I have spent five years living in this incredible city and searching for the best tacos in Mexico City. It has been a long and difficult task, but one that I took seriously.
Mexico City is arguably home to the best tacos in Mexico (mostly argued by me and all chilangos). Whether that is true or not, it is home to some seriously great food and if you want to experience some of the best the country has to offer, you should definitely consider a few days in this incredible city.
Mexico City’s best tacos are often found in neighborhoods you probably won’t be staying in for long. If you are planning your trip around Condesa, Roma, and the Centro Historico, check out the tacos on this list.
However, if you’ve been to the city before or you are willing to travel on metros and Ubers to get to the best tacos in Mexico City, then this list is for you.
That’s not to say that some of the best Mexico City taquerias aren’t also found in the central city neighborhoods. This list covers them all.
If you need a quick lesson on the different types of tacos you’ll find in Mexico City, head over to this article to brush up on your menu options.
The Best Tacos in Mexico City
I have linked to the Google location for each of these taquerias in Mexico City so that you can pin them to your personal Google Maps app and find them when you are exploring the city.
1. Ricos Tacos Toluca
These are the tacos I go to first when I land back in Mexico City, these are the ones I take every single visitor to Mexico City.
Ricos Tacos Toluca has a few options, but one of the things you cannot miss is the very thing from which they take their name, the green chorizo tacos of Toluca (a city in nearby Mexico State).
Green chorizo is made with poblano peppers, cilantro, tomatillos (green tomatoes), and pork. It is spiced to perfection and served in a fresh corn tortilla with onions and, if you so choose, a few freshly fried French fries.
I also highly recommend trying their cecina (lightly cured beef) as well as their regular chorizo (which is the red chorizo you’ll see in other parts of Mexico).
They have a nice selection of salsas and the staff couldn’t be nicer. If you are sticking around Mexico City for a while, you can also order their chorizo uncooked and take it home to have throughout the week.
2. Tacos Los Güeros
Calle Lorenzo Boturini is a street that was made famous by the Netflix show Taco Chronicles. In the pastor episode, they go to a street where there are tons of pastor restaurants with lines out the door. One of the best on the block is Tacos Los Gueros.
It’s close to the airport so makes it a great place to stop as soon as you arrive or make it your last taco before saying goodbye.
If you have never had pastor tacos before, well this is as good a place as any to have your first. Pastor tacos are usually cooked on a spit much like shawarma. This style of taco originated from Lebanese immigrants to the city who brought their food culture with them.
The meat is always pork here in Mexico, despite sometimes being made with beef north of the border.
The pork is thinly sliced and seasoned with achiote paste, paprika, cumin, and, depending on the restaurant, lots of other unique ingredients.
The thin slices of pork are then layered on top of each other on a long metal spit and then usually cooked in front of a charcoal flame. The taquero slices the cooked me off onto your tortilla and adds a slice of pineapple (or not, the tradition of pineapple is a hotly debated topic amongst people from Mexico City).
Tacos Los Gueros has been serving up pastor tacos on Lorenzo Boturini since 1972 and promises that they make the best on the street. In addition to the pastor, the suadero tacos shouldn’t be missed here. Suadero is a slow-cooked beef taco that melts in your mouth and should be served with a nice spicy salsa.
3. Los Cocuyos
Speaking of suadero tacos, those that want to have the best suadero tacos in Mexico City should wait in line at this 24-hour spot. The suadero here is cooking around the clock, making it one of the butteriest, most tender pieces of beef you may ever have in your life.
It’s like it’s been confiting in the fat of every meat at the restaurant for hours (probably because it has).
As well as suadero, this taco spot is best know for its cabeza tacos. Cabeza means head in spanish and when you see cabeza tacos around Mexico, you can usually assume they mean cow head.
If they have cow head, then that means they will have cow tongue, cheek (especially delicious), eyes, and ears. You can order each of these tacos individually (the tongue is an absolute delicacy and so tender), or you can order a cabeza taco which will be a nice mixture of everything they can grab.
Here’s the vocabulary you’ll want to know so that you can order the right thing (or avoid ordering the wrong thing):
- Lengua = tongue
- Ojos = eyes
- Orejas = ears
- Mejilla = cheek
- Sesos = brains
- Molleja = sweetbreads
4. El Huequito
El Huequito is one of the oldest and most famous taquerias in Mexico City.
