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Tacos with sides in a white container from Taqueria la Fondita.
A plate of tacos from Taqueria la Fondita.
Teresa Lam

15 Spots for Fantastic Tacos in the Seattle Area

With guisado tacos made with heirloom corn, crispy quesabirria tacos, tender carnitas, and more

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A plate of tacos from Taqueria la Fondita.
| Teresa Lam

Though Seattle is pretty far north of the border, excellent tacos do exist here if you know where to look: at low-key trucks tucked around the city, on the menus of various Mexican restaurants, and in a couple of unexpected places. At shops like Maíz, a tortilleria that opened in Pike Place Market last year, there’s a focus on masa and honoring heirloom varieties of corn. Meanwhile, spots like Marination offer satisfying Hawaiian-Korean twists to the dish, and a cafe in the University District serves bison and pulled pork on top of fluffy fry bread.

This map mainly focuses on trucks, counter-service spots, and casual restaurants known for their tacos. For sit-down Mexican restaurants with broader menus, check out the this guide to Seattle’s marvelous Mexican restaurants. Know of a spot that should be on our radar? Send us a tip by emailing seattle@eater.com. As usual, this list is not ranked; it’s organized geographically.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

The tacos at this popular Ballard spot celebrate local and sustainable meat and seafood and come on masa made from Oaxaca-grown heirloom corn. Options include the campechanos, a wild blend of carne asada, bacon, chorizo, and roasted pork with charred tomatillo salsa, as well as more standard options like carnitas, al pastor, lengua, and al pastor. The restaurant also serves cochinita pibil and beef barbacoa, which can be paired with any number of tequilas and mezcals off a solid spirit menu.

Tacos at Gracia
Gracia’s tortillas use Oaxaca-grown heirloom corn.
Gracia

Off The Rez Cafe

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Some of Seattle’s only Native American food is served at this cafe inside the University District’s Burke Museum and at its roving food truck. On the menu: fluffy fry bread tacos topped with beef chili, bbq pork with slaw, and a particularly satisfying slow-braised bison. It’s just as good as it sounds.

Sazon Kitchen

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An offshoot of the well-liked food truck Sazon Tacos, the Mexican restaurant (with a location in Ballard as well as Queen Anne) has expanded its repertoire with some brunch dishes, such as chilaquiles. But the tacos are still on point, with stewy guisado options like beef and salmon machaca and diabla shrimp.

Tacos Chukis

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This hotspot tucked away on Capitol Hill churns out tacos and burritos from a limited but still terrific menu. The tiny tacos are all good, especially the pork adobada topped with grilled pineapple, or the special house adobada taco with cheese. The nopal tacos, too, are tangy and a good accompaniment to the meatier options. The growing company also dishes them out at less-hidden locations in South Lake Union, the Central District, and Beacon Hill.

Carmelo’s Tacos

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Hiding in the same building as Capitol Hill’s Hillcrest Market, this Mexico City-style taqueria is a true gem. Among the highlights are the campechano, featuring chorizo, steak, and potato, as well as a satisfying vegan taco with mushrooms, refried beans, garlic, guajillo chili, and onions. It’s open for takeout daily.

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Campechano #tacos#seattletacos#chorizo#mexicanfood#pnw

A post shared by CARMELOSTACOS (@carmelostacos) on

Situ Tacos

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Musician Lupe Flores (drummer for the bands Wild Powwers, Tacos the Band, and LORBO) has drawn long lines for her Lebanese-Mexican taco pop-up, praised for its delicately fried tortillas. Now, she’s found a more permanent home at popular Belltown bar Jupiter. The tacos come in varieties such as Lebanese brown butter beef, creamy garlic potatoes, and spicy cauliflower, with sides that include comforting soups. Updates can be found on Situ Taco’s Instagram.

Maíz, a new tortilleria and counter-service shop in the heart of Pike Place Market, is a temple to corn: kernels of varieties like red cónico, blue chalqueño, and yellow bolita line the counter above the griddle, and heirloom corn is the base of every dish. The shop is also rare in the Seattle area for focusing on guisado tacos — filled with stewy, comforting blends of meats, vegetables, beans, and herbs and spices. Though available guisados rotate throughout the week, a good bet is the bistec— made with well-browned steak and caramelized onions.

Standard Brewing

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This excellent Central District brewery sneakily has some on the best tacos in the city, despite its tiny kitchen. Star chef Jason Stratton, a James Beard Award nominee, is at the helm now, overseeing the menu of tacos with toppings inspired from all over the globe, like a hariyali chicken taco with mint-yogurt cream and Fresno chilis.

