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Jun 3, 2011 01:07 PM

What's Your Favorite Taco Joint in Atlanta?

Authentic Mexican with corn tortillas, Tex-Mex with flour tortillas, or "creative" American tacos where anything goes, what's your favorite place to get tacos in Atlanta? (ITP preferred)

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  1. Taqueria de los Hermanos in Tucker is excellent! For fish tacos and yummy shrimp tacos El Senor Taco on Buford Hwy is great.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Katj

      Taqueria Oaxaquena, right at the corner of Tara Blvd. and Mount Zion Road in (Morrow? Jonesboro?) moved to what looks like a former fast food joint. Since I'm stuck at the south end of the perimeter when I visit each month, this is a welcome addition when I don't want to go cross town.

      Simply excellent, really really good mole, and the tlayuda is a wonderful mess. Love the cheek tacos, and everything is augmented by a labeled, fresh and well iced salsa bar (try the peanut!) with pickled vegetables including radishes, cactus and more to tone down the heat.

      Found this through a taxi driver when I had to pick up a vehicle and I go back every time I'm in town. Recommended it to friends, who in truth really wanted American salad and chain quesadillas and won't be back.

      I assume it's quite authentic; had a difficult time communicating about Sweet and Low the last time even though I do speak a smattering of Spanish (but not about artificial sweeterners!). No alcohol, which is probably just as well, or no one would leave. Chips cost extra, some families start with a huge piece of tres leches -- getting your order can take a while. But the food ... generous portions, nicely executed, unusual selections.

    2. Tacqueria del Sol is a unique place. The Mexican owner frequently nods to the American South, for example, shrimp and grits with green chile sauce. I seem to remember that Bon Appetit or Gourmet several years ago named TS one of the best taco places in the U.S.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Allen_Rick

        I am sorry, but I could not disagree more about Taqueria del Sol. I know it is popular, but it is as Americanized Mexican as possible, and I really wonder why it is popular in the first place. I have never had a bite of food there where I walked out and said man, I can't wait to have this again. Apparently there is something there with the multiple locations and (to some) the James Beard nomination, I just do not get it.

        Taqueria los Rayos on Buford is quite authentic and delicious. Love the lengua, al pastor and cheeks. The chorizo is great too. If you do not want to venture far from the Piedmont/Peachtree area, there is an amazing taqueria in a Mexican market called Acapulco that is directly next to Taqueria del Sol on Cheshire Bridge. If you walk through the groceries, there are tables in the back by the meat counter. Really awesome tacos and enchiladas.

        1. re: mikek

          Mikek: Yes, there is an American flavor (pardon the pun) to TS, but that's really the whole point. (Memphis barbecue tacos and shrimp and grits are not pretending to be Oaxacan.)The owner and executive chef, Eddie Hernandez, (born and raised in the Monterey region of Mexico) is nodding toward the long tradition of immigrant food taking on the influences of the regions to which its transplanted. The Mexican items that we Americans enjoy and that you list above--tacos, chorizo--are, as you likely know, from the Sonora and Chihuahua regions of Mexico. These, of course, are the northernmost states of Mexico, the ones closest to America and from the Mexican culinary traditions most familiar to most Anglo-Americans. The rest of the vast country of Mexico has as varied and distinct traditions as the provinces of France, if not Italy. The Ches. Bridge market named Acapulco banks on two things Americans know about Mexico: tacos and a resort town. Of course, the irony is that tacos are not well loved in the state of Guerrero; they're the food expected by American tourists at the Hilton in Acapulco. My point is that Hernandez is enriching his native culinary tradition with the culinary traditions of his adopted home. Like the Spanish spoken by many first-generation Mexican-Americans, often called Spanglish, Hernandez's food is a living, changing practice, and more "authentic" for that reason than the rote, by-the-book food in so many "authentic" Mexican restaurants. The long and short of it is, if you want real Mexican food, visit someone in their home in Mexico--and take along some American beer as a hostess gift. Having said all that, people should like what they like.

          1. re: Allen_Rick

            I said that he is clearly popular and getting national recognition for a reason, that reason is just escaping me. He is clearly doing something right and appealing to a good number of people. I want to like it, have tried many times, but for whatever reason, it is just not to my tastes. I will say one thing I did really enjoy there was the tamale with the verde sauce on top.

      2. El Rey Del Taco on Buford is one of my favorites. They make their own tortillas there and have a very wide selection of fillings.

        Another on Buford is Taco Veloz. Easy to miss but another one of my favorites. Not as good in my opinion as El Rey, but still very good. I also need to second Taqueria de los Hermanos.

        1 Reply
        1. re: samlev

          I also love El Rey and it's my go-to place for late night tacos and the heart attack platter known as the Al Pastor Especialidad. Although I still enjoy Taco Veloz's tacos and their super burrito, I'm still really bummed that they killed their salsa bar. They have a couple of salsas available upon request, but neither are the really awesome ones they had on the bar.

        2. I love Hankook Taqueria, a hole in the wall type of place located in an industrial area on Collier Rd (North of Howell Mill)- they have food inspired by the Korean taco trucks that are popular in southern California and other cities. Not authentic Mexican nor Korean, but with lots of fusion flavors and ingredients (last time I was in, they were experimenting with a "cordon bleu" taco). My favorite is the fried fish taco (would be even better if grilled, but still good!) with sesame salad on top...they also have tofo taco and calamari taco that are both good. Not a taco, but try the sesame chili flake fries too! Hankook has a popular food truck of their own- Yumbii, which has the same delicious fish taco and sesame fries.

          2 Replies
          1. re: lucywellington

            Lucy, thanks for the suggestion for Hankook. Went there today.
            Had the fried fish taco and fried shrimp taco...very good.
            Also tried the pork sliders. Really good.
            Amazing to be able to find new little gems around the city.

            1. re: rcburli

              These are the same folks who have the Yumblii truck.

          2. Can't beat the great food, the portions are large. Try the sopitas with honey. We have lived in Atlanta for 25 years and still can't beat this place for good Mexican.

            Pappasito's Cantina
            2788 Windy Hill Rd SE, Marietta, GA 30067