It only comes around once a year but here, we don’t believe that tacos should be enjoyed on just one day. We strive to live every day like it’s National Taco Day. So have a look at the best tacos across America and try not to drool.

Big Star

“Tacos, whiskey and honky tonk” are the keys to success at this popular Chicago nightspot in the hip haven of Wicker Park. Not a whiskey lover? There’s plenty of beer and tequila too. As for the tacos, Big Star leans more Tex than Mex. The Taco al pastor (marinated spit roasted pork shoulder, grilled pineapple, grilled onion, and cilantro) comes highly recommended.

Bull Taco

Arguing with a foodie friend about whether the tacos are better in LA or San Diego? Meet in the middle at Bull Taco located in two locations Encinitas, CA and Cardiff, CA. This taqueria features a unique and broad menu. Yummy offerings here include the Surf and Turf Taco (shrimp, carne asada, onion and cilantro mix, cabbage, and chipotle sriracha sour cream); the Don Wayne Burrito (canne asada, eggs, cheddar cheese, onion and cilantro mix, bacon, chorizo, guacamole, tater tots, and chipotle sriracha sour cream); and the Thai Chicken Taco (chicken, queso fresco, onion and cilantro mix, and sweet chili).

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Coyote Café

Santa Fe’s fabulous Coyote Café is perhaps better known for its haute cuisine and elegant dining room but Chef Rodriguez’s tacos in the restaurant’s canteen are worthy of the same accolades. Two favorites from the menu are the vegetarian (sauteed vegetables, mozzarella, pumpkin seed pesto) and the Steak Tampiquena (skirt steak, cilantro rice, borracho beans, sweet onion, tomato and serrano sautee, and salsa de nopales).

Guisados

Homestyle braises on handmade tortillas served with a side of rice and beans are the draw at this legendary Los Angeles eatery. Locations are across LA but the “OG” is in Boyle Heights. Best thing on the menu? Everything!

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Kogi Taqueria

Nothing screams “LA” like Korean style tacos from Roy Choi’s famed food truck and brick-and-mortar taqueria. Kogi’s fusion of fiery foods revolutionized street food, refreshed the world’s view on how and why to eat in Los Angeles, and launched a thousand food trucks inspired by the delicious doings. Go for the short rib tacos or the kimchi quesadilla.

Leo’s Tacos Truck

Leo’s five food trucks parked across LA offer some of the best value for flavor in the city. If you judge a taqueria by how it does its al pastor you might come to the conclusion that Leo’s tacos are the best in the land – and you wouldn’t be alone if you did.

Mariscos Jalisco

Another contender for the title of Los Angeles food truck king is Mariscos Jalisco. This Boyle Heights institution is ideal for late night bites, affordable feasting, and awesome tacos. Must eat? The tacos dorado de camaron! Check out the @mariscosjalisco Twitter feed for updates on where and when to try their tacos.

Nick’s Crispy Tacos

Nick’s shares its digs with Rouge Nightclub, making it one of San Francisco’s sauciest venues whether you’re there to devour some tacos or do your thing on the dance floor. There’s a great range of tacos sold at reasonable prices. Whatever you order you can’t go wrong, especially if you request your tacos to be served “Nick’s way” (made crispy with jack cheese and guacamole).

Oscar’s Mexican Seafood

A sure bet for San Diego staple, fish tacos, is Oscar’s Mexican Seafood. There are four locations throughout San Diego of this laidback taqueria. The battered fish or shrimp taco served with cabbage, onion, tomato, and cilantro is ace, filling and affordable for any budget. But the menu features an excellent array of seafood tacos and dishes. Keep Oscar’s mid-afternoon happy hour in mind for even cheaper prices.

Ricky’s Fish Tacos

The Ensenada style fish and shrimp tacos from this friendly Hollywood food truck are to die for. Admire the variety of sauces and creams and other condiments when you go. Follow Ricky’s on Twitter at @RickysFishTacos for location and schedule.

Tacodeli

Folks in Austin love tacos, and many of them will tell you the best in town are at Tacodeli. There are a few Tacodeli restaurants in town (with one in Dallas too) and more than 30 local coffee shops and grocery shores that are Tacodeli vendors. It’s hard to beat a Tacodeli breakfast taco for a quick and inexpensive start to your day – and a true taste of Austin lifestyle.

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Los Tacos No. 1

A simple, authentic and scrumptious mix of tacos, quesadillas, and aguas frescas makes this Chelsea Market mainstay the number one go-to taco stand in New York. Inspired by the taquerias of Tijuana, the vibe, flavours, and even the prices take customers far from Manhattan for south of the border tastes to savor.

La Taqueria

The Mission District of San Francisco is perhaps best known to epicureans for its burritos. La Taqueria’s burritos certainly rank among the city’s most beloved. But, as the name implies, the tacos here are equally scarf-able. Choose a regular or “super” serving of basics such as shrimp, fish, carne asada, chicken, al pastor, chorizo, and carnitas or be more adventurous with tacos along the lines of lengua (beef tongue), sesos (beef brains), or tripitas (tripe).

White Duck Taco Shop

Asheville, North Carolina’s quirky White Duck Taco Shop will have you quacking for more. The tacos here are tasty and inventive – and made with ethically sourced ingredients. The menu includes crispy chicken BLT, lump crab, duck with mole, Thai peanut chicken, and Korean Beef Bulgogi. There are two White Ducks in Asheville and one in Charleston as well.

Clearly, we couldn’t hit every taco stand and Mexican restaurant in America. Give a shout out for your favorite tacos in the comments section below!

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About The Author

Chris Osburn

Chris Osburn is a freelance writer, photographer, consultant, curator, and the driving force behind the long running and award winning blog, tikichris.com. Originally from the American Deep South, Chris has lived and worked all over the world. He's called London home since 2001.