Dining Guide | Taco The Town: 6 of the best tacos in Phoenix
We are blessed to live in a place where tacos are bountiful and seem to be on every menu, no matter where you go to eat. What makes a taco great can cause a heated debate, but we have scoured all the menus we could get our hands on and taste tested countless hand-held treats to find the best our neighborhood has to offer. Whether you are looking for the flavors of street tacos, the kind you would find on every street corner in Mexico, or something more non-traditional or gourmet, these Uptown spots have you covered with some of the best tacos in Phoenix!
Taco The Town: 6 of the best tacos in Phoenix
La Santisima Gourmet Taco Shop
1919 N. 16th St. | Phoenix | 602.254.6330
You’ll never hear the food at La Santisima described as “Tex-Mex”. The owners have worked hard to change the perception of Mexican food here in the Valley. You’ll find dishes that celebrate the flavors found just off the beaches of Cancun and Baja. The creative dishes here show a passion for cooking and a desire to elevate your expectations.
What to order: Aztec Tinga Taco: The chicken is full of flavor, never dry, and paired with pickled onions and an Aztec chipotle salsa. The sharp flavors of the onions pair with the smokiness of the salsa. You can dress your taco with your choice of salsa at the massive salsa bar.
6035 N. 7th St. | Phoenix | 602.266.0831
Chef Doug Robson has taken everything that was wonderful about Gallo Blanco and infused it into Otro Café. You’ll find fresh, atypical Mexican cuisine which exhibits a passion and love for the culture and regional flavors. With 7 different types of tacos, all with a quirky spin on what one might perceive as traditional dishes. The urban spin that Otro Café puts on these time-tested traditional items creates a fun and playful atmosphere where you just want to try everything.
What to order: The Pork Belly Tacos will delight your palate with the richness of the slow roasted heritage pork belly dressed with a citrus glaze and then dusted with spicy relish and avocado. The citrus glaze manifests itself in an almost marmalade state and that sweetness paired with the salt of the pork and the richness of the fat of the belly are nothing short of perfection.
546 E. Osborn Rd., Phoenix
The building that Taco Guild inhabits has a rich history, having once been a one-room schoolhouse and later a church. The creators of Taco Guild have embraced that history of the Guilds of the 1600’s in Western Europe by creating a space that their culinary master craftsmen provide an overall experience that showcases their talents from the plate to the overall surroundings.
What to order: If you are looking for something traditional, you’ll enjoy the Pork Adovada taco. The tried and true flavors of salty pork and sweet mango jicama relish play off of each other in the most delightful way. New school more your style? The Chipotle Cherry taco is made up of steak poblano straws, chili aioli, and blue cheese creating an unexpected combination of flavors.
Sierra Bonita Grill
6933 N. 7th St. | Phoenix | 602.264.0700
Sierra Bonita Grill truly sets itself apart as an Arizona original, paying homage to Arizona history and its Western traditions. The restaurant has a rustic charm without being campy with its wooden beams and original artwork adorning the walls. The restaurant itself was named after a historic Arizona ranch. The menu is imaginative, combining old world traditional dishes with new world techniques and flavors.
What to order: The Marinated Carne Asada Tacos combine perfectly seasoned meat with a creamy pesto mayonnaise, cabbage, salsa fresca, panela cheese, rice, and beans. The panela cheese, a crumbly cheese, provides a fun texture to the creaminess of the pesto mayo and the strong flavors of the marinated meat.
Joyride Taco House
5202 N. Central Ave. | Phoenix | 602.274.8226
Joyride Taco House has quickly become a Valley favorite for its fun environment and delicious cocktails. They offer a variety of tacos in varying degrees of spice and complexity. As a bonus, all of the tacos are served on made to order corn tortillas and they even offer gluten free options.
What to order: For the best taco experience, be sure to get The Bandit Taco Platter. With that you will enjoy their three best tacos; the Chicken Tinga, Carne Asada, and Carnitas. On top of the tacos, you will also get fresh corn tortillas, rice, black beans, avocado and their own pico gringo. The perfect choice to immerse yourself in all the flavors they have to offer.
Most Wanted Taco Shop
9822 N. 7th St. | Phoenix | 602.943.1156
Sometimes heading into a new restaurant, it can be hard to figure out the best thing for you to order. You’re not familiar with their preparation or seasonings. The beauty of Most Wanted is that they will let you sample their meats prior to submitting your order, to ensure that you know what you’re getting. Be warned, while this may seem super helpful, you may quickly fall in love and find it difficult to choosing just one meat!
What to order: Build your own! With the option to test drive all of the flavors, you will easily be able to find the best-for-you flavors. Can’t quite decide on one combination? They offer small and large tacos, so order up as many small tacos as you can handle and enjoy!
*This article, written by Taryn Jeffries, was originally featured in the November 2015 issue of Uptown Magazine.*
© Taryn Jeffries 2015