In Texas, tacos are pretty much their own food group. Coming from California, where burritos are the primary food from south of the border, I saw tacos as miniature, unwrapped burritos and couldn’t quite understand why guac was an afterthought behind queso.

Although skeptical at first, after making it through my first year in Texas I now appreciate the unwrapped beauty found in a taco. And as always, Dallas delivers. So here are SMU’s favorite tacos.

1. Digg’s Taco Shop


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As close to SMU campus as you can get without actually being on it, Digg’s is the perfect post-boulevard munch.

They keep their tacos simple. First choose whether you want one taco or a combo that comes with cilantro rice and black beans. Then choose between classic fillings like chicken, carnitas, beef and veggies, coastal delights like mahi mahi and gulf shrimp, or stick to your southern roots with pulled beef and BBQ brisket. There are other options besides tacos, but why even bother?

2. Torchy’s Tacos


Photo by Aimee Wenske

Aside from being a few steps from Barley House, Torchy’s is fire (pun intended). They make damn good tacos and have bottomless chips so you don’t have to worry about your quickly diminishing bowl of queso.

If your sweet tooth is acting up, Torchy’s also serves ‘”nookies”, balls of cookie dough that are, in typical Texas style, deep-fried and deadly.

3. Velvet Taco


Photo by Edgar Sandoval

Velvet Taco is the go-to late-night taco joint. This inconspicuous shop in the Knox-Henderson district stays open till 4 am Friday and Saturday, 3 am Thursday, and midnight the rest of the week.

But don’t let its low-key exterior fool you, Velvet Taco’s menu is anything but basic. Between its 20 (that’s right 20) taco options, all with locally-sourced ingredients, everyone who crammed into your überXL can find something they want, even if they thought they were going back to the dorms.

PROTIP: Check out the sides on the menu. The roasted potatoes rival all 20 tacos as the dankest thing up there, just sayin’.

4. Rusty Taco


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Rusty Taco is perfect for those days in the fall and late spring when tacos and tan lines are the only things on your mind. The outdoor porch is always packed on sunny days and great for big groups. Though the tacos are relatively simple, this is a case of less being more.

5. Urban Tacos


Photo by Randy & Cynthia Smoot

Owned by the same company as Hook Line & Sinker, Urban Taco is a trendier spot, with multiple locations throughout DFW. Their biggest selling point is their handmade tortillas made using the original, as in ancient, recipe. And when they ask if you want pineapple on your taco, say yes and thank us later.

BONUS: El Come Taco


Photo by Johnathan M.

If you’re feeling adventurous, El Come Taco is your spot. This little shop is known for their, let’s call them unique taco fillings. Unfortunately their cricket taco is no longer available but don’t fret, you can still order sesos aka veal brains, along with cow intestines and even an option for meat from the head and cheek of the cow. But it’s all high quality, authentic and hand made.

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