What is a taco if not a tortilla with grandiose whims? It tries its best to contain them – the stewed meats, the veggies, the cheese and spicy salsa – but most of the time, it makes a mess.
Sure, we can add fewer fillings to our tacos, or an extra tortilla to help absorb the spillage. But why?
Here are some local taco spots where messes are most welcome.
This hipster taqueria in Delray Beach is a popular local spot. There is quite the spread to love at this restaurant in Delray Beach’s Pineapple Grove district.
El Camino: 15 NE 2nd Ave., Delray Beach; 561-865-5350 Rocco’s Tacos
Don't let the extensive menu confuse you -- Tacos is still this restaurant's last name.
One doesn’t always come to the nearest Rocco’s for tacos because the non-taco menu is extensive. But tacos are always a good idea at this locally based, full-service concept. Pork lovers may like Rocco’s Brooklyn taco (pulled pork, chorizo, pork belly, smoked bacon, onion, cilantro and salsa brava), while vegans may dig the tequila-spiked “hongos” taco (mushrooms, jalapeño, garlic and fixings), among other varieties.
Rocco’s Tacos: For locations in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Delray Beach and Boca Raton, visit RoccosTacos.com Cholo Soy Cocina
One of the best tacos you’ll have in Palm Beach County are made by a guy from Michigan. Then again, chef Clay Carnes is not just “a guy from Michigan.” He’s a master of wood-smoked meats, hot Andean flavors – he worked as an executive chef in Cuenca, Ecuador – and authentic corn tortillas. His grilling talents and knack for finding excellent ingredients produce a mighty fine steak taco. There’s more than steak on the menu of this tiny taqueria, but if you’re a carnivore, you must try Cholo’s meatier tacos.
Cholo Soy Cocina: 3715 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach; 561-619-7018 Taco Chula
This taco shop inhabits a small space in a Palm Beach Gardens plaza, but the brother-sister team that owns it make the most of its narrow confines. The hungry crowd spills onto the covered walkway out front. The reason for this crowd: Taco Chula is the home of the “handsome” taco. Beyond pretty, the tacos here are yummy, authentic and wrapped in tortillas made by Lake Worth’s Gallo de Oro tortilleria.
Taqueria Taco Chula: 10800 N. Military Trail; 561-530-7755 Zipitios
Welcome to the taco shop with a longtime cult following. Owners Ricky and Niria Perez picked up that following during Tacos and Hip Hop nights on Clematis Street. In February, they formalized their taco dream by opening Zipitios at Grandview Public Market, where they make some of the tastiest chicken tinga tacos around. Their cooking leans Mesoamerican (central Mexican and south into Central America), which means you can expect some thick Salvadoran pupusas here as well.
Zipitios: at Grandview Market, 1401 Clare Ave., West Palm Beach Los Altos Jalisco
The menu at this casual Dixie Highway restaurant is large, but don’t let that derail your taco intentions. This busy spot makes authentic, delicious tacos with a good variety of fillings, like pork al pastor, carnitas, carne asada, chorizo and chicharrón.
Los Altos Jalisco, which opened in February, has everything a good neighborhood Mexican restaurant should have: all manners of authentic street food and friendly service.
Los Altos Jalisco: 6611 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach; 561-513-5879 Tacos al Carbon
Locals love this local chain of taco spots. One reason: Tacos al Carbon offers plenty of options in terms of taco fillings. There’s sirloin steak, braised beef, fried pork and chorizo as well as less common fillings like chicharrón and lengua.
We love the spicy-sweet pork tacos al pastor – and so do the regulars that frequent these spots in the wee hours of the night.
Tacos al Carbon: main location at 4420 Lake Worth Rd., with other Lake Worth locations at 4469 S. Congress Ave. and 2200 N. Dixie Highway, and in Greenacres at 5380 10th Ave. N.