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Tacos and margaritas from Johnny Sanchez
Johnny Sanchez

Where to Find the Best Tacos in New Orleans

Every day can be taco Tuesday at these winning spots

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Tacos and margaritas from Johnny Sanchez
| Johnny Sanchez

The taco is a perfect flavor delivery system. Encased in a corn or flour tortilla, stuffed with anything imaginable and then dressed with spicy salsa, crisp onions and refreshing cilantro, what’s not to like? New Orleans’s taco scene is currently thriving, with many chefs aiming for purist perfection and others stretching the dish’s definition, using the format to deliver all kinds of ingredient mash-ups. Here, Eater presents a wide-ranging line-up of some of New Orleans’s best corn and flour tacos, from bougie hotspots to longtime taco trucks.

If you’re looking for breakfast tacos specifically, see here.

Did we miss your favorite spot for tacos in New Orleans? Let us know.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Mawi NOLA

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For the best Honduran-style tacos in town, look no further than Metairie’s Mawi NOLA, which also happens to supply their tortillas to many, if not most, of the restaurants in the area. Or try the birria tacos, as Mawi may have been one of the first local spots to serve them, served with a savory, fatty beef broth. Sometimes special breakfast tacos are on the menu.

Pacos Tacos of Metairie

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This Metairie gem on Veterans makes no bones about it: If you don’t have a trompo, it’s not real deal al pastor. And Pacos Tacos does indeed have a trompo, a vertical rotating spit of seasoned meat which yields glistening ribbons of al pastor pork for tacos. Tacos come in all flavors and there’s margaritas and breakfast burritos too. Dine in or take out from 11 a.m. daily, open til 10 p.m. Friday and Saturdays.

El Taco Loco

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El Loco is the real deal: deeply savory meats including lengua and tinga, and at last — super burritos that, even with add-on guacamole, come in well-priced. A pair of savory conchitas pibil (slow roasted pork) tacos is a great idea — love that house salsa. Nachos, wings, margaritas, and beer. And yes, Jarritos sodas.

El Taco Loco
Facebook/El Taco Loco

Panchita's

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Cozy, authentic, homemade — that about sums up Panchita’s Mexican Restaurant on Carrollton Uptown, just steps from Lebanon’s Cafe. This family friendly homey spot offers Veracruz style specialties marked by fresh tomato sauce with olives and capers, without the heat of chiles. Try the al pastor and asada tacos and anything with mole. Rock bottom prices.

Taqueria Corona (Multiple Locations)

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With locations in New Orleans, Metairie, and Harahan, Taqueria Corona is a popular sit-down bet for families and anybody craving ribeye carne asada. That rib-eye shows up in the tasty Philly cheesesteak taco with other options including crispy baja-style fish, pulled pork, and traditional spicy beef tongue. The house margarita is a good deal, made with fresh lime juice.

Taceaux Loceaux

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Fans of this longtime taco truck fixture at Uptown bars flock to bricks and mortar restaurant, which features signature taco fillings like BBQ pork, brisket, Korean-style chicken; as well as vegan and vegetarian-friendly stars like braised greens, potato and poblano, cauliflower, and “fauxrizo,” and other specials worth trying.

When he designed the menu at Vals, chef/partner Fredo Nogueira didn’t try to reinvent the taco. He distilled the best of Mexican street food into a compact line up that includes a Baja style fish taco, crisped beef belly and a juicy green mole taco, each piled onto toothsome house made discs of corn. The garage turned fetching taqueria on Freret is from the smart folks behind Cure and Cane and Table — so yes, the drinks are outstanding. Tons of covered outdoor space too so come rain or shine.

Del Fuego NOLA

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Del Fuego is an oasis of real deal Mexican fare Uptown, a family owned eatery known for incorporating local product into a host of comfort dishes. The piled-high tacos are so affordable —try the veggie or chorizo options with a side of rice and beans. Expect fresh-tasting cocktails and strong pours as a bonus. Love the 22 percent living wage service charged added to dine in orders, 15 percent for takeout/delivery — distributed equally to front and back of the house workers.

Taqueria Guerrero Mexico Inc

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This Mid-City staple came on the heels of the post-Katrina taco trucks and remains one of the few genuine articles in town. As unpretentious as the decor, tacos here are without gimmicks and served street style with few ingredients centered around well-flavored meat, cilantro and onions. Barbacoa remains a best bet. Warning: the spicy salsa verde is addictive.

