran.com.
  • James C. Cloud

    I ate lunch today at La Botana and had the lunch special chicharranes tacos. Excellent! They were served with pinto beans and rice which were a nice accompaniment. The meal was also served with tortilla chips to begin with three kinds of chip dips: a red chili salsa dip (served warm – yum!), salsa verde and pico de gallo. I also had a Pacifico beer which was served in a can with a chilled glass rimed with salt and a red chili called “Tajin”, which is made in Mexico, along with the requisite slice of lime.

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