The 15 Best Tacos In Atlanta

This guide has a tasty taco for every occasion.
The 15 Best Tacos In Atlanta image

photo credit: Amy Sinclair

One of the reasons we love tacos so much is their versatility. Stuff ‘em with eggs and bacon, and there’s breakfast. Load ‘em down with seasoned ground beef and a sprinkle of lettuce, and it’s the perfect late-night snack when we're not entirely sober. We'd pretty much eat a taco any time of day, under any circumstance. That’s why we made sure this guide has the best tasty taco for every occasion.


photo credit: Sarah Newman


Buford Highway

$$$$Perfect For:LunchCasual Weeknight Dinner
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Without question, we would happily eat tacos everyday of the week. And if we had to limit ourselves to a single restaurant, it would be this Buford Highway staple, which has so many incredible, unmatched options that we never get bored with the menu. With more than ten protein options, including octopus, cabeza, buche, lengua, and a beef and goat barbacoa all served on their handmade tortillas, it’s hard to just pick a few. All of El Rey's tacos come topped with diced onions and cilantro for that fresh, classic taste. Despite the line of hungry people spilling out the door, it’s usually laid back inside—with a soccer game on the TVs and the hum of conversations coming from the booths.

El Progreso sits inside a Mexican grocery store across the street from a federal penitentiary, helping this Benteen Park taco haunt earn its loving nickname (IYKYK, if not, Google it). There was a time when it was a well-kept secret, but these days, this tiny counter-service spot is always packed. And if you're a self-proclaimed taco fanatic, this is a place you should know, too. There'll be up to eight protein options depending on the day. Our favorite is the lengua—it’s super tender and topped with tons of onions and cilantro. Hit the salsa bar to add some spice (but the tacos are already perfectly flavorful). And don’t worry about the families moseying down the grocery aisles hearing your contented sighs as you dig in. They know the power of this place.

This Edgewood taco spot almost always has a line snaking around the building. While El Tesoro's lunch/dinner tacos are worthy of this list, their breakfast options put them near the front of the pack—and that's what you should be ordering. Our gold medal winner is the ranchero, which has soft scrambled eggs, onions, cilantro, and chopped up bits of a smoky salchichon hot dog that elevates this seemingly regular taco to the stuff of dreams. The frijalero is our runner-up with scrambled eggs, creamy refried black beans, and a sprinkle of cotija cheese. Find a seat on the patio, which gives big IDGAF energy with a hodgepodge of mismatched furniture. As long as they've got our iced horchata latte to sip with our breakfast, we don't give a hoot, either.

photo credit: Amy Sinclair

Expect a lunchtime tussle with office workers and Georgia Tech students for a table at West Midtown’s Hankook Taqueria. But the fight is worth it since their delicious Mexican-Korean mash-up is one of the most inventive taco plays in the city. The crispy shrimp option that's topped with a hoisin tartar and Korean barbecue sauce sounds busy, but the flavors come together brilliantly. And while the buffalo chicken taco might only pop up on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the semi-spicy meat wrapped in the warm tortilla is a hit at the table, your car, or wherever else you can find elbow room.

They keep tacos simple at Vice with onions, plenty of cilantro, a creamy avocado sauce, and various protein options (like carne asada, pollo asado, and pastor). But that’s just fine because extra embellishments would overpower this perfectly paired flavor mix. Tacos this good really deserve to be served on plates made of pure gold, but grabbing the paper plate with these delicious blue corn tortilla tacos from the food truck window just reaffirms our love for street food experiences. Now all we need is a GPS tracker for the truck, so we can always know where to get ‘em.

There are six tacos to choose from (and one rotating special taco) at this buzzing Southern taco chain with locations in West Midtown, Midtown, and Decatur. And if taco purists say adding excess amounts of BBQ sauce to a perfectly good taco is a sin, we’ll gladly repent later. The Memphis taco features a smoky tequila BBQ sauce slathered onto tender bits of pork, topped with a spicy jalepeño coleslaw, and wrapped in a flour tortilla. Reasonable prices (all tacos hover around $4), refreshing pre-mixed margaritas, and the allure of tasty tacos with a Southern flair makes standing in the constant line out the door worth it. 

photo credit: Amy Sinclair



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The dining area at this Midtown taco spot is dark and stuffed with so many tables it’s hard to navigate through the maze of people, especially after a few drinks. A huge margarita menu (passionfruit is our go-to) and the massive wall of liquor behind the bar send all the signals that tacos aren’t the priority here. But the tacos are actually good—even if you’re sober. Go for the superior specialty tacos like a crispy avocado for vegetarians or the picanha steak topped with pickled red onions and a fresh chimichurri sauce. It's a noisy drinking scene that’s almost always packed with Midtown residents born after the internet was invented, but if you want a taco spot that can serve as your pre- and endgame headquarters, Rreal is, well, for real.