They claim to be the inventors of the pastor taco (so do one of the other places on this list!). Whether they are or not is of little importance. The fact of the matter is their pastor tacos are delectable.
El Huequito does not use pineapple in their pastor tacos. They slice the meat, add the salsa on your behalf, and then roll up the tacos and serve it with a slice of lime.
These tacos are quite small, so perfect if you are planning to do a bit of a taco tour while you are in Mexico City (I recommend checking out the food tours of Devoured and Mexico Underground). However, if this is where you want to have lunch, you’ll need a fair few of them.
There are two locations in the Centro Historico. The original is a little hole-in-the-wall spot with a few tables to stand at outside. This is where to come if you want to try the traditional taco.
The second location is a restaurant with plenty of indoor seating. They have their famous tacos, but you can also try a few other dishes. One of the most popular taco restaurant plates to order is something called alambre.
An Alambre is a plate of (usually) pastor meat that has been cooked up with bacon, onions, and green bell peppers. It’s served with a pile of hot tortillas so that you can make your own tacos.
You can have an alambre with any other meats that is on offer, but if you are coming to El Huequito, be sure to have it with their pastor meat.
5. La Tonina
Much like its neighbor to the north, Mexico is a huge country where you will find completely different dishes depending on the region you visit. Lucky for all visitors to Mexico City, this city of over 20 million people is home to Mexicans from all over the country.
La Tonina specializes in food from Northern Mexico, specifically the states of Sinaloa, Nuevo Leon, and Sonora. They make fresh flour tortillas which are unusual in this region of Mexico where corn tortillas usually reign supreme.
But these flour tortillas are heavenly and light and go perfectly with the selection of guisados or stews that they fill them with.
My personal favorites on the menu are the machaca (dried shredded beef), the tinga Norteña (chicken in a chipotle sauce), and the cochipecho which is a mixture of pork and beef in a red chili sauce.
6. Tacos Don Güero
I once took a food tour and the tour guide, a guy born and raised in Mexico City, said that “a good taco can be ruined by a bad salsa and a bad taco can be saved by a good salsa.”
Basically, the salsa is perhaps even more important than the taco filling.
I have had a lot of salsas at taquerias around Mexico and while I know the tacos at this spot in Mexico City’s Cuauhtemoc neighborhood are excellent, it’s the salsa that I think about most, that draws me back here again and again.
The salsa is homemade around the clock. They blister the tomatoes, onions, and chiles on the same flat-topped grille where they grill up their meats. They let the tomatoes get so soft, the chiles so blackened, that they can chop up the salsa with the spatula. It’s scraped into a metal bowl and you can spoon it onto your tacos while it’s still hot.
All of the tacos are good here, but some of my favorites are their pastor, the suadero, and the longaniza (kind of like chorizo but less cured).
Location on Google (note the hours on Google are not accurate, they are open almost 24/7).
7. Exquisitos Tacos de Mixiotes
Mixiote tacos don’t often make headlines. I haven’t ever seen a mixiote taco outside of Mexico and indeed, very rarely have I seen it outside of Mexico City.
Pronounced like mee-chee-oh-tay, Mixiote comes from the Nahuatl language, the language of the Aztecs. The word refers to the parchment-like membrane of a maguey leaf. Maguey is a member of the agave family and is one of the most beloved plants in Mexico because it is also what you use to make tequila (and mezcal in general) as well as pulque and so many other products you find around Mexico.
The meat of choice is marinated, usually, in a combination of tomatoes, onions, guajillo chilis, lots of spices like cumin and paprika, and slow-cooked for hours inside of the mixiote.
This stall inside the park next to the Sumesa supermarket serves only two things, tacos de mixiote and consome, which is the broth that results from the slow cooking of the meat. They add onions, garbanzo beans, lime, and cilantro to this soup and it is the most comforting thing to wash down these spicy tacos.
Head to the man who is standing at the big silver pot and tell him how many tacos you want and as for a cup of consome (but come early because they sell out early!). You pay once you finish eating.
8. Tacos Nena
This little taco restaurant in Mexico City barbecues everything over an open flame. The smell of meat dripping over the grill will have your mouth watering before you’ve even turned the corner to Tacos Nena.
