Seasoned ground beef, lettuce and shredded cheese in a crunchy shell. Or braised and shredded pork wrapped in a soft corn or flour tortilla and topped with cilantro, diced onions and salsa. Whichever kind you grew up on, there's a taco for everyone in KC.
On KCUR's Central Standard, our Food Critics searched out the best tacos in and around Kansas City.
Here are their recommendations:
Mary Bloch, Around the Block:
- Bichelmeyer Meats — carnitas. Bichelmeyer's is a butcher shop that serves tacos on Saturdays; they’re $3 each and they really pack the tortillas (with just enough room for condiments and salsa).
- Bichelmeyer — spicy chicken.
- Los Alamos Market y Cocina — buffet. It’s filled with whatever they feel like cooking that day, so don’t have your heart set on any one thing.
- Carniceria la Siete — carnitas. Fried on the grill for extra crispness and served with house-made sauces.
- Port Fonda — red chile braised goat. Served with a cup of braising jus for dipping.
- Port Fonda — fried avocado taco (not always on the menu, but they’ll make it for you). Unexpected taste and richness.
- Ixtapa Mexican Cuisine — tacos chidos. Made with charbroiled meat that’s been marinated with beer, citrus and jalapeños.
- Cacao Restaurante — carnitas.
- Tortilleria San Antonio
- Bonito Michoacan
Lou Jane Temple, local chef and author:
- Tortilleria San Antonio — barbacoa taco.
- Tacqueria El Camino Real — al pastor.
- Tacqueria El Torito — al pastor.
- Los Alamos — spicy red pork.
- Ricos Taco Lupe — carnitas.
- El Camino Real — I love them all.
- Unforked — Voodoo Veggie Taco. Stylish, probably healthy (that's the idea, anyway), moderately priced, imaginative.
- Tortilleria San Antonio — soft tacos. They're beyond satisfying, and there are other delicious things to eat here or purchase to take home.
- In-A-Tub. No one actually ADMITS to eating here, since the cuisine is sort of "Hillbilly Hispanic," but it has its own distinctive charm: Gringo Appalachian.
- Bonito Michoacan — chicken tacos.
- Bonito Michoacan — carne asada steak tacos.
- Carmen’s Cocina — street tacos.
- Ixtapa — squash blossom taco.
- Rudy’s Tenampa Tacqueria — chicken taco. Fantastic. Shredded chicken that’s seasoned well in an almost-puff pastry taco shell.
- Eden Alley — vegetarian taco.
- Carniceria la Siete — chorizo taco.
- Carniceria la Siete — al pastor.
- Carneceria El Torito 2 — potato taco. It’s like a spicy mashed potato inside a taco. It's quite filling and delicious.
- Dixon’s Chili Parlor — $6.99 all-you-can-eat tacos every day.
- Tacos El Gallo. The tacos are cooked on a flat grill. When the meat is done, the tortilla is heated on top of it, which gives it that extra juice and grease and makes it so savory. It takes me back to when I was a kid in Mexico, eating the street tacos there.
Jen Chen is associate producer for KCUR's Central Standard. Reach out to her at email@example.com.