As an avid lover of good, but cheap, food, Tuesday is my absolute favorite day of the week. Mexican cuisine has become my religion, therefore I can confidently say I am the most qualified person to write this article. Taco Tuesday is an opportunity to take a break from the Commons without breaking the bank. Each restaurant on this list is unique and will be judged based on their deals, scene, eats, and location. After celebrating this glorious holiday almost every week last semester, here are my thoughts on the 10 most popular spots. 

10. Mr. Tequila

Starting off with my hottest take, Mr. Tequila is pretty overrated. Conveniently located on Freret, this is a popular dinner spot for Tulane students. Customers are drawn in with their $1.50 tacos but end up having to pay for overpriced drinks and appetizers. The atmosphere feels more American or Texan than Mexican. While the experience is often enjoyable, this restaurant just simply is not my first pick. Mr. Tequila is definitely a viable option for a hungry college student looking to get off campus, but it sadly does not meet my standards. 

Deals: 4/10 Scene: 3/10 Eats: 0/10 Location: 7/10 Overall: 3.5/10

9. La Cocinita 

Yes, the little red truck that you've seen on campus made the list. Not really sure how, but I have eaten from this truck three times this year. La Cocinita is a Venezuelan-inspired food truck that serves Arepas (pictured above), Tacos, and Bowls. Since every time I've eaten from here it has been paid for by Tulane, their deals are obviously a ten out of ten. The staff has been super friendly and though coming from a truck, you can feel the love that the chef puts into their food. My first bite of their lechon instantly took me back to home-cooked meals by my Venezuelan friends. Sadly, the wait for these delicious tacos is usually astronomical and there is often no seating near campus. As well, their portion sizes are on the small side. Therefore, it's not worth skipping class for a quick bite from this truck. 

Deals: 10/10 Scene: 0/10 Eats: 6/10 Location: 2/10 Overall: 4.5/10

8. Panchita's

Ah yes, the place you go to when Chilango's has an hour-long wait. Located on the corner of Carrollton and Jeanette, Panchita's is the quaint and quiet restaurant on the block. They have an extensive menu of classic Mexican dishes like Chile Relleno and Enchiladas as well as their tacos. Charging $1.50 per taco on Tuesdays, their small restaurant is often overwhelmed, resulting in slow service. While their chips, salsa, and guac often hit the spot, the restaurant is not worthwhile with the many other options located a few blocks over. 

Deals: 6/10 Scene: 2/10 Eats: 5/10 Location: 8/10 Overall: 5.25/10

7. La Patrona

Although you've probably never heard of this place, La Patrona is a pretty viable option for a good Tuesday night. This quaint restaurant nestled on the corner of St. Charles and Carrollton Ave has a fun and authentic atmosphere. I first stumbled upon this place with my family during move-in weekend, in search of something quick and close to campus for lunch. We were pleasantly surprised to walk into this family-based spot. As an incoming freshman, this weekend was a rough time for me and I had begun to feel homesick. Walking into La Patrona to be greeted by such friendly and welcoming staff made me more excited about college. The only reason I don't go here as often as some of the other restaurants on my list is because the restaurant is quite small, and doesn't have as much of a vibrant Taco Tuesday atmosphere. While you can get 5 tacos for $10, making it great for groups, the quality of the tacos just slightly misses the mark. 

Deals: 6/10 Scene: 3/10 Eats: 5.5/10 Location: 8/10 Overall: 5.5/10

6. Vals 

This trendy, tropical taco spot located on Freret is perfect for a night out. The ambiance at Vals is so welcoming and calming, functioning as a distraction from our busy college lives. Offering both indoor and outdoor seating, this restaurant is definitely an insta-worthy spot. Offering 5 types of tacos, their menu is quite small. Unlike many other restaurants on this list, Vals does not offer free chips and salsa, but they are on the menu for five dollars. Although their tacos are very tasty, Vals is insanely pricey for anyone looking for a weekly Taco Tuesday venture. Though I would recommend this to anyone wanting Mexican food, Vals does not quite reach the criteria for Taco Tuesday, as they offer no specials. One margarita is a whopping $11, and tacos are $4 on average. If you're looking for a budget-friendly option, look elsewhere. 