My personal favorite is the bistec which is thinly sliced pieces of beef that are flash grilled and served nice and juicy right into the tortilla. They also have costilla which is pork rib meat and chuleta which is thinly sliced pork chop. There is grilled chicken as well as chorizo on offer.
Everything here is grilled to perfection and at your table, you can choose from chopped onions, cilantro, nopales (cooked cactus), and a few different salsas for your toppings. I also recommend ordering a plate of cebollitas which are small onions that have been charred on the grill and go very well with their tacos.
9. Meche y Rafael
For a sampling of carnitas tacos, you’ll want to get yourself to Mercado Medellin. This bustling market is located in Roma Sur and has absolutely everything you could possibly want: fruits and vegetables, hot homemade tortillas, flowers, piñatas, freshly squeezed juice, and a ton of food stalls to choose from.
Go in search of Meche y Rafael, which started out as (and continues to be) a top-quality butcher inside the market. But they are perhaps far more famous for the meat that they cook, their slow-simmering carnitas.
Carnitas are growing in popularity around the US and Canada, so you may have seen them on the menu at a Mexican restaurant or taco stand back home. But this meat with melt-in-your-mouth. It is tender and juicy and be sure to ask for it with a piece of chicharron on top for an extra crunch.
10. Taqueria Los Parados
Locals line up around the block for these grilled meat tacos, their pastor, and their sirloin steak that is cooked “pastor style” on a rotisserie-spit which is called pastor arrachera on the menu.
Their pastor is so juicy, the meat drips as it spins around the flame, droplets sizzling on the flat-top grill beneath it. The costilla or pork rib tacos are also grilled up and served sliced and dripping with juices inside a slighted toasted tortilla.
The portions are bigger than you’ll find at most taco spots around Mexico City, so order a few at a time and then see if you’re still hungry. The setup is also slightly different here.
Head to the counter to order your tacos. Then they’ll give you a receipt. Then you have to take your receipt to the different taqueros – first, stop at the pastor taco guy and show him your receipt, then take it over to the barbecue if you’ve ordered any grilled meats.
Then, once you have all of your tacos, take them over to the salsa station where you can add one of their homemade sauces, some pickled red onions, some pico de gallo, or just a bit of cooling guacamole (just be sure to taste a little first to make sure there’s no chile in it!).
11. El Vilsito
Another of the most famous tacos in Mexico City thanks to the Taco Chronicles (if you haven’t seen this show on Netflix yet, be sure to watch it before your trip to Mexico City!).
This outrageously popular taco spot is a car garage by day. It’s a place where you can come and get your oil changed or your tires rotated.
Then when 7 pm hits, the doors to the garage slide closed, and the doors to the kitchen slide open. It is especially popular here on Friday and Saturday nights when people pour out of the bars and come to soak up their drinks with something greasy and delicious.
The taco everyone wants here is the pastor taco. Head up to any of the men slicing meat off of the giant trompos and ask for however many you’d like. These tacos are small, but you’ll want to save room for the neighboring taco spot (mentioned in #12), so stop yourself at three (four if you’re a big eater).
They also have a full menu of other taco options, so head to the bar if you want to see the menu and sample some of their other dishes, too.
12. Tacos Tony
A five-minute walk down the road from El Vilsito is a place that I actually prefer, Tacos Tony.
It doesn’t get the fan-fare that Vilsito gets, so you don’t have to wait in line, and the tacos are, in my humble taco-loving opinion, even better.
Tacos Tony is a true Mexico City-style taco stand with meat cooking away in a big metal pot, all mingling together, sharing their flavors and fat with each other.
One of the most popular options on the menu is their suadero. It is butter and tender here and goes perfectly with their spicy salsas and confited cebollitas.
They also have cabeza tacos here, chorizo, and costilla (ribs) sliced thickly and cooked to tender perfection.
13. El Turix
Probably the cheapest meal you can have in Polanco (and some might stay still the best) can be had at El Turix. While Polanco is home to some of the city’s and indeed the world’s best restaurants like Pujol and Quintonil, locals will still line up for cochinita pibil tacos (or kilo bags of the stuff to take home) on a Sunday morning.
Most of the best tacos in Mexico City come from places that only serve up one type of taco. For example, the mixiote place I mentioned above or Hidalguense, which we’ll talk about in #16.
