Tacos are synonymous with Mexican culture and are truly the lifeblood of Mexico City. They’re perfect for any occasion – breakfast food, lunchtime meal, social snack or a filling dinner. Here are some of my favourite taquerias in CDMX for every budget and taste.
1. Los Cocuyos
This small taco stand in Zocalo is a popular with locals and tourists alike. It became a tourist hotspot after Anthony Bourdain visited with his ‘No Reservations’ TV series, but it was already a popular local taqueria years before that. Los Cocuyos is open 24 hours a day, and the menu here has all sort of offals on offer – tongue, brains and gizzard etc. The tortillas here are the BEST I’ve ever tasted – they have an amazingly soft and buttery flavour/texture. My favourite filling here would be the campecheno (mixture of chorizo and beef). Since Los Cocuyos is literally just a hole in wall, you’ll watch the cooks prepare the fresh tacos and tend to the bubbling pots of meat while you stand and munch on your tacos. It doesn’t get any more authentic than this!
Calle de Bolívar 57, Centro Histórico de la Cdad. de México, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
2. Los Especiales
Famous in Zocalo for their cheap and tasty basket tacos. There’s always a line of locals snaking outside the shop, so you know it must be good. Each taco is 7 pesos, which is very affordable by locals standards!
Av Francisco I. Madero 71, Centro Histórico de la Cdad. de México, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
3. El Huequito
El Huequito has many franchises around México City, but this is no ordinary taco chain! You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t think these are some of the best tacos al pastor in CDMX (me included). El Huequito is known for their flavourful meat marinade, crispy tacos al pastor and onions soaked in the dripping juices from the trompo. Be sure to order the pastor especial con queso – you’ll be treated to a mountain of freshly sliced al pastor meat covered in cheese, and around 10 tortillas to wrap into your own tacos. The sopa azteca here is also delicious. Come hungry.
Calle de Bolívar 58, Centro Histórico de la Cdad. de México, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico (various other locations)
The decor at Orinoco gives me serious In-N-Out burger joint vibes, as does the simple but well-executed menu. You can except a long (but quick) line for this restaurant in Roma Norte. People go crazy for their chicharron tacos, and they have vegetarian options as well.
Av. Insurgentes Sur 253, Roma Nte., Cuauhtémoc, 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
5. El Tizoncito
A busy casual indoor-outdoor restaurant in La Condesa. El Tizoncito say they are the original creators of tacos al pastor… not sure how true this is but their tacos al pastor are definitely delicious! They have the trompo out in the centre of the restaurant, and great little condiment stands on each table with salsas, corn chips and beans. There are English menus and semi-English speaking staff for us non-Spanish speakers, which really helps the experience. They are open until 3:30am everyday, and have a full menu of soups, huaraches etc. as well as their tacos.
Av. Tamaulipas 122, Colonia Condesa, Cuauhtémoc, 06140 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
6. El Vilsito
Mechanic shop by day, popular taqueria by night, El Vilsito is a casual nighttime dining spot out in the suburbs. The place was recently featured on the Netflix show ‘Taco Chronicles’, which has only added to the late night crowds visiting for a feast.
Av. Universidad, Narvarte Poniente, Benito Juárez, 03020 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
7. El Pescadito
Seafood tacos are hard to come by in CDMX, but El Pescadito have great options and are known for their fish tacos. Their self-serve condiment bar has all the sauces and salsas you could ever want. You’ll only need a maximum of 3 tacos to fill you up – they’re large and filling, especially after adding your salads and pickles! I found the fried fish tacos here delicious.
Independencia 57, Colonia Centro, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06050 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico (various other locations)
8. Rico’s Tacos de Guisado
This local taco stand specialises in a variety of stewed meat and vegetable tacos. The vendors travel hours from the Mexican countryside everyday to man their stand. There are lots of street stands around town with questionable hygiene, but this one is known to be fairly clean. Their chile relleno tacos are unique and flavourful.
Av. Morelos 1, Colonia Centro, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
9. Taquería González
A local standing-room-only shop serving large tacos full of hearty toppings. You can get fillings like slow-cooked potatoes and cactus on your tacos here, which makes them very substantial. Despite being a hole-in-the-wall shop, Taqueria Gonzalez is known for salsas full of complex flavours. Definitely something different from the usual tacos you see around CDMX.
Calle López 100, Colonia Centro, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06000 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
10. Taqueria El Greco
A hole-in-the-wall taqueria in La Condesa. It’s right around the corner from Parque México, so if it’s busy and you can’t get a table (which is fairly common) you can always order takeaway and have a picnic in the park. Doneraky is the most popular order here (meat with corn tortilla)
Av Michoacán 54, Hipódromo, Cuauhtémoc, 06100 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Want more Mexico City inspiration? Read my Complete Guide to Grutas Tolantango Hot Springs, Mexico.