Top Tacos in El Paso

Top Tacos in El Paso
Image via Flickr by Ernie.ca

Disclosure: This post was created in collaboration with InterContinental Hotels Group. As always, all experiences and opinions are my own.

I grew up an Army brat moving every two or three years to a new state or a new country. I don’t remember all the details about every place I lived, but I do have fragments that make for a really great childhood full of fond memories. Given my devout interest in all things food, it would probably not surprise you that a lot of my memories are associated with local cuisines.

When I was around 7, my family moved to El Paso. I remember how different the desert landscapes were compared to the tropical green and wet of Panama where we had lived previously. I remember my first experience with chihuahuas, as our next door neighbors had a gang of them. I remember learning to write poetry in school and taking a shine to it. I remember cooking bologna in my Easy Bake oven. But most of all I remember crispy tacos and soft, warm sopapillas from Pancho Villas in El Paso.

There may be other more famous taco cities in the country, but El Paso is OG. Its border location has heavily influenced the taco scene. Tacos are the gateway food for all Mexican cuisine. Generations of mamas, tías, and abuelas have honed their taco recipes in El Paso, adjusting spices, changing ingredients, and experimenting with form factor, all to the benefit of locals and visitors alike.

Now that I’m living in the Southwest, El Paso is just a hop, skip and a jump away. I’m making plans to check out all the best tacos in the city. I’ll be visiting for Taco Tuesday, Taco Wednesday, and probably Taco Thursday, and I’ll be booking one of the many fine IHG hotels in El Paso from which I’ll be perfectly situated to try out what I think are the top tacos in Texas. There are a lot of places to choose from, so you’ll need to stay a couple of days to truly experience this great taco town!

Top Tacos in El Paso
Image via Flickr by SimplyAIM.

Chico’s Tacos

No taco trip to El Paso is complete without a visit to the grandaddy of them all, Chico’s Tacos. You’ve got to start with the classic that has been around since 1953. The much beloved original spot on Alameda still serves three tacos for cheap with a closely guarded secret sauce and a mound of cheese. Given its tenure in the city, there is an intense debate surrounding this taco legend. You’ll just have to try it out to see for yourself!

There are four locations, but the original is at 4230 Alameda Ave.

Tony’s Barbacoa

Barbecue is king in Texas, and when it comes to tacos, that means barbacoa. This delicious taco filling is slow-roasted meat with lots of spices. Traditionally it’s meat from a cow’s head, but nowadays you can also find lamb and pork. One of the best in town is Tony’s Barbacoa served with onions, cilantro, and salsa.

Tony’s Barbacoa is located at 12370 Edgemere Boulevard.

Tacos Chinampa

I’m a big fan of double tacos, meaning tacos served with two shells, either two corn or sometimes one corn and one flour tortilla. The absolute best is when the tortillas are made fresh like they are at Tacos Chinampa. The chicken tacos are fantastic, and there’s a great salsa bar. Don’t mind the strange addition of a baked potato with your order!

Tacos Chinampa is located at 6110 Gateway East Boulevard.

Kiki’s Restaurant

Seafood tacos in Texas do exist, and you can find some of the best in El Paso at Kiki’s Restaurant. It may sound strange, but the imitation crab-stuffed tacos with white and yellow cheeses and housemade spicy salsa is a combination you should definitely not miss.

Kiki’s Restaurant is located at 2719 North Piedras Street.

H&H Car Wash and Coffee Shop

Tacos for breakfast? You betcha! Breakfast tacos at a car wash? Right again! The potato and egg breakfast tacos were voted the best overall taco in El Paso by readers in a 2015 poll in Texas Monthly magazine. That says something, considering all the other types of tacos there are in the region. Go for the classic egg and potato, and you won’t mind the fact that you are eating it in a car wash!

H&H Car Wash and Coffee Shop is located at 701 East Yandell Drive.

Top Tacos in El Paso Street Tacos
Image via Flickr by stu_spivack.

TacoHolics

You can’t talk about tacos without mentioning taco trucks. There are a lot of them in El Paso. One of them, TacoHolics, is a very popular food truck that serves great tacos with classic meats, but I think you should try the pork adobado with Korean barbecue seasoning, as it’s not to be missed. What happens when you roll a taco? You get a flauta, and TacoHolics serves some of the best in town with queso fresco, Oaxacan crema, and a spicy green sauce.

TacoHolics is usually located at 1613 North Zaragoza Road #201.

How’s that for some top tacos? No visit to El Paso is complete without a visit to at least one of the spots I’ve listed, but you really can’t go wrong anywhere in the taco capital of America. Of course, there are a lot of other things to do in El Paso, too. With sporting events, hiking in the Franklin Mountains, visiting museums, and getting a view of the whole city from the Wyler Aerial Tramway, you won’t be bored between tacos.

How about you? Have you had tacos in El Paso? What was your favorite? Have I inspired you to visit El Paso to check them out?

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40 Comments

  1. natalie nichols
    July 26, 2017

    O.M.G. I need to make these as soon as possible. They look so delicious!

    Reply
  2. Ellen Stafford
    July 26, 2017

    Wow looks so yummy!

    Reply
  3. Linda Manns Linneman
    July 26, 2017

    These tacos sound so good. I love tacos. I am happy you got to enjoy these there. God Bless

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      August 1, 2017

      @Linda, what’s your favorite kind of taco?

