The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Tacos

Categories: Best of Houston

WileyTaco.jpg
Photo by Kevin Rigdon
Even Houston street art can't help but feel the influence of the taco truck

Picking the ten best tacos in Houston is something akin to picking the most beautiful women in Texas. There are far too many options to do any justice by limiting the list to just ten.

Instead of trying to pack the list with an arbitrary top ten, I spent the past three weeks pilfering other taco lists, talking to Houston's taco experts, driving the streets of Houston and generally gorging myself on tacos all over town in an effort to bring diversity and some sort of dignity to what may be Houston's most impossible list.

Another problem I found building this list for Eating...Our Words is that despite staying stationary a lot of the time -- some for upwards of years -- taco trucks are still mobile food units. Trucks I wanted to visit for this list -- like La Chona on the Northwest side and Tacambaro at Canino Farmers Market -- were nowhere to be found.

What follows are the very best taco varieties -- yes, I tried almost every version at each stop -- at some of Houston's very best taco trucks and taco stands.

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Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
10. Taqueria Taconmadre
905 Edgebrook

The big green bus still serves a gigantic menu of favorites -- their burritos made our Top 10 Food Truck Items last year -- but my pick is their small taco stand down on Edgebrook. The fajita gringa taco is the way to go but the traditional tacos are exceptional as well.

tacoketo.jpg
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt
9. Taco Keto
1401 Cullen at Clay

Squatting in the parking lot of an auto repair shop across from the Kroger on Cullen, Tacoketo splatters its tacos --and its gorditas -- in bright red salsa before tossing the tortillas on the griddle. The result is a crispy spicy mess of a taco that is one of my very favorites in Houston. Go with the deshebrada, the shredded roast beef debris is juicy and meaty and pairs well with the crispy tortillas.

taqueriamora.jpg
Photo by Joshua Justice
8. Taqueria Mora
Irvington at Collingsworth

I'm a sucker for grilled onions on a taco. Taqueria Mora tosses its fajita meat on the griddle with plump onions for a taco that fans of fajita served on sizzling comals will be sure to appreciate. This new truck has been up and running for less than four months but it can hang with even the most established taco slingers in the city.

7. Dona Maria
2601 Navigation

My go-to hangover cure is this small mom-and-pop shop just down the street from my house on Navigation, which is run by a retired Houston firefighter and his family. Since it's open for breakfast and lunch only, get here early if you want a table during the weekend morning rush. The flour tortillas here are outstanding and I am partial to the chorizo even outside of its typical breakfast taco setting.

Location Info

El Ultimo Taco Truck

SW Corner of Long Point and Antoine Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Gerardo's Drive-In Grocery

609 Patton St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Tacos Tierra Caliente

1919 W. Alabama, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Taqueria La Macro

1822 N. Main St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Taqueria Taconmadre

905 Edgebrook Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Karanchos

620 Sheldon, Channelview, TX

Category: Restaurant

Tacos Leticia

2520 Airline, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Taqueria Mora

, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


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31 comments
Mai Pham
Mai Pham topcommenter

Who wants to do a taco crawl? I would love to visit these places and compare our experiences with Josh's. The only taco truck I've been to on this list is Tacos Tierra Caliente, so I have a lot of eating to do. 

Josh -- you missed Tacos Mayra at Beechnut near Beltway 8, in the lot next to the HEB with the Washateria. Their pastor, chicharron, lengua, and barbacoa are all stellar. I have yet to find a chicharron I like better, and the pastor comes out crispy and spicy, and full of sabor -- muy muy rico, mi amigo. I order on flour (blasphemous, i know), with everything on it (grilled onions and cilantro), and top it with some salsa verde. They grill everything for you when you order the taco, so it's piping hot and full of flavor.

"My name is Mai Pham. You didn't name my taco truck. Prepare to die!" 


Carlitos Way
Carlitos Way

No way there are 10 places in this town that have better tacos than Taqueria Laredo.

Caroline Evans
Caroline Evans

Onions, cilantro and lime, then I dip it in salsa verde. YUM.

mittydarjeeling
mittydarjeeling

My Table Magazine just did this same cover story. Copycats!

ljwiley
ljwiley

Thanks. That is all. 

actually, whoever hhhhhasnojoyinlife is: let people have fun.  There's not enough fun in this world.  THAT is really all.

