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Tacos from El Charro (Photo courtesy of El Charro Cafe on Facebook)

Where to Eat Tacos in Tucson

Updated March 6, 2024

Welcome to perhaps the most important Foodie Guide we’ve made — the guide to the best tacos in Tucson.

This may come as a surprise to you, but there are a lot of options for all things Mexican food in this city. Tucson is quite the hotspot for taco trucks, shops, and stops. So we included a whole bunch of the best crunchy, soft, deconstructed, deep-fried, reimagined, fresh, and, frankly, fantastic tacos this side of the border.

This Guide is part of a series that honors Tucson as the home of America’s Best Mexican Food

Learn how we create our guides here.

Taco Yaqui & Taco Lorenza Carne Asada at Aqui Con El Nene (Photo credit: Jackie Tran)

Aqui Con El Nene Restaurant

This is where you go when you want a taco that’s a bit different. The signature Taco Yaqui has enough flavor to knock your socks off. It’s got everything – roasted green chile, mesquite-grilled carne asada, mushrooms, stringy white cheese, and even bacon crumbles, all sandwiched between two tortillas.

Photo Courtesy of Baja Tacos

Baja Tacos

If you’re all about fish tacos and can’t resist a spicy salsa, you’ve got to check out Baja Tacos. The vibe is relaxed and the food is off the charts. Seriously, we can’t stop raving about the Shrimp Ceviche and Fish Tacos.

a plate of food on a table
Taco Rojo at Benny's Restaurant (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Benny’s Mexican Restaurant

Stumble into Benny’s Mexican Restaurant once, and you’ll find yourself coming back again and again! The spicy, cheesy red tortillas are unbelievable. Do yourself a favor and try the fresh Limonada; it’s amazing.

Birria Tacos at Birrieria Guadalajara (Photo by Jackie Tran)

Birrieria Guadalajara

Think Costa Rican roadside luncheonette but in Tucson. The Birria Tacos are so tasty that you’ll want to take an extra batch home with you. Don’t forget about the Carne Asada Tacos, either – they’re a crowd favorite. Plus, there is a fleet of other tacos and burros on the menu, and the bunuelos are unbeatable.

BK Carne Asada & Hot Dogs (photo credit: Jackie Tran)

BK Carne Asada & Hot Dogs 1st Ave.

This spot is all about cooking carne asada over mesquite, giving it a rich and charred flavor. The tortillas are super fresh, and the carne asada is not just for tacos – you’ll find it in burros and even in a cheesy caramelo. Don’t neglect the salsa bar, it’s packed with fresh goodies!

a plate of food on a table
Boca Tacos Y Tequila (Photo credit: Dan Gibson)

BOCA by Chef Maria Mazon

BOCA’s tacos break the mold; no basic cheese, beef, or lettuce here. Instead, the tacos have everything from grilled octopus to fire-roasted corn, all served up on homemade tortillas. If you’re feeling adventurous, check out the exotic meat night every Wednesday. To top it all off (literally), the salsas have their own flair and unique flavors like mango-habanero and ginger-wasabi.

Assorted breakfast dishes at Calle Tepa (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

Calle Tepa

If you love options, Calle Tepa is for you. The Tepa-style Shrimp Tacos are a hit, but that’s just the beginning. Choose from street tacos with onions and cilantro, or Tepa tacos loaded with lettuce, pico, and queso fresco. Seafood lovers can enjoy the Mahi Tacos, and the Veggie Tacos are top-notch, too!

Birria Tacos at Carnitas La Yoca (Photo by Jackie Tran)

Carnitas La Yoca

This place is all about the vibes and the tacos. They keep the menu streamlined and simple, though the flavors are anything but. As far as tacos go, they have them all. From Birria to Carnitas and Buche, the options cater to the masses. Incorporate the homemade salsas to give everything a little extra kick.

a close up of a plate of food
Jackfruit Taquitos at Charro Vida (Photo credit: Hannah Hernandez)

Charro Vida

Charro Vida takes inspiration from both the Mediterranean diet and Sonoran cuisine. They’re big on “Food With A Purpose.” That is, sourcing fresh, local produce and using healthy fats. There is a hearty selection of tacos – from Jackfruit Carnitas to Tempeh Asada, and even a Breakfast Taco with walnut chorizo. They’ve got vegan options, to boot!

