Did your favorite make the list? What do you recommend?
$ Will probably spend less than $10 a person
Acapulco Tacos & Burritos
840 San Mateo Blvd. SE, 505-268-9865, 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m. daily. Closed Sunday.
This walk-up Mexican restaurant on San Mateo just south of Zuni opened in 1972 in the building that housed the first Lotaburger. It doesn’t provide any indoor seating but has picnic tables and a small patio shaded by trees and shrubbery. They offer large tacos stuffed with either asada, shredded beef or chicken for $2 each, making this place easy on the pocketbook. There are two additional locations in the Heights and Cedar Crest.
El Paisa Taqueria
820 Bridge Blvd. SW, 505-452-8997, 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Sunday.
This cash-only, South Valley favorite is almost never empty. It offers seven different types of street tacos including lengua, al pastor and asada. With a $1.50 price tag, customers can probably afford to try one of each. The aguas frescas in six different flavors are a fan favorite. Cokes are sold in glass bottles with the bottle opener mounted on a post in the middle of the dining area.
10401 Golf Course NW, 505-792-5255. Call for hours.
This local, family-owned New Mexican business got its start in 1982. They are known for being the “Home of the ½ lb. burrito” but customer reviews say their tacos are also some of the best in town. COVID-19 has limited their in-person dining but they are still open for carry-out. They have three locations, two on the West Side and one near the University of New Mexico. Tacos come with shredded beef, chicken, fish or papas con carne. They also have daily specials.
5201 Fourth St. NW, 505-344-1466, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. daily.
Don’t be fooled by the drive-thru window. The food is fast but completely authentic. The tacos are small but only run about $2 each. The restaurant is located in the North Valley and also offers other traditional Mexican dishes. Orders can be called ahead of time or at the drive-thru.
$$ Will probably spend less than $15 a person
Birrieria y Tacos Alex Tijuana Style food truck
6770 Fourth St. NW, Los Ranchos, near the Pop Fizz Mexican ice cream shop, 623-223-0989, 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday
This food truck opened in the North Valley this summer and specializes in birria tacos, a speciality in Mexico. The meat is soaked and the shells dipped in a broth called consomé before they are cooked. The broth is then served on the side as a dipping sauce for the tacos. Also on the menu are carne asada fries, nachos, quesadillas and burritos. Take cash because that’s all they currently accept.
Duke City Taco
4615 Menaul Blvd. NE, 505-881-0783, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday, closed Sunday.
This veteran-owned taco eatery opened in November. They have bottled beer and local craft beer available on draft. There are five different meat and three vegan choices for the tacos. The tacos are served with a side of white or Spanish rice and black or refried beans. They recently added birria tacos to their menu after requests from public. There is the option of take-out or enjoy the tacos on a small, enclosed and shaded patio.
111 Carlisle Blvd. NE, 505-503-6202, 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday.-Saturday; 4-8 p.m. Monday.
This Nob Hill restaurant offers a variety of gourmet tacos, including vegan options, and Mexican ice cream featuring a churro ice cream sandwich. These tacos are more than traditional meats and vegetables. The chicken tinga tacos feature shredded chicken, radishes, red onions and cilantro sprouts while the Al Pastor tacos are served with a grilled pineapple. The house salsas made fresh daily amp up the flavor.
300 Menaul Blvd. NW, 505-242-3445, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. daily. Closed Sunday.
This Albuquerque favorite recently moved to its new location on Menaul Boulevard. It offers one of the city’s most authentic Mexican food experiences. There are 11 different taco options. Tacos are made with grilled bell peppers, onions and tomatoes. It has affordable prices and friendly service.
$$$ Will probably spend $15 or more per person
B2B Garden Brewery
8338 Comanche Road NE, 505-407-2046, 3-9 p.m. daily, kitchen opens at 4 p.m.
This sister restaurant to the Bistronomy B2B on Central, opened at this location earlier this year. It offers a lot of variety with 20 different types of gourmet tacos, including vegetarian options. It has a plethora of outdoor seating with a patio along Comanche and a private, park-like courtyard behind the restaurant with a lawn and large trees. Put some money in the budget for adult beverages. They make their own craft beer, offer local craft beer, ciders and delicious wine-based cocktails with a daily happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m.
La Reforma Brewery
8900 San Mateo NE, Suite I, 505-717-1361, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily.
This brewery took over the spot that once housed the original Bosque Brewery, although the two are not affiliated. La Reforma food is based on traditional recipes from Mexico City, including its street tacos that are rolled in tortillas they make in-house daily. They also craft their own beer and distill their own spirits, which is what will most likely push the price above $15 a person.