A top-dpwn image of the brisket taco at Standard Brewing.
Standard Brewing serves tacos alongside its beer.
Standard Brewing

Marination Ma Kai

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Though this popular mini-chain has pared down its operation during the pandemic (closing its Capitol Hill location), the West Seattle flagship and South Lake Union offshoot are still open for takeout and some limited dining. It’s hard to go wrong with the menu’s flavorful Hawaiian-Korean fusion fare, including the superb miso ginger chicken and kalbi beef options with Nunya sauce.

Taqueria El Asadero

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This beloved Columbia City taco bus serves all manner of tacos, from tongue to tripe to pork adobada. El Asadero also does a fine beef birria taco, plus offers some satisfying tortas and burritos. There’s covered outdoor dining.

Taqueria La Fondita

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This inexpensive, stationary food truck in White Center with an offshoot on Aurora Avenue is one of the Seattle area’s best. Plates pile up with carne asada, adobada, and lengua tacos, and a special request for extra grilled mini-onions and spicy serrano peppers is key.

Tacos with sides in a white container from Taqueria la Fondita.
Taqueria La Fondita serves some of the best tacos in the city out of a truck.
Teresa Lam

Taco Street

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This taco sensation near the Othello station serves soft tacos Northern Chihuahua-style, naked with a choice of meat, plus burritos, tortas, and breakfast burritos. There's a large selection of sauces, salsas, and toppings like cilantro and pickled red onions to customize these beauties.

Tacos at Taco Street on a white plate against a checkered mat.
Tacos at this spot are Northern Chihuahua-style.
Taco Street

El Catrin

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The White Center standout serves a bright array of tacos, from beef cheek to carnitas to chicharron and beyond — 15 in all. The simple counter service restaurant pays attention to the details of every dish coming out of the kitchen, and it shows.

Birrieria Tijuana

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Burien’s taco counter inside a Mexican supermarket specializes in quesabirria tacos, which involve slow-cooked, shredded beef topped with gooey mozzarella inside fried tortillas, best washed down with a refreshing horchata. There are also new locations in Lakewood and Everett.

El Cabrito

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Though this Burien gem is better known for its Oaxacan specialties like mole and molotes, El Cabrito also serves up great tacos, served simply with onions, cilantro, and smoky morita chili salsa. Meat options are asada, carnitas, al pastor with pineapple, roasted vegetables, and a particularly satisfying chicken mole taco.

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Gracia

Tacos at Gracia
Gracia’s tortillas use Oaxaca-grown heirloom corn.
Gracia

The tacos at this popular Ballard spot celebrate local and sustainable meat and seafood and come on masa made from Oaxaca-grown heirloom corn. Options include the campechanos, a wild blend of carne asada, bacon, chorizo, and roasted pork with charred tomatillo salsa, as well as more standard options like carnitas, al pastor, lengua, and al pastor. The restaurant also serves cochinita pibil and beef barbacoa, which can be paired with any number of tequilas and mezcals off a solid spirit menu.

Tacos at Gracia
Gracia’s tortillas use Oaxaca-grown heirloom corn.
Gracia

Off The Rez Cafe

Some of Seattle’s only Native American food is served at this cafe inside the University District’s Burke Museum and at its roving food truck. On the menu: fluffy fry bread tacos topped with beef chili, bbq pork with slaw, and a particularly satisfying slow-braised bison. It’s just as good as it sounds.

Sazon Kitchen

An offshoot of the well-liked food truck Sazon Tacos, the Mexican restaurant (with a location in Ballard as well as Queen Anne) has expanded its repertoire with some brunch dishes, such as chilaquiles. But the tacos are still on point, with stewy guisado options like beef and salmon machaca and diabla shrimp.

Tacos Chukis

This hotspot tucked away on Capitol Hill churns out tacos and burritos from a limited but still terrific menu. The tiny tacos are all good, especially the pork adobada topped with grilled pineapple, or the special house adobada taco with cheese. The nopal tacos, too, are tangy and a good accompaniment to the meatier options. The growing company also dishes them out at less-hidden locations in South Lake Union, the Central District, and Beacon Hill.

Carmelo’s Tacos

Hiding in the same building as Capitol Hill’s Hillcrest Market, this Mexico City-style taqueria is a true gem. Among the highlights are the campechano, featuring chorizo, steak, and potato, as well as a satisfying vegan taco with mushrooms, refried beans, garlic, guajillo chili, and onions. It’s open for takeout daily.

