Mexico is known for its tacos. Historically, tacos have been a staple in Mexican food dating back to ancient times. These corn-based wraps are adored by both locals and visitors alike, and are one of the meals of the Mexican people that have won over the taste buds of the world. When visiting Puerto Vallarta, the question many ask is “where can I find the best tacos”?
There are a couple of ways you can source out the best. You can venture out on your own and use trial and error, or you can take a taco tour. Either way you will find that most restaurants in Puerto Vallarta have lots of options on the menu that will give you a chance to indulge in the local cuisine experience!
Before you head out for a taco adventure, there are few things you should know. Below is a list of what you may encounter on your journey:
North American style tacos, also known as Tex-Mex tacos, have no similarities to those found in Mexico. Most folks are accustomed to filling hard shells with ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream…none of which you find on a traditional taco.
Tacos in Mexico are typically served on a hand-sized soft-shelled corn tortilla. You can order tortillas made with flour at some venues, but corn is the most preferred by far.
The fillings for traditional tacos are simple yet some of the most flavorful food you’ll ever eat. The common filling for most consists of meat, onions and cilantro with freshly squeezed lime… but the thing that makes or breaks the taco is the meat.
Some of the popular types of taco meats are:
- Tacos de Birria: Tacos de Birria were originally made with goat meat, but often you can find them made with beef, veal, lamb or pork. Although considered a breakfast taco, they can usually also be found on the dinner menu.
- Tacos al Pastor: Sharing cooking strategies with Lebanon, tacos al pastor consist of thin strips of pork that are marinated in dried chilies, spices, pineapple, and achiote paste. The meat is stacked and cooked slowly on a spit and then thin slices are shaved off onto a tortilla and served with a chunk of marinated pineapple along with onions and cilantro. You can help yourself to an assortment of salsa offered along with the meal.
- Tacos de Pescado – Pescado being the Spanish word for fish, tacos de pescado literally translates to fish tacos. The original classic fish taco is from Baja California. It is battered and deep-fried fish wrapped in a tortilla. They also have tacos de camarones, which are shrimp tacos cooked in the same manner.
- Tacos de Carne Asada – Alternatively known as carne asada. These tacos are a simple but very flavorful flank steak that is grilled and served with onion, cilantro, and fresh lime. Simple ingredients but a complex flavor that will leave you wanting just one more.
- Barbacoa – Using lamb or beef, the meat is traditionally slow-cooked underground with a mixture of seasonings, creating a juicy and flavorful filling of shredded meat. The taste of these tacos is simply out of this world!
- Carnitas – This is what many call ‘pulled pork tacos’. The pork is slowly cooked for several hours creating especially tender and juicy meat. Once it’s ready to go, the taco is then roasted in the oven until brown and crisp.
Tacos in Puerto Vallarta
The options for tacos in Puerto Vallarta are endless. You don’t have to go far to find good food. A good way to learn about tacos is by taking a food tour with Vallarta Food Tours. Taking this tour will inform you about the history of Puerto Vallarta while also taking you to fabulous taco spots and places that are off the beaten track where you can discover the best street tacos.
The tour takes you to many highly recommend locations that you may not otherwise have discovered on your own.
The Best Tacos
You will find some of the best tacos in Puerto Vallarta at the following places:
- El Barracuda – Located right on the beach and only a few blocks from the Malecon, you can enjoy tacos filled with freshly caught seafood.
- El Carboncito – Has the feel of eating at a street food vendor. You will experience local eating at a reputable venue also offering great tequila and beer. If you have a late night out on the town, they are open to fulfill your midnight cravings.
- Marisma Fish Taco – Specializing in fish, Marisma’s also offers other great-tasting menu options. It’s not a fancy establishment but the food is outstanding.
- Pancho’s Takos – A venue that is known for its pastor tacos. Often you will need to line up for a table as this is a highly popular establishment for both visitors and locals.
- Tacos Revolucion – One stop shop. You can get it all at Taco Revolucion. Seafood, beef, chicken, or a combination that is served with a delicious three chili salsa.
- Tacos on the Street – Located in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Tacos on the Street is an actual restaurant and its tacos are known for having unique and flavorful beef along with onions, cilantro, and salsa. Many travel the distance to La Cruz to indulge in these one of a kind tacos.
If you come to Puerto Vallarta and are looking for a great place to stay, Hotel Mousai offers contemporary suites with cutting-edge design and is a place for delicious pampering in unrivaled tropical surroundings. You can also taste authentic Mexican tacos at BocaDos STK a modern steakhouse with a contemporary twist located on the Garza Blanca Preserve where Hotel Mousai is located.
Once you experience authentic Mexican tacos you will never look at Tex-Mex tacos the same way. It seems that no one can match the Mexican talent for creating these simple but complex tasting masterpiece meals that leave you wanting more no matter how many you’ve consumed.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to taste an authentic Mexican taco, come visit Puerto Vallarta and have a great time tasting delicious tacos.