Friday Question of the Day – Best Tacos in DC

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I guess I still got cinco de mayo on my mind – let’s make this an easy one, though by no means inconsequential, where are the best tacos in DC. (Please include the neighborhood where the restaurant is located.)

112 Comment

  • El Sol.

    Yes, Habanero is also very good.

    • justinbc

      +1, have tried all the others mentioned thus far and El Sol beats them in my mind. I’m not going to say absurd things like BY FAR and HANDS DOWN etc because the best ones are all relatively close, and still far from what you get in the better Mexican / taco areas of the country.

      • justinbc

        Btw I’ve been to several of the supposed super taco spots out in the burbs (Taco Bar and R&R to name a couple), and I’ll just save most people some time and say don’t bother going out there for them. They’re better than most of the spots in DC, but pretty much on par with the “best” spots you can find in the city.

    • Where is El Sol?

      • There’s 2. One is in Mt Vernon Square on 11th inbetween M and N (very small). One is up by Petworth – not as familiar with that area.

      • justinbc

        The one that I’ve been to is in Petworth. I’ve heard there’s another in Shaw, but that it’s not as good.

  • Best tacos? Hate to be generic, but District Taco tops all the smaller joints I’ve tried.

    Best Mexican? Habanero on 14th.

    • District Taco is my favorite because I live in Capitol Hill and I’m not normally grabbing quick bites when I’m out in other neighborhoods. I do think they’re the best in the Hill but there are probably better places farther out.

    • I respectfully disagree. DT’s meat is so bland! Their tortillas also leave something to be desired. Now, their chili con queso is something I can get behind!

      • Agreed. I’ve never understood the appeal of District Taco. The meat is ok (it can be watery and sometimes bland). But the tortillas are awful and just ruin the entire experience – they’re soggy and gummy and stick to the roof of my mouth. Even people who like DT have agreed with me on this!

      • +1 DT’s chili con queso is amazing

  • Taqueria habanero all day! And as a Texan, I consider myself an authority on good tacos.

  • Kukki Bakemono

    I really liked Pica Taco when I went, but I’m excited to try Habanero and El Sol.

  • jim_ed

    El Sol. Though I had a carnitas torta there last night and I may never go back to eating tacos.

  • Taqueria Habenero on upper 14th St near Red Derby/Lyman’s. It’s not even close for me either.

  • DC1

    Habanero hands down… Closest thing to El Gordo from San Diego/Tijuana (the real deal!).

    • San Diegan/Tijuanese here, so Texans can stick to the Tex-Mex thread, which is by far and away a different cuisine that what we are speaking of here. Yes, tex-Mex is good and I say go in peace, but it is it’s own thing (like many Texas things). Habanero is the best so far, El Sol is on my list.

  • It used to be Taqueria Habenera but: first they dramatically decreased their portions and then food/service went downhill. Very sad. Still searching for the best taco now.

  • I love the El Chilango truck that parks between Rosslyn and Courthouse.

  • Lengua tacos at Restaurant Judy

  • Taqueria Habanero on 14th is my favorite. I live near the El Sol on 11th. I don’t get it.

  • Super Taco in Adams Morgan.

  • Super Taco in Adams Morgan.
    It doesn’t have much in the way of seating for eating in, but I get delivery all the time.
    They also have a funny theme song on their website.

  • Tacqueria Habenero on 14th next to the Red Derby BY FAR in my mind.

  • Trump International Hotel

  • By far it is El Chilengo at 12 & V NW – amazing and cheap.

  • taqueria nacional at 14th and t. great tacos, good specials, awesome space

  • J & J Taqueria on Georgia Ave & Jefferson St is surprisingly good. I also really like Pica Taco.

    • Are you sure it’s on Georgia and Jefferson? I don’t recall seeing one there. In any event, I would never go to that corner at night.

      • J & J gets my current vote too since they are in my neighborhood, and equal factors for best tacos are convenience and deliciousness. It’s on Georgia and Sheridan.

      • Oops thanks for correcting me! It’s a few blocks north on Georgia and Sheridan by the Walmart. There’s another J&J carry out out place on Georgia and Jefferson. Don’t go to that one.

  • Pica Taco at 14th & Florida NW. The pastor taco is my favorite.

    • I also like Pica Taco! There is one right by me on 16th and Columbia NW. I’m not going to call it my favorite taco, but definitely my favorite taco within a 5 minute walk from my house (and since I live in Columbia Heights, that’s actually saying something).

  • Espita at 9th and N

  • DC folks don’t know good tacos! Even if you claim you are from Texas or West Coast, none of the tacos here come close to what I had in San Antonio, or San Francisco. Real al pastor tacos cook the pork on a verticle spit, and nowhere in DC does that because they know DC folks don’t know what a good taco is and will buy up skillet fried pork and call that al pastor. Habanero comes the closest, but it’s nowhere near as good as the al pastor verticle pork spit tacos you get in the West Coast. El Jarochita II in Arlington does have the authentic al pastor tacos, roasted pork cut off a vertical spit on weekends. El Sol, Pica Taco, El Reys, Super Tacos and Bakery, District Taco, they are all junk and if you think they are good, you haven’t had good tacos. El Chilango is decent, the corn tortilla is well made, but again, the pastor pork meat is not cooked on a vertical spit and once you have had that, everything else sucks. The sauces here are tame as well. You get the real heat in authentic taqueria places.

  • Taqueria Distrito Federal is authentic as it gets! Simple and delish!

