5 Flavors of Terrific Tucson Tacos
A Taco for Everyone
“What do you feel like eating?”
Attempting to answer this question will usually send you down a crazy internet search, where you’re scrolling through an endless lists of restaurants. Your eyes will start to burn and that’s when you’ll look at your watch and discover that you’ve been scrolling through images of food for two hours, and guess what? You’re still hungry.
BUT, if you’re lucky and find yourself in Tucson, the answer comes quickly: it’s tacos. The difficult question to answer then is, “What type of taco do I want?” And that, my friends, is the question we aim to help you answer. Whether you’re in the mood for something meaty or looking to try something outside of your comfort zone, check out our taco personality guide to help you find your taco match.
For the Traditionalist: Taqueria Pico de Gallo
A variety of tacos from Taqueria Pico de Gallo.
Let’s face it. Sometimes, the minimalist route is the way to go.There’s something to be said about the delicious simplicity of a carne asada taco on a tortilla with a splash of lime and a drizzle of salsita. If this sounds like you, head over to South 6th Avenue and 36th Street and look for a bright yellow building on the corner called Taqueria Pico de Gallo. All of the classic taco proteins are featured on the menu: carne asada, pollo, barbacoa, cabeza, pescado and camaron. Whatever you choose, feel free to add extra lime and salsa to your taco. Their thick homemade corn tortillas are perfect for cradling all the juicy, meaty goodness inside.
For the Authentically Adventurous: Tacos Apson
The Bold Trio at Tacos Apson: calf testicle taco (left), cow intestines taco (center), a beef rib taco (right)
It’s normal to feel a little dance coming along after you’ve bitten into a taco but it’s especially okay at Tacos Apson. Named after the Mexican rock band, Los Apson, this taqueria comes equipped with some musical history which makes it the perfect spot to embrace your inner rockstar and go for something bold. You can warm up your adventurous appetite and start simple with a taco de tripas (cow intestines) and a taco de lengua (cow tongue) or if you’re looking to jump straight into a taco challenge, go for the huevos becerro criadillas (calf testicles). That’s right. Calf testicles. On a taco. Tacos Apson is also known for their costilla de res taco, which is a massive beef rib that’s served with two tortillas, making it a delicious, carnivorous reward for accomplishing what most won’t dare to try.
For the Saucey Scientist: Boca Tacos
A gourmet twist on tacos at Boca Tacos y Tequila
There are two types of people: people who drizzle on the salsa and people who drown in salsa. If you’re the latter, you’re going to want to live at Boca Tacos. Chef Maria makes sure you know what you’re in for as soon as you walk into her taqueria. A sign that says, “Our Salsas Are Hotter Than Your Wife” readies you for an exciting flavor ride with creativity and innovation taking the wheel. Boca Tacos serves up gourmet tacos which means your bistek tacos aren’t you’re average bistec tacos; they're all grown up, simmered in unique marinades, and dressed up in original salsas and homemade tortillas for your eating pleasure.
But it’s not just the tacos that get the inventive spin, Chef Maria’s gastro-experimental style takes over when it comes to the salsas. From the sweet and tangy to the bold and spicy, you’ll experience exquisite flavor profiles only a food scientist can concoct. Every order comes with a sample of salsas, ready for you to pour over your tacos or help you finish that basket of warm tortilla chips. With over twenty variety of tacos and new salsas created daily, you're guaranteed a fresh new experience each time you visit.
For the Wellness-Minded: Tumerico
A healthy selection of tacos and other dishes can be found at Tumerico.
When you bite into a meatless carne asada taco at Tumerico, you’ll understand how it’s possible to extend your meatless Monday all the way through Friday, maybe even next Monday. When it comes to flavor, Chef Wendy Garcia takes the gloves off and delivers a serious punch to your taste buds. Using locally-sourced ingredients, the menu rotates daily giving you an opportunity to try out a variety of healthy options but be sure to try the tacos. Go for the tacos al pastor or the tacos cubanos both made with jackfruit. Chef Garcia takes feeding the mind, body and soul concept seriously and even offers yoga classes at both of her locations, if you’re looking to pair your healthy breakfast with a good morning stretch.
For the History Buff: Frybread Taco at Mission San Xavier del Bac
Pair your frybread taco with a National Historic Landmark.
Who says you can’t experience one of the finest examples of Spanish mission architecture in the United States AND enjoy a delicious take on a taco? No one, that’s who. The Mission San Xavier del Bac was founded in 1692 by Father Eusebio Kino, a Jesuit missionary who established Spanish missions throughout the Sonoran Desert region. Built on the Tohono O'odham Nation San Xavier Indian Reservation, the Mission remains open for worship and still actively serves the community that once helped to build it. Vendors from the Tohono O’odham Nation are often outside the church on the weekends selling food, and if there’s one thing not to miss when visiting this popular Tucson attraction, it’s frybread, a traditional Native American bread that’s deep-fried to golden perfection! The pillowy fried dough can be enjoyed with honey and powdered sugar but it can conquer a serious appetite when in taco form. The fried dough makes for a great base for a spread of refried beans, red or green chilli, a bed of lettuce and cheese with a sprinkle of tomatoes. Pro tip: Get two and save yourself a trip to the line after you’ve devoured your first one and realize you can’t live without getting another. You’ll thank us later.
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