Here’s a guide to help in the pursuit of tasting the best tacos Texas has to offer.
With centuries of culinary history under its belt buckle, Texas is home to numerous “Taco Trails” featuring the state’s best Mexican fare. Narrowing down the multitude of surefire eateries to a handful of options for each city is no easy task, but we’ve done our best to choose just a few of the many standouts from the Lone Star State’s biggest towns.
San Antonio is Tex-Mex dining, plain and simple. You might find the city’s own “puffy taco” variations elsewhere in the state, but sometimes things are just better at the source, from Carnitas Lonja, a James Beard Award semifinalist, serving up must-try pork carnitas on handmade tortillas, to Henry’s Puffy Taco Express and its namesake meals. For a dose of history, stop by the five-decades-and-counting Ray’s Drive Inn, alongside wonderful newcomers like El Pastor es Mi Señor.
North Texas might not be the first region you expect to find exemplary tacos, but any of these hotspots will make you circle DFW’s Taco Trail on your map. Del Sur Tacos offers two locations for hungry patrons to try their more traditional barbacoa and cochinita pibil varieties, along with other loaded “El Santo'' and “Del Sur'' options. Be sure to also leave room for El Come Taco, Gonzalez Restaurant and the Asian-Mex fusion of Edoko Omakase.
You could spend weeks sampling the countless tacos Austin has to offer and still barely scratch the famous cuisine hub’s surface. Dishes like Suerte’s brisket suadero and “choco taco” dessert are must-trys, along with Discada’s single-menu-item namesake. For additional must-trys, be sure to also swing by Vaquero Taquero, El Naranjo and Granny’s Tacos.
Given its history as the state’s major port city, Houston’s melding of Latin flavors and international cuisine makes it a must-stop for taco trail enthusiasts. You can’t go wrong when a town counts brisket from Eddie O’s Texas BBQ among its ranks, as well as La Macro’s signature tacos de trompo and spots like La Vibra and The Pit Room, with its smoked chicken and garlic cloves. If you’ve got a little extra to spend, make sure you expand your palate with Maize’s tacos de insectos—a plate of traditional Mexican cuisine such as roasted grasshopper, ant larvae, maguey worms and flying ants.