There’s a lot to cherish about Phoenix, Arizona, but two things stand out: countless days of sunshine and a taco with a Berto name. It might just be a slight, tiny, and weenie exaggeration to say a taco in Phoenix is always an arm’s length away.
Given that there is a wide range of taco restaurants in Phoenix, Arizona, there is no doubt it will be difficult to come up with a list that will exhaust all of them. But why would a tourist or local need all the taco restaurants in Phoenix, AZ? After all, people want to have and use the best of any product or service.
Given that Phoenix is littered with a lot of taco restaurants, settling for one might pose a serious challenge. With so much to offer, how do we pick a list of the top 10 best taco joints and restaurants? We take a crunchy plunge and just do it anyway and here they are:
1. Cocina 10 at Crescent Ballroom
Chris Bianco has taken on tacos with as much panache as he does pizzas. With its astounding success with nationally-shipped pizzas from Pizzeria Bianco, the taqueria at Crescent Ballroom is serving up delightful tacos like barbacoa and al pastor as part of a menu developed by Bianco himself. But the undeniable star of the menu is the molcajete salsa and it keeps this music venue’s taqueria located in downtown Phoenix always packed full.
No other taco restaurant beats Carolina in Phoenix, and it has a lot of points to prove. Nothing defines legend quite like the three-meat-option-only taco place helmed by Carolina Valenzuela.
If its success with its limited option, which keeps pulling taco lovers in doesn’t do it, then impressively holding the taco scene for 60 years is the clincher for this beloved Phoenix taqueria.
Staying in Phoenix, either for a short visit on a tour without a taste of Carolina’s taco is as attending a Catholic Mass without the Mass.
3. Barrio Café
The third taco restaurant on our list is the Barrio Café. It was founded by Silvana Salcido Esparza. Esparza is a James Beard Award winner who understands the true essence and meaning of meal preparation. She is an undeniable force in the Phoenix culinary taco scene across the length and breadth of Arizona.
Her Barrio Café features an array of southern Mexican dishes. Although this goes against the norm in Phoenix, her traditional stuffed poblanos dish named chiles en nogada and her Tecate-battered fish tacos are always crowd-pulling pleasers.
4. La Santisima
You cannot afford to miss out on the amazing taste of tacos prepared and served by La Santisima. This is the first taco restaurant to consider if you live in Phoenix or if you just arrived on a short visit. It is almost not an exaggeration to say that your tour of Arizona is incomplete if you have not tasted tacos from this place.
With seemingly endless options, a brimming, bustling salsa bar, an and oversized portion, it’s hard not to love La Santisima. With its potato and chorizo-filled Andalucia and its surprisingly delicious vegetarian La Condesa, La Santisma Mexican-inspired tacos have found a home in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona.
Guess what? You don’t have to empty your pocket before you get a plate of tacos. Truth be told, this is one of the best taco restaurants in Phoenix to eat this Mexican meal at a fair cost.
5. Crujiente Tacos
There is something unique about every taco restaurant we feature on our list here and that is the preparation and manner of serving this special Mexican delicacy called a taco. But Crujiente Tacos comes in a very unique way. You can see the reasons many Mexicans and Phoenix locals would love to hurry down to the place to have their Taco.
Crujiente is an intricate and gorgeous blend of fine-dining and taqueria. With techniques well-honed, Chef Richard Hinojosa has innovatively reimagined classic Latin cuisine. Opened in 2016, it has blended effortlessly into the Arcadia neighborhood of Phoenix. On its menu are sensational options like Salsa Trio, Mexican Caesar, and Queso.
Its cocktails are also vintage connoisseur mixes. However, it is always a good option to try out its Korean fried chicken made with compressed cabbage, pickled jalapeno, and topped off with the chives-made mojo de cebollin sauce and gochujang.
