Our Favorite Tacos and Burritos from Coast to Coast
Tacos and burritos are endlessly adaptable and enjoyable, and chefs from coast to coast have taken notice. Here are our favorites.
Jun. 10, 2016
Tacos and burritos are two of Mexico’s most delicious gifts to the world. Sure, the combination of meat, cheese, rice and beans in the pillowy embrace of a flour or corn tortilla is near perfect. Yet one of the reasons they’re having a moment right now is that they can be filled with anything. They’re endlessly adaptable, and chefs from coast to coast have noticed. Below: some of our favorites.
Chicago: The Carnitas Tacos at Las Carnitas Uruapan
Legendary Chi-town taqueria Las Carnitas Uruapan has specialized in carnitas since 1975. The pork in a cauldron—made fresh daily—is succulent, savory and slow cooked. Those in the know can also order preferred cuts of meat (like shoulder, loin rib, belly, leg, stomach or skin) à la carte—a truly authentic carnitas experience.
New York City: The Acapulco Shrimp Tacos at Tacombi Café El Presidente
All the salsas and tortillas at Tacombi Café El Presidente are homemade and served fresh, thanks to an in-house tortillera. Everything’s good, but we especially adore the Acapulco shrimp tacos: They’re spicy and topped with just the right amount of crunchy red cabbage.
San Francisco: The 10-Taco Platter at Tacolicious
Tacolicious may have had humble beginnings—it started out as a taco stand—but the focus on local ingredients and nontraditional flavors have cemented its reputation as a must-visit for San Francisco taco aficionados. We highly recommend mixing and matching: the Baja-style Pacific cod taco with cabbage and cumin crema, the guajillo-chili-braised brisket taco, and the seasonal vegetable taco are all delicious. The real star of the show, though, is the stewy tacos de guisado-style, shot-and-a-beer braised chicken taco, made with (what else?!) beer and tequila.
San Francisco: The Burritos at El Metate
The Mission-style burritos at El Metate are renowned and deservedly so. Made from scratch, they’re simpler and more compact than most other American burritos, which gives them an admirable authenticity. Fans have called the food here “toe-curling” and “epic.” We agree.
Denver: The Smothered Pork Burrito at Illegal Pete’s
Pork, green chiles and cheese stuffed into a soft flour tortilla and topped with salsa and yet more cheese? Sounds simple enough, but at Illegal Pete’s, the result is a burrito that’s such a marvelous mess that it has to be put into a bowl. Yes, we prefer the pork, but you can order any of the huge handmade burritos served “smothered.” As well you should.