Deals: 2/10 Scene: 7/10 Eats: 7/10 Location: 7/10 Overall: 5.75/10

5. Barracuda

Tucked behind a little shack on Tchoupitoulas is the cutest restaurant patio. Barracuda is a permanent taco stand with outdoor seating in their "garden". Long picnic tables are scattered under a giant wooden pergola, where made-to-order tacos are brought to your table. This small-scale eatery has margaritas on tap and tortillas made fresh daily. The tacos are larger than the average portion size and therefore are very filling. Every dish is carefully made and the atmosphere is very aesthetically pleasing. With all these great attributes, this restaurant has earned fifth on my list because of its location and prices. Tacos are on average four dollars, with seven-dollar drinks. Factor in the Uber cost, a night at Barracuda is not necessarily cheap. You get what you pay for, but going to Barracuda every week will definitely break your bank account. 

Deals: 6/10 Scene: 8/10 Eats: 7/10 Location: 4/10 Overall: 6.25/10

4. The Rum House

The quaint tropical hideaway placed on Magazine Street will transport you to the islands with their flavorful tacos. Rum House was founded to serve as a haven away from the hustle and bustle of work and school, and it lives up to its purpose. Stepping through the front doors, you are greeted by an island bar, clad with lights and tropical paintings. Rum House has an extensive menu, with over ten types of tacos. However, Magazine street is a long while away from campus, inaccessible by streetcar. The prices also can run up to as much as five dollars a taco, lowered to only $3 on Tuesdays. Nonetheless, this is an amazing option for an upscale Taco Tuesday.

Deals: 6/10 Scene: 8/10 Eats: 7/10 Location: 6/10 Overall: 7/10

3. Chilangos

Just right off campus, Chilangos is one of uptown's best-kept secrets. With a fun and upbeat atmosphere, this restaurant guarantees a fun night. Birthplace of my Taco Tuesday origin story, my best friend and I stumbled upon this spot one night and were shocked by how low our bill came out to be, twenty dollars TOTAL. The $1 tacos and tequila shots along with $6 margaritas are what put Chilangos on the map for any broke college student. The restaurant is colorfully decorated and always blasting Bad Bunny. However, the service tends to be very slow and the wait is always long. As well, their deals don't translate to Postmates, so tacos are double the price online. As someone with a very busy schedule, this prevents me from going here often, earning this restaurant the third-place spot on my list. 

Deals: 9/10 Scene: 8/10 Eats: 7/10 Location: 8/10 Overall: 8/10

2. Juan's Flying Burrito 

Home of one of the best burritos you will maybe ever have, I cannot recommend this place enough. They are famous for their "flying burrito", sold for $11.50. The hefty burrito comes loaded with juicy grilled steak, shrimp, and chicken, on a bed of hearty black beans, yellow rice, salsa, guac, and sour cream, guaranteeing intense flavor in each bite. Their extensive menu has something for everyone to enjoy. With four locations scattered around New Orleans, it is easily accessible with impeccable service. This eclectic restaurant has such a welcoming and friendly atmosphere that will keep your night alive. 

Deals: 7/10 Scene: 9.5/10 Eats: 9.5/10 Location: 6/10 Overall: 8.5/10

1. El Taco Loco

Located right on Carrollton Avenue, this small and easy-to-miss restaurant has earned the top spot on this list. What sets El Taco Loco apart from all other restaurants on this list is that it is customizable. There is a vast array of proteins, from ground beef and chicken to chorizo and Tinga, the possibilities are truly endless. The warm soft tortillas encase the flavorful, juicy meat, sprinkled with freshly diced cilantro and onions for a meal that never disappoints. The atmosphere is exactly what I am looking for when my best friends and I venture off campus on any given Tuesday night. The reggaeton and mariachi music that flows from their speakers reminds me of home in Miami, imbuing my heart with happiness. This is one of the best brick-and-mortar taco restaurants in New Orleans, and it is incredibly authentic. On top of the already established amazing qualities, El Taco Loco is insanely affordable. Tacos will cost you $1.50, and frozen margaritas are sold for THREE DOLLARS. My bill barely reaches double digits after eating here, so your stomach and your wallet are guaranteed to be satisfied. 

Deals: 10/10 Scene: 8/10 Eats: 9/10 Location: 8.5/10 Overall: 9/10

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