On Cinco de Mayo, we love to eat tacos, but why limit ourselves? With so many terrific tacos to be had in the West, any day and every day is the right time to sink your teeth into one.
Tacolicious, San Francisco Bay
That the tacos at Tacolicious are, well, delicious is a given. But you can also expect substantial portions. Double-tortillas are piled with a generous, 3-ounce serving of meat, which means you can easily take the bottom tortilla, spoon half the filling into it, and create two tacos on the spot if you’re so inclined. The guajillo-braised beef is redolent of cinnamon, the pastrami with caraway-cabbage slaw is just plain fun, and the mushroom “carnitas’’ are so savory you won't miss the meat. Don’t forget to ask for the off-menu orange sauce, an unusual creamy, spicy blended salsa originated by San Jose’s La Victoria taqueria. Homegrown in San Francisco, Tacolicious now numbers six locations in the Bay Area. A new outpost in Manhattan Beach marks its first foray into Southern California.
Revolu Modern Taqueria + Bar, Peoria, Arizona
Growing up in San Diego near the Mexican border, Chef Jeremiah Gracia’s obsession with Mexican street food began in childhood, when he and his grandparents would go grocery shopping in Tijuana, stopping to refuel with tacos along the way. Fast-forward to 2017, when he and his wife, Deeana, opened Revolu Modern Taqueria + Bar in Peoria to serve a reinterpretation of the favorites he grew up on. Named in honor of a popular street in Tijuana, and decorated with colorful Day of the Dead murals, Revolu offers a range of traditional and contemporary tacos with fillings such as house-made chorizo with crisp potatoes and lobster with chile-lime aioli. Beyond the tacos, don’t miss the Piggy In A Poncho, an Applewood bacon–wrapped hot dog smothered with cotija cheese.
Taqueria 27, Salt Lake City
Tacos push the envelope at Taqueria 27 in Salt Lake City. Husband and wife owners Todd and Kristin Gardiner illustrate deliciously how a tortilla can be the perfect edible vessel for just about anything, from traditional chile citrus–marinated carnitas with charred tomato salsa and carne asada with chimichurri and pickled cactus to the more daring duck confit with crispy cracklins and crispy leek strings. Or branch out with the unorthodox grilled pears and roasted beets with gorgonzola. That same creative philosophy is even applied to the guacamole, which can be enjoyed in traditional form or topped with fresh strawberries, habañero, gorgonzola, and balsamic-agave syrup.