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Kansas City Tacos

I'm looking for Kansas City's best taco. I'm open to any kind of taco, but prefer one of two - the authentic, double mini-corn soft tortillas filled with meat, onion, cilantro, and a radish, or the fantastically hedonistic fried flour puffy tacos.

I just moved here from Des Moines, where I had two places I frequented (Tacos Mariana's and Tasty Tacos) and need to find out where here. I've eaten the Sonoran Tacos at Ponak's and, while tasty, weren't exactly what I wanted.

Are there any taco trucks in KC? Those generally have great food!

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  1. Cancun Fiesta Fresh in Westport has street tacos.

    1. Last year , my wife and I stopped at a street vendor just west of 23rd and Summit. It was set-up like a street vendor on the mexican/US border. The tacos were warmed on a griddle outside, while inside the storefront was a variety of salsas and onions with cilantro to finish your tacos. A very enjoyable snack.

      1. i'll 2nd Cancun Fiesta Fresh in Westport. sounds like what your looking for.

        1. Far better than Cancun Fiesta Fresh: There is a Michoacan grocery store at the corner of 12th and Minnesota in KCK. The lunch counter inside has tacos (and burritos, tortas, etc) that are 100% authentic. Best tacos I have ever had. You choose your meat(s) (incl. pastor, barbacoa, lamb, lengua, carnitas, etc), the woman puts them on corn tortillas, with a sprinkling of cilantro and onion on top. FABULOUS!!

          1. Rudys has the puffy taco you are speaking of, it's very good. Everything at Rudy's is good.

            My top mexican restaurants in KC are (I've lived her my entire life and love Mexican food)
            1. El Sombreo (Claycomo)
            2. Los Corrales
            3. Dos Hombres
            4. Ponaks
            5. Manny's

            1. El Taconazo has good, cheap street tacos.

              Panzon's has a great fried chicken taco and a good spinach/pepperjack enchilada.

              Try In-A-Tub for some really weird and greasy deep-fried tacos.

              3 Replies
                1. re: kctraci

                  El Taconazo has the best tacos in town. The pig leg tacos are my favorite, along with cabeza.

                  In A Tub... hmmmm, the deep fried tacos with kraft-esque cheese powder. Not immediately what comes to mind for good tacos. But the way the grease and cheese powder combine to make cheese is alchemy.

                  1. re: kctraci

                    Tried In A Tub today. Wow. Not nearly authentic, but they were strangely delicious. I would say the worst part of them was the powdered cheese, but was still pretty great.

                  2. Taco trucks are usually parked in front of Oasis dance club on SW Blvd.

                    1. I like El Camino Real in Kansas City, KS (one on N. 7th and one on Argentine Blvd) they have hand-made tortillas and great Tacos Al Pastor sliced right from the spit spinning in the front window.
                      I also really like the tacos at El Vulcan on Independence Ave. in Independence. It's kind of a little diamond in the rough-occupying a little building that used to be a donut shop I think. The carne asada tacos are great and the spicy green sauce is killer.

                      Good luck!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: zeke

                        Had El Camino Real recently, and the al pastor tacos were seriously incredible. Best taco I've had in KC so far, although I've yet to try most of the places on my list. Taconazo is up next, and I really want to try Ninfa's.

                        1. re: jhojati

                          Glad you liked El Camino Real. I just rediscovered a great taco place called Two Amigos it's on 75th street in Overland Park. They have every kind of taco but they have GREAT carne asada tacos, the best in the city I think, they also have a salsa bar with two really spicy green sauces and a red sauce and they have a little condiments bar with pickled onions and carrots, radishes and fresh-roasted jalapenos. It's my new favorite taco place in the city, at least for carne asada tacos.

                        2. re: zeke

                          Big second to El Camino Real. The al pastor is the best in the city, I think.

                          There's competition, though. La Fonda at Southwest Boulevard and Summit makes excellent taquitos, which is what you're looking for. Same for the place just to the west of it, whose name I can't remember for the life of me, despite the fact that I eat there at least every other week. The tacos are out of this world, especially the buche.

                          Cancun Fiesta Fresh isn't bad at all either.

                          Cancun Fiesta Fresh
                          4019 Pennsylvania Ave, Kansas City, MO 64111

                        3. for the double corn tortilla with onion cilantro lime and meats, i'd second Cancun Fiesta as a good street taco place. But also you can head to Southwest Boulevard to the best of the Taqueria Mexicos and order the tacos ala carte. I always go for the cabeza (head, cheek), lengua (tongue), pastor or chorizo and egg. They're all good, and relatively cheap for the quality. On the weekends, they're open late so if you've had a few sips, the tacos taste that much better.

                          1. All of your replies are great. I love hearing about something new (In-A-Tub) and the multitude of options you gave me will give me many days of happy taco-eating in order to determine which I like the best.

                            Side note...who would you say has the best Mission-style burrito (similar to Panchero's, Chipotle, Qdoba with rice/beans/cheese/meat/whatever else inside)? I've eaten at Burrito Bros. in City Market and found them to be very good. It's hard for any place to compete with Panchero's for me (U of Iowa grad), but burritos are a food group in and of themselves as far as I am concerned.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: jhojati

                              The Salvadorean place on Independence Avenue (Sabor de Centro Americano?) has awesome huge burritos that are super cheap. They reminded me of a more authentic Chipotle, and came with pretty zippy salsa. Also, they have excellent pupusas.

                            2. I ate at el pueblito on Sunday night, and wasn't impressed. The service inside was terrible, we waited several minutes before being addressed and several more to get drinks, chips, and salsa. We ordered queso dip for our chips, as well as a taco al pastor and the fajitas. The taco was pretty good, although the tortilla could have used a little longer on the grill. The queso dip came out after our fajitas, and was lukewarm and very thick (it had obviously been sitting there quite a while). The fajitas were more onion than anything else, but the meat was not bad (it's fajita meat, what do you expect?). When we asked for three more tortillas, we waited a good five minutes. Our margarita was straight out of a bottle, and was not good. If I were to ever go back (not likely with the abundance of Mexican restaurants in the area), I would only order tacos and I would sit outside on the patio (they seemed to be receiving much better service).

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: jhojati

                                I eat there for lunch sometimes and enjoy the Huaracha with chicken. Sometimes I can get them to give me a tiny side of mole sauce that I dump on it. I haven't tried them, but their fajitas look good and are cheap at lunch time. I also love the Tropicana ice cream place next door. Pine Nut ice cream is delicious!

                              2. Are there any Fry Bread taco places in Kansas City?

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: jhojati

                                  I have only seen them at the Ethnic Enrichment festival in August. They are there every year and yummy!

                                  1. re: kctraci

                                    The festival can be awesome -- except that the weather makes eating less than tolerable most of the time. We've gotten a HUGE break two years in a row with temperatures in the low 80s, but most of the time I can't bear the thought of eating something fried in the 95-plus-degree heat. I sure wish they'd move it to October. On the plus side, the places selling icy sweets do gangbuster business.

                                    I feel REALLY bad for the people doing the exhibition dancing, martial arts and other athletic undertakings. I saw a poor kid pass out on stage of heat fatigue in her heavy costume a few years ago. Not a good time.