View this post on Instagram

Campechano #tacos#seattletacos#chorizo#mexicanfood#pnw

A post shared by CARMELOSTACOS (@carmelostacos) on

Situ Tacos

Musician Lupe Flores (drummer for the bands Wild Powwers, Tacos the Band, and LORBO) has drawn long lines for her Lebanese-Mexican taco pop-up, praised for its delicately fried tortillas. Now, she’s found a more permanent home at popular Belltown bar Jupiter. The tacos come in varieties such as Lebanese brown butter beef, creamy garlic potatoes, and spicy cauliflower, with sides that include comforting soups. Updates can be found on Situ Taco’s Instagram.

maíz

Maíz, a new tortilleria and counter-service shop in the heart of Pike Place Market, is a temple to corn: kernels of varieties like red cónico, blue chalqueño, and yellow bolita line the counter above the griddle, and heirloom corn is the base of every dish. The shop is also rare in the Seattle area for focusing on guisado tacos — filled with stewy, comforting blends of meats, vegetables, beans, and herbs and spices. Though available guisados rotate throughout the week, a good bet is the bistec— made with well-browned steak and caramelized onions.

Standard Brewing

A top-dpwn image of the brisket taco at Standard Brewing.
Standard Brewing serves tacos alongside its beer.
Standard Brewing

This excellent Central District brewery sneakily has some on the best tacos in the city, despite its tiny kitchen. Star chef Jason Stratton, a James Beard Award nominee, is at the helm now, overseeing the menu of tacos with toppings inspired from all over the globe, like a hariyali chicken taco with mint-yogurt cream and Fresno chilis.

A top-dpwn image of the brisket taco at Standard Brewing.
Standard Brewing serves tacos alongside its beer.
Standard Brewing

Marination Ma Kai

Though this popular mini-chain has pared down its operation during the pandemic (closing its Capitol Hill location), the West Seattle flagship and South Lake Union offshoot are still open for takeout and some limited dining. It’s hard to go wrong with the menu’s flavorful Hawaiian-Korean fusion fare, including the superb miso ginger chicken and kalbi beef options with Nunya sauce.

Taqueria El Asadero

This beloved Columbia City taco bus serves all manner of tacos, from tongue to tripe to pork adobada. El Asadero also does a fine beef birria taco, plus offers some satisfying tortas and burritos. There’s covered outdoor dining.

Taqueria La Fondita

Tacos with sides in a white container from Taqueria la Fondita.
Taqueria La Fondita serves some of the best tacos in the city out of a truck.
Teresa Lam

This inexpensive, stationary food truck in White Center with an offshoot on Aurora Avenue is one of the Seattle area’s best. Plates pile up with carne asada, adobada, and lengua tacos, and a special request for extra grilled mini-onions and spicy serrano peppers is key.

Tacos with sides in a white container from Taqueria la Fondita.
Taqueria La Fondita serves some of the best tacos in the city out of a truck.
Teresa Lam

Taco Street

Tacos at Taco Street on a white plate against a checkered mat.
Tacos at this spot are Northern Chihuahua-style.
Taco Street

This taco sensation near the Othello station serves soft tacos Northern Chihuahua-style, naked with a choice of meat, plus burritos, tortas, and breakfast burritos. There's a large selection of sauces, salsas, and toppings like cilantro and pickled red onions to customize these beauties.

Tacos at Taco Street on a white plate against a checkered mat.
Tacos at this spot are Northern Chihuahua-style.
Taco Street

El Catrin

The White Center standout serves a bright array of tacos, from beef cheek to carnitas to chicharron and beyond — 15 in all. The simple counter service restaurant pays attention to the details of every dish coming out of the kitchen, and it shows.

Birrieria Tijuana

Burien’s taco counter inside a Mexican supermarket specializes in quesabirria tacos, which involve slow-cooked, shredded beef topped with gooey mozzarella inside fried tortillas, best washed down with a refreshing horchata. There are also new locations in Lakewood and Everett.

El Cabrito

Though this Burien gem is better known for its Oaxacan specialties like mole and molotes, El Cabrito also serves up great tacos, served simply with onions, cilantro, and smoky morita chili salsa. Meat options are asada, carnitas, al pastor with pineapple, roasted vegetables, and a particularly satisfying chicken mole taco.

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