Published on April 14, 2016

10 Reasons Why We Love Tacos

From authentic Mexican holes-in-the-wall to NY Times Critics’ Picks, tacos have skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years, securing their own weekly holiday hashtag — #TacoTuesday — and a coveted spot on restaurant menus across the country. The traditional Mexican dish takes a prepared filling — spit-roasted, fried or braised meats, seafood and vegetables are common — and wraps it up in a corn or flour tortilla. A classic street food, tacos are generally small and made to eat without utensils, making for the perfect hand-held bite. If that’s not enough, here are 10 more reasons to go locos for tacos:

1. They're great to wake up to. Tacos make a very tasty breakfast.

Who doesn't love fluffy scrambled eggs and sausage-filled tacos in the morning? Nowadays you can find tortilla-wrapped versions of all your favorite breakfast sandwiches.

Boston - The Sinclair Photo provided by The Sinclair.

At The Sinclair in Boston, Breakfast Tacos are prepared with eggs, peppers, bacon, tomatoes, avocado, cheese and a side of home fries for brunch goers.

2. They're also fabulous at dinner.

A delectable, filling dinner time entree, tacos pair well with chips and salsa or a delicious side of rice and beans.

BONDST Photo provided by BONDST.

Cropping up at restaurants of all cuisine types, the tacos at BONDST in New York come with a Japanese spin. In the Red Snapper version, yuzu avocado espuma (puree) and mentaiko (roe of pollack and cod) comes together with sudachi (lime-like Japanese citrus fruit) vinaigrette.

NYC - Empellon Taqueria Photo provided by Empellón Taqueria.

One of many mouthwatering selections, the Fish Tempura Tacos with cabbage and lime mayonnaise are a delightfully crunchy dinner choice at Empellón Taqueria in New York.

3. And when you're hankering for some late night grub, tacos are among the best options. 

Tacos combine juicy meats and oozy cheeses, things you’re bound to crave after a couple of drinks out on a weekend night. What’s better than these casual, inexpensive and yummy bites to satisfy your late-night munchies?

NYC - El Toro Blanco Photo provided by El Toro Blanco.

Offering a great house taco selection, El Toro Blanco in New York serves an Escuela Vieja ("old school" in Spanish) — seasoned ground beef, shredded lettuce, cheddar cheese, pico de gallo (a fresh uncooked salsa), crema (Mexican sour cream) and a crispy taco shell — until midnight for late-night guests.

Lolita Cocina and Tequila Bar Photo provided by Lolita Cocina and Tequila Bar.

While enjoying margaritas and the fun vibe, guests at Lolita Cocina and Tequila Bar in Boston can whet their appetites with its dynamic taco selection — garlic grilled steak, roasted mushroom and fried chicken are some of the fillings — offered on the late-night menu until 1AM.

4. Whether you're an avid carnivore or a vegetarian, you'll find a variation that's perfect for you.

While we appreciate a classic taco, we can’t help but get excited over the infinite, creative customizations of tacos these days. From beer-battered fish and chile-rubbed pork belly to maitake mushrooms and squash blossoms, whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan, meat lover or gluten-free (using lettuce wraps rather than tortillas), your only issue with tacos will be deciding which ones to order.

NYC - ABC Cocina Photo provided by ABC Cocina.

There’s something for everyone on the Latin American fusion menu at ABC Cocina in New York, including savory glazed short rib tacos with habanero relish and frizzled onions, and sauteed mushroom tacos with cashew, kale and lime.

Boston - Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar Photo provided by Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar.

No matter what you’re craving, you’re sure to find it among the Baja Mexican-style taco options at Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar in Boston — featuring a diverse assortment like fried zucchini with smoked tomatillo salsa, curtido (cabbage salad), Manchego cheese and pickled red onion, as well as blackened swordfish with avocado, grilled mango and salsa verde.

5. There's generally more than one to go around. 

Quantity does matter to a ravenous diner and with tacos, you’ll usually get more than one. Tacos are often delivered with two or more to an order or as bite-sized appetizers to share with the table at the beginning of a meal.

Boston - Troquet Photo provided by Troquet.

