It’s hard to plan a trip to Mexico without daydreaming about a few key things: warm beaches, cold drinks, and some seriously delicious tacos. The first two are relatively easy to find because hey, it’s Mexico! Tracking down truly authentic tacos, on the other hand, can take a bit of detective work. Luckily, we’ve got a solid team of employees who have conducted some not-so-official research over the years, and we’re happy to pass along their findings.
La Parrilla is a short cab ride into downtown Cancun and has all the traditional Mexican feel you could want with bold colors, fountains and its all-around hacienda vibes. It’s one of the oldest restaurants in town, and the atmosphere is casual and friendly. Not to mention, your experience comes complete with mariachi music.
What to order: Traditional tacos al pastor
Find it: Av Yaxchilán 51 Mz 23 Lt 51 Sm 22, Centro, 22, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
If you’re looking for outstanding fresh seafood tacos and you happen to be in Cozumel, this is the place to go. Whether you want to stay traditional with fish or shrimp as the main ingredient, or be more adventurous and try octopus or ray, you’ll find plenty of options – and they’re all fabulous.
What to order: Any of the fresh seafood tacos. We vote for being bold and ordering the octopus.
Find it: 40 Av. Nte 543, 10 de Abril, San Miguel de Cozumel, Q.R., Mexico
For the best tacos in Huatulco, head to Los Parados. Great prices, big portions, and lots of options are part of what makes this a popular spot. It can be busy, but it’s worth it, especially when serving up a healthy portion of the most amazing fresh, warm chips with several different dip options before your meal.
What to order: Fish tacos and all the freshly made warm tortilla chips you can eat
Find it: Carrizal 1002, H, 70987 Crucecita, Oax., Mexico
Tucked right along the bay in Zihuatanejo, this is not your ordinary taco joint. Angustina has a unique approach to its menu, featuring both traditional and non-traditional flavors of Mexico. The best part? It also distills its own mezcal and offers a full cocktail menu featuring signature drinks, mezcal infusions, and traditional mezcal served with orange slices and sal de gusano, or “agave worm salt,” to warm your soul.
What to order: Shrimp tacos and anything off the mezcal menu
Find it: Paseo del Pescador 70, Centro, 40890 Zihuatanejo, Gro., Mexico
Located in the heart of downtown Cabo San Lucas, and a short walk from the marina and nightlife, this is the perfect place to stop for a bite to eat before hitting the town. Better yet – dance up an appetite at one of the local nightclubs, and stop here to satisfy those late-night munchies. It’s open 24 hours, so any time can be taco time.
What to order: The al pastor with pineapple
Find it: Lázaro Cárdenas, Centro, Ildefonso Green, 23450 Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S., Mexico
Our vote for tacos in Manzanillo goes to Tacos la Sonrisa. It delivers the real deal when it comes to authenticity, and this spot is a favorite among repeat visitors. The atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming, especially if you opt to sit out and enjoy the sun (or sunset) at one of the sidewalk tables.
What to order: The special with carne asada
Find it: Océano Atlántico 788, Col del Mar, 28869 Manzanillo, Col., Mexico
For solid tacos of any flavor, Taqueria San Pablo is where you want to be when you’re in Mazatlan. The real secret, though, is the traditional queso. It’s the kind of queso locals recommend and the kind you’re not soon to forget. Besides, if this is the place that the Mazatlan Venados baseball team chooses to celebrate their victory at, it must be the best spot in town.
What to order: A locally brewed Pacifico, shrimp tacos (after all, Mazatlan is famous for its shrimp), and definitely all the queso
Find it: Avenida Rafael Buelna 203, Lomas de Mazatlán, 82110 Mazatlán, Sin., Mexico
We’re never shy about recommending Pepe’s, and for good reason. With a prime spot near the north end of the Malecon in downtown Puerto Vallarta, this is the place to enjoy traditional, mouthwatering tacos any time of day. Oh, and don’t forget the lime (for your taco and your beer)!
What to order: A cold cerveza and tacos al pastor
Find it: Honduras 145C, 5 de Diciembre, 48350 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico
Taylor is the partner and promotional Social Media Manager at Sun Country Airlines. What she loves most? Sun Country’s love of all things Minnesota and the airline’s focus on making everyone – from crew to passengers – feel right at home. If she were hopping on a flight tomorrow, she’d be headed west to Portland or south to Puerto Vallarta.