The Best Tacos in Phoenix Metro
Whether it’s al pastor, carnitas, fish, shrimp or any other traditional style, where can you find the best tacos in Phoenix metro? Mexican food is one of my favorite cuisines and I’ve lived in the Valley of the Sun for most of my life. I’m always on the hunt for enjoying new and exciting tacos. I just love the flavor and texture combinations and being able to pick them up easily and add different types of salsas and grilled onions or peppers.
Having recently returned from a year of travel and eating street food around the world, good tacos were hard to find. They were one of the things about Phoenix I missed most of all. To me, tacos and delicious, dynamic and fun. Over many years of eating tacos, here are what I believe to be the best tacos in Phoenix metro.
Note: This will be an open post to which I’ll continue to add over time. There are so many great taco shops in the Phoenix Metro Area, included below are my favorites so far. I’d love to hear from you in the comment section about your favorites as well. I can’t wait to give them a try.
Fish Tacos at Restaurant Atoyac Estilo Oaxaca
1830 W Glendale Ave, Phoenix 85021, Phone: 602-246-1111
Open: 10am-9pm Tues-Sat
You may know Atoyac Estilo Oaxaca by its former name, Tacos Atoyac. This little taco shop off 19th Ave. & Glendale makes one of the best fried fish tacos in the Valley. Lightly fried white fish with cabbage slaw and chipotle aioli make this taco simple and delicious. At $2.80 each, they’re also one of the most affordable fish tacos you’ll find.
They provide their own traditional red and verde salsas, as well as another salsa made with avocados are made in-house daily. Make sure to let them know you’d like the complimentary grilled onions and jalapenos. Try adding a little of each one to determine your favorite way to enjoy their tacos.
In addition to the fish tacos try the flour quesadilla with a combination of Mexican cheeses ($4.50), carne asada tacos ($1.90) and their special torta sandwiches ($7.50). For sharing or those who are extra hungry, try their special tlayuda con carne, a large toasted tortilla covered with meats, onions, peppers, cheese and more ($11.50).
Tacos Chiwas @ Tacos Chiwas
Phoenix: 1923 E McDowell Rd, Phoenix 85006, Phone: 602-358-8830
Chandler: 2160 N Alma School Rd, Chandler, AZ 85224, Phone: 480-590-2891
Open: 10am-9pm Mon-Sat, 10am-4pm Sun
Tacos Chiwas is another one of my favorite taco shops, with their original location near 16th St. & McDowell Rd. in Phoenix. I walked in on my first visit and the owner Armando had a smile on his face. He asked me my name and told me about Tacos Chiwas, his family restaurant. He explained that they make their own tortillas fresh and that this sets them apart from other taquerias.
Armando recommended their namesake taco and it remains my favorite. The savory beef, slightly sweet ham, spicy jalapeno, gooey cheese and a little extra flavor from the hatch chillies really just brings the whole taco together. At $2.50 each they’re delicious and filling.
Their rajas gorditas with hatch chillies, jalapenos, beans and cheese are also incredible for $3.25. Give the bean soup ($3.50) and tripe tacos ($2.50) a try as well.
Tacos Chiwas has a salsa bar with red, green, avocado and cilantro salsas. The verde/green is my favorite. They also offer roasted jalapenos and pickled vegetables.
It’s exciting to see that since I first wrote about them in 2015 that they’ve added a second location in Chandler. Armando and his family are doing delicious work.
Fish Tacos @ Taquitos Jaliscos
1052 W Broadway Rd, Mesa 85210, Phone: 480-964-9700
Open: 8am-10pm Daily
Taquitos Jaliscos is my go-to taqueria in the East Valley. They’re located near the intersection of Broadway & Alma School. Their fish tacos ($3.49) are made with battered white fish, cabbage, tomato, onion, diced jalapeno and chipotle aioli. Flavorful and crispy, the white fish is prepared perfectly. The veggie mix on top with a slight kick from tiny pieces of jalapeno and the chipotle aioli goes with the fish perfectly. Fish tacos are available individually or as a combination of two fish tacos and rice & beans for $9.29 or two fish tacos with two carne asada tacos and a drink for $8.79.
Also, check out their tortas ($6.99) and green chili pork burros ($6.99).
Taquitos Jaliscos offers a salsa bar with flavors ranging from mild, medium, verde and spicy chipotle. They also have limes, onions and pickled vegetables.
This is one of the best taco shops in the area and they’re almost always busy. You may have to wait in line for a few minutes but service is prompt and very worth it.
Shrimp Tacos @ La Santisima
1919 N. 16th St. Phoenix 85006, Phone: 602-254-6330
5932 W. Glendale Ave. 85301, Phone: 623-939-3292
Open: 11am-9pm Mon-Sat, 11am-8pm Sun
La Santisima is located on 16th St. in Central Phoenix. In close proximity to a number of other taco shops, what sets La Santisima apart is their variety of taco styles from all over Central and South America. My favorite, as well as a favorite from the staff who work there, is the shrimp taco. Flash fried shrimp with a hint of spice, cabbage, salsa verde and a drizzle of creamy dressing come together for a perfectly balanced taco.
The dogfish shark, Mayan cochinita pibil and Argentine steak with chimichurri are all tasty as well, each in their own way. There is a lot of variety here so I recommend getting the combination with 2 different tacos, rice, beans and fresh tortilla chips for around $10. I guarantee one visit will not be enough.
The complimentary chips can be used as a way to sample each of their 16 fresh-made salsas. This diverse salsa bar is another thing that makes this little taco shop stand out in an area inundated with taquerias. Make sure to give each of them a try. The cilantro salsa and the one made with chipotles (not too spicy) are my two favorites.
Al Pastor Tacos @ Otro Cafe
6035 N. 7th St., Phoenix 85014, Phone: 602-266-0831
Open: Open: 8am-10pm Tues-Sat, 8am-9pm Sun-Mon
Happy Hour: 3-6pm daily
Otro Cafe is in Central Phoenix at 7th St. & Bethany Home. They do many things well here but the al pastor tacos ($3.85) are very special. Slow-cooked pork with pineapple, cilantro, onion and salsa verde combine savory, slightly spicy and a hint of sweet for one of the best flavors in the Valley. Recently they’ve even started making their own tortillas in-house which makes them stand out even more. They’ve recently changed the name of this taco to cochinitas on the menu but management assures it is the same recipe.
Make sure to head here during happy hour from 3-6pm daily to enjoy $1 off selected tacos, other menu items and some drinks, including their fine selection of craft beers on tap.
Their elote (corn on the cob cooked with Cotija cheese, mayo & paprika) for $7 ($5 during happy hour), shrimp ceviche ($13) and Naco torta (grilled rib-eye with fried eggs, aji aioli & avocado) for $11 are three more of my favorite Mexican food dishes in Phoenix. I’ve eaten here for years and haven’t had a bad meal.
Locations for the Best Tacos in Phoenix
If you’re new to Phoenix or passing through, I hope this helps you to enjoy some tacos while you’re here. If you’re a local in the area, this is not meant to be an exhaustive list of the best tacos in Phoenix, but it includes my favorites so far. I’d love to continue adding to this list based on feedback and comments from readers below.
I’ll continue reading about new openings and exploring taco shops and Mexican food restaurants in search of the best tacos in Phoenix Metro. Please let me know your thoughts!
What’s your favorite taco in Phoenix? Please let us know in the comments!
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