Things To Do

Super Bowl Visitors and Taco Lovers: A Dallas Tacos Trail

This certainly isn't the week to jog the Katy Trail (Fountain Place is frozen, man!), so instead, Jose Ralat Maldonado -- who has traversed the taco scene for City of Ate -- and the rest of us implore you to eat. Eat as much as you can to pad those bones.

Jose has been kind enough to supply a list of favorite taco spots, which our Art Director Alexander Flores mapped out in glorious hi-res.

So, Super Bowl visitors and Dallas folks looking to beat the cold and eat, we have, like, the perfect map for you. A trail, if you will. You will. You know why? Because it's tacos.

Who doesn't like tacos?

If you're looking for more stuffs-to-dos in Dallas, check out our humongo awesome Super Bowl Guide.

1. Kor-BQ, 6505 W. Park Blvd., Suite 314, Plano The first Korean-Mexican fusion taco joint in the area offers up spicy treats on the cheap. Co-owners Sean Choi and Erik Park got to a shaky start but now, with a loyal following willing to trek north, they have room to play with the menu. Beyond the classic Korean meat preparations, galbi and bulgogi filling, the menu now includes quesadillas, sweet and savory alike.

2. Mexico City The Gourmet Taco, 6959 Arapaho Road, Suite 101 True to its name, the specialty here is pastor, the vertically spit-roasted pork filling synonymous with the streets of Mexico City. However, owners David and Tony Lopez want to show north Dallas that not all tacos are created equal and of meat of unknown provenance. At this taquería, one of a pack of Mexico City-style joints in the area, gourmet and authenticity aren't at odds.

3. La Paisanita, 8209 Park Lane Tucked away into many Texas gas station are works of art that offer fine examples of the taco. This Northeast Dallas taquería near the NorthPark Center mall, and within tortilla-tossing distance of a handful of other taco shops, serves spicy chicken tacos that ignite fires around your mouth.

4. Taquería La Paloma, 9661 N. Central Expressway This is the kind of place that drivers on the highway pull through for a taco fix. Inexpensive and delicious, the selection is plentiful. Prime among the tacos is the carnitas, wherein juicy cuts of pork share tortilla with bits of crackling.

5. Taco King, 8367 Park Lane A decrepit exterior hides a taquería that puts out all manner of traditional taco fillings, from the pervasive and exquisite lengua and carnitas to the hit-or-miss pastor and the die-hard's buche (pig's stomach). While it sits adjacent to a few Ethiopian businesses, few Ethiopians patronize Taco King. The kids from the elementary school across the street do, though.

6. Good 2 Go Taco, 1146 Peavy Road Several months after vacating their original gas station location, Jeana Johnson and Colleen O'Hare are in a new place, giving their hungry middle-class clientele what they want: ginormous tacos filled with gourmet, locally sourced ingredients. These include the signature Hotlanta (waffle-battered fried chicken, sweet potato and honey butter).

7. Tacos El Guero, 4500 Bryan St. This sketchy-looking corner taquería in East Dallas is broom-closet small. After a bit of the house-special suadero (beef brisket cut) and cabeza (beef cheek), the fact that your hand is practically your neighbor's napkin won't matter. If you're out of dollars but happen to a stray baht or two, the cashier at El Guero will accept it. All denominations are accepted.

8. Desperados Mexican Restaurant, 4818 Greenville Ave. Since 1976, this Upper Greenville Tex-Mex palace has been a Dallas institution. While the hallmark platters of Tex-Mex are available (e.g., cheese enchiladas weighed down by yellow-cheese product), a prime example of the cuisine's tacos is the reason to wait for a seat. The puffy tacos, flash-fried flour tortillas with fajita meat, pico de gallo and an avocado slice, are light and sturdy and packed full of flavor.

9. Bachman Tacos & Grill, 3311 W. Northwest Highway The roar of jets taking off or landing at nearby Love Field airport isn't enough to keep a portly celebuchef who eats Iron Chefs and thinly sliced pastor from this gas station taqueria.

10. El Rincon Tapatio, 127 W. Jefferson Blvd. Oak Cliff seems to be one gigantic taco stand, but this part of it demands attention. Here, you kick back and receive the doting attention of the waitstaff, while schoolchildren play tag in the dining rooms. It's a family place, where you're made to feel like family. The carne asada and pierna (pork leg) are the tops.

11. Boy's Taquería , 1913 S. Edgefield Ave. Named after the owner's son, this Oak Cliff taco joint makes its own white-corn tortillas to be wrapped around properly fatty barbacoa and smooth lengua. The dining room is filled with a trio of long tables and not much else. Who cares when homemade excellence is on the plate?

12. El Tizoncito Taquería , 3404 W. Illinois Ave. Leo Spencer's Cockrell Hill restaurant offers diners quintessential Mexico City-style fare with that city's signature street food (pastor) front and center. Straight up pastor tacos are available, as are their big brothers, alambres. However, the finger-staining star here is the choriqueso appetizer, three flour tortillas topped with moist, earthy chorizo covered in gooey cheese.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
City of Ate