Where to Eat Charlotte

Guide to the Best Eats in the Queen City

10 Must-Try Taco Spots in Charlotte

LIVE EVERY DAY LIKE IT'S #TACOTUESDAY

This is the very first blog post on the Where to Eat Charlotte website and I’ve dedicated it to guiding you on your quest for delicious tacos. To be honest, I don’t think I have ever met a taco I didn’t like, but I wanted to give you the inside scoop on the best spots for mouth-watering tacos in the Queen City.

Let’s get started …

Taco Spot #10 - Bakersfield

LOCATION: 1301 East Blvd. (Dilworth) 

INSIDER SCOOP: Bakersfield IS A VIBE! Perfect taco spot for girls night out, date night and #TuesdayFunday (just made that a thing) Plus they are whippin’ up some of the best margs in town! 

WHAT TO ORDER:

Take a seat and ask for the LOADED queso with chorizo, black beans and pickled pepper. Wash that down with the Bakersfield Margarita made with El Jimador Blanco, triple sec, agave nectar and fresh squeezed lemon & lime. Okay.. now you’re officially ready for some tacos. 

Fish Taco: Do not leave without ordering this! Crispy mahi, tobacco lime sauce, citrus slaw and cilantro. 

Pollo Diablo: You like it spicy? You’ll love this taco. That spicy arbol chili sauce packs a nice punch to the face. 

Hongos: Great option for vegetarians!! Portabello mushroom, poblano, bell pepper, buttermilk kale slaw and cotija cheese. The mushrooms really gave the taco some “meatiness!” 


Taco Spot #9 - Ely Tortilleria y Comida

LOCATION: 6301 N Tryon St. (North Charlotte) 

INSIDER SCOOP: Ely Tortilleria is a hidden gem tucked away in a shopping plaza. Guaranteed you will not get any shopping done because you will be too distracted by the amazing smell coming from this place! Before you go, brush up on your Spanish! The service is fast and the ladies working were super friendly and welcoming. If you want some of the most authentic Mexican food in the city, you must go experience this spot. BONUS: they offer 99 cent taco deals! 

WHAT TO ORDER:

Order one (or five) of the Al Pastor tacos. Juicy, flavorful and loaded up with onions and cilantro. Don’t forget to eat the tasty grilled marinated onions that come on the plate. 


Taco Spot #8 - Three Amigos Mexican Grill & Cantina

LOCATION: 2917 Central Ave. (Plaza Midwood) 

INSIDER SCOOP: Three Amigos is a local hangout with a cozy vibe servin’ up some of Charlotte’s best Mexican dishes! On Friday they have specials on the Large House Margarita for $5.99 (Voted Best in Charlotte) The Paloma Margarita was recommended by a regular who said it’s his go-to summertime drink. The tacos come double wrapped in HOUSE-MADE corn tortillas. Also ask for a side of the green sauce and put that on everything!  

 WHAT TO ORDER:

Al Pastor: The pork here is special. It is marinated for 24 hours in guajillo chiles and onion sauce then grilled with diced pineapple. They were the perfect combination of spicy, sweet, and tangy. 

Camarones: These tacos took me back to living at the beach in Wilmington. The shrimp is perfectly charred from the grill and paired amazing with the big chunks of fresh cut onion, pico de gallo, and pop of fresh lime… only thing missing is an icy cold cerveza!!! 


Taco Spot #7 - La Autentica Mexican Restaurant

LOCATION: 1101 Central Ave. (Plaza Midwood) 

INSIDER SCOOP:  La Autentica also known as “Taqueria La Unica” is a great spot to spend #TacoTuesday! Every Tuesday they do $1 tacos with a drink purchase and $7 House Margaritas … how perfect is that? They also have a big gravel parking lot next to the restaurant, which is super convenient! The complimentary chips and salsa were fresh and you will most likely eat the entire basket.

WHAT TO ORDER:

Barbacoa: This taco is packed with hunks of slow-cooked pork. The combination of the chilies and tender juiciness of the pork makes this a must order taco! 

La Lengua: The texture of the meat is super buttery! Don’t be alarmed when you see the tastebuds on the meat. If you have never ventured out and tried beef tongue, this is the place to do it! 


Taco Spot #6 - El Purgarcito De America

LOCATION: 4816 Central Ave. (Sheffield Park)

INSIDER SCOOP: As food lovers, we sometimes stumble upon spots that are so delicious, we ask ourselves, “Why has the universe been hiding this place from me?” This was how I felt about El Purgarcito. Famous for its pupusas, but also offering some killer tacos! The dishes are inspired by Salvadorian, Honduran and Mexican cuisine. 

WHAT IS A PUPUSA?  A pupusa is a thicker flatbread made from rice flour or cornmeal. It is usually stuffed with a few ingredients including cheese, chicharrón, squash, or refried beans. I had the Pupusa Chicharron con Queso. Just order one. Trust me. 

WHAT TO ORDER:

Carne: ALERT! Best Carne Taco I tasted during my tour de tacos! These tacos are STUFFED with meat. The marinade on the steak had so much flavor that I did a little happy dance after eating it. 

Carnitas: The pork in this taco just meltssssss in your mouth. The texture was very similar to pork belly. These double-wrapped corn tortillas were the perfect thickness and held up to the heaping pile of fillings without falling apart. 

The onions and cilantro come on the side of the tacos so you can garnish them yourself. 


Taco Spot #5 - Superica

LOCATON: 101 W Worthington Ave. #100 (South End)

INSIDER SCOOP: Located in the heart of South End, Superica is a popular restaurant that works for any occasion! Date night, large group dinners with friends or even dining solo at the bar to turn around that bad day at the office. 

