There is much that can be said about the allure of the humble taco. Relatively cheap. Ubiquitous. Portable. Of endless variety. So satisfyingly delicious to almost every person’s palate that “Taco Tuesday” is a thing. To help you celebrate every week, here are 22 of the state’s best tacos to try in 2022.
280 Park Road, West Hartford
Fire, indeed! What started as a food truck now has a spot in food-friendly WeHa. Run by a couple originally from Mexico’s smallest state, Fuego serves traditional fare that is made from scratch. This includes the birria, or braised Angus beef, which takes ten hours to cook and for which Fuego is famous. Homemade tortillas are filled with beef, cheese, onions, and cilantro, then dipped in the fat from the braising liquid and grilled. They are served with consommé for dipping. MUST TRY: Birria Quesitacos. (If you haven’t had these yet, social media insists that you do. Honestly. Go now.)
Salsas 4 Taqueria
2434 Berlin Turnpike, Newington
Simple and unassuming, this spot is located in a strip mall on the Berlin Turnpike. Tacos here are soft corn tortillas topped with cilantro, onions, salsa, and guacamole, or can be upgraded to the “supreme” version, which adds lettuce, tomato, cheese, and sour cream, and can be crunchy or soft. Fillings come in “selected” (including chicken, portabellas, chorizo, tongue, barbacoa) or “premium” (red snapper, shrimp, ribeye). MUST TRY: Short rib taco with grilled cabbage.
El Pollo Guapo
1866 Berlin Turnpike, Wethersfield
26 Front Street, Hartford
347 New London Turnpike, Glastonbury
Billing themselves as a “neighborhood rotisserie joint,” El Pollo Guapo currently has three locations. Not surprisingly, all their tacos are made with chicken. They can be purchased individually or as two-taco combinations served with rice or another of their delightful “side chicks” for an additional charge. MUST TRY: Bahn mi (sweet chili chicken diced cucumber and jalapeno, pico, and cilantro) taco combination with a side of cucumber salad.
865 Main Street, South Glastonbury
This place, once barely known, seems to be on everyone’s radar these days. Although only a few tacos exist on the regular menu, creative specials are added regularly. As an added bonus, they carry more than 100 different tequilas/mezcals. But beware, they do not take reservations and wait times can feel as long as that liquor list. MUST TRY: Buttermilk fried chicken taco with bacon sautéed kale and maple peppercorn aioli.
ATC South Street
3 West Street, Litchfield
Associated with, but separate from, the popular restaurant @TheCorner, ATC South Street lures guests with its farm-to-table tacos made with fresh, local, seasonal ingredients. These tacos are as beautiful as they are inspired. MUST TRY: Japanese tuna taco with sesame-seared ahi, pickled carrot and seaweed slaw, sticky rice, kimchee aioli, and a nori wrap.
100 Allyn Street, Hartford
Agave is a long-running restaurant in downtown Hartford across from the XL Center. Their regular and specialty tacos are plated and served with a choice of refried or vegetarian black beans and rice. If you’re planning a Taco 2s-day party, they have taco kits available for purchase. MUST TRY: Agave Street Tacos made with blue corn tortillas, barbecue pulled pork, melted Chihuahua cheese, shredded cabbage, and pico de gallo.
3 Turkey Hills Road, East Granby
Breakfast, bakery, lunch, dinner, marketplace, this place has it all, including tacos. In this case, you’re in charge, using their choose-your-own menu categories: hard or soft corn taco, protein, cheese, and finish (up to four). So many possibilities! Three tacos come in each order. MUST TRY: Smoked chicken soft taco with Cabot cheddar, cumin-stewed black beans, sautéed peppers and onions, and jicama slaw.
534 Middle Turnpike East, Manchester
Moran is a gem, hiding in plain sight in a strip mall in Manchester. The restaurant started as a food truck, then expanded to this brick-and-mortar. It is mostly takeout, although there are a few tables in the small dining room. Every employee is a member of the family, who brought their authentic recipes from El Salvador. MUST TRY: Chicharron (fried pork) tacos topped with chipotle mayo, pico de gallo, avocado, mozzarella, and jalapenos.
6 East Main Street, Plainville
For truly authentic Mexican tacos, this family-run restaurant is the place to go. In addition to the typical taco offerings of chicken, beef, and shrimp, El Paso offers more adventurous fillings such as tripe, beef tongue, and pig’s head. Eat there, as the dining room is pleasantly colorful. MUST TRY: Cebeza de Puerco (pig’s head) taco.