Thanks again.

Paula Murphy
Paula Murphy

Have you ever had the tacos from the taco truck parked at Home Dept on 610/Pin Oak? Really great tacos!!

Louis Puente
Louis Puente

I'd add Tacos La Bala and Tacos del Julio.

hhhhhhh
hhhhhhh

Let me say up-front, I think Joshua Justice sucks balls; that said, this is a great post about authentic food trucks that have roamed our city for decades and will be around – in one form or another – for decades to come. Dickhead's Burger Jalopy, the Fatass Boyze and all of the other idiots serving mac n' cheese egg rolls will be distant memories while these old school taco trucks keep rollin' on chrome.

LosNix
LosNix

Say what you will about this list- I just absolutely and sincerely love that all of these trucks are about to receive a well-deserved spike in their business.

Craigley
Craigley

Look I used to eat at these trucks in Big D, way back in the 90s.

But all the pics of food here look like low grade dog food.

TimP
TimP

I don't have the knowledge to second guess any of the choices here, but would just throw out the name of Taqueria Don Tin #3 on Shephard and 23rd near the Fiesta.  Two bucks plus tip gets you two awesome tacos, some good bean and rilled onions and peppers.  Hard to beat that for lunch.

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

Finally some credit where due for our city's awesome food trucks that don't necessarily have social media accounts or fusion menus. This list looks great, and reminds me of a few I've been meaning to try.

eudemonist
eudemonist

Carnitas @ Tacos El Palomo, between Mango's and Avant Garden, are _mighty_ good.

ribstacoburger
ribstacoburger

Overall, this is a pretty agreeable list, but with one exception: Taconazo.  I think the carne asada here outpaces all others in Houston.  Simply perfect.  

ragazzo_texano
ragazzo_texano

Robbed!!!!!  I can't believe you made it to Canino's and DIDN'T pick Taqueria Tacambaro.  By far the best tacos in the city.  And the gorditas are absolutely heavenly.   When I visit home from Michigan from graduate school (Note:  State with the.  Worst.  Tacos.  Ever.) Tacambaro is one of my first stops when I get inside the loop.  This other homesick Texan can't wait to move back home next year so Maria Rojas and her husband can load me up with the food I dream about up here in the barren north. 

someonex
someonex

I do not like how much you write in first person.  It feels lazy and self-important.

WestSideBob
WestSideBob topcommenter

Thanks Josh.  I've now got seven new taco joints to add to my "gotta eat there" list.  And I'm now extremely hungry with no chance to eat 'till noon.  I've got to stop reading these reviews before lunch.

Bruce_Are
Bruce_Are topcommenter

My name is Inigo Montoya. I like the Crunchy taco at Taco Bell.  Prepare to die.

Did I do that right? Anyway, the crunchy tacos at TB don't belong on this list but they still have their place.

Craigley
Craigley

@hhhhhhh - This is the post of the year.  The mac n' cheese egg rolls Truck remind me of ugly hipsters on old junk Schwinn single speed bikes.

J.A.Justice
J.A.Justice

@Craigley In shocking news, someone from Dallas has no idea what the fuck they are talking about.

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

@Craigley I wasn't aware any of these trucks have franchises in Dallas, but as to the quality, you couldn't be more wrong.

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

@TimP Ahh, thanks for reminding me of another I need to try. Hubcap Ricky has many good things to say about Don Tin.

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

@ribstacoburger I love the lengua at Taconazo. Maybe my favorite lengua taco in town.

J.A.Justice
J.A.Justice

@ribstacoburger I don't think Taconazo had Carne Asada when we were there the other day.  Apparently the quesadilla there is the best item on the menu. (every single customer while I was there ordered one)

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

@ragazzo_texano I've been hunting for Tacambaro for a few months now. Either I keep missing it at Canino's, or they've moved on. Any idea where they might be?

J.A.Justice
J.A.Justice

@ragazzo_texano"Trucks I wanted to visit for this list -- like La Chona on the Northwest side and Tacambaro at Canino Farmers Market..."

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

@someonex It's a hell of a lot better than using the Royal We.

lolwut
lolwut

@someonex Everyone on this blog writes in first person...

Mai Pham
Mai Pham topcommenter

@Bruce_Are Close but not quite. It goes something like this: "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my taco truck. Prepare to die!" 



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