Looking for a hand-held wonder of the food world? The best tacos in Pittsburgh are not far away and everywhere you look, there are people touting their favorite. Is there anything more polarizing than a person’s favorite taco stand? Try each one of these five tacos eateries and judge for yourselves.
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SMOKE Barbeque Taqueria
4115 Butler Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
Many call this the “best dang taco in Pittsburgh.” From its smoked meat to its sauces, SMOKE gets great reviews. Their made-from-scratch food offerings (including the tortillas) have attracted attention and respect. Be sure to get some side dishes with your tacos; mac ‘n cheese and apple slaw are both recommended.
Los Chiludos Mexican
325 Southpointe Blvd., Ste. 300
Canonsburg, PA 15317
Right outside of Pittsburgh in the popular Southpointe area is a little piece of Mexico. Tacos are served either Mexicano or Americano-style (onions, cilantro, and salsa or lettuce, cheese, sour cream, and salsa). Make sure you order a side of chips — Los Chiludos makes their own. These chips are thick and crunchy, and perfect with their delicious salsa and guacamole. Open Monday and Tuesday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.; Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Closed Sundays.
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Reyna Foods/Reyna’s Taco Shack
2031 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
If you know Pittsburgh, you know the Strip District — that strip of land on the side of the Allegheny River in the downtown area. Right smack in the middle is Reyna Foods, a wholesale and retail Latino grocery. Right outside of Reyna’s on Penn Avenue is a taco stand that bills itself as serving the best tacos in Pittsburgh — and there are many who will agree. Tacos are freshly made while you wait; choose from a number of fillings, including shrimp, steak, fish, lamb, and pork. The Taco Shack is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 3 weekday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends.
Las Palmas Carniceria
700 Brookline Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15226
This is lunch dining at its most basic and taco dining at its best. Get your tacos to go or sit on the curb or in your car — no one cares about the lack of seating, because the tacos are so darn good. (Eating them on the curb may be the best option, then you can go right back for more.) Pittsburghers rave about Last Palmas salsa cart, where you can choose from amazing salsas and toppings for your tacos. Try the potato taco for a taste treat you will want to repeat. Hours are Monday through Sunday, 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. Cash only.
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1108 Federal St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
El Burro has an ever-growing list of fans — and they are in love with its food. They wax on forever about its tacos (the potato taco and vegetarian offerings are touted to be the best). Primarily a take-out place (there are a very few seats), El Burro models some of their tacos on the street tacos of Mexico (shredded meat). When you order tacos, don’t forget to include a side of Carne Asada Fries — people dream about them! Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.
Sherry Smith-Noble is a freelance writer covering all things Pittsburgh. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.