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14 Great Tacos in San Antonio

Or at least within the Loop 1604 area.

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Photograph by Scott Ball

If there is a taco capital of Texas, it’s arguably San Antonio. As we gear up for our December cover story on the best tacos in the state, come along with us for an eclectic preview of what the Alamo City has to offer. We gleaned numerous recommendations and hit the road, eating more than our fair share of tacos across San Antonio—mostly inside Loop 1604—from scrappy new joints to hallowed institutions. The research is far from complete, but you can tide yourselves over with these must-haves.

So why all this taco tasting madness? Not that there really needs to be a reason to want to eat all the tacos, but Texas Monthly is beginning its research on finding the best tacos across the state, a list we’ll publish at the end of the year. Our quest to unearth the top contenders already took us on a taco tour of Austin, where we scouted out more than 100 tacos at taquerias, food trucks, highfalutin joints—well, basically any place were tortillas are slung and filled—and settled on 16 great options from the capital city. We then explored the vast expanse that is DFW and turned our appetites southward to the RGV. This latest list is far from comprehensive, and as we continue our mission to find the best fillings stuffed in a folded tortilla, we ask that you share your recommendations (like we could stop you). We promise to get to them. In the meantime, here are some favorites from San Antonio.

  1. Taquitos West Ave.Lengua
  2. Mezcaleria MixtliBeef Cheek
  3. El Rafas CaféBreakfast Tacos or Carne Guisada
  4. Taqueria Chapala JaliscoNopal and Egg
  5. Ray's Drive InnGuacamole
  6. Tacos Regios #2Carne Asada
  7. Cascabel Mexican PatioMachacado
  8. Mini Tacos El MaicolAl Pastor
  9. Garcia's Mexican RestaurantSmoked Brisket
  10. The Original Donut ShopBacon and Egg
  11. Chela's TacosCilantro Chicken
  12. Thousand Oaks CaféChilaquiles Verdes
  13. La Hacienda de Los BarriosChicken Puffy Taco
  14. La GloriaTacos Dorados Verdes
  15. Choose Your Favorite TacoAnd enter for a chance to win $100.

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