Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at these 9 tasty taco joints
Julie Niesen | WCPO contributor
12:56 AM, May 5, 2018
In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we've put together our favorite places to get tacos to celebrate Mexico's delicious culinary heritage.
Bakersfield: It's often bursting at the seams, but with good reason: Bakersfield has some really great tacos. Try the pork belly pastor, crispy bits of pork with pineapple and onion, or go out on a limb and get the huitlacoche, a smoky "corn smut" that looks and sounds odd but tastes incredible. Wash down the tacos with a spicy margarita. 1213 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine.
Veracruz: This restaurant has both Mexican and Tex-Mex-style tacos. Choose from familiar fillings such as carne asada and chicken, or go for more interesting yet traditional fillings such as lengua (tongue), tripa (tripe) or spicy chorizo. 3108 Price Ave., Price Hill.
Django Western Taco: Sample chef Josh Campbell's take on more traditional tacos: carnitas, carne asada and fish tacos. If you have a hankering for the comfort food from Campbell's previous restaurant, Mayberry, try a fried chicken taco. 4172 Hamilton Ave., Northside.
Gomez: This little taco window serves solid Mexican, and you can get an expanded menu at its location on Gilbert Avenue in Walnut Hills. Try the chicken, fish, carnitas, tofu or chorizo tacos made the way you like them, with a variety of toppings. (Fish and pineapple salsa? Delicious.) Eat them on the street or take them into HalfCut, next to the OTR location, to enjoy with a beer. The Walnut Hills location has a full bar. 107 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine; 2437 Gilbert Ave., Walnut Hills
Mazunte: Some of the best tacos in the city can be found in a strip mall off of Red Bank Road. Mazunte features an array of tacos, three to an order: fish (grilled or beer battered), sangria-marinated skirt steak, braised chicken, pork or a combination. They're all delicious and a great take on traditional Mexican food. 5207 Madison Road, Madisonville.
Taqueria Yolandita: You have to have a taco cart on any best-taco list, and this one is a favorite. Tucked into South Fairmount, Taqueria Yolandita serves the best chorizo tacos in the city, dressed simply with cilantro and onion. A couple of these tacos makes for a delicious, filling lunch (it's not open for dinner). Eat them in your car in the attached parking lot. Eat carefully; they're messy! 1881 Westwood Ave., South Fairmount.
Frida 602: Frida 602 features both traditional tacos, such as al pastor, as well as more creative versions, such as Brussels sprouts with smoked peanut salsa, roasted chicken with honey poblano slaw and mango salsa, and the gobernador, with chile shrimp, bacon and aioli. Start with the salsa sampler and a Oaxacan mule made with mezcal and ginger beer. 602 Main St., Covington.
La Mexicana: One of the first "authentic" taco places I can remember, La Mexicana holds up. It has been remodeled -- a bar and more seating has been added -- but the menu is still delicious. You will see familiar fillings like pastor and carnitas and the widest variety of Mexican favorites that may be unfamiliar to American palates: birria (goat), tripa (tripe), sesos (veal brains) and milanesa (breaded skirt steak). Try them all -- you never know what you may love! 642 Monmouth St., Newport.
Lalo: In the former Huit space, Tobias Harris has created a fusion of Asian and Latin flavors with some of our favorite tacos in the city. The fish taco, with sriracha mayo and mango slaw, is the perfect balance of savory, spicy and sweet. The curry chicken taco is an unexpected mix of flavors: curry sauce, onions, peppers and queso fresco. Remember Huit's drunken brisket? You can get that in a taco, too. Fusion isn't always successful, but it's done right at this place. 709 Main St., Downtown.
Agave & Rye: A new addition for this year's Cinco de Mayo celebrations, Agave & Rye in Covington offers tasty tacos and a plethora of tequila options. Make sure to try the Rima D or Epic Taco while there. Agave & Rye is open until 2 a.m. daily. 635 Madison Ave., Covington.
Condado Tacos: This Columbus-based, build-your-own taco joint opened its first Cincinnati location at the Banks last month. Condado's boasts a nearly infinite number of taco combinations, plus a few recommended standards. It also offers margarita flights to make sure your Cinco de Mayo soars. 195 E. Freedom Way, Downtown.
Los Reyes de Supermarket (Plaza Sol): Head north to Mason, where you can join a variety of people -- from office workers to blue-collar folks, moms and kids -- at Plaza Sol. It looks like it's just a store, but wind your way through the groceries and you'll find tables where you can try all sorts of tacos, including carnitas, lengua and pastor. (Get the same fillings in tortas, burritos or to take home in bulk.) 8729 Fields Ertel Road, Mason.