Taco Tour

Let’s taco bout it! Tacos are amazing, you all should know from my recipes that I LOVE tacos! There are so many varieties and toppings and it really is the perfect meat delivery system as Ron Swanson would say! But as much as I love tacos, not all tacos are created equal. You’ve got a lot of factors going on that have to be just right – the tortillas, the filling, the flavors, and the toppings. My personal favorites are the simple street tacos that come with the basics – corn tortilla, meat, diced onions, cilantro and salsa. Super basic, but super delicious! Coming from the midwest, my love of tacos has always been strong and moving to Seattle I was a bit disappointed with the options – or really lack of options for a good taco. I asked my husband to be my partner in crime to find the best taco in Seattle. Some of the places we have been to before, but we wanted to get fresh eyes on them and try them compared to some new places to see where they really rank! We went to 6 spots – wanted to do a few more, but it was a lot of tacos so stay tuned for a part 2! We rated each place on their tortillas, filling ratio and overall flavor!

GRACIA – this cute little spot is located in Ballard serving up some incredible tacos. We ordered 3 – Al Pastor (top), Campechanos (middle), and Shrimp (bottom). The Campechanos was our favorite – it was filled with carne aside, bacon, chorizo, roasted pork, charred tomatillo salsa, onion and radish. The Al Pastor is filled with pork shoulder, salsa verde, and charred pineapple. The shrimp taco was on special and was filled with shrimp, pickled onions, avocado, and cabbage. Their single tacos range from $5-$6 per taco. I personally loved their tortillas, they were smokey and slightly charred which I thought added a wonderful flavor. My husband on the other hand, was not a huge fan – but to be fair he is very picky about his tortillas and is not the biggest corn tortilla fan. If the tortillas had been flour, he would have given it a 10/10 hands down. We both agreed though that the flavors were absolutely on point and would gladly eat these any day of the week with or without tortillas!

Overall Rating: 8.8/10

PABLO Y PABLO – located near Fremont serving up some very unique tacos. We ordered 2 tacos – Al Pastor and Banh Mi. The Al Pastor has grilled pineapple, bacon, habanero salsa, red onion and cilantro. It is a unique take on the traditional Al Pastor taco. The flavor was incredible and you get a big kick of heat from the salsa. The Banh Mi was basically a banh mi in taco form – filled with pork belly, cilantro, cucumber, pickled vegetables, jalapeños, and sriracha aioli. This was definitely on point for a banh mi, but was pretty spicy in my opinion – my husband loved it though! Their tortillas were also very good – some of the best tortillas we ate all day. The only downside to these tacos is they didn’t have as much filling as some of the other places – so we would have liked to see a bit more, especially for the price. Their single tacos range from $5 – $7.50 for a single taco.

Overall Rating: 8.5/10

TACO CHUKIS – multiple locations around Seattle. We ordered 2 tacos – House Taco and Carne Asada. Their House Taco is essentially an Al Pastor taco filled with pork, grilled pineapple, melted cheese, diced onions, cilantro, salsa and guacamole. It has always been my favorite taco and I could eat these by the dozen. Their carne asada comes with steak, diced onions, cilantro, salsa and guacamole. When I lived in downtown Seattle, there was a Taco Chukis in my apartment complex, so it is an understatement when I say I ate there a lot. I have always loved this place and still stand by my rating that for me, this is my favorite taco place in the city to grab the most delicious street tacos! My husband is not the biggest fan of their tacos, but he does love their baby burritos and other items. Their regular tacos are $2.35 per taco, while their house taco is $2.75 per taco – a great deal if you ask me!

Overall Rating: 8.1/10

RANCHO BRAVO – two locations in Cap Hill and Wallingford serving up some classic tacos and other Mexican dishes. We ordered 2 tacos – Carnitas and Shredded Beef. These are as basic as it gets. They come filled with meat and topped with diced onions and cilantro and served with your choice of salsa verde or roja on the side. The meat in these tacos is so juicy, tender and flavorful they can really stand on their own without any salsa or added toppings. Their tortillas are decent, not the best but not the worst. They also come filled with meat so you are definitely getting your moneys worth here! These are the best if you’re looking for a no-frill, basic taco with some serious meat filling! A single taco will cost you $3.60 which is a great price!

Overall Rating: 8/10

STANDARD BREWING – okay so these tacos are from a brewery located just south of Cap Hill. We ordered 2 tacos – Animal and Brisket a Co-Co. The Animal is filled with pork shoulder, onions, cilantro, cotija, and fermented hot sauce. The Brisket a Co-Co is filled with coconut milk and turmeric braised collard greens, cilantro and cotija. Their tacos had a great taste and rich flavor. They also don’t skimp on the filling! The meat was fairly tender and juicy, but there were bites that were a bit dry – perhaps from from tortilla as well. We both agreed that they could use a salsa or some kind of sauce to add a bit more flavor and to mitigate the dryness. The tortilla was basic, but nothing to ride home about. We were definitely impressed by the amount of filling and toppings these tacos had! Their tacos are $4 each, which is a little steep in my opinion for what you are getting. But nonetheless, a great taco to grab while you are grabbing some beers with friends.

Overall Rating: 7.2/10

TNT TAQUERIA – located in Wallingford. It is a little walk up window serving up tacos and more! They open at 8am so you can get your breakfast taco fill as well! We ordered their taco platter which comes with 3 tacos. We got Ancho Beef, Carne Asada, and Al Pastor. I used to eat at TNT when I lived in the city and honestly I remember them being a lot better – perhaps I remember them so fondly because they offer breakfast tacos. Either way, I was not impressed upon further analysis. I mean tacos are tacos, so I will still eat them, but there are better places. First thing is they topped these with way too much cilantro. The overall flavor though was a little bland – the Ancho Beef was by far the best, so if you grab tacos from here, I highly recommend that option! Adding salsa definitely helped the flavor and dryness of the meat. Their tortillas were actually pretty good! The platter was $10.25, which brings each taco to about $3.42.

Overall Rating: 5.6/10

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