When your craving for rolled tacos strikes, you’ll know where to go.
Taquitos and flautas are harder to find in Tucson than you’d think.
The taquito — defined as “little taco” — is the smaller of the two rolled tacos. Flautas — Spanish for flutes — got its name from the long, thin tortillas used to make them. Both are deep-fried, which gives an irresistible crunch.
While taquitos are often made from corn tortillas, flautas are usually made with flour tortillas, but this isn’t always the case.
When it comes to taquitos, it’s all about the texture. Add the crunch of a radish to the crisp, buttery shell of a house-made tortilla-turned taquito, and you’re set. These taquitos are often smothered in house-made sauce or guacamole, and topped with some cheese and lettuce.
When the mood for taquitos strikes, you’ll know where to go.
4340 N. Campbell Ave. Ste. 101
Several gems are nestled in St. Phillips Plaza and Reforma is one of them.
Eating sweet potato taquitos with caramelized onions rolled into them is a delightful experience, particularly on the patio on the weekends when the Farmers Market is still buzzing.
The thin corn tortilla shell is crispier at the ends and softer towards the middle, which contrasts the sour cream on top. They’re sprinkled with Cotija, a light cheese that the waiter explains by saying, “Parmesan is to Italy as Cotija is to Mexico”.
For more information, visit reformatucson.com.
210 E. Congress St.
The high-top tables and plenty of window light make for the perfect setting. Order the four taquitos and guacamole — served with rice and beans — if you’ve brought an appetite.
These rolled tacos are crunchy, cooked perfectly and filled with shredded beef. Conveniently located on the corner of Congress, Iguana Cafe is worth a mention.
Keep up with Iguana Cafe on Facebook.
1813 S. Fourth Ave.
With red brick walls and vibrant booths, Mi Nidito provides a colorful cozy setting for lunch.
This place is a local favorite — people appreciate the authentic Sonoran-style Mexican food. Try the rolled chicken tacos for some crunchy corn tortilla goodness.
For more information, visit minidito.net.
Taqueria El Pueblito
1800 E. Fort Lowell Rd. a156
At Taqueria El Pueblito, choose from the shredded beef flautas — with cheese, and guacamole — or the “supreme” — carne asada, guacamole, cheese, tomato sauce, and sour cream. Definitely add the smoky red salsa.
Taqueria El Pueblito is known for its cleanliness, house-made tortillas, and generous portion sizes.
For more information, visit taqueriaelpueblito.com.
Rollies Mexican Patio
4573 S. 12th Ave.
People tend to gravitate towards the taquitos at Rollies — the rolled tacos this spacious modern restaurant is named after.
Choose from chicken, beef, or cauliflower taquitos and a range of sauces and toppings. They are served fresh from the fryer with sauces, cheese, and cabbage.
Keep up with Rollies Mexican Patio on Facebook.
1765 E. River Rd. • 130 S. Avenida Del Convento Ste. 100
Seis Kitchen house-made tortillas are used as the base in which shredded chicken is stuffed for a taquito packed with flavor. The rolled tacos are then complemented by Chipotle sauce and cilantro.
Seis’ menu is inspired by various regions in Mexico, from the likes of street food to Mexico City-style meals.
For more information, visit seiskitchen.com.
Calle Tepa Mexican Street Grill
6151 E. Broadway Blvd.
Calle Tepa’s Taquito con Papa may not be a taquito in the form we know it as, but it takes the “little taco” definition to heart. The potato taquito provides fresh tomatoes and seasoned mashed potatoes.
Their chips and salsa are a delectable add-on, too. The salsa verde gives a spicy kick, the red is hot, and the garlic habanero bursts with pungent garlic flavor.
For more information, visit calletepa.com.
2526 E. Sixth St.
Tumerico — an all-vegetarian restaurant that opened after consistent success at the farmer’s market — brings bold flavors and colorful recipes to the table.
The menu is constantly changing, but if you get to try their sweet potato flautas, you’re in luck — they are crispy, flavorful, and fresh.
For more information, visit tumerico.com.
Francisco’s de Noche
3843 E. Pima St.
Francisco’s is an interesting place — open in the morning for breakfast as Frank’s, they switch over to Francisco’s at 5 p.m. and serve Mexican food.
There’s an open invitation to the salsa bar — load up on the free beans. The potato chicken flautas balance potato, chicken, and their crunchy flute-shaped taco well.
For more information, visit franksrestaurant.com.
304 E. 22nd St.
Birrieria Guadalajara is as synonymous with the city as a waving sign for good Mexican food. They marinate their beef daily — you can taste it in each bite — then cover their carne flautas in sour cream and heap on shredded lettuce and cheese.
Keep up with Birrieria Guadalajara on Facebook.
Did we leave any out? Let us know in the comments.
[This article was originally written on October 16, 2018, and most recently updated on May 14, 2019.]