We like to think the popularity of Tacos El Gordo (Best Taco Shop in this year’s Weekly Awards) helped pave the way for a recent explosion of simple taco shops around town. Whatever it was that sparked the trend, we’re happy to be spending the summer snacking on ridiculously cheap, utterly satisfying street-style tacos. Here are our can’t-miss picks at three similar, equally great new spots.
Al Pastor at Taco Tijuana This juicy, spit-roasted pork is called adobada at other taco shops, but it doesn’t really matter what you call it. It’s an undeniably delicious combination of spicy-sweet meat, creamy avocado-based sauce, cilantro-onion salsa and a bit of roasted pineapple. Bonus bite: The tripas—lightly smoky, truly tender and not as funky as you think—are worth a try. 2554 E. Tropicana Ave., 547-9163. Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-1 a.m.; Friday & Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 a.m.
Barbacoa at Taco Taco Welcome to taco insanity. Taco Taco lets you choose from 12 different meats or vegetarian taco options like soy chorizo. Carne asada is the favorite, and it’s solid, but the barbacoa beef is slow-cooked forever for ultimate flavor and texture, then doused with a bright, citrus-y salsa. Bonus bite: Be adventurous with buche, pork stomach tacos. Talk about taco insanity. 3430 E. Tropicana Ave., 331-3015. Monday-Thursday & Sunday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 9 a.m.-midnight.
Lengua at Los Jarochos The menu here is diverse—Los Jarochos is closer to a well-rounded restaurant and not just a taquería—but once you taste the tender, intoxicating tongue taco (especially with a generous squeeze of lime to cut through all that richness) you may not want to order anything else. Bonus bite: Los Jarochos does killer carne asada tacos, too. 4811 S. Rainbow Blvd., 646-0125. Daily, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.