  • El Sol!!! Tacqueria Habanero is also very good, but I feel like their portion size has decreased, and it’s always packed in there, so it takes forever to get said tacos. Tacos El Chilango is also very tasty. Good veggie options there. Pica Taco is good- tacos are big there! I have yet to try District Taco!

  • RIP Mama Chuy πŸ™ I actually haven’t been to most of the spots mentioned here. Guess it’s time to expand my horizons.

  • Fully acknowledging this is not DC and not getting into ‘best’….. but Taco Bamba in Falls Church- worth the drive to check out!!

  • So I assume when y’all are raving about at a place you’re mostly thinking about their pork tacos. But for those of us who don’t eat meat– where are the best fish tacos? Or vegetarian tacos?

    • The squash blossom tacos at El Chucho are amazing…

    • Chaia in Georgetown makes really delicious vegetarian tacos. Not exactly authentic, but very tasty.

    • A strong second for El Chucho, plus the Earthy Taco at Johnny Pistolas. Can’t claim to know about the quality of other tacos at Johnny Pistolas since I haven’t seen it in this comments section yet, but the veg option is very good and makes me feel like I’m not an afterthought.

    • I always get the fish tacos at Taqueria Habanero. They are money. I’m not sure how they are cooked, but I doubt they are too concerned with cross contamination with meat though…

    • The spicy mushroom taco at Taco Bamba is on point.

    • For veg and fish tacos, I really like Lesos Taco and Johnny Pistollas

  • Also obviously not in DC, but Taqueria Los Primos in Laurel, MD is incredible, especially their al pastor.

  • Results of a Cinco de Marzo Taco Crawl among friends: https://www.behance.net/gallery/27308839/Infographics.

  • Taqueria La Placita in Hyattsville is great.
    https://www.yelp.com/biz/taqueria-la-placita-hyattsville

    I haven’t had many of the other ones mentioned here, so I’m not going to rank it in comparison, but it’s really good.

  • I have been chasing the “you gotta try this place” taco for 20 years. From Arlington to Riverdale to Adams Morgan to DC upscale joints to food trucks galore. Honestly, I can’t tell that much of a difference between any of them and Chipotle. And yes I’ve been to Southern California and had tacos there too. Very few places seem to be doing anything special with either the tortilla or the meat… or the salsa. I love a a taco washed down with a cold beer, and like pizza, 99% are fine. Seriously, what am I missing?

    • MVT

      habanero salsa

    • I once spent a month in San Diego for work, and made my way through the must-try taco places, but I didn’t think any of them were noteworthy. Like many things in Southern California, the food is incredibly overrated.
      But tacos are like pizza– even if they’re not great, they’re still very good.

      • The only must-try taco places in San Diego are those with the best fish tacos. Otherwise? LA is the place to go for good tacos, not San Diego.

    • justinbc

      The salsa at pretty much every taco place I’ve been to in DC is just awful. Generically flavorless and usually watery. El Sol has some decent salsa, and Espita has some great ones that will leave you burning long after.

    • Either tacos just aren’t for you or you don’t care too much for food. That’s totally fine and you aren’t missing anything if that’s you. Me? I’m borderline obsessed with it and have searched far and wide in the DMV area in search of the best carnitas taco. To each their own.

      • I agree it’s like pizza though- even if it’s not very good, it’s still good. That being said (like pizza) a super delicious taco is an incredible experience.

  • El Sol is by far the best Mexican place in town but I never get tacos there (always huaraches, tortas, pozole, or breakfast items). I say this as a Mexican. Also, the new-ish Fresca Taqueria on H street has AMAZING al pastor tacos. A few other items are hit or miss but they are mostly really good and i HIGHLY recommend their al pastor. They do their tacos al vapor (steamed tortillas, not griddled) which is not my favorite style but they’re still f&^#ing delicious.

  • The best taco place in the DC area is absolutely Taqueria la placita in Hyattsville md. I’ll have to give El Sol a try!

  • For those wondering, Habanero is on Door Dash, so you can have it delivered if you so desire.

  • Taqueria Habanero – 3710 14th Street, Washington, DC 20010

    Best tacos in DC – better than El Sol in my opinion (especially new El Sol location), The owners and all the staff are extremely nice and you can’t beat their chorizo taco or the tinga. Great margs and queso fondido!

  • Takorean and Far East Taco Grille

  • Egad

    Has anyone tried Lezo’s Taqueria in Mount Pleasant? Any good?

  • I started a taco blog a few years ago called Bill of Tacos. The goal was to eat at every taco joint in DC and I almost did it. The best tacos were in Georgetown. No lie. I didn’t want to admit it but they topped the usual suspects list. Unfortunately Bandolero is gone, but there is still Farmers Fishers Bakers. If you refuse G’town then try El Chilango or Pica Taco. Also Smoke & Barrel should bring their tacos back.

  • I’m here for the comments

  • Lauriol Plaza!
    .
    (jk…just to piss people off)
    .
    But let me know when there’s a “best fajitas” and I will defend them to my death….

  • Hidden gem: El Camino in Bloomingdale. The mushroom tacos are amazing.

  • So they’re not trendy right now, but I have a soft spot for hard shell tacos. What’s the best place for those in particular?

  • Taco Bell obviously

  • Pa’ Tacos El Papi on Columbia Pike at South Jefferson (truck) Hands down the best!
    El Charritto Caminante on Washington Blvd in Arlington, VA
    Chupacabra off of H St NE.

    District Taco in DC on the hill blows

  • Taqueria Habanero for me. People tell me El Sol is better and I think it’s good but not even a close second.

    The posole af Habanero is the best I’ve had, as are their carnitas, fish, chorizo and al pastor. Oh the agia frescas and coffee too

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