Parking isn’t all that easy, but I promise you it is worth it.

Superica serves up my favorite chips and salsa(s) in the city. 

Salsa #1: Avocado Verde (tomatillo, avocado, cilantro, garlic, lime and salt) 

Salsa #2: Fire Roasted Salsa (mesquite wood-fired tomatoes that give it a smokey flavor, serrano pepper, garlic, lime and salt) 

WHAT TO ORDER:

Camarones: The unique combo of flavors from these shrimp tacos were FIREEEE!!!! Gulf shrimp, “scampi butter”, cheesy tortillas, cabbage slaw, and morita chile mayo. 

Barbacos: Anything with avocado and I am sold. Made with tender slow cooked brisket, smoked pasilla chiles and topped with onions, cilantro and fresh avo! 

Carnitas: The habanero pickled onions on this taco blew me away. I mean plus it’s full of crispy pork belly. Heat. Fat. Acid. Formula for success right there.  


Taco Spot #4 - El Taco Veloz

LOCATION: 6701 N Tryon St. (Hidden Valley)

INSIDER SCOOP: You’ll immediately know you’ve reached taco heaven because of the HUGE letters spelling out  “EL TACO VELOZ” on the front of the building. Located inside of a mini shopping plaza, you are walking into a local cantina!!! This is the ultimate spot for traditional Mexican food. 

WHAT TO ORDER:  The menu has about 4,382 delicious things to choose from, but the tacos range from $2.20-$3.15/EA. What makes these tacos different? Without a doubt, it’s the corn tortilla. The texture and crunch that came from these tacos put El Taco Veloz in my Top 5! 


Taco Spot #3 - Anita's Mexican Grill

LOCATION: 2904 Yorkmont Rd. (Eagle Lake) 

INSIDER SCOOP: Can’t see it from the road? That’s because Anita’s Mexican Grill is in a shopping mart tucked away behind the BP gas station. Perfect for grab ‘n go, but they have a few tables for dining in! The line was out the door during lunch time and I think the entire Charlotte Police Department was inside getting their Taco fix! 

These tacos were HUGE!!! Especially for only being $2.25-$3.00/EA. I loved the fact they were HOT when they came out. 

They also sell these chili pepper powder covered mango lollipops which are SUCH a unique flavor combo if you have never tried one. Spice up your life and buy one for dessert after inhaling your taco spread. 

WHAT TO ORDER:

Al Pastor: These people know pork. Some of the best I have had on my tour. It was salty, sweet and DELICIOUS!!!!

Pescado: This perfectly seasoned white fish filet was spilling out the sides of this tortilla shell. The crispy exterior of the fish mixed with that pop of fresh lime juice was next freaking level. 


Taco Spot #2 - Tacos El Nevado

LOCATION:

Location #1: OG Spot – 4715 Central Ave. (Sheffield Park)

Location #2: 4640 South Blvd. (Collingwood)

INSIDER SCOOP: Tacos El Nevado has everything you are looking for in an authentic taqueria. The location on Central offers the classics posted up on a big colorful menu-board. Offering taco options such as Tripa, Asada, Barbacoa, Pollo, Lengua, Chicharron, Carnitas AND Campechanos (combo of different meats) The tacos range from $2.00-$2.75/EA and the most expensive item on the menu is $8.50. I’m sold. 

The South Blvd. location has a front patio and more menu options. Don’t skip out on the margaritas served in big fish bowl glasses and authentic Mexican Horchata (drink resembling milk made with rice and sweetened with cinnamon and sugar) 

WHAT TO ORDER:

Just order one of every taco. The flavors are deep and spicy, corn tortillas are made in-house and they also use fresh sliced radish to garnish which I totally loved and appreciated. 


Taco Spot #1 - Taqueria Mexico of Charlotte

LOCATION: 7001 South Blvd. (Starmount) 

INSIDER SCOOP: I have absolutely no idea what type of magic they are using to make these perfectly crispy and seasoned tacos at Taqueria Mexico, but they are my #1 spot for tacos in the city. They have been open for 27 years and just recently changed their name to “Tacoria Mexico”.

The staff is so friendly and they make you feel like family. The owner, John, is from Venezuela and told me they are going to start offering breakfast at 8AM. This will not be your typical breakfast, they will be serving Venezuelan arepas and empanadas!! I seriously cannot even imagine how tasty this is going to be. 

WHAT TO ORDER:

Pescado: BEST TACO OF MY LIFE! I will forever dream about my first bite of this fish taco. The tilapia was juicy, flaky, and perfectly fried. As soon as the tacos hit the window, they cut the limes fresh in front of you to garnish your plate. Easily the most beautiful and freshest limes I have ever seen and tasted. 

I could go on and on about the other taco options I had, but it’s pretty clear that you need to carve out some time in your schedule to take a trip to taco paradise. 


Tacos at Home

LOCATION: 5316 South Blvd. (South Charlotte)

INSIDER SCOOP: Lupitas Carniceria & Tortilleria is THE spot to pick up supplies for having authentic Mexican tacos at home. Every single item you need to make the absolute best tacos, you will find here. You can buy fresh tortillas, queso, beer, Jarritos soda, meats sold by the pound like Barbacoa, marinated and spiced Chicken, Beef, and Chicharron. PLUS they give you fresh limes at checkout. Talk about a fun trip to the grocery!! The prices are also incredible. Next time you want to stay in for #TacoTuesday, you know where to get the goods. 

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