When a taco spot focuses on one single thing to put inside that tortilla, you know it’s gotta be good, or they wouldn’t still be open.
Get in line at El Turix (there is ALWAYS a line) and when you get in front of the taquero, you have three options: tacos, tortas (a sandwich) or panuchos. Panuchos are tortillas that have been stuffed with refried beans and fried until they are slightly crispy.
I highly recommend having a few tacos and a panucho if you’ve never had one before. The tacos are filled with juicy pork meat and rolled up into a flute shape. There is only one salsa option, habanero.
It is incredibly spicy and should be used sparingly, but you should put a few drops to your taco, it adds so much flavor. A little squeeze of lime and many many napkins later, and you will have had one of the best tacos in Mexico City.
14. Super Tacos Chupacabras
For tacos in Mexico City that you won’t find anywhere else, pull up a stool at Super Tacos Chupacabras. They have a selection of unique taco fillings that you are unlikely to sample anywhere else in Mexico since they have pretty much made them up themselves.
The fillings are the sort of things you would probably have inside a tortilla if you went to someone’s house for dinner and their mother was cooking up a homecooked meal.
Of course, they have your normal fillings like cecina, bistec, chorizo, suadero, and pastor. However, the main reason to come here is for the chupacabra taco.
If you’ve never heard of a chupacabra, it’s something of a mythological character in Latin America that drinks the blood of other animals. You can read more about the story of chupacabras here.
This taco has nothing really to do with that mythical creature other than sharing a name. The taco is made of three different types of meat and 127 spices which make up their “secret recipe.”
After you order your taco you can choose from a huge selection of toppings including nopales (cactus), onions, mashed potato, beans, refried beans, pickled onions, and several different salsas.
15. Tacos Orinoco
Originally from the northern city of Monterrey, Tacos Orinoco has brought northern-style steak tacos to Mexico City with flare.
This is without a doubt one of the coolest places to hang out as the bars start to close around Roma Norte and Condesa. Most people head here for late-night tacos and just one more beer (although their fresh juices and iced teas are exceptional as well).
They have three meat options here, trompo (which is what they call pastor tacos in Monterrey), chicharron (fried pork skin), or res (beef). Three tacos is a good amount because they are quite large and they come with crushed potatoes, so you can try one of each.
Alternatively, if you know you want to have something delicious and packed with juicy grilled beef, I recommend trying the pirata. It’s sort of like a beef quesadilla, but so much better.
They have six housemade salsas that are already on the table and each one is slightly spicier than the one next to it with the creamy mayo and the guacamole being the mildest. The habanero is spectacularly delicious and spicy.
16. El Hidalguense
Even before it appeared on Taco Chronicles, this barbacoa taco spot was famous around Mexico. It’s a pilgrimage of sorts for Mexicans, especially people from Mexico City.
It’s only open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays and each day they have a certain amount of meat on offer. Once it sells out, well, there’s nothing else to eat here.
It’s sort of a brunch dish here in Mexico, so the restaurant will be busiest between about 10 am and 1 pm. I have come here at 3 pm and still had plenty of meat available, so you don’t have to worry too much about them running out. But don’t try to come for dinner.
Barbacoa literally is just the Spanish word for barbecue, but in Mexico, it refers to a specific dish. Barbacoa is a dish made of usually lamb or goat that has been slow-cooked overnight inside maguey leaves. Traditionally the dish is buried underground and cooked in a sort of earthen oven.
Tons of spices and dried chilis are added to give it flavor and when you order it at Hidalguense, you order by weight. 500 grams is a good amount for three or four people depending on how many tacos you plan to eat.
Each order comes with tortillas, salsas, onions, limes, nopales, and cilantro. You can also just get an “order” of tacos which comes with three, so if you are traveling solo, this is a better choice. But for two or more people, it ends up better value if you order 250 grams of meat to share.
17. Por Siempre Vegana
If you are vegan or vegetarian, but you still want to enjoy the street food and taco-flavors of Mexico’s most famous fillings, there is no better place than Por Siempre Vegana.
This started out as a simple street cart and became so popular across the city that they now have a restaurant located in Roma Sur, right around the corner from Mercado Medellin.
This is always where I take my vegetarian friends who are visiting the city and even though I’m not a vegetarian, I absolutely love their tacos. You could easily fool me that their “chorizo” tacos aren’t made with real meat.
