One of lunch, and life’s, great pleasures is the perfect flavor bomb that comes from a street taco. The term “street taco” usually means the taco is sold from the street: in a cart, truck, trailer or market stall.
However, it has also come to mean the type of taco you’re describing: Usually small, simple masterpieces of meat, cilantro, onion, corn shells, hot sauce, a lime wedge, and not much else. You eat one in two or three bites and then move on to another. And another.
Seattle’s South End is gloriously full of these tiny treats. Here are my five favorites.
(Without debating the definition of South End, I'm just going to define this list as anything south of the Central District.)
Taqueria La Fondita
If the sun’s out, you can definitely expect lines at this favorite White Center taco truck. The tacos are $1.30 for the perfect three-bite snack, and my mouth is watering just thinking about them. I recommend the carnitas tacos. The meat is juicy and flavorful, with just the right amount of crispy edges to keep you coming back for more and more and more and more…
Pro tip: They’re having a Customer Appreciation party on Christmas Eve from 11:00-4:00. FREE TACOS!!
Taqueria Los Guillenes
This unassuming market in Burien is hiding one of the best taco stands in the whole city. While carnitas is generally my go-to when it comes to street tacos, I have to admit the lengua (yes, tongue) is to die for. It’s so soft, juicy and packed with flavor you’ll be shocked you haven’t tried it before. I also recommend drizzling on their green hot sauce before sinking your teeth into that first bite.
Taqueria El Rinconsito
With several Western Washington locations, you should look for a Taqueria El Rinconsito the next time you’re in the mood for Mexican. This small chain started in 1997 after Lupe Guzmán, the owner of a popular lunch truck, asked Able Brambila to join him in starting a brick and mortar store in Kent.
While the tacos are absolutely delicious, I also love how family-friendly these restaurants are. I often take my 1-year-old daughter here for lunch. She lounges in her high-chair while we share 5 tacos for 9 bucks. Bonus: Each taco plate comes with a grilled onion and fried jalapeno!
Between strong margaritas and a very chill atmosphere, El Quetzal could lure me in for a date night even if the food was just okay. But, luckily, this Beacon Hill restaurant also has truly amazing street tacos. At only $1.65 each, this is one of my go-to places for some booze, free chips and salsa, and enough tacos to nearly knock me off my bar stool. And there’s also some good news for vegetarians: The cactus tacos are just as flavorful and delicious as any of the meat options!
Tucked into the back of a parking lot on Rainier Avenue, you could easily drive by this taco truck and never notice it. But don’t- or you’ll be missing out! At only $1.20 each, the tacos at El Asador are the cheapest around, and also some of the most delicious. I love the spike pork taco. It’s so spicy and perfect on it’s own, you won’t even need to add any hot sauce.