Barracuda

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This unassuming shack with a big outdoor space Uptown on Tchoupitoulas Street Uptown is a gem, ideal for take out or patio seating. Try the mushroom taco for sure, and ask for extra salsa macha. The garden is open for weather-protected outdoor dining, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday. There’s also a Barracuda across the river in Algiers.

Official Photo/Augusta Sagnelli Studios

Taqueria El Paraíso Food Truck

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The love for Taqueria El Paraíso is simple: good food, fast service, and affordable prices. It’s also conveniently centrally located downtown, and offers an extensive array of taco fillings, including lengua, tripe, and cachete.

Casa Borrega: Fonda & Mezcaleria

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Open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, with plenty of outdoor seating available, Casa Borrega was an early adopter of Mexican food in the city and one of the trailblazers of the Central City renaissance along Oretha Castle Haley. Fill three tacos with one choice of 14 fillings, including tongue, pumpkin blossom flower, and huitlacoche, a tasty corn fungus also known as Mexican truffle. The Tex-Mex nachos are off the chain.

Brasted/Eater NOLA

Tacos & Beer

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A convivial spot for tacos and margaritas on the Avenue, Tacos and Beer frrom Gilbert Valencia and family offers family meals to-go — 12 tacos, cheese dip and salsa for $20, with a nice choice of fillings. The carne asada has a nice crust to it, or try the barbacoa, shredded beef in red sauce. Fish tacos are available a la carte, offered battered or broiled.

Pagoda Café

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When they said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, they were probably taking about the breakfast tacos at Pagoda. The tacos are served with refried beans, potatoes, egg, and cheese on a flour tortilla with a side of “Villa Arcos” hot sauce (very hot sauce). Corn tortillas available on request, plus diners can add bacon or turkey bacon, or substitute a tofu scramble for the eggs.

Juan's Flying Burrito - LGD

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Juan’s is beyond chill, a snappy taco joint with great margaritas and four locations around town and one in Pensacola. Family-friendly, with lots of vegetarian and vegan options, Juan’s brings local flavors into the mix with a Creole take on specialty dishes. Try the pulled pork and slaw or the blackened seasonal fish both on flour tortillas. The hard sell spicy chorizo tacos are addicting.

Johnny Sánchez

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Step inside Johnny Sanchez on Poydras and it’s clear this isn’t your usual taco joint. Eye-popping art, modern lighting, and a sleek sophisticated vibe sets expectations high — and with good reason. Partner/chefs Johnny Sanchez and Miles Landrem deliver the goods, from tacos stuffed with albondigas, Aaron’s grandmother’s recipe, to crispy P&J oysters and fried cauliflower. Really everything is good — if the crawfish enchilada is a special, get two.

Tacos at Johnny Sánchez
Tacos at Johnny Sánchez
Facebook/Johnny Sanchez

Espíritu

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Tucked away on a side street in the Warehouse District, Espiritu Mezcaleria and Cocina is worth discovering on a few fronts. The restaurant offers modern, regional Mexican cuisine including tasty tacos, from crispy shrimp to Baja fish and a veggie forward sweet potato, best enjoyed with a trio of the housemade salsas. Then there’s the cocktail options — the restaurant’s co-owner Jason Mitzen is a master Mezcalier — and the bar is modeled after a Mexico City mezcaleria.

Cauliflower taco
Espiritu/Official Photo

Carnaval Lounge

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Place your order at the Carnaval Lounge Bar for chef Mike Win’s outstanding birria tacos,

a juicy, slow roasted beef taco with a side of that goodness for dipping — think French dip with Mexican soul. They’re great — same for the shrimp, fish and cauliflower tacos. Get the fresh-fried churros for dessert.

Taqueria Sanchez

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Craving Mexican on the West Bank? Taqueria Sanchez is the spot to go, a tiny, bright roadhouse that greets diners as they hit Gretna. Try the carne asada tacos, a standout on the vast, affordable menu.