They use mushrooms, seitan, tofu, beans, and soy-based meats to replicate the country’s most famous tacos including pastor, suadero, and chorizo.
18. El Borrego Viudo
The fastest service in Mexico City, this is something of a drive-through spot. My friend Drew made a video about it recently that you can watch here.
My first experience with this taco spot was with a Mexican friend after we went to the movies. We pulled up into a parking spot and she put her hazard lights on. Someone immediately came running over to the window to take our order.
They run back inside and then about a minute later, they are running back out to the car with your order including plates, drinks, napkins, and salsas.
I had the suadero and the pastor. Both of which were incredibly delicious. They also have cabeza tacos here that I’ve been told are excellent.
Since it’s mostly a place people drive to, they don’t serve alcohol. However, they do have a popular Mexican drink called tepache, which is fermented pineapple. It’s like a fresh pineapple juice with a little bit of fizz. It’s very refreshing and goes perfectly with a greasy taco.
If you don’t have a car, you can just get yourself here by metro, foot, or Uber and sit inside at one of their many tables. This is actually the best place to sit if you want to see the waiters at work here. It’s fascinating to watch them running back and forth to all of the cars and even over to your table.
19. Los Tres Reyes
If you find yourself in the Alfonso XIII neighborhood for some reason (that reason is probably tacos), then this is the best place in the area to stop for barbacoa.
This is best reached if you have rented a car and have been visiting the southern part of the city to go hiking in Los Dinamos or Bosque de Tlalpan.
This neighborhood is something of a haven for barbacoa restaurants, especially on the weekends. The stalls line the street near Walmart. Los Tres Reyes is only open on Friday through Monday, so you want to make sure you get here hungry and early before they sell out of their unctuous and meaty consome and of course the melt-in-your-mouth barbacoa.
20. El Pescadito
Mexico City may not have a coastline, but did you know that it is home to the second-largest fish market in the world after Tokyo?
That means quite a lot of seafood passes through the streets of this city and makes its way across the continent. A good portion of it stays here and gets covered in batter, fried, and put inside a tortilla for our enjoyment. How lucky are we?
El Pescadito is a chain around Mexico City and they serve up Baja-style tacos which are popular in the Baja Peninsula of Mexico. They are white fish that have been cut into small pieces and then coated in a light batter before being quickly fried to crispy perfection.
Served in a flour tortilla, you can then take them over to the “salad bar” just like in many taco spots in Cabo have, and fill your taco with salsas and salads.
The other type of taco that I highly recommend trying here is the marlin. It is smoked and shredded and served piping hot inside a flour tortilla and is one of the most delicious fish tacos in Mexico City. The shrimp tacos are also a nice option.
If you are traveling with some friends or family who don’t love fish, there are also cheese-stuffed peppers here which are coated in the same batter as the fish and go very well inside a tortilla topped with salsa.
There are tons of locations around Mexico City. Check their website for one near to your adventures.
21. Marisquería el K-Guamo
For a nice combination of fish tacos, ceviche, and other Mexican-style seafood dishes like aguachile, head to K-Guamo.
One of the things I love about the fish here is that it is grilled fresh to order on the barbecue, not deep fried and battered like at pescadito. They have fish, shrimp, octopus, and even fresh oysters.
In addition to having great fish tacos here, they also make great fish soups, seafood empanadas, and seafood cocktails, too.
22. Tacos el Güero
When someone asks me what the best pastor taco in Mexico City is, this is almost always the first place I think of.
This little taco spot is just off one of the city’s busiest roads and across the street from a supermarket. It doesn’t seem all that special when you go past it. It’s often not even that busy (except in the mornings and sometimes late at night).
The seasoning on the pastor meat here is simply perfection. It’s spicy, it’s juicy, it’s a little bit salty, and the meat is nice and fatty. They cook it on the flame so that the edges are a little bit crispy, but the rest of the meat is still tender.
They top it with a thin slice of pineapple and add the salsa for you, a nice chipotle-rich sauce that goes so well with the meat and pineapple.
They have other tacos here that are exceptional as well, especially the suadero, but the pastor is so good, I usually end up filling up on those before I remember to have a suadero.
