Celebrate National Taco Day Today
Nine nearby places to indulge in the legendary Mexican cuisine
Americans have a love affair with tacos. Last year alone, we consumed 4.5 billion of them—equal to the weight of two Empire State Buildings. Today, on October 4, National Taco Day, we celebrate the traditional Mexican dish. While it may not be a federal holiday, it is one of the most delicious days on the calendar, so mark the occasion right and try one of BU Today’s top picks below.
479 Cambridge St., Allston (between Brighton Ave. and Hano St.)
Lone Star’s founders hail from Texas and California, and so their (delicious) tacos are inspired by the open air markets and taquerías of Dallas, Austin, Los Angeles, Oaxaca, and Mexico City.
This small spot combines fresh ingredients with traditional Mexican street food flavors. Standouts include the beef barbacoa tacos, served with smoked brisket and pickled red onion, topped with avocado crema Cotija and grilled street corn.
92 Peterborough St., Boston
2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton
Loyal customers usually stick to the basics at El Pélon Taqueria, from fried plantains to fish tacos. But the next time you find yourself at this Fenway jewel, try the Caramelos tacos, served with grilled steak, melted pepper jack cheese, hot sauce, salsa fresca, and guacamole, or the cornmeal-crusted cod with arbol chile mayo and pickled cabbage. Authentic Mexican food is hard to come by in this Boston burrow, but this critically acclaimed taco spot does it exceptionally well, with fresh ingredients, affordable prices, and striking flavors.
30 Gloucester St., Boston
With tiled tables, bold colored walls, and a moodily lit ambiance, Casa Romero, an upscale Mexican restaurant in a hidden Back Bay alleyway, is the oldest authentic Mexican restaurant in Boston. The menu’s curated taco selection reflects its 50 years of experience. Fan favorites: the ahi tuna tacos, served on fresh corn tortillas with queso fresco, pico de gallo, cilantro, and cubed avocados, and the al pastor taco platter, Romero’s handcrafted recipe of marinated pork with dried chiles and Mexican spices.
Time Out Market, Landmark Center, 401 Park Dr., Boston
Indulge in chef Alex Sáenz’s personal take on authentic taqueria, inspired by his northwest Mexican heritage, at Taqueria El Barrio, Fenway’s favorite taco spot. The menu features in-house made fine-flour tortillas filled with tangy, flavorful, perfectly prepared meats like asada, pastor, and carnitas, as well as spicy vegan chorizo. Treat yourself to a churro platter for a delightful dessert, with your choice of sauce: dulce de leche, condensed milk, or Nutella.
914 Beacon St., Boston
Spice things up at Sol Azteca and treat yourself to the taco al pastor, served with pork marinated in pineapple, guajillo, ancho pepper, chopped onion, cilantro, salsa, and lime. The Tacos Fritos crunchy delight features crispy corn taco shells filled with your choice of chicken or beef, lettuce, and an avocado slice. The line may be long at this Mexican mainstay, but it’s definitely worth the wait.
21 Brattle St., Cambridge
Ask any college student from the greater Boston area where they go for their favorite Mexican dining experience and 9 times out of 10, they’ll say Felipe’s. The Harvard Square hotspot is known for its mouthwatering burritos and quesadillas, but try your hand at the baja-style tacos with soft corn tortillas and a choice of lightly breaded shrimp or fish, pickled cabbage, pico de gallo, and signature baja sauce next time you find yourself at this beloved local eatery.
1294 Beacon St., Brookline
Los Amigos is a BU student staple. The fast-casual restaurant, with locations in Coolidge Corner, Somerville, and Brighton Center, serves Mexican cuisine with a contemporary twist. Popular menu items include baja-style fish tacos and tacos “amigos style,” served with sautéed tilapia, pico de gallo, pickled onions, chipotle crema, and creamy Cotija cheese.
271 Dartmouth St., Boston
Gothic-inspired rooms and dimly lit walls adorn Back Bay’s best-kept secret, Lolita Cocina, which offers a seamless transition from dinner to drinks, and of course, some of Boston’s best tacos. The marinated skirt steak tacos, served with pickled red onion, salsa negra, and avocado aioli, is an excellent choice for late-night snackers.
166 Brighton Ave., Allston
Habanero’s offers a combination of convenience, fantastic prices, fresh food, solid flavor, and a relaxed atmosphere. The Salvadoran-inspired steak taco, with your choice of soft corn or flour tortilla, pairs perfectly with the self-service topping station selections, lime, cilantro, lettuce, salsa, a signature spicy sauce, cheese, and more—and they’re all free. The tacos aren’t huge and can easily be finished in three or four bites, but considering the cost (two for $7.50), you can order a couple without breaking the bank. If you’re looking for a bit of variation to go with your tacos, try a queso pupusa, which is a Salvadoran turnover served with curtido (Habanero’s homemade sauerkraut) and tomato sauce.