Let’s Taco ’bout It


October 4th was National Taco Day! So in honor of this unbelievably important holiday, I want to talk about different taco places around Queens.

I love tacos. They’re my favorite food. I can eat them everyday and never get tired of them. I plan on being a taco for Halloween, which I’m very excited about:

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Tacos come in all different forms. There are hard-shelled tacos, soft-shelled tacos, corn tortillas, flour tortillas– the list goes on. And you can literally fill them up with anything you want. They’re easy to eat, and super yummy. You can’t go wrong with a taco.

Near my middle school there was a small hole-in-the-wall Tex-Mex place called “Happy Taco” and I used to think it was the stupidest thing to call a restaurant. But now I totally see it. Tacos make people happy.

According to National Taco Day‘s website, last year Americans ate over 4.5 billion tacos. That is about 775 million pounds of tacos, which equals the weight of two Empire State buildings.

Here are some of my favorite taco places in Queens:


 

5 Burro

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Located: 72-05 Austin St, Forest Hills, NY.

This funky restaurant has some of the best (and strongest) margaritas I’ve ever had. You’ve been warned.

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There’s really cool, eye-grabbing memorabilia all over the walls and they play good music. No matter what day you come, it’s always super packed.
But enough about that, let’s get into the tacos. My favorite are the steak tacos. The dinner plate comes with three tacos, and it also comes with sour cream, guacamole (which is AMAZING), pico de gallo, rice, and beans. The lunch plate comes with two tacos.

According to 5 Burro‘s website, 5 Burro opened in 1990 and has been really successful.

They have other great dishes on their menu such as burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, and they have some pretty impressive nachos. But I still think their tacos are the best item on their menu.

You can get tacos with chicken, beef, shrimp, minced beef, pulled pork, or even with lobster.

I definitely recommend checking out this place.

 


 

Taqueria Coatzingo

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Located: 76-05 Roosevelt Ave, Jackson Heights, NY.

This place is easy to get to via the 7 train (located right underneath it) and is so delicious. This is real authentic Mexican food. And this place is really inexpensive!

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They have an insane variety of tacos, so many it had my head spinning. Each taco is only $2.50 ($2.50!) and comes with guacamole, onions, cilantro, limes, and radishes. Depending on which type of taco you get, they cover (and I mean COVER) your taco in guacamole. So. Good.

The kinds of tacos they have are carne asada (grilled beef), chicken, birria de res (beef with sauce), lengua al vapor (steamed tongue), carnitas (fried pork), al pastor (gyro style), chorizo, cecina (salted beef), carne enchilada (spicy pork), tripe, vegetarian, and shrimp. My favorite is probably the chorizo, but it’s hard to choose.

They have other tasty things on their menu such as flautas, soups, burritos, fajitas, chalupas, and tostadas, which are flat fried tortillas served with your choice of meat, lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, and hot sauce piled high on the tortilla.

This place closes at 1:30 AM every night, so it’s perfect for a midnight snack!


Tacuba Mexican Cantina

PC: www.weheartastoria.com

PC: www.weheartastoria.com

Located: 35-01 36th St, Astoria, NY.

This Mexican place is known for their unique items on their menu (they have a grasshopper taco!). Tacuba is also located in a really busy area, and right across the street from Kaufman Studios and The Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria.

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PC: www.pintrest.com

 The restaurant itself is huge and can hold a crazy amount of people. It gets really busy on Friday and Saturday nights.

When I first heard about this place, I was immediately interested in their lobster tacos. I had never heard of such a thing before! Would it be like a lobster roll? How would they transform it to have authentic, Mexican accents? I had to figure it out.

 

 

PC: www.tripadvisor.com

PC: www.tripadvisor.com, Langosta (lobster) taco.

The Langosta (lobster) taco comes with spicy lobster, chipotle mayo, avocado and cilantro. It was unusually sweet and creamy, but overall delicious. I’ve never had a taco like that before, and I’d do it again.

