Let’s not burrito-round the bush: it’s been a bad year. Why not treat yourself to some spicy comfort food? We’ve already highlighted a lot of spots around town that can satisfy your south-of-the-border cravings. Here are eight more joints that will cheer you up, if only for the time it takes to devour your meal. It’s always good to taco ‘bout your feelings.
Chicken Latino, 2100 Broadway Ave., Beechview
Chicken Latino recently flew it’s longtime Strip District coop to inhabit a bigger space in Beechview. While the spot is a go-to for authentic Peruvian eats, owner Shelbin Santos knows a thing or two about Mexican cuisine. Want to indulge? Order a giant crispy chicken burrito that’s deep-fried. Counting carbs? There’s a naked version that ditches the tortilla.
Lucha Street Tacos, 3181 Washington Pike, Bridgeville
If you’re wrestling with what to eat for dinner tonight, get in the ring with Lucha Street Tacos. Bulk up with a Ridicula Carnitas Taco with slow-cooked pork, house-pickled carrots, hurricanrana salsa, crispy jalapenos and Lucha slaw all drizzled with BBQ mustard sauce and queso blanco. For an extra two bucks, you can double the meat. Sign up for the eatery’s rewards program to start earning free tacos, which, as we all know, taste the best.
El Sabor Latin Kitchen on Penn, 4100 Penn Ave., Bloomfield
This slick new space on the corner of Penn Avenue and Main Street is a culinary crossroads. El Sabor, which means flavor, specializes in Mexican and South American dishes with an American twist. First, choose from pollo asado, carne asada, carnitas, grilled tilapia, grilled shrimp, tofu or chorizo. Then decide if you want it wrapped Pittsburgh-style in a flour tortilla with lettuce and cheese or the Tijuana-way on a corn tortilla with cilantro-lime cabbage and queso fresco.
Tocayo Taqueria & Tequila, 810 Ivy Street, Shadyside
Feast your eyes on this beautifully decorated Shadyside taqueria. Chef Fermin Acosta, who created the menu at TOTOPO in Mt. Lebanon, has put together another solid lineup of Mexican apps, entrees and desserts. Taco fillers include everything from chicken, carnitas and fish to cauliflower, beets and octopus. You get two of them in an order — feel free to mix and match — with a house salad or a cup of soup.
Baby Loves Tacos, 524 Grant Ave., Millvale and 4508 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield
Baby Loves Tacos now has two locations both with walk-up windows and a delivery service starting next week. If you’re near the new Millvale spot, check out the tac-and-guac-inspired crosswalk art on Grant Avenue. Owners Kat Muscianesi and Zack Shell also offer taco kits for at-home assembly. Order online at least two hours before you plan to feast.
BTOS Kitchen, 3001 West Liberty Ave., Dormont
New menu, new management, new paint job, same space. A longtime fixture on West Liberty Avenue, Mexi-Casa is now BTOS Kitchen. You’ll find old favorites, mixed with new offerings, including the site’s namesake tacos served with onion, cilantro, lime, avocado salsa and one side dish. Meat lover? Go with the Alambre, two gut-busting tacos loaded with steak, chicken, sausage, poblano pepper, grilled pineapple and Oaxaca cheese. The eatery also upgraded its draft beer system and now offers frozen margaritas, which you can sip on their back patio.
Nauti Taco, 541-545 Beaver Street, Sewickley
This new fast-casual taqueria (brought to you by the folks behind The Slippery Mermaid sushi bar) specializes in beach-inspired eats. Take your tastebuds on vacation with Cabo Fish tacos featuring beer-battered cod, pickled veggies and smoky homemade Morita mayo — or the Florida Shrimp with shrimp tempura, avocado smash, tropical slaw, sweet-heat cream and toasted coconut. The patio is the perfect spot for drinking a Nauti Margarita in the sunshine.
OPENING SOON: Gordo’s Tacos & Tequila, 131 Shiloh Street, Mt. Washington
There’s big news on the local taco front. Gordo’s, a two-story bar and restaurant, is slated to open in Mt. Washington in November. They will serve Mexico City-style street food with an emphasis on braised and smoked meats and scratch-made corn and flour tortillas. Folks got a taste of Gordo’s goods when owner Brian Gorder opened a pop-up taco shop on Beverly Road in Mt. Lebanon. He’s excited to sling tacos in his own kitchen.