Updated March 13
The places The Tacoist has visited listed by salsa cup rating, including taco trucks, trailers and stands.
Maria’s Cafe, 1105 Nogalitos St. — South Side — Friends have been telling me about this place for years, and now I know why. Everything about Maria’s Cafe was simply wonderful. Perfect flour tortillas. Excellent fillings. Specialized fillings that actually worked — like, for example, the Taco Loco #2 (wieners, papas, beans, cheese and pico de gallo; above). which was just an excellent combo of flavors. And everything’s fresh, including a very seedy and coarsely chopped pico.
Mendez Cafe, 201 Bartholomew Ave. — South Side — A truly amazing ham and egg taco on flour that has hints of pancake and maple syrup. Cafe specializes in breakfast and has been around more than 30 years.
Yatzil, 502 S. Zarzamora St. — West Side — Offers unique tacos like the chori-quiles (chorizo and chilaquiles), the Yatzil Special Taco (papas a la Mexicana with cheese and bacon) and Taco Mexicano (a whole steak with guacamole, onions and cilantro; above.), which is a Tacoist Great Taco.
Eddie’s Taco House, 3755 Thousand Oaks Drive — Northside — The Northside sibling of the popular taqueria on West Cevallos Street, Eddie’s knows what they’re doing. Bacon and egg on corn had a very good tortilla — thick and floppy. The bacon was perfect: a big ole slab that was high quality, thick and just crispy enough. Bean and cheese was excellent with creamy delicious beans. The cortadillo (a la Mex; above) was a kind of stew that was spicy, beefy, delicious, and new to me.
El Primito, 4710 S. Hackberry St. — South Side — The dudes at El Primito don’t mess around. The cook whips up the tacos in practically no time, and they’re delicious. Well seasoned. Usually, you get four tacos per order, but these guys throw in a fifth. Excellent hot sauces — a green and a red.
Ricky’s Tacos (truck), 7310 Hausman Road — Far Northwest — Popular Northside taco truck with the UTSA students, and really anyone who lives in the neighborhood. Despite 30-degree weather, people still walked up with their bills. These are just really solid street tacos. I had a comb of al pastor and carne asada and both were very, very good — well seasoned, not too greasy, dressed just right with onions and cilantro.
Thousand Oaks Cafe II, 1271 Austin Highway — Northeast — Another candidate for best flour tortillas. These are thinner and flexible and really outshine whatever you put in them — which is saying a lot. All of the tacos were very good to excellent: papa ranchera (one of the better ones out there); carne guisada; rice and bean; ham and egg (the fluffiest egg I’ve had in a taco); pork chop (simple and excellent); barbacoa; and bean and cheese. One of three Tex-Mex restaurants based on the Northside. Interior looks like Jim’s.
Angelica’s 2, 3020 Commercial Ave. — South Side — Excellent, excellent, excellent corn tortilla. They’re large, puffy, soft and have these crispy edges. Mostly importantly: they’re delicious. The flour tortillas were pretty good, as well. Fillings were good, not great. The best taco was a simple pork chop, which was perfectly seasoned and juicy. Beans really good. Carne guisada and papa Mexicana so-so. One of the better salsas verde.
Blue Moon, 3228 S. Flores St. — South Side — First thing first: This place has excellent flour tortillas. They’re on the thinner side and very soft and pliable. All fillings were pretty good. Carne guisada good, not great; machacado w/egg well seasoned with kick from the serrano pepper (above); bean and cheese about average; good chorizo and papa. Can’t beat this place’s atmosphere: small, a little crammed, like being in someone’s house. Be warned: Red salsa is HOT and vinegary.
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, 7280 UTSA Boulevard, Suite 101 — Far Northwest — Restaurant chain out of Fort Worth opened up a location by UTSA and it’s pretty good. They’re known for their seafood tacos. They’re definitely non-San Antonio tacos in that they are dressed with what amounts to a salad. That said, I enjoyed their grilled fish and shrimp tacos; and the spicy pork had good taste but was a little cold.
Guerrero’s, 1859 Rigby Ave. — East Side — An East Side taqueria small in stature, but big on flavor and uniqueness. Menu leans more Mexican than Tex-Mex. Try the chicharron prensado (stewed beef with chicharron bits mixed in) for the novelty. The machacado and papa a la Mexicana were very good, as was the bean and cheese. One of the hottest green hot sauces you’ll ever taste.