      Reply
  4. Valerie lerma
    July 27, 2017

    these look so yummy and delicious

    Reply
  5. Jenn and Ed Coleman
    July 27, 2017

    I got called to go to White Sands Missile Range every so often during the developmental tasting phase of something I working on. We would slip down to Texas for dinner after our shift was over. Usually, we would just stop at Anthony’s at exit 1, but occasionally, we would push deeper into El Paso. We weren’t disappointed either. It’s hard to find border towns that are as equally yoked as El Paso and Jaurez. El Paso shared culture and identity from it’s sister city across the river. I imagine that the taco scene there is outstanding and you gave me quite a few options to work with. We have a Car Wash restaurant in TJ that is famous for its tortas. The car wash went out of business thirty years ago but the tortas stand is still going strong.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      August 1, 2017

      @Jenn, I love White Sands. We drove the RV right by Anthony’s – should have known it was a good place to stop. Those must be some damn good tortas!

      Reply
  6. Ann
    July 28, 2017

    I live in Houston and do road trips around the state fairly frequently — and I like El Paso. And I LOVE tacos! So when I get out there the next time, I’ll use your list to make the taco rounds. Thanks!

    Reply
  7. denise low
    July 28, 2017

    This looks delicious. I know my family would love it to. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    Reply
  8. Katie
    July 28, 2017

    OMG ANDI! These taco photos have my mouth watering and I just had a burrito. I want to eat them right now. 🙂

    Reply
  9. Juliann
    July 29, 2017

    I loved reading of your impressions of El Paso after living in Panama. Two places I haven’t been.

    I’ve never had a taco I didn’t like. Doing a Taco Tour would be delicious!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      August 1, 2017

      @Juliann, what’s your favorite kind of taco?

      Reply
  10. Krista M
    July 29, 2017

    I need to get more creative with tacos! I would love to use steak in the next ones I make!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      August 1, 2017

      @Krista, steak tacos are yummy!

      Reply
  11. Jen
    July 29, 2017

    It’s wonderful when food can elicit a warm memory for you. I love tacos! I went on a taco tour in Mexico, would love to do the same in El Paso and experience all of your recommendations! Yum!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      August 1, 2017

      @Jen, oooh I’d LOVE to do a taco tour! What part of Mexico did you do it in?

      Reply
  12. Cat
    July 29, 2017

    WOW! I’m drooling while reading about all the delicious tacos you described. Baked potato is quite an interesting topping – I gotta try that if I get a chance! Crab-stuffed tacos sound fantastic too!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      August 1, 2017

      @Cat, what’s your favorite kind of taco and where did you have your best one?

      Reply
  13. Allison Wong
    July 30, 2017

    I love Mexican food and all the tacos places in El Paso are so yummy looking! Hope to try that myself one day soon!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      August 1, 2017

      @Allison, where’s your favorite go to place for Mexican where you live?

      Reply
  14. kathy downey
    July 30, 2017

    Wow,these certainly look delicious,I love Mexican food!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      August 1, 2017

      @Kathy, what’s your favorite Mexican food item?

      Reply
  15. Julianne
    July 30, 2017

    Your comment about Taco Tuesday, Taco Wednesday, and Taco Thursday made me laugh!! 🙂 Though for me it’s usually Taco Mondays — no idea why, but that seems to be the day we order tacos the most. A great way to start the week! I’ve been to many parts of Texas, but never to El Paso, so I’ll have to rectify that. I had no idea you lived in Panama before — that’s incredible! Will have to see if you have Panama posts too. Looking forward to learning more about El Paso from you!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      August 1, 2017

      @Julianne, Panama was a LONG time ago, before blogs existed, buy Meloday Pittman is there right now and I’m sure she has posts about it!

      Reply
  16. Ivy
    July 31, 2017

    Tacos at a car wash? Interesting place to eat haha but I’m game as long as the tacos are good! I’ve never been to El Paso but we had tacos in Belize last year. I don’t think they’re the same kind because the tacos there are more like taquitos in the States, but we’ll be going to PVR later this year so hopefully I’ll get to try this kind!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      August 1, 2017

      @Ivy, you should DEFINITELY get some good ones in PVR – seek out street tacos – yum!

      Reply
  17. Crystal Rogers Walker
    July 31, 2017

    My favorite food is Mexican!

    Reply
  18. Ronald Gagnon
    July 31, 2017

    I love tacos, but here in Edmonton, Alberta we get a very mild form ..nothing at all like the true Tex/Mex

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      August 1, 2017

      @Ronald, is it a taco truck, or Mexican restaurant? What constitutes a “mild form” I’m so curious!

      Reply
  19. Susan Ripley
    August 1, 2017

    I’ve spent a lot of the last two years in Mexico, so I am taco obsessed. But I haven’t spent a lot of time in the north of the country or in Texas, so I’d be really curious to test out the taco differences! The barbacoa sounds amazing as well as the pork adobado with Korean seasoning – how interesting!

    Reply
  20. Lynda Cook
    August 3, 2017

    I love tacos and it’s fun to create your very own to your liking!!

    Reply
  21. Adriane
    August 5, 2017

    Yum! I think I need to go get tacos right now!

    Reply
  22. Judy Thomas
    August 5, 2017

    I am drooling just looking at the photos! Yummy!

    Reply
  23. Bryan Vice
    August 7, 2017

    looks like fun my kids would love to help me make these and eat these lol they love taco night

    Reply
  24. Sally Hill
    August 7, 2017

    Oh my those look soooo good!!!

    Reply
  25. Wanda Tracey
    August 8, 2017

    That pork adobado with Korean barbecue seasoning has me salivating! I would love to try it. 🙂

    Reply
  26. marlene a harris
    August 10, 2017

    tacos tonight yummy

    Reply
  27. Calvin F.
    September 1, 2017

    Tacos are the bomb, I’d eat them all day.

    Reply
  28. denise low
    October 9, 2017

    Thank you for sharing. My favorite dish is tacos.

    Reply
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