6. Tacos Jalisco
Next up on our list of the best taco restaurants in Phoenix, AZ, is Tacos Jalisco. There are a lot of things to cherish about this restaurant. From its fair and affordable menu price to a serene and cool environment, you cannot help but make this restaurant your regular go-to place each time you wake up in Phoenix and think of eating a healthy and good taco.
It stands out, but not like a sore thumb, in the restaurant-packed Scottsdale, Arizona as a blossoming taqueria. Family-owned Tacos Jalisco has been holding down the taco scene since 1996. It has the classic carne asada as its stand-out menu option. The flavor, credited with being cooked in red adobo salsa, is the pride of the Reyes family whose lips are permanently sealed on exactly how they’re made.
7. Ta ‘Carbon
The next time you are in Phoenix and need a quick, healthy Mexican dish, the first place to think of is the Ta ‘Carbon. A lot of Mexicans consider this restaurant their go-to place because their taco doesn’t only consist of the traditional rolled or folded tortilla blended with beans, chicken or seasoned mince. There is a lot to grab at Ta ‘Carbon when it comes to eating the best taco meal.
A cutesy play on the Mexican expression, Está cabron, meaning, that’s awesome. Ta’Carbon’s carne asada is deliciously awesome. This West Side Phoenix restaurant is usually a bevy of friendly staff piling juicy cuts of beef fresh off the mesquite on perfect crunch taco shells served to the crunchy delights of excited diners.
8. Fry Bread House
If you’re in search of a taco restaurant in Phoenix that makes you feel as though you were at the heart of Guadalajara or Tijuana, the Fry Bread House is the first point of reference. This is a typical Mexican restaurant in Arizona. You want to how? Let’s get talking.
The jury is still hung on if fry bread counts as a taco, but the verdict is certainly in one taste: amazing. This soft, filling envelope of pinto beans, cheese, and lettuce has made this indigenous Indian recipe a heart-warming thrilling taste meal experience at Fry Bread House.
Owner Cecilia Miller of the O’odham Nation has made her Melrose District spot a place where modern audiences can savor the culinary experience of the timeless Indian peoples.
9. Tacos Huicho
The name has already captured all you should expect from this sought-after taco restaurant. ‘Huicho’ suggests something cachaça and elegant. So, what is wrong with eating elegant tacos in a foreign land? Phoenicians enjoy Mexican life through the cities of Sonora and Baja California. Now, if you have tacos Huicho restaurant in Phoenix, you can also say you have Mexico right in front of you.
The laidback, low-key casual setting of this taqueria belies the great flavors bursting through its chives, pineapple, and meat combo al pastor. Reviewers are impressed by its carne asada, Cabeza, and the affordability of its 3-combo deal.
Tortas, Menudo, and spicy salsa are a big hit with its diners. And $1 taco Tuesday is always a big hit. Would you prefer to sacrifice $1 at Tacos Huicho rather than wasting $9 in any of the self-styled big and best taco restaurant in Phoenix? At least, if not for the sake of money itself, you would do it for the sake of the hard labor that goes into getting the money.
10. Taco Chelo
The last taco restaurant on our list is Taco Chelo. The restaurant fits right in on the stylish Roosevelt Road persona in downtown Phoenix. With Chef Suny Santana impressively amping up classics like carne asada with sublime tasting sides such as frijoles a la charra and chicharrones. Quesadillas made in homemade flour are also always a good pick on the menu.
Southern California and Texas blazed the tacos scene for years nationally with Phoenix originally the stellar star, taking a back seat. But true to its name, the Phoenix taco culinary industry is on the rise again, and it’s going toe to toe with the best of them.
In its down days, it rumbled low and ground out its craft and now, it has risen, blazing high with offerings like smoky Asada and flavorful carne Asada. With its rise back to the top in view, it has taken bold new flavors from its ashes. Never take life in Phoenix with nonchalance.
If you hear any best Taco Restaurant in Phoenix, try to check with our list here. If it doesn’t feature, then you’ve got every reason to doubt and be wary of its service.