If Taco Tuesday is your favorite day of the week, read on.
Tacos are the perfect meal, cost friendly, filling, and obviously delicious. Not to mention, there’s a new fad diet called the Taco Cleanse. Yes, that means eating tacos for every meal might be healthy for you. If you’re on the hunt for the perfect taco in Gainesville, here’s a list of the nine best places to get your taco fix on.
1. Boca Fiesta
While I frequently come here for the killer queso, Boca Fiesta is home to a variety of delicious tacos. You can get almost any filling for your taco (soft or hard tortilla), whether it be chicken, pork, beef, steak, fish, tuna, tempeh, or yes, gator (go gators). With every taco comes a side of pico de gallo and cilantro, however, depending on which taco you order the toppings might differ.
#SpoonTip: Try the guacamole while you’re here; they give you the ingredients but you get the opportunity to make the guac yourself at your table.
2. La Tienda
I went here for the first time recently, and it already holds a special place in my heart. If you want true authentic Mexican food and quick service, this is the place for you. While the tacos are very simple, they pack a mean punch (but actually, some of the meats like the chorizo are super spicy). The tacos usually come in sets of three and have the meat/veggie of your choice, cilantro, lime and onions piled on a soft tortilla.
#SpoonTip: If you order the tacos, venture out and try the red or green salsa that comes on the side; they might be spicy, but they’re quite flavorful.
Chuy’s is the ultimate location to get a Tex-Mex inspired meal in Gainesville. They believe that the key to a great Tex-Mex meal is a great tortilla, which is why they make them from scratch and are hand rolled each morning.
Some of their best tacos include the Crispy Tacos with corn tortillas, ground sirloin, lettuce, cheese and tomatoes and the Baja Tacos with flour tortillas, fried or grilled fish or shrimp, cilantro, red cabbage and Creamy Jalapeno. The environment is also festive and authentic so it will be a guaranteed fiesta when you eat here.
#SpoonTip: They have TWO types of queso: their Chile Con Queso which has melted cheese, Green Chile sauce and Ranchero Suace and their Queso Compuesto which has seasoned ground sirloin, guacamole and pico de gallo.
4. El Indio
El Indio is the ideal place to grab a casual, quick-stop, Mexican meal (it’s walking distance from most parts of the business school). Not to mention, their prices are amazing: just one taco costs anywhere from $1.50 to $2.00. The fillings for the tacos are simple but tasty, consisting of chicken, beef, or veggies.
#SpoonTip: You can get an El Indio Combo where you can combine one taco with an enchilada or one taco with a burrito. These combo platters come with black beans and rice and a small drink.
5. The Swamp
As a student at UF it’s almost a rite of passage to go to The Swamp, not only because of it’s proximity to campus, but also because of its awesome food. Similar to Boca Fiesta, The Swamp offers an alligator taco; the gator is lightly fried and served on a soft flour tortilla with lime-marinated cabbage and a mango chili puree. If gator isn’t your first choice of taco filling, you can also get your taco filled with chicken, shrimp, tempeh or the catch of the day.
#SpoonTip: Get in the festive mood by ordering their special house margarita.
6. 101 Cantina
If you thought Cantina was just a place to hit up on the weekend for a little fun, think again; I think their slogan says it all, “eat, drink, fiesta”. They definitely have no shortage of taco choices here. While they have the regulars, they also have buffalo fried chicken, cornmeal fried shrimp and ginger-marinated tuna. All tacos are served with two tacos, Mexican dirty rice and beans (except for the Tres Originales which comes with three).
#SpoonTip: Try their Sunrise Tacos because they come served with a FRIED EGG. Hello beautiful.
Burrito Brothers is another restaurant that should be on your Gville bucket-list. Besides having fresh, high-quality tacos, Burrito Brothers is keen on helping out the local community. Their taco shells are fried in veggie oil which is then donated to Gainesville Bio Fuels to be used in vegetable oil vehicles.
#SpoonTip: Burrito Brothers claims their best seller is their guacamole which they make daily. What’s better than guacamole to accompany your tacos?
Ah, Taco Tuesday. As a loyal Taco Tuesday customer, I might be biased, but how can you pass up an opportunity for two five dollar tacos, a drink, and chips? You can choose from a hard or soft shell, as well as a filling of chicken, beef, beans or carnes. All of their tacos are made to order and come with jalapeños, onions, lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream.
#SpoonTip: Ask them to grill your taco so the cheese gets all melty, you won’t regret it.
Las Margaritas is a little further from campus, located near Devils Millhopper, but we still recommend you give it a try. Besides having endless margaritas, (not that we’re complaining) Las Margaritas also serves up some tasty tacos.
Like most of the places above, you can choose from a selection of chicken, beef or beans. However, they have a taco that’s a little more out of the ordinary: their Scallop Tacos. The Scallop Tacos are three soft or hard tacos stuffed with grilled scallops, lettuce, onions, avocado and a chipotle sauce.
#SpoonTip: Since it’s “Las Margaritas” you might as well get a margarita; they have happy hour everyday so you can get two House Margaritas for just six dollars.