Taqueira La Coyota (Multiple Locations)

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One of the city’s best taco trucks is Taqueria la Coyota, which has been selling tortas, tacos, gorditas, pupusas, burritos, and quesadillas near the New Orleans-Arabi city line on Claiborne Avenue for years, long known for quality and affordability. There’s also a truck on Chef Menteur Highway, and a newer one that sets up in front of Wagner’s on St. Claude Avenue.

Clair Lorell/Eater NOLA

Mawi NOLA

For the best Honduran-style tacos in town, look no further than Metairie’s Mawi NOLA, which also happens to supply their tortillas to many, if not most, of the restaurants in the area. Or try the birria tacos, as Mawi may have been one of the first local spots to serve them, served with a savory, fatty beef broth. Sometimes special breakfast tacos are on the menu.

Pacos Tacos of Metairie

This Metairie gem on Veterans makes no bones about it: If you don’t have a trompo, it’s not real deal al pastor. And Pacos Tacos does indeed have a trompo, a vertical rotating spit of seasoned meat which yields glistening ribbons of al pastor pork for tacos. Tacos come in all flavors and there’s margaritas and breakfast burritos too. Dine in or take out from 11 a.m. daily, open til 10 p.m. Friday and Saturdays.

El Taco Loco

El Taco Loco
Facebook/El Taco Loco

El Loco is the real deal: deeply savory meats including lengua and tinga, and at last — super burritos that, even with add-on guacamole, come in well-priced. A pair of savory conchitas pibil (slow roasted pork) tacos is a great idea — love that house salsa. Nachos, wings, margaritas, and beer. And yes, Jarritos sodas.

El Taco Loco
Facebook/El Taco Loco

Panchita's

Cozy, authentic, homemade — that about sums up Panchita’s Mexican Restaurant on Carrollton Uptown, just steps from Lebanon’s Cafe. This family friendly homey spot offers Veracruz style specialties marked by fresh tomato sauce with olives and capers, without the heat of chiles. Try the al pastor and asada tacos and anything with mole. Rock bottom prices.

Taqueria Corona (Multiple Locations)

With locations in New Orleans, Metairie, and Harahan, Taqueria Corona is a popular sit-down bet for families and anybody craving ribeye carne asada. That rib-eye shows up in the tasty Philly cheesesteak taco with other options including crispy baja-style fish, pulled pork, and traditional spicy beef tongue. The house margarita is a good deal, made with fresh lime juice.

Taceaux Loceaux

Fans of this longtime taco truck fixture at Uptown bars flock to bricks and mortar restaurant, which features signature taco fillings like BBQ pork, brisket, Korean-style chicken; as well as vegan and vegetarian-friendly stars like braised greens, potato and poblano, cauliflower, and “fauxrizo,” and other specials worth trying.

Vals

When he designed the menu at Vals, chef/partner Fredo Nogueira didn’t try to reinvent the taco. He distilled the best of Mexican street food into a compact line up that includes a Baja style fish taco, crisped beef belly and a juicy green mole taco, each piled onto toothsome house made discs of corn. The garage turned fetching taqueria on Freret is from the smart folks behind Cure and Cane and Table — so yes, the drinks are outstanding. Tons of covered outdoor space too so come rain or shine.

Del Fuego NOLA

Del Fuego is an oasis of real deal Mexican fare Uptown, a family owned eatery known for incorporating local product into a host of comfort dishes. The piled-high tacos are so affordable —try the veggie or chorizo options with a side of rice and beans. Expect fresh-tasting cocktails and strong pours as a bonus. Love the 22 percent living wage service charged added to dine in orders, 15 percent for takeout/delivery — distributed equally to front and back of the house workers.

Taqueria Guerrero Mexico Inc

This Mid-City staple came on the heels of the post-Katrina taco trucks and remains one of the few genuine articles in town. As unpretentious as the decor, tacos here are without gimmicks and served street style with few ingredients centered around well-flavored meat, cilantro and onions. Barbacoa remains a best bet. Warning: the spicy salsa verde is addictive.

Barracuda

Official Photo/Augusta Sagnelli Studios

This unassuming shack with a big outdoor space Uptown on Tchoupitoulas Street Uptown is a gem, ideal for take out or patio seating. Try the mushroom taco for sure, and ask for extra salsa macha. The garden is open for weather-protected outdoor dining, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday. There’s also a Barracuda across the river in Algiers.