Mr. P’s, 1601 Guadalupe St. — West Side — This tiny converted home, and former raspa stand, offers a limited assortment of breakfast tacos, barbecue tacos of brisket and chicken, and other items like hamburgers and sandwiches, mangonadas and strawberrynadas.
Natalie’s Mexican Cafe, 610 Cupples Road — West Side — Third best carne guisada I’ve had in S.A. is at Natalie’s (the first two are at Mi Celayence and Mendez Cafe). Not just beefy, but tomato-y and garlicky. Great taste. Flour tortillas here are fluffier than normal. Bean and chorizo on homemade corn were very good and had a hint of what seemed like cinnamon. A very buttery ham and egg. Nopalitos a la Mexicana had some great kick. Chilaquiles were hot both ways and crunchy as they should be.
CLOSED — Roy’s Taco Hut, 6211 San Pedro Ave. — Northwest — “Texas size” tacos include Taco Caliente, which is carne asada and grilled onions and peppers. Not that hot, but very tasty. About average carne guisada, bean and cheese and chilaquiles.
Smokin’ Joe’s (trailer), 1469 S. W.W. White Road — Far East Side — This barbecue trailer was a pleasant surprise. I had two tacos — one brisket (above) and one sausage — and both were delicious. Store-bought tortillas I expected, and so wasn’t at all put off by them. They smoke meat, they don’t make tortillas. The real surprise came with the “Sucker Punch Taco,” which a two-meat combo, and my buddy ordered one with brisket and chicken. EXCELLENT. The pit master chops them up and mixed them together. She then adds this sauce that’s barely detectable, and combines it all with onions and pickles resulting in one of the tastiest tacos I’ve had so far. Note: The trailer is at the Bubbles & Sudzzz carwash.
Taqueria Los Arcos, 13777 Nacogdoches Road — Far West Side — Quality tacos across the menu. Had the carne guisada, machacado, country and egg, papa chorizo, bean and cheese, and chilaquiles, and not one distinguished itself from the other — all good. Doughy, thicker tortillas.
Wicho’s Mexican Deli, 1110 Zarzamora St. — West Side — Please note that this is not a taqueria, but a Mexican snack shop. So, they offer ice cream, elote either on the comb or in a cup, fruit cup, Mexican candies, smoothies, raspas, shakes. And two types of tacos: carne asada and chicken. I had the carne asada, which was very good. Not greasy at all, but still good. They were accompanied by grilled onions. The best part were the chiles — which are intended mainly for the snacks. They all seemed to be tamarindo or chamoy based. Among the flavors: hot, mild, salsa Mexicana, green chamoy, and baby.
El Patio, 805 S. Seguin Road — Converse — Some good tacos in this tiny Converse taqueria like the country guisada and the carne guisada. But definitely some misses, including the bean and cheese and chicharron en salsa.
Hacienda el Tule, 403 S.W. Military Drive — South Side — Every good taco seemed to have some setback — including undercooked potatoes in papa ranchera, super acidic sauce for chicharrones and salty machacado.
Las Delicias, 1603 W. Commerce St. — West Side — Despite a brief encounter with the pugnacious owner, I really liked this place. It’s cafeteria style, and everything looks delicious. It’s like they’re really cooking each dish instead of slapping them together. For example, the weenie in salsa verde was excellent, and tasted like they slow cooked it for a long time. The machacado had a gaminess to the meat, with hints of soy sauce, that was strange, but good. Carne guisada very beefy in flavor. Bean and cheese like your typical bean and cheese. Inconsistent flour tortillas.
Taqueria Atotonilco, 3431 W. Commerce St. — West Side — Inconsistent flour tortillas. Some were perfect like on the carne guisada — with perfectly tender meat in a perfectly fluffy tortilla. Outstanding. Others were a complete disappointment. All seemed cooked on the comal with that greasy sheen. Store-bought corn tortillas. Carne guisada the was best. Same with pork chop. Bacon & egg was unique in that it was between diced bacon and by the slice — so more coarsely chopped. Other tacos mediocre. Low ceiling, cavelike on the inside. BYOB, says a sign next to the entrance.
Zarazua’s Cafe, 400 Sunset Road — Northside Mexican and Panamanian restaurant on the Northside. Small place. We were the only ones there on a Saturday. Seems like a daily lunch place. Decent tortillas. Nothing special, just a vehicle for the fillings. Thinnish. Good chorizo, potato and egg — a tasty combo I wish more taqueria’s carried on their menu. Not greasy, with good flavor. Machacado lacked flavor. Egg overcooked a bit in both aforementioned tacos. Decent bean and cheese. Carne guisada a little flat.