They have other interesting tacos such as the Chapulin, which has Oaxacan grasshoppers, guacamole, jalapeños, tomatillo salsa, onion, and cilantro. I wish I’d had the guts to try this one, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Another one Tacuba has is called the Calabazita con Jamaica taco, which has zucchini, corn, queso fresco, crispy hibiscus flowers, pickled jalapeños, and chipotle salsa. I love flowers, but I’d never think to put some in a taco.

Tacuba’s happy hour is especially long, from noon to 7 PM Monday through Friday. You can get $7 drinks and $8 appetizers.


 Tacos Polo Cart

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Located: On the corner of Continental Ave and Austin Street, Forest Hills, NY.

Chicken taco!

Chicken taco!

This little taco cart packs a huge punch. There’s always a group of people waiting for these authentic, delectable tacos. And the aroma you smell when you pass by it on Continental Ave is out of this world. It always makes me salivate.

They have a pretty good deal of $9 for three tacos of your choice. Each comes with meat, onions, cilantro, and avocado salsa over corn tortillas. They have chicken, beef, al pastor, enchilada (spicy pork), chorizo, cecina (salted beef), oreja (pork ear!), carnitas, and beef tongue.

Their chorizo taco is probably my favorite, but it’s really hard to pick one. They’re all great and you get them quickly. They also have these great Mexican sodas made with real fruit called Jarritos.

They have other appetizing items on their menu such as tlacoyos, which are corn tortillas prepared with rice and beans, topped with salsas, onions, cheese, and cream. They also have meat platters and tacos placeros, which are corn tortillas topped with rice, boiled eggs, and jalapeños.

This taco cart is in a good location, right down the block from the 71st Ave Continental train station.

It’s also open late. It can be open until 4 AM on busy nights, which is great for the bar-goers looking for something quick to eat nearby late night.

Check this place out!

 


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Thanks for reading and if this doesn’t convince you that tacos make the world go round, I don’t know what will.


Taco lovers: Did I leave out your favorite taco place in Queens? Let me know in the comments below.

Until next time!

14 thoughts on “Let’s Taco ’bout It

  1. That Taco costume is adorable haha! Definitely have been going to the wrong places for tacos, but I shall be sure to check out these next time I’m in the area(: Really well-written article !

  2. These places look amazing! I love 5 Burro and I’m definatle going to try out Tacuba Mexican Cantina.

  3. This is such a great article! Tacos are the best, I can’t wait to check out these places around Queens!

  4. I just got back from dinner at Tacuba (based on your recommendation) and really enjoyed it– thanks for the tip!

  5. Food pictures at their finest! 🙂 great idea doing a Taco themed article, and great job with the personal touch and advice for each place! 🙂

  6. You know your tacos! One of fastest growing Mexican barrios in NYC is in Staten Island. For another adventure, you could be a pioneer researching the taco literacy scene on SI.

  7. These all look so delicious, and I love the way you weigh the pros and cons of each location. I’ll definitely have to make some stops at these locations the next time I’m in NYC!

  8. I definitely share your love for tacos! I love it so much that I’m actually taking a class called Taco Literacy at the University of Kentucky. I’m very interested in trying to find a lobster taco. In Kentucky, I haven’t found any Mexican restaurants that serve lobster. However, Kentucky has some pretty fantastic tacos! Do you think that Mexican food in Queens would differ from Mexican food in Lexington, KY? If so, why do you think that would be? Also, if you ever come to Lexington, KY you need to try tacos at Taqueria Ramirez!!!

  9. Wow! Great job for doing all of this cool food writing about Queens. I like how you are still writing about tacos a year later, Queens must be a foodie Mecca. How did you decide to focus on the food in Queens? Any new ideas when you run out of restaurants?

  10. Digging the taco love! I’m curious; since you mentioned wondering about how Tacuba Mexican Cantina would “transform [their lobster taco] to have authentic, Mexican accents,” do you know if lobster tacos have any origins in Mexico? If they’re from a particular region, do you think I could get lobster tacos from other restaurants featuring food from that region, or is Tacuba thinking outside the box with this idea?

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