Today, National Taco Day, we salute the beloved taco. We asked our readers and writers where they would like to celebrate this important holiday in the Garden State, and here’s what we found out.
Barrio Costero The restaurant is currently running a special throughout the month of October to raise contribute to the efforts to aid the devastation from recent earthquakes in Mexico. On Tuesday nights the restaurant’s Taco Tuesday offers its two tacos of the day plus a margarita for $12. All profits benefit the Carlos Slim Foundation, which has pledged to match all donations at five times the amount.
Asbury Park, New Jersey
Bubbakoos Burritos With over 16 protein options including Buffalo shrimp, fried chicken, sriracha pork and Hibachi steak, several handmade salsa options, and countless toppings, there are hundreds of combinations to make a completely customizable taco.
Casita Mexican Restaurant At Casita you’ll find brunch, lunch, dinner and fun street fare seven days a week! You’ll find several gluten-free options, and you can select from a variety of proteins: chicken, blacken mahi-mahi, shrimp, BBQ pork, brisket or steak with hard and soft corn tortillas or both shells combined.
Chilango’s “I love Chilangos because it’s a comfortable, relaxed hangout with delicious authentic Mexican food, but also because you can have a party there and please people who may not even appreciate Mexican food. There’s something for everyone. The specials are a unique mix of authentic and original recipes. The drink menu is also diverse. You never know what they’re going to dream up next!” Yolanda Fleming, Jersey Bites Fan
Highlands, New Jersey
Gringo’s “Recently opened, Gringo’s combines authentic Mexican bites with affordable and creative drinks. Already a local favorite, it’s always packed to the brim with people sipping cocktails and munching on an array of tacos. The menu contains a variety of innovative options ranging from vegan lettuce-wrapped tacos to a generous portion of nachos sprinkled with duck carnitas. The meal can be paired with a mezcal flight, boozy fruit punch served in a ceramic pot, or a classic Mexican soda—there is truly a drink option for every palate and every mood.” Kim Lindman, Jersey Bites contributor
Jersey City, New Jersey
International Mexican Grocery, According to a recent Yelp reviewer, “The World’s Best Tacos, period! Classic hole-in-the-wall. Unless you heard of it from the friend of a friend of a friend who knows a guy, you’ll spend your life unexposed to the greatest cheap food ever.”
Red Bank, NJ 07701
El Mariachi Loco “An authenic Mexican restaurant located in the center of Hammonton’s charming shopping district. The fish tacos are my favorite, but El Mariachi offers a full selection of meat and vegetable of taco fillings tucked into homemade flour or traditional corn tortillas. Tacos are available a la carte or on a platter with perfectly prepared traditional rice and beans. BYOB.” Kerry Brown, Jersey Bites contributor
Hammonton, New Jersey
“Mexican Post is like our little yummy secret. It was recommended to me by a former chef, so I knew it would be good. But the real test was [whether] my kids would like it—and they love it! The pick-your-own/make-your-own taco bar has everything: meat, beans, fish, grilled vegetables, three different salsas, a variety of toppings, and an amazing guac! And the price is right for a family of five.” Hilary Morris, Jersey Bites fan
Plainsboro, New Jersey
Mariachi’s Mexican Restaurant, “Tiny local favorite, just off of the White Horse Pike, across from the Phoenix Diner. Fresh authentic Mexican, including 10 varieties of freshly made tacos. Try the tacos al pastor or the chorizo tacos.” Mary Wozniak, Jersey Bites contributor
Absecon, New Jersey
Mogo Korean Fusion Tacos “If you’re tired of the same old taco, I highly suggest trying Korean fusion tacos from Mogo. They combine traditional Korean flavors with fresh ingredients on the beloved flour tortilla and it’s really refreshing. Mogo offers meat, fish and tofu options. My favorite is the shrimp, which is made of a sweet and sour chilled shrimp and panko, topped with cucumber salad.” Jon Faronea, Jersey Bites contributor (See how Man v. Food host Casey Webb feels about Mogo here.)
Asbury Park, New Jersey
North of the Border “The best spot for great, authentic tacos in Red Bank. The steak tacos with onion, cilantro and salsa verde are delicious!” Katie Katzgrau, Jersey Bites fan
Red Bank, New Jersey
El Oaxaqueño “It is as authentic as it gets and the tacos are incredible, they are served with bottomless chips and salsa, a grilled jalapeño, and a sweet onion. They also have authentic Mexican drinks and candy. Even their side dishes are delicious. Be sure to try their sweet plantains!” Nour Seleem, Jersey Bites editorial intern and Rutgers Class of 2019
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Senor Peppers, Authentic Mexican food. BYOB. There’s no shortage of 5-star reviews for this “Mom and Pop” establishment where “food, prices and service are excellent” according to one happy Yelper.
Red Bank, New Jersey
A Taco Affair is making a name for itself for its “different take on tacos.” Chef Jessica Phillips offers her spin on the traditional taco with options like the New England lobster roll taco, smoked brisket, jerk chicken and more. (Read more here.)
Little Falls, New Jersey
Tacoria “My favorite taco spot as it stands out in a row of college football-themed bars and pizza parlors. The unique menu includes fried avocado tacos and nutella nachos, just to name a few. I’d pick Tacoria over Chipotle any day.” Clarissa Gordon, Jersey Bites editorial intern and Rutgers Class of 2019
New Brunswick & Montclair, New Jersey
Taylor Sam’s “They have a variety of beef and chicken that are always on the menu but I love their special tacos—my fave is their pulled duck taco special.” Kathy Kimm, Jersey Bites fan
Brick and Red Bank, New Jersey
Villalobos “Love the tacos at Villalobos in Montclair. While I’ve enjoyed each of the hand-made tacos at Villalobos, the carnitas with cola-braised Berkshire pork belly, roasted corn, cotjia cheese and chipotle morita is my very favorite. Plus, $6 for any tacos—what!?” Veronique Deblois, Jersey Bites contributor
But Wait, There’s More!
On National Taco Day 2017, guests at Chevy’s in Clifton or Linden can opt-in for the No Mas Taco Challenge. Here’s how it works: The first five guests at each location to complete the challenge by finishing the four-pound taco in 20 minutes or less wins free tacos for a year—and a t-shirt! (Free tacos for a year: winners receive a gift certificate valid through October 4, 2018, which includes one free taco dish per month at participating Chevy’s Fresh Mex locations. Prize awarded for completion of No Mas Taco Challenge after October 4, 2017 includes free t-shirt when completed within specified time limit at participating Chevy’s Fresh Mex locations.)