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Best tacos in the U.S. ...and the winner is...

Some website call the Daily Meal ranked tacos in the whole U.S. in honor of Cinco de Mayo... and La Taqueria in SF came out as no. 1. WTF. While they use decent ingredients that has to be one of the blandest tacos around.


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  1. Hit it with a squeeze of the salsa verde and it instantly becomes anything but bland.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Civil Bear

      And that gets #1 in the country? Please... I think La Taqueria is a fine establishment, uses decent ingredients but no way it's #1...in SF.

      1. re: ML8000

        Not even number 1 in the Mission... El Gallo Gira takes that.

        1. re: ML8000

          Well I'd be pretty darn surprised if the ranking was unanimous.

      2. Explains why I've never heard of the Daily Meal.

        1. I think this has come up before, but...

          A friend of mine who once worked for a travel magazine told me that those "Best ____ in the US" lists are nearly always filler that no one has researched very deeply. They know everyone loves those lists (and in the case of websites, will click through every individual page and generate hits), so they'll get an intern to make a list using Google. In most, if not all, cases, the people compiling the list have not even been to all the establishments they're selecting. They certainly are not flying their staff all over the United States to decide if La Taqueria in San Francisco is better than Taco Boy in Charleston, SC (#40 on their list).

          2 Replies
          1. re: dunstable

            ...and judging from the hilarious comments section, in which seemingly every city takes umbrage with the local representatives in the list, their assertion that they asked "more than 200 of the nation’s leading food writers and taco authorities" is probably an outright lie. How does one get declared a "taco authority," anyway. I want in on this membership; where do I get my taco authority badge?

            1. re: dunstable

              Say it ain’t say so, where will I go, how will I eat if I can't rely on these lists

            2. What's the problem with La Taqueria?

              There's no consensus for "best taco" in SF. It might not be my go-to but when people visiting tell me their friends took them there, I'm always relieved. It's an oldie that sticks to their formula, and they make a hearty taco with good flavors.

              I'd rather La Taqueria over El Farolito, Papalote, Taqueria San Jose, Can Cun, or many of the popular favorites...and if they listed one of the new breed of more gourmet tacos like Don Pistos, Tacolicious, Nopalito, or Padrecito, that would have annoyed a lot of us.

              1. They got #1 for their carnitas taco, not for the menu in general.

                Those big lists are usually mostly about publicity, and thanks to Patricia Unterman and Michael Bauer the place is probably the best-known taqueria in the Bay Area.

                1. They are incorrect. It is Tacos Leo in LA.

                  1. The best tacos I've come across are from the taco truck in Lodi across from the car wash on East Lodi Avenue at So. Main. Cabeza and lengua favorites, but also a mean Al Pastor. $1.25 each with jalapenos on the side.

                    1. Questions of the value of these lists aside, this is a list of tacos, not places, and #1 was the carnitas taco at La Taqueria, not La Taqueria.

                      1. Yes, this list is crap.

                        Anybody who thinks Chico's Tacos in El Paso is in the top ten has not eaten there.
                        Chico's Tacos are swimming in what tastes like Campbells tomato soup (and probably is) and sprinkled with processed cheese.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: RBCal

                          My hunch is the writer never visited the majority of these places.

                          I would guess there a hundred places in Texas and the Southwest doing what Vallarta does, only better.

                          1. re: sugartoof

                            Dunstable's guess seems on the right track-- the article is a 50 taco rehash of something they did last year listing 35 tacos. Same wording and everything: http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/...

                            That site hasn't published a review in SF in nearly a year. Whether the writer has eaten at any of these places isn't too relevant though--- the votes of taco "authorities" are what got things on the final list.

                            List aside, La Taqueria does have good carnitas ...

                            1. re: hyperbowler

                              La Taqueria is one of the original taco joints and Mission burrito places in SF. Their carnitas is good, and they use quality ingredients, but it always reminded me of pot roast.

                              And yet I'd order it if I were there. I'd never say it's not good...but #1 taco in the country? That's ridiculous in many ways...and yeah, it's a list, filler and silly but #1? I can't even name all the places I've been to with better carnitas.

                          2. re: RBCal

                            The detailed description seems to reflect skepticism about the ingredients derived from experience: "three rolled 'tacos' containing ground beef covered in finely shredded cheese, all soaked in translucent red 'salsa' ..."


                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                              What, on, earth, is that bowl of gloop supposed to be? Is that a taco? Was that really the best photo they could find for that place? That is incredibly unappetizing. That's like Martha Stewart grade food photography.

                              Although apparently that gloop taco is the ninth-best taco in all America, so who am I to judge.

                          3. I have no idea what the best taco in America is, but I guaran-goddamn-tee you the second-best isn't in New Goddamn York.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: TVHilton

                              Truth be told, NY as really upped their taco game in the last few years. Maybe not a second best, but a top 10 entry doesn't shock me. I wouldn't bother with the selection in Queens though.

                            2. These dudes are clueless

                              1. FWIW, La Taqueria sources their tortillas from La Tapatia in South San Francisco.