On Saturday afternoon, 3,500 people filled Dallas Farmers Market for this year's sold-out Dallas Observer Tacolandia festival, an all-you-can-eat taco bonanza that brought together many of the city's biggest taco heavy hitters.
A panel of judges nobly sampled every taco at this year's fest, and from the dozens available, they chose several winning tacos slingers:
- Most Interesting Taco: La Botana Taco Bar's las costras
- Best Traditional Taco: Resident Taqueria's lengua taco
- Best Vegetarian Taco: Resident Taqueria's wild mushroom taco
- Best Beef Taco: Tortilleria la Norteña
- Best Overall Taco: Trompo's Prensado
- People's Choice: Chiloso Mexican Bistro
- Tabasco Flavor Award, complete with $1,000 prize: La Botana Taco Bar
If you didn't have VIP tickets — which sold out weeks ago — you might have missed out on a few of the winners; Resident, Trompo and Revolver Taco Lounge were all posted up in the VIP section. If you were lucky, a VIP-wielding friend brought you a few of these epic tacos to taste while sipping El Jimador mangoritas and Four Corners beer.
But the VIP tacos weren't the only stellar tacos this year. Here are a few of our favorite tacos that didn't win accolades this weekend. If you haven't visited these taquerias yet, they should be added to your taco bucket list stat:
Bowls and Tacos' pork belly taco — A lovely housemade flour tortilla was filled with flavorful marinated pork belly that was both juicy and a little crunchy on the edges, and the taco was sent into the stratosphere with the addition of pickled veggies, mango-habanero salsa and a sprinkling of queso fresco.
Nova's short rib villejo — Oak Cliff's favorite bar and brunch spot, Nova, served up a delectable short rib taco filled with juicy, melt-in-your-mouth meat with pickled veggies on a fresh flour tortilla.
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Taquero's beef taco — Is it any surprise that 2017's best taqueria cooked up some excellent festival tacos? The beef was rich and juicy with bright, refreshing pineapple to balance it out.
Haute Sweets Patisserie's Choco-Taco — In a refreshing departure from the sea of savory tacos, local dessert slinger Haute Sweets cooked up adorable chocolate tacos that we couldn't help but scarf down even when we were stuffed. The crunchy chocolate "tortilla" gave way to a rich, delicious chocolate mousse interior.