Las Tortas MX
Parkville Market, 1400 Park Street, Hartford
Located in Parkville Market, CT’s first food hall, Las Tortas is known for Mexican sandwiches known as tortas. However, around the market, their tacos are just as famous. Check out the rest of the market if you haven’t yet. MUST TRY: Adobada (marinated) chicken taco.
36 Fountain Street, New Haven
For contemporary Mexican street food in bright, fun, unusual surroundings, try this place. The chef’s dad owned a garage in Mexico, and he has created a vintage garage theme for this restaurant as a tribute. The garage doors open up to an outdoor dining space. Local, seasonal ingredients are highlighted as well as gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegetarian options. MUST TRY: Duck confit taco.
95 High Street, Enfield
The Chavez-Mellado family has been offering up traditional Mexican cuisine at various iterations of their Serapes restaurant since 1999, and this location is their third. Having lived in various regions of the country, family history is one of the secret ingredients that go into every dish. While their chicken mole is the best around, their tacos still make the list. MUST TRY: Tacos de Carne Asada (grilled steak).
308 Sherman Hill Road, Woodbury
Food truck-turned-restaurant, El Camion has a simple and straightforward menu: quesadillas, tacos, and burritos. Using locally-grown produce, their food is packed with big flavors. Have a special event planned? They offer a taco-truck party! MUST TRY: Fish taco, marinated in coconut milk and lime, crusted with cornmeal, topped with mango salsa.
La Joya Fresh Mexican
834 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury
The executive chef of Sayulita left there and took his passion and personal style to Simsbury where he opened La Joya. With a fast-casual approach and plenty of culinary experience behind the line, this “jewel” really sparkles. Beware that the dine-in and takeout menus differ slightly. MUST TRY: Citrus pork belly taco with apple jicama slaw and white truffle.
829 Main Street, Manchester
81 East Street, Vernon
Now with two locations, Lucky Taco just gets more popular with time. One of the reasons for this is the sheer number of taco varieties on the menu, many of which are fused with other cuisines of the world. They often hold special events, and they also do catering. MUST TRY: Blackened Ginja Ninja Marinated Fish Tacos, with a ginger-infused IPA, citrus slaw, and cilantro crema.
Taqueria La Grande
985 West Main Street, New Britain
169 Park Road, West Hartford
Another taqueria with two locations, at these you will find a menu of basic fillings but all are exquisitely seasoned. As an added bonus, they come with both red and green salsa, and that green salsa is as amazing as their homemade soft flour tortillas. MUST TRY: Chorizo taco.
173 East Main Street, Middletown
This mom-and-daughter restaurant-and-market has a menu that changes daily depending on what’s available. That’s because everything is done from scratch, including the irresistible tortillas. Each bite possesses that made-at-home deliciousness, and customers are treated like family. MUST TRY: Lengua (beef tongue) taco.
30 Broadway Avenue, Mystic
In a Mystic gas station converted into a bar, you will find Taquerio, a newcomer to the taco scene. Their tacos come in either “traditional” or “anything but traditional” types. A loyalty rewards program entices guests to return. Fill up at Taquerio! MUST TRY: Fried avocado taco with black bean puree, pickled red onions, green chili aioli, and cilantro on a corn tortilla.
25 South Colony Road, Wallingford
Eating from Rivas is like eating street food in Mexico. Informal, straightforward, and authentic. Tacos are served in doubled-up corn tortillas with standard fillings (chicken, beef, pork) as well as more unusual offerings (tongue, pork stomach) and served with salsa and lime wedges. Don’t forget to visit the meat market while you’re there. MUST TRY: Tacos al pastor (grilled pork).
Hot Taco Street Kitchen
As the name implies, this one is a food truck. It began in 2020 but has quickly become a staple at local vineyards, breweries, and WeHa’s Gastropark. If you do happen to see them while you’re out and about, definitely stop by. Or look for them online @hottacostreetkitchen to experience bold flavors with Mexican and Asian influences. They also do catering! MUST TRY: Chicken BLT taco with chipotle aioli.
Food Truck American and Mexican Tasty Flavors
This food truck can usually be found on Summit Street in Hartford, where it has become renowned for its fresh and tasty offerings which include breakfast items. The menu changes often, and it is a cash-only business. MUST TRY: Shrimp tacos.
Long Wharf New Haven Food Trucks
If you have driven through New Haven on I-95, chances are you noticed a convoy of food trucks parked along the water’s edge known as Long Wharf. While this food truck paradise has plenty to offer, a large majority of them are selling Mexican food. The trucks and their menus vary day by day, with more appearing on weekends, but since you’ve read this far, you must be a taco lover, so go visit. MUST TRY: Pretty much any taco. These are the real deal.