The 13 best taco spots in Boston

Filled with fish, meat or vegetables, the best tacos in Boston will satisfy your cravings for delicious Mexican food
Lone Star
Photograph: Courtesy Lone Star/Jennifer Trebino Lone Star
By Gerrish Lopez and Time Out contributors |
Advertising

There is something about Mexican food that drives us crazy, in a good way. As regular visitors of the best Mexican restaurants in Boston, we have also compiled a list of the very best tacos around the area, from vegetarian-friendly options to fiery concoctions loaded with fresh fish and meats. May we suggest trying each and every one of them on a city-wide taco crawl? Fair warning: You will probably need to combat all that spice with a cold beer at one of the best sports bars in Boston or a well-made cocktail from the best bars in Boston. Looking to keep the spice party going? Check out the best Indian restaurants in Boston.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Boston

Best tacos in Boston

1
Birria taco at Taqueria Jalisco
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Mika S.
Restaurants, Mexican

Birria taco at Taqueria Jalisco

icon-location-pin East Boston

The family-owned space could generously be described as compact, but you’re here to order and run. Many are fans of the lengua (tongue), but the birria taco—only available on the weekends—is a revelation: beef slow-cooked with adobo spices, then chopped fine and topped with cilantro and onion.

2
Cabeza taco at Taqueria El Amigo
Photograph: Courtesy Taqueria El Amigo
Restaurants, Mexican

Cabeza taco at Taqueria El Amigo

It’s hard to say this spot is hidden, given that it routinely wins accolades from various local media outlets. Still, you’ll feel like you’ve stumbled upon a glorious secret. This is true taco truck fare, in the best sense, which means you actually have the rare opportunity to order a cabeza taco—a taco filled with beef cheek. It’s tender, fatty and almost overwhelmingly delicious, topped with a big slab of avocado that nicely cuts the flavor intensity.

Advertising
3
Pescado taco at Tenoch
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Elizabeth H.
Restaurants, Mexican

Pescado taco at Tenoch

icon-location-pin North End

Stateside, a good fish taco can be hard to come by outside of California, but Tenoch offers a credible take. The breaded fish is topped with cucumber, cilantro and a creamy green salsa—simple accoutrements that let the fresh fish shine through. Co-owners (and brothers) Alvaro and Andres Sandoval hail from Veracruz, Mexico—their family’s recipes fill the menu, with the tortas winning the most plaudits.

4
Taco de carnitas at La Brasa
Photograph: Courtesy La Brasa
Restaurants, Mexican

Taco de carnitas at La Brasa

icon-location-pin Somerville

You wouldn’t expect to find such a superior taco in such an industrial-chic space. But chef Daniel Bojorquez is a native of Hermosillo, Mexico, which explains the exquisite preparation of this carnitas taco, the only taco on the menu. Bojorquez cures the pork shoulder overnight with the skin still on, then slow roasts it for 12 hours before serving it with lime salsa verde, chile de arbol and chopped white onions and cilantro.

Advertising
5
Cochinita pibil taco at Rincon Mexicano
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Lorenzo R.
Restaurants, Mexican

Cochinita pibil taco at Rincon Mexicano

icon-location-pin Somerville

Cochinita pibil is another hard-to-find staple in and around Boston; fortunately, Rincon Mexicano gets it right. The traditional Yucatan preparation sees pork marinated in citrus juices and seasoned with annatto seeds, which give the meat a burnt orange tinge. The house-made tortillas from chef-owner Lorenzo Reyes seal the deal.

6
Surtido taco at La Victoria Taqueria
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Alex B.
Restaurants, Mexican

Surtido taco at La Victoria Taqueria

Do you want to know what’s in a surtido taco? Fair warning, you might not want to. For the curious ones: It encompasses just about every part of the pig, from its fatty bits to the gristle. Savor this meaty, spicy, fatty, drippy, delicious entry from cult fave La Victoria and then marvel over the fact that your taco cost about the same as your MBTA fare.

Advertising
7
Lone Star
Photograph: Courtesy Lone Star Taco Bar
Restaurants, Mexican

Carnitas taco at Lone Star Taco Bar

icon-location-pin Allston/Brighton

Lone Star is a hit with the twentysomethings of Allston who crave cheap yet delicious fare in hip environs. Here the carnitas taco is truly notable; the pork is given the confit treatment, slightly crisped before serving and topped with onions and cilantro, plus queso fresco and salsa verde. (All the corn tortillas are also made in-house.) Consider ordering the tasty street corn to round out your meal.

8
OliToki
Courtesy: OliToki
Restaurants, Korean

Bulgogi beef loaded taco at OliToki

icon-location-pin Allston/Brighton

Korean-Mexican fast-casual cuisine can be found in cities from coast to coast; locally, OliToki’s bulgogi beef taco stands out. Thin-cut, marinated sirloin is piled atop a double tortilla and topped with onion, cilantro, purple cabbage, kimchi, cheese, sour cream, aioli and spicy toki sauce. For an eye-catching protein alternative, select fried spam instead of beef.

Advertising
9
Seitan chorizo taco at Taco Party
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Panda B.
Restaurants, Vegan

Seitan chorizo taco at Taco Party

icon-location-pin Somerville

It’s tough out there for a vegan, never more so than when Mexican food is involved. (For starters, corn tortillas are usually made with lard or shortening.) That is why Taco Party has been a gift from the culinary gods: meatless tacos done with flavor, not just ethics, in mind. Many terrific options abound (the BBQ jackfruit taco is a popular choice), but the simple seitan chorizo taco gives you all the spice and tenderness you might secretly crave from a meaty taco.

10
Short rib taco at Burro Bar
Photograph: Kristin Teig
Restaurants, Mexican

Short rib taco at Burro Bar

The more casual sibling of the Painted Burro, Burro Bar does simple street fare well. The chicken liver taco wins raves, as does the short rib “double stack” taco, which folds a crispy tortilla inside a soft one for added texture. The pile of tender, juicy short rib is complimented by three cheeses, poblano, onion, oregano, and Mexican crema, resulting in a messy, rewarding taco experience.

Show more
Advertising