Official Photo/Augusta Sagnelli Studios

Taqueria El Paraíso Food Truck

The love for Taqueria El Paraíso is simple: good food, fast service, and affordable prices. It’s also conveniently centrally located downtown, and offers an extensive array of taco fillings, including lengua, tripe, and cachete.

Casa Borrega: Fonda & Mezcaleria

Brasted/Eater NOLA

Open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, with plenty of outdoor seating available, Casa Borrega was an early adopter of Mexican food in the city and one of the trailblazers of the Central City renaissance along Oretha Castle Haley. Fill three tacos with one choice of 14 fillings, including tongue, pumpkin blossom flower, and huitlacoche, a tasty corn fungus also known as Mexican truffle. The Tex-Mex nachos are off the chain.

Brasted/Eater NOLA

Tacos & Beer

A convivial spot for tacos and margaritas on the Avenue, Tacos and Beer frrom Gilbert Valencia and family offers family meals to-go — 12 tacos, cheese dip and salsa for $20, with a nice choice of fillings. The carne asada has a nice crust to it, or try the barbacoa, shredded beef in red sauce. Fish tacos are available a la carte, offered battered or broiled.

Pagoda Café

When they said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, they were probably taking about the breakfast tacos at Pagoda. The tacos are served with refried beans, potatoes, egg, and cheese on a flour tortilla with a side of “Villa Arcos” hot sauce (very hot sauce). Corn tortillas available on request, plus diners can add bacon or turkey bacon, or substitute a tofu scramble for the eggs.

Juan's Flying Burrito - LGD

Juan’s is beyond chill, a snappy taco joint with great margaritas and four locations around town and one in Pensacola. Family-friendly, with lots of vegetarian and vegan options, Juan’s brings local flavors into the mix with a Creole take on specialty dishes. Try the pulled pork and slaw or the blackened seasonal fish both on flour tortillas. The hard sell spicy chorizo tacos are addicting.

Related Maps

Johnny Sánchez

Tacos at Johnny Sánchez
Tacos at Johnny Sánchez
Facebook/Johnny Sanchez

Step inside Johnny Sanchez on Poydras and it’s clear this isn’t your usual taco joint. Eye-popping art, modern lighting, and a sleek sophisticated vibe sets expectations high — and with good reason. Partner/chefs Johnny Sanchez and Miles Landrem deliver the goods, from tacos stuffed with albondigas, Aaron’s grandmother’s recipe, to crispy P&J oysters and fried cauliflower. Really everything is good — if the crawfish enchilada is a special, get two.

Tacos at Johnny Sánchez
Tacos at Johnny Sánchez
Facebook/Johnny Sanchez

Espíritu

Cauliflower taco
Espiritu/Official Photo

Tucked away on a side street in the Warehouse District, Espiritu Mezcaleria and Cocina is worth discovering on a few fronts. The restaurant offers modern, regional Mexican cuisine including tasty tacos, from crispy shrimp to Baja fish and a veggie forward sweet potato, best enjoyed with a trio of the housemade salsas. Then there’s the cocktail options — the restaurant’s co-owner Jason Mitzen is a master Mezcalier — and the bar is modeled after a Mexico City mezcaleria.

Cauliflower taco
Espiritu/Official Photo

Carnaval Lounge

Place your order at the Carnaval Lounge Bar for chef Mike Win’s outstanding birria tacos,

a juicy, slow roasted beef taco with a side of that goodness for dipping — think French dip with Mexican soul. They’re great — same for the shrimp, fish and cauliflower tacos. Get the fresh-fried churros for dessert.

Taqueria Sanchez

Craving Mexican on the West Bank? Taqueria Sanchez is the spot to go, a tiny, bright roadhouse that greets diners as they hit Gretna. Try the carne asada tacos, a standout on the vast, affordable menu.

Taqueira La Coyota (Multiple Locations)

Clair Lorell/Eater NOLA

One of the city’s best taco trucks is Taqueria la Coyota, which has been selling tortas, tacos, gorditas, pupusas, burritos, and quesadillas near the New Orleans-Arabi city line on Claiborne Avenue for years, long known for quality and affordability. There’s also a truck on Chef Menteur Highway, and a newer one that sets up in front of Wagner’s on St. Claude Avenue.

Clair Lorell/Eater NOLA

Related Maps