Cocteleria La Palma Mariscos Y Mas

This food truck is a hidden treasure in Tucson run by the Romero family. It has a loyal fanbase who can’t get enough of their delicious Fish and Shrimp Tacos. One bite and you’ll be hooked!

Paella Valencia at Contigo Latin Kitchen (Photo credit: Jackie Tran)

Contigo Latin Kitchen

Imagine munching on Latin food while soaking in incredible views of majestic mountains. That’s the experience to be had at Contigo. The tacos, especially the Fish Tacos and Cochinita Pibil, are excellent — definitely one of the more elegant place to enjoy tacos in Tucson.

Chalupas at El Antojo Poblano (Photo by Jackie Tran)

El Antojo Poblano

This new kid on the block is bringing the unique flavors of Puebla, Mexico right to Tucson. Run by the dynamic duo Analy and Leobardo Guzman, they’re dishing out some seriously delicious and unique eats from the towering Cemita Sandwich to the special Chalupas Poblanas. If you like your food with a kick, the salsas are not to be missed.

El Chinito Gordo (Photo credit: Jackie Tran)

El Chinito Gordo

This spot is all about authentic Mexican food passed down through generations. Their Crispy Tacos come with a variety of tasty fillings like ground beef, shredded beef, chicken, or potato. However, the true standout is the Soft Tacos, which range from Al Pastor to a Hot Cheetos version. Also, make sure you save room for the Quesabirria. It’s a crispy quesadilla packed with flavor.

Birria at El Chivo de Oro (Photo by Jackie Tran)

El Chivo de Oro

If you’re looking for real-deal Mexican food without breaking the bank, check out El Chivo de Oro. There is a friendly crew serving up some of the best street tacos in Tucson. Start with the Al Pastor Tacos, and let the menu unfold from there.

a plate of hot dogs with different toppings sitting on a table
El Manantial Tacos Y Hot Dogs (Photo credit: Jackie Tran)

El Manantial Tacos Y Hot Dogs

A unique mobile restaurant that offers both a taco truck and a hot dog trailer. They serve not only tacos, but burros, caramelos, tortas, and quesadillas. The hot dogs are recognized as some of the city’s best — wrapped in bacon, nestled in a fresh bun, and dressed with a constellation of condiments.

Costillas Nopales at El Taco Rustico (Photo credit: Jackie Tran)

El Taco Rustico

It’s hard not to appreciate Chef Juan Almanza’s journey from his early cooking days in Mexico to making waves in Tucson. His slow-cooked beef ribs and the quesabirria tacos are out-of-this-world good. It’s no wonder they’re cranking out over 100,000 of them a year. Plus, the menu hosts a variety of vegetarian and keto options and fantastic crispy flour tortillas, to boot.

Ensenada Street Food

Get ready for some serious Baja vibes with Ensenada Street Food. This food truck is knocking it out of the park with their tacos – even the vegans out there have options. Tap into the Mexican roots right here in Tucson.

a plate of food with a slice of pizza
Fish tacos at Fini's Landing (Credit: Jackie Tran)

Fini’s Landing

Known as the “Cheers of the Foothills,” Fini’s Landing is a local favorite with a casual, friendly environment that’s great for lunch or dinner, particularly on Taco Tuesdays. The restaurant offers a variety of tacos — we love the Carne Asada, Chicken BBQ, and Chubasco Shrimp Tacos.

Carne Asada Taco at Karamelo King (Photo credit: Jackie Tran)

Karamelo King

This place started as a hot dog stand and now it’s the king of late-night tacos in The Old Pueblo. Rafael, the owner, keeps it simple with his carne asada, but trust that it’s among the best in town. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the caramelos with juicy birria on a corn tortilla. Don’t forget to check out the Hielitos (Mexican ice pops) in the freezer — they’re a sweet way to end your meal.

La Botana on Wetmore Road (Photo by Matt Sterner)

La Botana Tacos

La Botana Tacos is a chill, family-owned spot with over a dozen taco flavors — everything from Carne Asada to Shrimp Tacos, your choice of tortilla, and mix-and-match deals that include tasty sides like Cilantro Rice and Mexican Slaw. There are gluten-free tacos, vegetarian tacos, and 2-for-1 margaritas, as well!

