Rockaway Taco in New York
Andrew Field's dreamy beachside shack in the Rockaways turns out an exquisite fish taco ($3) made with fried-to-order tilapia, shredded cabbage, radish and cilantro. Fresh juice and waves — what more do you need?
Guisados in Los Angeles
No list of the best tacos in L.A. is complete without a mention of this burgeoning mini-empire (its new Downtown location is slated to open in this summer). The namesake braised meats are served on handmade tortillas ($2.50). Order the sampler ($6.50) and rest easy knowing you didn't miss a thing.
Birrieria Zaragoza in Chicago
Based on a century-old recipe, the Birria Tatemada taco ($2.75) showcases steamed and roasted goat meat rubbed with an ancho chile-based red mole sauce, served on a house-made corn tortilla and topped with fresh accouterments, like onions, roasted chiles and cilantro.
La Taqueria in San Francisco
The tacos ($3.75 each) at La Taqueria are a study of meat-and-tortilla perfection (the nontraditional addition of beans works, too). Just say yes to the fatty, crisp-edged carnitas — the pork is cooked in a bubbling vat of lard, the smell of which will haunt your dreams for weeks to come.
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Cheen Huaye in Miami
As the name implies — it means "only here" in Mayan — Cheen is one of few places in Miami to find Yucatan-style tacos arrachera: flour tortillas stuffed with grilled carne asada, onions, and queso fundido ($14.95).
Veracruz All Natural in Austin, TX
This ramshackle food truck is famous for turning out one of Austin's most sacred dishes: migas breakfast tacos ($2.50). The filling is an ingenious scramble of eggs, broken tortilla chips, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and a melty mountain of Jack cheese — all wrapped in a thick, tender corn tortilla.
Angela's Cafe in Boston
This no-frills, family-owned Pueblan restaurant in East Boston has a way with sauces. See for yourself with the fragrant adobo-marinated pork in the tacos arabe ($4) — the meat is shredded and wrapped with onions in a chewy flour tortilla.
Uno Mas in Portland, OR
Don't let Uno Mas's diminutive stature fool you. This tiny stand still manages to serve 20-odd different tacos ($2 to $3.75), and they're petite enough to try several. We like the ultra-tender braised beef baracoa and the crispy surtido (shredded mixed meats).
Next: Country's Best Fried Chicken
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