Arizona’s Taco Scene Shines in Yelp’s Top 100 List

Yelp, the popular online platform for user reviews and ratings, has released its annual list of the Top 100 Taco Spots in America. The list, which coincides with National Taco Day on Oct. 4, is based on a number of factors, including the volume and quality of reviews, as well as the restaurant health scores.

Among the 100 best taco places in the country, five are located in Arizona, showcasing the state’s vibrant and diverse taco scene. Two of them are in Phoenix, two in Tucson, and one in Sierra Vista. The highest ranked Arizona restaurant was La Chaiteria in Tucson, which came in at No. 46.

Arizona’s Taco Scene Shines in Yelp’s Top 100 List
Arizona’s Taco Scene Shines in Yelp’s Top 100 List

Phoenix ranks third among the top taco towns

In addition to the best taco spots, Yelp also identified the Top 15 Taco Towns in the country, based on the cities with the highest number of searches for “tacos” by consumers between August 2022 and August 2023. Phoenix ranked third on this list, behind Austin and Los Angeles, indicating a strong demand and appreciation for tacos in the Valley of the Sun.

Tucson also made the list of top taco towns, taking the fifth spot. The southern Arizona city is known for its Sonoran-style Mexican food, which features flour tortillas, cheese, and grilled meats. Tucson also boasts the UNESCO designation of being a City of Gastronomy, recognizing its rich culinary heritage and innovation.

What makes a great taco?

Yelp also analyzed the trends and preferences of its users when it comes to tacos. According to the platform, three factors stand out: cheese, seafood, and “demanding and delicious”. The latter refers to the perceived work and effort that goes into making the tacos, such as slow-cooked pork, fresh ground corn for masa, or handmade sauces.

Cheese is a popular ingredient in many tacos, especially in the Sonoran style. Seafood tacos are also a favorite among consumers, especially in coastal areas. Some of the best seafood tacos in Arizona can be found at El Rustico in Tucson, which ranked No. 74 on the list, and El Fogon in Phoenix, which ranked No. 86.

Here are the five Arizona restaurants on the list

Here is a brief overview of the five Arizona restaurants that made Yelp’s Top 100 Taco Spots in America list, along with their ratings, reviews, and specialties.

  • La Chaiteria in Tucson, No. 46, 4.7 stars from 121 reviews. This cozy and colorful cafe serves authentic Mexican food with a modern twist. The tacos are made with fresh corn tortillas and topped with homemade salsas. Some of the popular choices are the cochinita pibil, the al pastor, and the veggie tacos.
  • El Rustico in Tucson, No. 74, 4.6 stars from 226 reviews. This rustic and casual restaurant offers a variety of tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and more. The tacos are made with fresh corn or flour tortillas and filled with grilled meats, seafood, or veggies. The shrimp taco, the carne asada taco, and the al pastor taco are among the favorites.
  • 143 Street Tacos in Sierra Vista, No. 79, 4.6 stars from 429 reviews. This food truck serves delicious and affordable tacos, burritos, nachos, and more. The tacos are made with soft corn tortillas and loaded with meat, cheese, cilantro, and onion. The carne asada taco, the chicken taco, and the carnitas taco are some of the best sellers.
  • El Fogon in Phoenix, No. 86, 4.7 stars from 130 reviews. This family-owned and operated restaurant serves traditional Mexican food with a focus on tacos. The tacos are made with fresh corn or flour tortillas and stuffed with meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and sour cream. The al carbon taco, the chorizo taco, and the veggie taco are highly recommended.
  • Taco Culture Taco Shop in Phoenix, No. 93, 4.6 stars from 137 reviews. This modern and trendy taco shop offers a fusion of flavors and cuisines. The tacos are made with fresh corn or flour tortillas and topped with a variety of sauces and garnishes. The Korean BBQ taco, the chicken tikka masala taco, and the vegan taco are some of the unique options.

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