23. Tacos Manolo
Like many restaurants around Mexico, the name of this restaurant is a popular one and you may see it around the city in your travels. However, the one I am referring to is located in the hipster Navarte neighborhood (not far from El Vilsito mentioned in #11).
This Mexico City taco spot is a great option after having a few craft beers at nearby Beer Bros or Hop the Beer Experience.
They have giant trompos of pastor meat spinning around the flame. They also have steak spinning on a spit which is a delicious option as well.
One of the main reasons to come here, though, is for the alambre Manolo. A combination of beef, onions, bell pepper, chili, bacon, and Worcestershire sauce, it may sound like a strange combination, but it goes so very well inside a piping hot corn tortilla.
24. El Charro Ugalde
The tortilla is just a vessel for some of the best-barbecued meat you’ll have in Mexico City.
The tacos aren’t cheap compared to others on this list (30 pesos each or roughly $1.50), but you get so much meat with each order, it’s actually incredible value for money.
The arrachera, which is skirt steak that is cooked until medium-rare, is heavenly. It’s charred on the grill, but remains so juicy and the meat here is always so well seasoned.
One of the things people line up for here is the bone marrow (called tuetano) that is grilled on the barbecue still inside the bone and then served just like that with a few tortillas.
I find this tastes best alongside a beef taco like the arrachera. You can put some of the bone marrow on the tortilla with the beef and then add some salsa and onions. My mouth is watering just picturing it again.
25. Birria Tacos (Corner of Balderas and Juarez)
Birria tacos are a popular option all over Mexico. If you get the chance to have it in Guadalajara, then you can probably skip it here.
However, if you are sticking around Mexico City and want to find the best birria tacos while you’re here, then get yourself to this little stall located on the corner of Balderas and Juarez streets in the Centro Historico.
It’s the one at the end of the row of street stalls, closest to the intersection on the same side of the street as Citibanamex.
They serve a few different tacos here including delicious pastor, but the reason to come to this stall is to have their birria tacos.
Birria is traditionally made with goat meat, and if you have it in Guadalajara, then that is likely what you will get. However, in Mexico City, it’s almost always made with beef, just like it is at this stall. They slow cook it until tender and serve it in a tortilla along with a cup of the tomato-ey consome.
26. Baltazar “Los Árabes de Mexico”
Just like pastor tacos, tacos Árabes come from the Lebanese and other Middle Eastern immigrants that settled in the central region of Mexico and melded their culture with the local culture.
There are a few arguments about where they originate from, but most agree they come from the neighboring city of Puebla. However, you will find plenty of great tacos Árabes here in Mexico City, with Baltazar coming out near the top.
It feels like an old school diner inside this place, much like many of the restaurants on this pedestrian street (I recommend having the turkey sandwiches and consome at La Rambla across the street as well).
The only meat on the menu is the Árabe meat. You can have it in a taco, inside a torta (a sandwich), or one of my personal favorites, on top of chilaquiles.
Chilaquiles are a breakfast food in Mexico made of yesterday’s tortillas that have been fried up to make chips and then topped with salsa, cheese, onions, cream, and meat.
It’s not exactly a breakfast that’s going to set you up for the day, but you will definitely enjoy it.
27. El Tizoncito
The other place in Mexico City that claims to be the original creator of the pastor taco, it’s good to compare El Huequito (#4) with El Tizoncito. Especially because they do use pineapple on their pastor tacos here as well as being one of the few remaining taquerias that cook the pastor over coal flames (al carbon) rather than a gas flame.
When you sit down here, they bring over freshly fried tortilla chips and several different salsas. I highly recommend sampling their refried beans on one of their chips while the beans are still warm. It is a heavenly combination that I almost always end up eating too much of and filling up before my tacos come. You’ve been warned.
The tacos here are small, but delicious. Watch the man at the pastor trompo work once you order. He slices the meat straight into the tortilla, reaches up to the pineapple and it arcs into your tortilla like the perfect throw.
They add the salsa for you, the classic chipotle salsa that goes so well with the pastor and they serve them on a piece of paper. You can keep ordering more tacos and they will add them to the same plate, pieces of paper piling up. That’s how they know how many you’ve had at the end of your meal.
Other Top Eats Around Mexico City
I have written for years about the best places to eat around Mexico City, so don’t miss out on those spots mentioned in the following articles.