An upscale, French-inspired New American restaurant, Troquet in Boston sometimes incorporates bite-sized tacos on its five- and seven-course Chef’s Tasting menus.

SF - La Urbana Photo provided by La Urbana.

At the heart of the menu at La Urbana in San Francisco is its taco selection — offered regularly at brunch and dinner with plenty of all-day specials on Taco Tuesdays — that are served on flour, house-ground blue corn or crisp tortillas.

6. The awesome sauces they come with could go on literally everything. 

Guacamole, salsa and sour cream are common garnishes. The creamy texture of our favorite avocado-based dip sings in harmony with the taco’s crunchy shell and frizzled onions topping. If you want a hot kick, drizzling spicy salsa on top will do the trick. Or you can opt for all three because who doesn’t love that trifecta?

DC - Oyamel Cocina Mexicana Photo provided by Oyamel Cocina Mexicana. Photo by Powers & Crewe.

For guacamole and salsa aficionados, Oyamel Cocina Mexicana in Washington D.C. serves a variety of authentic Mexican tacos in hand-made corn tortillas with garnishes that add a zesty punch, including salsa verde and braised, roasted and grilled brisket, as well as guacamole with grilled marinated chicken thigh and grilled green onion.

7. They can be served as a light, refreshing dish.

You don’t have to steer clear of tacos even if it’s beach season. Avoiding carbs? Wraps made from lettuce or other vegetables are for you. On a fish-focused diet? Grilled shrimp, octopus and mahi-mahi are popular protein options. Staying away from creamy sauces? Top it off with pico de gallo instead or a refreshing fruit-based salsa.

LA - FOH Photo provided by FOH.

A healthy lunch alternative, the Seafood Tacos at FOH in Los Angeles are prepared with tempura fried cod or shrimp in a jicama (low-calorie vegetable root) wrap and can be topped with dips like pico de gallo or guacamole.

NYC - The Bar Room Photo provided by The Bar Room.

A spicy snack perfect for sharing or devouring on your own, the Shrimp Tacos at The Bar Room in New York are topped with chili-jalapeño glaze and a healthy zucchini slaw.

8. And they're also a hearty dish to cozy up to on chillier days.

#TacoTuesdays exist for good reason — who doesn’t find comfort in a couple of heavily stuffed tacos after a long start to the week?

LA - Cerveteca Photo provided by Cerveteca.

The Tacos de Barbacoa with braised shredded beef, guajillo (a type of chili pepper), cilantro, red onion and Mama’s Salsa at Cerveteca in Los Angeles are a great example of filling bites.

9. They're often paired with great drinks. 

Three of the most beloved beverage options, margaritas, sangria and mojitos, go hand-in-hand with the Mexican fare. Squeeze a lime onto your tacos and into your drink for some citrusy tang.

LA - Red O Photo provided by Red O.

If you’re looking for a power lunch, head to Red O in LA for Fish of the Day Tacos to wash down with a Coco-Jito — a variation of a mojito made with Cruzan‎ coconut rum, fresh mint, fresh lime, simple syrup and a splash of soda water — or one of five house margarita selections.

SF - Hecho Photo provided by Hecho.

Pair a couple of Baja Fish Tacos — fried market fish, citrus-jicama slaw, habanero, avocado and flour tortillas — with a Pinche Picante Margarita comprised of jalapeño-infused Pueblo Viejo Blanco tequila, Aperol (an Italian aperitif), fresh lime, agave and Hellfire Shrub bitters at Hecho in San Francisco.

10. No two tacos are the same.

There are infinite ways to customize tacos — they come in all shapes, sizes and makes. Do you like a classic hard yellow shell stuffed with meat, shredded lettuce, cheese and sour cream? How about a fresh fish filet in a soft corn tortilla with cabbage slaw or mango salsa? No matter how many tacos you eat, you’ll be delighted by the variations from menu to menu.

LA - Petty Cash Taqueria Photo provided by Petty Cash Taqueria.

Petty Cash Taqueria in Los Angeles which dishes out a variety of tacos — grilled maitake mushrooms on blue corn tortillas, charcoal grilled octopus with Jack cheese, adobo-chile rubbed pork shoulder with pineapple and many more — that are sure to excite.

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