La Fresita West

This is a neighborhood favorite where you can fill up on everything from steak ranchero and chiles to top-notch tacos for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The corn tortillas are homemade and always served up fresh, and there are also some seriously good fruit shakes.

a plate of food on a table
La Indita (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

La Indita

If you’re the adventurous type who loves to try different taco variations, La Indita is the place to be. They’re serving up unique dishes like a combo of a Chile Relleno, Chicken Enchilada, and Chicken Taco, not to mention their Tarascan Tacos and Indian Taco Special. Traditional Mexican meets creative cuisine – a true feast for any taco lover.

a plate of food
(Photos courtesy of Las Originales Carnitas El Michoacano)

Las Originales Carnitas El Michoacano

The food truck “Carnitas El Michoacano” officially completed its transition into its first brick-and-mortar location — rebranding to Las Originales Carnitas El Michoacano. With tacos and an array of salsas, the familiar and beloved menu is all there with the addition of an air-conditioned dining room. The menu has remained simple: Tacos de Carnitas, Tacos de Chicharron, Tacos de Birria, and Tacos de CabezaGive them a warm welcome in their new home!

(Photo Courtesy of Maico Restaurant Mexican Food)

Maico Restaurant Mexican Food

Tucked away on a busy street downtown, Maico’s has all the Mexican classics, but their Taco Adobado is a total winner — think tender meat simmered in a tangy red sauce. The space might be small, but they know their stuff when it comes to homestyle Mexican food!

a close up of a plate of food
Nana's Special Tacos (Photo courtesy of Nanas Kitchen)

Nana’s Kitchen

Just across from the Pavilions Shopping Center, you’ll find a spot called Nana’s Kitchen. There are lots of options for tacos here. From classic Shredded Beef and Chicken, to something a little different like Barbacoa, or even the special Nana’s Tacos stuffed with ground beef and potatoes. Come hungry because the portions are big!

Barbacoa Tacos at Penca (Photo by Jackie Tran)

Penca

The dynamic duo of Patricia and Ron Schwabe brought this concept to life in 2013, serving up traditional Mexican cuisine with a dash of Spanish and French influences. The tacos are incredible — make sure to try the Rajas Con Hongos (veggie taco stuffed with grilled poblano chile, caramelized onion, roasted mushroom, and cashew crema) or the Guajolote (turkey, red cabbage, avocado, and chipotle crema).

a sandwich sitting on top of a table
(Photo courtesy of Pinches at Borderlands Brewing Company)

Pinches @ Borderlands

Fun fact: this food truck is run by a family that claims their great-uncles cooked for none other than Pancho Villa. They’re all about keeping it simple and tasty. There is everything from Pollo Mole to Al Pastor, Asada, Pescado, and vegetarian options, too. Throw in the Lengua if you’re feeling extra hungry!

Photo Courtesy of Polo's Taqueria

Polo’s Taqueria

Polo’s is one cool taco stand that started its journey at the Tohono O’odham Swap Meet before moving into a brick-and-mortar spot. You’ve got to try the Al Pastor Tacos. Imagine a rotating cone of al pastor, slowly cooked by an open flame until it caramelizes, then shaved right onto your taco. It’s the perfect combo of a charred outside and juicy inside.

Chicken Rollies Taco from Rollies Mexican Patio (Photo credit: Jackie Tran)

Rollies Mexican Patio

Rollies is the spot for Rolled Tacos, Birria Ramen, and outstanding Birria Tacos. Mateo Otero has put his own spin on Tucson’s classic Mexican flavors. Their birria is slow-cooked for 14 hours until it’s so tender that it falls apart. We can’t get enough of their Quesabirria Tacos and Birria Ramen. In fact, on the day they first sold their Birria Ramen, they had 50 orders before they even opened the doors!

Salsa Verde

A locally-owned restaurant with authentic flavors on the East side, Salsa Verde has some unique treats you won’t find just anywhere. The gourmet tacos are quite special with options like the juicy Steak Taco and the flavorful Beef Fajita Taco. Check them out now, thank us later!

an overhead photo of tacos and condiments
(Photo courtesy of Seis Kitchen)

Seis Kitchen – Mercado

Over at Seis Kitchen, they’re serving up some tremendous tacos that are inspired by six different regions of Mexico — that’s what the “Seis” stands for. There are tasty street street taco options like Cochinita Pibil and Al Pastor, and they even have a few Taco Grande Platters. Try the Poc Chuc (grilled chicken marinated in achiote) and the super tasty Crispy Avocado Platter (the avocado is beer-battered & fried)!