Slapping Tacos shares a kitchen with a sports bar that’s hidden behind a gas station in Lakewood Heights. They quickly became a social media sensation thanks to their incredible birria taco, which is the thing to order here. Our favorite is the ground beef birria taco stuffed with plenty of perfectly seasoned juicy beef, globs of stringy mozzarella cheese, and onions. The amount of oil leftover on the parchment paper is proof enough that these tacos come loaded with juicy, salty, fatty flavors that slap (we had to do it). The consomé sauce is rich and delicious, and if you love it so much you’d like to drink it (we’re guilty), order a ramen bowl, which uses the broth as a base.

El Veloz is an Atlanta taco chain with five drive-thru locations when you’re hungry for quick Mexican food on the go. Do their tacos taste better because we don’t want to leave our vehicles? That’s a big part of the allure, but we also regularly dine in because this is a meal you want to savor, closing your eyes while you chew. They’ve got all the usual suspects for protein options (carne asada, pastor, chicken, etc.), but there’s also breakfast tacos that help brighten our morning commutes and a chile relleno taco for the cheese lovers. One bite of the crispy pepper causes cheese to ooze from both ends of the taco. So if you (like us) can’t wait ‘til you get home to dive into your tacos, save this one for last.

We love Mama’s because we can get solid tacos 24 hours a day, almost every day of the week (they’re closed Sunday). The place is always packed in the wee hours of the morning when hungry ATLiens descend on this Tex-Mex spot in Midtown for grub to soak up the night’s alcohol intake. And DDs should take advantage of their drive-thru since it'll allow them to feed their annoyingly loud friends without prolonging the night. But for the rest of us, there are tables and booths inside, an expansive and newly updated patio, and a salsa bar that make this a great hangout zone to devour protein options like tasty shredded chicken, fried fish, and tender carnitas all served in flour tortillas.

The Rooftop at Hotel Clermont has one of the best views of the Atlanta skyline. But we’ve spent more than a few nights under the iconic neon-lit radio tower sign wishing we had some carbs to soak up all those vodka sodas we tossed back. They’ve rectified that issue by adding a vintage green and pink taco truck on the roof. The best option is the chorizo taco, cooked with a sprinkle of sugar for a slightly sweeter taste and topped with pineapples. Just make sure to opt for flour tortillas over the dry corn ones. Most people aren’t coming here for the food, but they really should since there’s something elite about tacos with a view.

Tijuana Tacos is a food stall in the Municipal Market on Auburn Avenue. It’s only open for lunch, which is a shame since we’d eat their birria tacos for breakfast, dinner, and a late-night snack if we could. The slow-cooked shredded beef topped with onion and cilantro is encased by a wall of cheesy goodness grilled onto a corn tortilla. The beef is so juicy it leaks out the sides with every bite. The hearty, meaty consomé dipping sauce is just an added bonus for those of us who want our tacos doused in flavor like that Flashdance scene. And it’s a good idea to walk through the rest of the market to work up an appetite for seconds.

We’re saying it. Buckhead’s taco game is weak. But Pachengo’s (from the team behind Storico Fresco) is fixing that with a small selection of tacos that have a mighty hold on our hearts. Of the five options, the spicy, shredded chicken is the most memorable with a slice of avocado to help soothe the heat. But any taco can be happily devoured while sitting underneath the laid-back covered patio lined on one side with hanging pots of foliage. As an extra Buckhead bonus, there are mirrors hanging on the patio dividers so we can watch ourselves toss back our third margarita and accidentally dip our birria tacos in queso instead of the consomé sauce (true story, and it’s actually not bad).

Since its name appropriation, catfish could use some help from a PR team. Enter Minero in Ponce City Market, which could change your mind about the misunderstood river fish with their incredible catfish tacos. The small filet is fried with a light crust and topped with a creamy green tomato tartar, cabbage, onion, and cilantro. A bite of the crunchy exterior gives way to the light, flaky fish center, and the tartar adds that little something extra to make us forget our table manners. Crowds might be swarming out and about in the food hall, but at Minero, time feels just as frozen as the margarita slushie we like to sip between bites.

Long-suffering, taco-loving vegans should stroll into Chi Chi Vegan in North Druid Hills and feast their eyes on seven taco options. Our favorite is the falafel taco drenched with tzatziki sauce, pico de gallo, and lettuce with a moist chickpea ball at the center. And the massive chic dining area with black, white, and pink trim, faux marble tables, and leather booths is the perfect backdrop for vegans to relish in this rare moment of taco decision paralysis.

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