Did someone say tacos? Yeah we did!
Traditionally Pittsburgh is known as a sandwich eating kind of town. But now, tacos are taking over. These little hand-held vehicles of goodness are stealing the show – in the best possible way.
Need proof? When it comes to tacos, you name it and we’ve got it. There are taco food trucks, cantinas, taquerias and taco-only joints all over Pittsburgh serving their unique take on this classic Mexican dish. There are so many different takes on the taco that deciding where to eat can be a real chore.
But don’t overthink it. Do what any logical person would do. Try them all! Sure it will take some time, but we already did the hard part. We searched high and low, through tunnels and across bridges, to make sure you know exactly where to find the top taco spots in town.
With Andy Warhol-inspired vibes, tons of tacos and a tequila list you’ll want to write home about, Tres Rios caught our eye on instagram and we had to check it out for ourselves. People love their lamb tacos (look for them under barbacoa) and yucca fries. Tip: Order the Margarita flight.
This small, casual, hole-in-the-wall type taco joint screams authentic. With very limited sitting room, we suggest grabbing something to go (like the vegan chorizo burrito and some house-made hot sauce). El burro has two locations, one in the North Side on Federal Street and another on Braddock Street in Regent Square, and is a great spot to end your night before stumbling back to your apartment (trust).
(Temporarily closed for operating without a valid permit) Baby Loves Tacos is in their soft opening phase in Bloomfield (so don’t be alarmed if the sign out from says “Jims Wraps and Salads”), and is the community-centric, straight up Mexican taco spot we love. What started as a pop-up, you can expect the real deal here: double-corn tortillas, cilantro instead of shredded lettuce, salsa, and sour cream. Rumor has it they may even be planning a second location in Bellevue.
Local foodies have been loyal to Smoke BBQ Taqueria from the very beginning when they were located in Homestead, and have since made their Butler Street debut. From ah-mazing tacos like chicken and apple topped with house-made bacon, to Burger Tuesdays and an insane Sunday brunch, this place has versatility and an awesome drink menu. Tip: Bring cash!
PGH Taco Truck
Somehow PGH Taco Truck has managed to elevate Pittsburgh’s taco scene and food truck scene simultaneously. You can find this taco-slinging truck posted up outside some of the best coffee shops and breweries in town. Make sure you’re following them on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to stay up to date on their location and menu specials.
Round Corner Cantina
A few doors down from Smoke is where you’ll find Round Corner Cantina, promising fresh tortillas made in house daily. Fan favorites include the Pollo Pibil made with achiote-roasted chicken, avocado salsa and pickled onion. Going for the Papas Con Coliflor, combining avocado-salsa, poblano and cilantro, is always a good idea. Bonus: all tacos are half priced on Mondays!
Penn Avenue Fish Company
By now you should know that Penn Avenue Fish Company is your go-to source for fresh seafood in Pittsburgh. But you might have missed the boat on their best-in-town fish tacos. If you did, it’s time to get on board with their stellar seasoned swordfish, salmon, and tuna tacos, topped with cabbage, cilantro salsa and sriracha.
With two locations, Beechview and East Liberty, Casa Rasta is mashing up Mexican and Caribbean flavors. The menu is lined with a variety of beef, pork, chicken and veggie options. If you’re interested in taking your Casta Rasta experience to the next level, order the avocado fries with isleno dipping sauce. Share with a friend, or don’t. No judgement here.
The Strip District is the go-to spot for a variety of ethnic eats and a couple of the best taco spots in the ‘Burgh. Swing by Edgars Taco Stand for a chicken taco with your choice of salsa (try the salsa verde) and watermelon aqua fresca. These tacos are great for a quick grab and go lunch along with some super friendly service.
If eating on the go is not your thing, and you prefer a sit down dining experience, then head to Casa Reyna right around the corner from Edgar’s. The fresh tortillas come “right off the line and onto your plate.” The setup at Casa Reyna makes it a great place for a group of friends to hang out while sampling and sharing a variety of taco dishes.
You gotta love La Palapa’s simple approach to ordering. Just choose your base, filling, topping. and BAM, you’re done! If you’re looking to take the vegetarian route, La Palapa will whip you up a flour tortilla stuffed with spicy poblanos and potatoes, topped with fresh pico de gallo. Best of all, you can load up on La Palapa at two locations, an eat-in restaurant off of Carson Street in the South Side and a stand at the Pittsburgh Public Market in the Strip District.
Five bucks doesn’t get you much these days. But at Las Palmas for a mere $5, you get two tacos made of corn tortilla filled with the meat of your choice (or potatoes, if you’re vegetarian), and access to a toppings bar overflowing with fresh pico de gallo, cilantro, and salsas of all spice levels that you can pour on your taco creation.
L.A. Taco Truck
If you find yourself outside the city in, let’s say, Armstrong County, you have to hunt down the L.A. Taco Truck. They’re succeeding in bringing street eats and to-go tacos to a small towns like Kittanning and Sarver. Grab a corn or flour tortilla stuffed with steak, chorizo or chicken and be on the lookout for specialty tacos regularly added to the mix.
Tako is the work of the folks who brought us Meat and Potatoes and Butcher and the Rye, and it’s definitely lived up to the initial hype. You’ll want to make a reservation for this tucked-away, higher-end spot in the Cultural District, and prepare for a layout of options from traditional chorizo to Chef Specialties like fried octopus and roasted lamb.
Located in South Pointe, Los Chiludos is a small, fast casual-esque Mexican restaurant complete with a full service bar. Not widely known to most Pittsburghers north of Bridgeville, this spot is serving up some seriously authentic tacos and worth the trip on dahn the Parkway.
Last, but never least, we have the self-acclaimed “Godfather of burritos and tacos” (and big azz magaritas) in Pittsburgh. With six locations around the city there is a hangout for everyone. From Carnitas, to Barbacoa to fish and veggie, there is a taco for everyone too. And don’t forget to snag some chips, salsa and guac.[join]What do you think about these taco spots? Did we miss any? Let us know with a comment here on facebook. [button text=”Click Here to Leave a Comment” link=”https://www.facebook.com/madepgh/posts/865705340169743″ target=”blank” width=”full” color=”black” size=”small”][/join] This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.