Whether it's Tuesday or any other day that ends in "Y", there is never an excuse not to get tacos.
The state of Utah is blessed with an impressive number of hallowed taco joints. Of course, there will always be Red Iguana, the State Street taco trucks of Salt Lake City or the Ogden taco trucks at 25th and Washington and Lone Star, but there are other fantastic tacos out there just waiting to be scarfed. Regardless of the season, whether you are hiking, mountain biking, skiing or shredding, tacos are always ready in a jiff. There is no more efficient way to shovel savory food into your gullet and, in my humble opinion, no better pairing with a refreshing aprés cerveza.
TACO TACO - Salt Lake City
With eclectic decor, patio dining, a salsa bar and a solid lineup of taco/burrito fillers, Taco Taco is a casual joint perfect for a quick sit-down taco feast. You can order your fare as a taco, a quesadilla or a burrito. Vegetarian options include hibiscus flower or grilled zucchini. Order a side of the crunchy and airy chips made in-house as a vehicle for sampling the offerings on display in the salsa bar.
BARRIO - Salt Lake City
Fast and casual with a chic atmosphere and an outdoor patio, Salt Lake City's Barrio is located west of Liberty Park. Expect a salsa bar, an interesting margarita menu and plenty of options (including vegetarian) to build out your dream taco plate. I recommend the chicken tacos in Oaxacan mole negro. Vegans will want to sample the plant-based chorizo "sausage" tacos with pico. If you need a quick fix this is the place to grab some speedy tacos with heaps of flavor.
STREET TACOS - Salt Lake City
Nope, not the actual street cart tacos you'll find lingering on State Street (though we highly recommend investigating those too) this is an actual restaurant called Street Tacos. Converted from a fast-food restaurant, Street Tacos is exactly what you'd expect to order from a street cart, but in restaurant form with dine-in seating. The best part? They're open LATE!
Savor authentic flavors, your favorite beer and simply gorge on these reasonably priced tacos with classic flavors and toppings. If you are feeling adventurous you may opt to try one of the traditional sides or desserts like platanos fritos (fried plantains).
CAFE GUANACO - Salt Lake City
I digress, this is NOT a taco option, but it is easily one of my favorite Latin American places to eat and if you haven't sampled pupusas or El Salvadorian fare, you are dreadfully remiss in your culinary explorations. As a self-professed taco lover, I cannot in good conscience resist the opportunity to share my long-burning passion for the excellent local pupusería: Fernando's Café Guanaco.
A pupusa is much like a quesadilla sans edges. A thick tortilla is stuffed with beans, meat and cheese and grilled to perfection served alongside a generous helping of curtido and spicy red or green sauce. Curtido, a bit like sauerkraut or kimchi, is a marinated cabbage relish that freshens up the taste of the pupusa into an incredible pile of zesty goodness.
Cafe Guanaco recently relocated to a strip mall on 2700 S. and State Street. You *know* it is going to be good thanks to the confusing "Stellar Wings" sign gracing its doorway. The drive-through is great and the service is friendly. I often order 3-4 pupusas and save them for a delicious leftover meal later in the week. This food is also ideal for the ski bum on a budget; pupusas are very reasonably priced and 1 or 2 will leave you stuffed.
I order the Reveulta Pupusas; they are not on the menu and I don't actually know what they are but they are utterly delicious. I also would not recommend skipping the fried plantains with crema.
FÁCIL TAQUERIA - Salt Lake City (Restaurant Coming Soon)
Formerly a food truck that provided unlikely and utterly mouthwatering combinations of tacos, the Fácil Taqueria team is hard at work on their next chapter. Stay tuned for updates via Instagram as these folks will be opening a restaurant in Salt Lake City soon. You will not want to miss this! These are some of the best tacos I've sampled in some time and it would be an error to omit them from the list. Stay tuned...
REAL TAQUERIA - Holladay
With a catchphrase like "Real Tacos," Real Taqueria in Holladay is worthy of your consideration. The crew here is on point with their passion for creating authentic and tasty Mexican cuisine. You can catch their food truck too, which offers a simplified menu. Pick your meat, veggie or fish base and enjoy a corn tortilla smothered with caramelized ions, cilantro, lime and rabanos (radishes). You can also opt for a burrito format or nosh on their delicious tamales, mole, nachos, etc.
Their restaurant is comfy and colorful and it's a great place to enjoy a quick but satisfying meal. Staff is friendly and helpful and works hard to keep up with their often-packed drive-thru lane. Don't miss their horchata if you're into that kind of thing!
TAQUERIA 27 - Salt Lake City & Beyond (5 Locations)
Every time you look it seems as though Taqueria 27 has opened a new location. Their domain stretches from downtown Salt Lake City to Lehi, and valley dwellers can't get enough of their famous guacamole, upscale atmosphere, cocktail menu and of course...tacos. Discover unique and unlikely combos like grilled pears and roasted beets, handmade turkey chorizo or a play on a B.L.T. with pork belly, avocado, and jalapeño aioli.
Each location serves up daily specials so the menu is always fresh and interesting. Taqueria 27 offers a wide selection of tequila and mezcal and a margarita menu to match.
BEAVER TACO - Beaver
Beaver Taco is as authentic as it gets, and I'll wish you good luck in narrowing down your choices on the huge menu of this family-owned restaurant. Of course, the tacos come highly recommended but you can't go wrong ordering any type of Mexican fare at Beaver Taco. Portions are huge and the flavors are hearty. This is my favorite place to fuel up after a day at Eagle Point.
Did we miss your favorite taco haunt?
Submit a comment with a shout-out to your favorite place to tuck into tacos!
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