America's Best Tacos

We sent out the crew at Serious Eats to rank the standout stands, taquerias and taco trucks, as well as most innovative restaurants in America! Here are the tastiest 16 tacos in the country.
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We sent out the crew at Serious Eats to rank the standout stands, taquerias and taco trucks, as well as most innovative restaurants in America! Here are the tastiest 16 tacos in the country.

Tacos Matamoros in Brooklyn, NY

The crew at Serious Eats found this spot that prepares their chorizo taco by placing slices of spiced sausage on a griddle to crisp up. Whatever fat is inside melts into a warm, spicy, buttery-rich spread. It's a mouthful of flavor, but the intensity is perfectly cut by a squeeze of lime and salsa verde. (4508 Fifth Ave., 718-871-7627)

Tacos Matamoros

Tacos Don Nacho in Pawtucket, RI

Don Nacho's parking-lot location, serves the best lengua (beef tongue). It's braised until meltingly tender, then charred on a hot comal (a smooth, flat griddle used in Mexican cooking). (234 Barton St., 401-688-4693)

Tacos Don Nacho

La Verdad Taqueria Mexicana in Boston

In the chorizo con papas plump bits of ground pork, seasoned with warming spices like cinnamon, allspice and ground cloves, sit atop a sweet potato puree. Thin strips of grilled cactus, diced red onion and crisp fried potato strings add a game-changing crunch. (1 Lansdowne St., 617-421-9595)

La Verdad Taqueria

La Verdad Taqueria Mexicana

Taqueria La Vaquita in Durham, NC

The handmade corn tortillas have a moistness matched only by the carnitas (slow-cooked, shredded pork), which are crisp, fatty and deeply porky. Order a few from the takeout window, spoon on their fiery red salsa and plop down at one of the picnic tables to scarf them down. (2700 Chapel Hill Road, 919-402-0209)

Taqueria La Vaquita

Taqueria La Vaquita

Cemitas Puebla in Chicago

We're in love with the taco árabes: a thick flour tortilla filled with shawarma-like slow-roasted, chile-rubbed pork and plenty of onions. (3619 W. North Ave., 773-772-8435)

Cemitas Puebla

Cemitas Puebla

Birrieria Zaragoza in Chicago

For the birria taco, goat shank is first steamed for six hours, then marinated in an ancho-based red mole before being roasted. You can order the taco already made or grab friends and order a plate of meat to fold into the tortillas yourselves. (4852 S. Pulaski Road, 773-523-3700)

Birrieria Zaragoza

Birrieria Zaragoza

La Mexicana Supermercado in Detroit

The Chorizo taco is filled with crumbled, vinegary chorizo and charred on a hot griddle until just shy of burnt. Then stuffed into flaky, puffy yellow corn tortillas from nearby El Milagro Tortillas -- the best packaged ones we've ever had. (7934 West Vernor Hwy., 313-841-3024)

La Mexicana Supermercado

Los Guachos in Columbus, OH

Their specialty: The spit-roasted taco al pastor. Strips of chile-marinated pork are stacked on a spit, then slow-roasted in front of a gas flame. The cooks stack fresh pineapple above the meat while it cooks, so the sweet juices drip down over the edges, where they caramelize into crispy, sugar-laced char. (3990 Sullivant Ave., 614-493-1874)

Los Guachos

Veracruz All Natural in Austin, TX

The double tortilla -- a thick, fluffy one wraps around a flavored, crunchy one -- is a worthy base for the migas. Bits of crunched-up fried corn tortilla are soaked in a jalapenño-laced avocado salsa until just barely softened, then tossed with still-soft scrambled eggs, melted jack-style cheese and chopped tomato. (1704 E. Cesar Chavez St., 512-981-1760)

Veracruz All Natural

Tacos La Flor in Austin, TX

The corn tortillas from this truck are lightly chewy, with a crunchy rim that reminds us of a tiny pizza crust. They're best topped with fajita-style beef -- small strips of well-seasoned skirt steak crisped up on a charcoal grill. (4901 S. First St., 512-417-4214)

Tacos La Flor

Tacos El Guero in Dallas

Their standout taco is the suadero -- fine-grained, well-marbled brisket, griddled until crisp. Eat quick! Even a double stack of paper-thin corn tortillas can barely contain the wonderful, beefy juices. (4500 Bryan St., 214-823-1260)

Tacos El Guero

Gerardo's Drive-in Grocery in Houston

The barbacoa cow's-head taco isn't as scary as it sounds! The meat is cooked in a spicy chile broth in enormous metal vats, resulting in intensely meaty, concentrated flavor. It's then scooped into a flaky flour tortilla hot from the comal with a squeeze of lime, cilantro, onion and fiery red jalapeño salsa. (609 Patton St., 713-699-0820)

Gerardo's Drive-in Grocery

Mariscos Jalisco in Los Angeles

Fried camarones are in delicious deep-fried, crispy pockets. After the initial crunch, the whole thing gives way to a moist-crunchy mass of popcorn-size fried shrimp. Then it's topped with creamy slices of avocado and a tomato-based salsa. (3040 E. Olympic Blvd. 323-528-6701)

Mariscos Jalisco

Aqui es Texcoco in Chula Vista, CA

The huitlacoche is a traditional treat rarely seen stateside. There's a reason the black, runny corn fungus has been dubbed the "Mexican truffle." Earthy, nutty and deeply savory, it goes great with soft-in-the-middle, crispy-on-the-edges corn tortillas. (1043 Broadway, Suite 108, 619-427-4045)

Aqui es Texcoco

Aqui es Texcoco

Los Cinco Puntos in Los Angeles

The carnitas -- juicy hunks of pork shoulder cooked in their own fat, then seared before serving -- deliver a mouthful of pork flavor. Ask for pickled nopales (cactus) to cut through all that meat, and don't leave without some carnitas by the pound -- the market sells all its meats to go. (3300 E. Cesar Chavez Ave., 323-261-4084)

Los Cinco Puntos

Tortilleria y Tienda De Leon's, Portland, OR

These carnitas are high-quality: They're some of the juiciest-on-the-inside, crispiest-on-the-outside, outright porkiest that we've ever had, served on light and tender, made-to-order corn tortillas. (16223 N.E. Glisan St., 503-255-4356)

Tortilleria y Tienda De Leon's

America's Best 64 Tacos

America's Best 64 Tacos

See the complete list of our top 64 best tacos in America.