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Best cities in the US for taco lovers

Jody Vandergriff

Los Altos Hills, CA, USA

Tacos, with their mouthwatering combination of tender meats, zesty salsas, and vibrant toppings, have become an iconic dish beloved by food enthusiasts worldwide. In the US, these handheld treats are quickly becoming America’s favorite food, with taco trails popping up in small towns across the country, curated lists created by destinations hoping to capitalize on the taco fever that’s sweeping the nation. From traditional family-run taquerias to innovative fusion eateries, the US boasts an array of destinations that ignite a passion for authentic Mexican cuisine. In this article, we’ll take you on a taco-filled adventure, discovering the top cities where taco culture thrives, celebrating diversity, and bringing forth the rich tapestry of flavors that make the US a taco lover’s paradise.


The Rio Grande Valley and Mesquite, Texas may be known for their taco trails, but Austin, Texas doesn’t mess around when it comes to America’s favorite food. More than just the “Live Music Capital of the World”, it’s also a taco lover’s haven. This vibrant Texan city boasts a lively food truck scene, and you’ll find taco offerings that cater to every palate. Indulge in the famous breakfast tacos, packed with eggs, cheese, and your choice of meat, or savor smoky and slow-cooked barbacoa tacos for a true Tex-Mex delight.

San Francisco

San Francisco may be renowned for its tech innovation, but it’s equally celebrated for its innovative taco scene. Head to the Mission District, where you’ll encounter a mouthwatering array of tacos, ranging from traditional Mexican to modern gourmet variations. Sample the city’s fresh seafood in Baja-style fish tacos or discover vegetarian delights featuring grilled cactus and charred vegetables.

San Diego

San Diego’s proximity to the Mexican border ensures an authentic and diverse taco experience. The city’s taco shops offer a delectable array of fish tacos, carne asada, and rolled tacos, served with a side of tangy guacamole. Don’t forget to explore the neighborhood of Barrio Logan, where artisanal tacos showcase local ingredients and traditional techniques.

New York

In the bustling streets of New York City, the taco scene is a fusion of cultures and tastes. From traditional taquerias in Queens to trendy Mexican eateries in Brooklyn, you’ll find an assortment of tacos influenced by regional flavors from across Mexico. Savor unique fillings like lengua (beef tongue), huitlacoche (corn fungus), and cochinita pibil (slow-roasted pork).


While renowned for its deep-dish pizza and hot dogs, Chicago also boasts a thriving taco scene. Neighborhoods like Pilsen and Little Village are treasure troves of taquerias offering authentic Mexican street food. Enjoy carne asada tacos topped with onions and cilantro or try adventurous options like tacos al pastor with pineapple and a spicy kick.


Denver’s taco culture is a delightful mix of traditional Mexican and innovative fusion. Explore the city’s taco trucks and restaurants, where you’ll find an array of tacos infused with Rocky Mountain flair. Try the hearty elk tacos or venture into the adventurous world of breakfast tacos with green chili and eggs.


In the Pacific Northwest, Portland offers a unique taco experience that celebrates farm-to-table freshness and culinary creativity. Tacos here reflect the city’s emphasis on sustainable and local ingredients, with options like mole chicken tacos and mushroom tacos with homemade salsa.


With its strong Mexican heritage, Phoenix embraces the flavors of Sonoran cuisine in its tacos. The city is famous for its Sonoran hot dogs wrapped in bacon, topped with pinto beans, onions, tomatoes, and a drizzle of mayo. Indulge in classic street tacos with carne asada or explore the thriving vegan taco scene.

Santa Fe

Santa Fe’s tacos are a celebration of New Mexican and Mexican influences, resulting in a unique regional fusion. The city’s green chile-infused tacos, with flavors ranging from mild to fiery, are a must-try. Also, don’t miss blue corn tortilla tacos filled with adobo-marinated meats and topped with vibrant red salsa.


The United States is a treasure trove for taco lovers, with cities offering a diverse and tantalizing array of flavors and culinary experiences. From the Pacific coast to the Tex-Mex heartland and the Southwest’s regional delights, each destination boasts its distinct taco culture. Heading on a taco-cation soon? Consider exploring on the best taco trails in the US to really sink your teeth into the diversity of the American taco culture. But remember that the journey is not just about savoring the delectable flavors but also about immersing yourself in the vibrant cultures and communities that have woven these culinary delights into the fabric of American society.