Tanque Verde & Bear Canyon Rd. location (Photo courtesy of Street Taco & Beer Co.)

Street Taco & Beer Co.

Any of the four locations are great for when it comes to quick, tasty street-style tacos. The flavors are explosive and they’ve got a beer list that won’t disappoint. The fish tacos are a totally delicious deal, so you can eat your fill without emptying your wallet.

Photo Courtesy of Taco Fish

Taco Fish

This is a hidden spot off of S. 12th Street where you’ll find some of the best seafood tacos around at a price that won’t empty your wallet. Their Marlin Fish Tacos and Ceviche are a must, and they’ve got a decked-out toppings bar where you can load up your tacos just how you like them.

Tacos Apson (Photo credit: Jackie Tran)

Tacos Apson

A taco stand with some of the best tacos in Tucson, these guys have turned Sonoran Cooking into an art. The classics like Asada and Pastor Tacos are always a hit, but if you’re looking to branch out, the Lengua and Cabeza Tacos are definitely worth a try. Plus, they cater, so you can bring the epic taco menu to your next party.

Tacos de Cabeza Estilo Cajeme – 12th Ave

Run out of a food truck, this place is dishing out some of the best Cabeza (head) and Lengua (tongue) tacos you’ll find. Get ready to chow down – some folks have been known to put away 14 tacos in one go! Plus, you can soak up some sun with their outdoor seating​.

Photo Courtesy of Tacos Los Compas

Tacos los Compas

These Tripe and Cabeza Tacos are no joke, and the fresh salsas and drink selection add just the right finishing touches. Also, the Carnitas and Adobada are mouth-watering, and their lightly caramelized onions are a must-try. Last, if you’re into Tripas, they’ve got you covered with crispy, fresh offerings.

Tacos Mexicali

A charming roadside taco stand known for its simplicity and authenticity. It offers a limited and delicious menu with its standout items being the Borrego (lamb) and Cabeza tacos, both known for their tenderness and robust flavors.

(Photo Courtesy of Taqueria Juanitos)

Taqueria Juanitos

This is a no-frills, order-at-the-counter kind of place that’s a big hit with the lunch crowd. From local workers to gem show fanatics, everyone’s digging it. The atmosphere is laid-back and friendly, and they don’t skimp on serving tasty, home-cooked style meals in a timely fashion. The Carnitas and Al Pastor Tacos are the talk of the town; they’re downright delicious and easy on the wallet.

Fish Tacos from Taqueria Pico de Gallo (Photo credit: Jackie Tran)

Taqueria Pico de Gallo

A staple in South Tucson for over three decades thanks to its freshness and authenticity, the Baja-style fish tacos, Camaron (fried shrimp), and Cabeza tacos are crowd favorites. The real stars of the show, though, are the hand-pressed, yellow corn tortillas which are thick, sturdy, and leave you with a delightful corn aroma. Alongside the tortillas, the horchata, made fresh daily, and their eponymous spiced fruit salad, Pico de Gallo, ought to be enjoyed, as well.

Taqueria Porfis

This spot is hailed as an original, offering a taste of Mexico right in Tucson. The Tacos de Cabeza are a standout item, and the Chicharrón also receives high praise from our team. In addition, they serve an excellent version of Tacos Al Vapor — a steamed taco that’s a staple in Mexican cuisine.

a plate of food
(Photo courtesy of Taqueria Y Raspados Jason)

Taqueria Y Raspados Jason

This is your spot if you’re into food trucks and scrumptious roadside bites. The shredded beef tacos are delightful, and don’t even get us started on the Sonoran hot dog with a bacon-wrapped, cheese-stuffed grilled pepper – it’s on our “Best Sonoran Dogs in Tucson” list. The freshly squeezed veggie and fruit juices hit the spot, as well.

Carne Asada Tacos at The Quesadillas (Photo by Jackie Tran)

The Quesadillas

This joint has been cooking up tasty tacos since 2015, and their Carne Asada is something else — think mesquite-grilled meat, fresh handmade tortillas, and quality ingredients. There are numerous other tacos to try like the Ribeye, Taco Jaas, Asadero, and Jalapeno Steak. They’ve even got a Keto Taco with a toasted cheese “tortilla.”

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