We can’t stop taco-ing about how excited we are for National Taco Day. To help celebrate one of our favorite annual traditions, we are planning to devour next-level tacos that go above and beyond the average al pastor. Here are 15 restaurants for tremendous tacos perfect for a fun date night, a night out with friends, and more.
Lolo’s Surf Cantina, Miami Beach, Florida
These tacos work equally well when celebrating #MeatlessMonday. A rainbow of roasted heirloom cauliflowers is matched up with mashed avocado, salsa roja, queso fresco, and toasted pumpkin seeds. Hearty and heart healthy! Make a reservation at Lolo’s Surf Cantina.
SolToro, Uncasville, Connecticut
What the duck! These tacos come filled with fowl, pickled vegetables, puffed bean noodles, and cherry hoisin. Guaranteed to turn you into a quack addict. Make a reservation at SolToro.
Taco Rosa, Newport Beach, California
Tacos that are flambéed tableside are inherently better. Take these ‘cos filled with skirt steak and sautéed mushrooms and onions, and finished with rectangles of Brie. A quick hit of fire melts the cheese, helping meld all the flavors. Make a reservation at Taco Rosa.
Manta, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Chef Enrique Olvera adds a Japanese twist to a Mexican standby. He mixes black miso and tamarind puree to craft a dressing for the cabbage slaw that graces these fish tacos. Ringlets of serrano pepper and fresh lime add further bursts of flavor. Make a reservation at Manta.
Puesto at the Headquarters, San Diego, California
Shredded cheese is grilled, melted, and crisped up. It’s wrapped around filet mignon, which is presented on a housemade tortilla. Avocado and spicy pistachio serrano sauce complete this tasty taco. Make a reservation at Puesto at the Headquarters.
The Dawson, Chicago, Illinois
Bring a friend to take on these redfish tacos. The filet is accented with blackening spices and Old Bay butter before it gets grilled over a wood fire. The DIY taco set up includes yellow corn tortillas, guacamole, chipotle boosted coleslaw, and chimichurri sauce. Make a reservation at The Dawson.
Kachina Cantina, Denver, Colorado
Executive chef Denis Zvekic fuses together the cuisines of the American Southwest and Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. Case in point is his Navajo fry bread tacos. Fillings include smoked chicken, epazote braised beef, and tequila carnitas. Make a reservation at Kachina Cantina.
Cantina Rooftop, New York, New York
They don’t call this the GIANT ASS TACO for nothing. Weighing in at 12 freaking pounds, it’s enough to feed everyone at the fiesta. It features five pounds of guajillo marinated chicken, sour cream, lettuce, avocado, two cheeses (chihuahua and queso fresco), and four homemade sauces (tomatillo, guajillo, morita, and avocado salsa). Make a reservation at Cantina Rooftop.
El Naranjo, Austin, Texas
You’ll want a bouquet of these tacos. Hibiscus blossoms bloom in soft tortillas, along with carrots and serrano chilies. Inhale deeply and then inhale figuratively. Make a reservation at El Naranjo.
GW Fins, New Orleans, Louisiana
Firecracker tuna tacos start meals off with a bang. A mound of tartare comes topped off with creamy avocado aioli, ginger slaw, and explosive wasabi caviar. Boom! Make a reservation at GW Fins.
FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar, Bloomington, Minnesota
Tacos don’t have to be savory. Take this delightful ice cream taco in a waffle shell. Scoops of vanilla ice cream are piled high with toasted pistachios, berries, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce. Make a reservation at FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar.
The Dutch, New York, New York
These fish tacos turn convention upside down. A fresh wasabi leaf stands in for the tortilla, which gets packed with tempura-fried dogfish, shaved kohlrabi, pickled cucumber and wasabi stems, yuzu kosho mayo, trout roe, and radishes. Add some extra punch by spooning on freshly grated wasabi. Make a reservation at The Dutch.
City Tap House–Penn Quarter, Washington, D.C.
These Korean short rib tacos pack boozy and spicy notes. To start, ribs are braised in Yards Brewing Co.’s Love Stout. The shredded meat is piled high on a soft tortilla along with chili oil, pickled cabbage slaw, and micro cilantro. Make a reservation at City Tap House–Penn Quarter.
The BackYard at Waller Creek, Austin, Texas
Buffalo sauce isn’t just for wings. The tangy condiment works equally well on deep-fried cauliflower. Pico de gallo, avocado, queso fresco, and cilantro oil add South of Border flavors to the upstate New York inspired taco. Make a reservation at the BackYard at Waller Creek.
Have you been to any of these restaurants for next-level tacos? Let us know here in the comments or over on Facebook, G+, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter. And, remember to snap + share your #dishpics with us on Instagram for a chance to win in our weekly giveaway.
Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell and Instagram @nevinmartell.
Photo credits: Courtney Pierce (BackYard at Waller Creek); Luis Lanz (Cantina Rooftop); Jill Paider (Jaleo); Adam Larkey (Kachina); Francisco Estrada Photography (Manta); Gage Hospitality Group (The Dawson); Christine Hochkeppel/Salty Broad Studios (SolToro).