Why limit yourself to Taco Tuesday when you can binge on tortilla-wrapped goodness all week? Prepare for the big Cinco de Mayo fiesta, the Taco Takeover and the 3rd Annual Pittsburgh Taco Festival on June 1 by visiting these eateries. Some are new, some tried and true, and all will leave you muy contento.
Condado Tacos, Downtown and Lawrenceville
With colorful murals by local artists on the walls, every Condado location is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. The brand began in Columbus, Ohio and quickly spread east with its build-your-own taco concept. Customers choose from a range of ingredients all the way down to the shell (try wrapping a spicy, hard corn shell in a soft flour tortilla!). There are also plenty of options for vegans, vegetarians and gluten-sensitive compadres.
Lowkey Taco, Robinson
The former Stout Pub & Kitchen recently reopened as a taco joint with indoor and outdoor seating. Nosh on housemade chips and dip, then ask your server about the Taco of the Day. Past standouts include The Johnny Drama (brisket, slaw, pineapple salsa, pickled red onions and pineapple ancho barbecue sauce) and the Shrimp’n Ain’t Eazy (Acapulco ceviche shrimp, mild pico, pickled red onions and crema).
Taco Diablo, Mt. Lebanon
Don’t let the name fool you. Taco Diablo is heaven for foodies. The Iovino family serves soft corn tortillas filled with everything from steak and chicken to cauliflower to cod. Go hog wild and try one with pork, avocado, chiopotle salsa, cucumber crema and cilantro.
202 Hometown Tacos, Bellevue
Bellevue now has its own taco place and namesake menu item. The Bellevue Bowl is a heaping helping of slow-smoked pulled pork, ancho chicken, shrimp, white cilantro lime rice, carmelized onions, Mexican street corn, queso fresco, onion straws and avocado aioli. The little town never tasted so good.
Edgar’s Best Tacos, Strip District
Edgar Alvarez is a Strip District fixture. For decades he’s served tacos with a side of hospitality. His family-run taqueria boasts five homemade sauces and more than 10 different tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos and other Mexican favorites. Not content with just one taco? Book Edgar’s food truck to cater your next event.
El Burro Comedor, North Side and Regent Square
Spice up your morning by ordering an El Burro breakfast burrito (egg, fries, cheese and pico), then come back for lunch and dinner to fill up on a Flying Saucer Taco Salad or rolled tacos made with shredded beef, chicken or potatoes topped with avocado, salsa, pico and cheese.
This hip Penn Avenue spot offers Mexican street fare that you can wash down with more than 100 varieties of tequila. The tortillas are made in-house and are packed with flavorful ingredients. The Hongos features portobello mushrooms, peppers, buttermilk kale slaw and cotija cheese. Add some pickled jalapenos and habanero hot salsa to make your eyes water from happiness and heat.
PGH Taco Truck, Multiple locations
This rolling restaurant has been named Pittsburgh’s best food truck seis years in a row! You’ll often find it at breweries and coffee shops so you can get your fave drink before you spice it up with a jerk chicken taco and a side of bacon cheddar nachos with diced jalapenos. Looking for healthy options? PGH Taco Truck has you covered: Order the vegan black bean and tofu taco with organic greens and guac.
Mad Mex, Multiple locations
big Burrito Restaurant Group knows a thing or two about tacos. For more than 25 years, Mad Mex has fed “funky fresh Cal-Mex” cuisine to the masses. The chain has nine eateries throughout Pittsburgh and you can turn your own casa into a satellite location by hiring the crew to cater your next fiesta. The DIY taco bar includes two proteins, crispy and soft tacos, shredded cheese and lettuce, sour cream, tortilla chips, housemade salsa, sour cream, guacamole, Mexican rice and black beans.
Smoke BBQ Taqueria, Lawrenceville
Hit the ATM before visiting this cash-only establishment; you may want everything on the menu. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to snag limited edition Burnt Ends, buttermilk flour tortillas loaded with Wagyu beef brisket burnt ends, smoked onions, roasted poblanos, cilantro and coffee barbecue sauce.
Baby Loves Tacos, Bloomfield
Oh, baby. The tacos at this place are good, but so is the sustainability message. Seasonal produce is sourced from the Bloomfield Farmers Market and local growers. All the salsas, slaws and pickled veggies are made in-house. Belly up to the Taco Bar and get three tacos along with pico, hot salsa, cheese, sour cream, lime and herbs, all for just $10.
And coming soon …
T and T Cantina, Mt. Washington
Get a grande view of the city while enjoying tacos and tequila. Coughlin’s Law Kitchen & Ale House will host this summertime pop-up starting May 5. The city’s only outdoor cantina will serve seasonal street fare, 40 different tequilas and craft cocktails.
Did we mention your favorite? (We know täkō gets lots of love, as does La Palapa.) Let us know in the comments below, on Facebook or by email.