Best Taco Spots in St. Pete, FL
In my world, there’s no such thing as #tacotuesday. My motto is tacos. EVERY. day. St. Petersburg has some incredible restaurants that offer delicioso tacos but some are definitely better than others. Many are in the heart of downtown where all the action takes place and some are hidden gems tucked away in areas you may never think about going to. Here are the best taco spots in St. Pete.
Red Mesa Cantina
128 3rd St S, Saint Petersburg, FL 33701; (727) 896-8226
It’s likely you’ve been to or at least heard about Red Mesa Cantina. The beloved Mexican restaurant has been around since before St. Pete “blew up” and has one of the best patios in the city. The duck tacos are a favorite among locals and why shouldn’t they be? This “gourmet” taco is filled with orange braised duck confit, grilled pineapple, goat cheese, cilantro, and red chile jelly served on a handmade soft corn tortilla shell. I happen to love the Ahi Tuna taco just as much, in large part due to the freshness of the fish. Oh, and the wasabi aioli.
WHAT TO ORDER: Duck taco and ahi tuna taco.
2663 Central Ave, Saint Petersburg, FL 33713; (727) 498-8749
This has become my go-to spot taco spot for many reasons. My love for Casita started with the barbacoa taco and grew from there. It’s one of those order-at-the-counter, quick bite kinda places… if you want it to be. The festive decor and friendly service (seriously, the staff is always smiling and upbeat) will easily make you want to order a local craft beer or a refreshing sangria and stay awhile.
WHAT TO ORDER: Barbacoa taco, pollo verde taco and carne asada taco.
El Huarache Azteca
2113 Wells Branch Pkwy Ste 1000, Austin, TX 78728; (512) 366-5066
For a more traditional taco experience, head to El Haurache Azteca. This one is a little off the beaten path but let me tell you, it’s worth the drive. I have yet to find a place that serves a better Al Pastor taco. In case you don’t know what that is, it’s marinated pork with grilled pineapple. It will change your love of tacos forever! I recommend getting Mexicanos style with cilantro and onion. Because I can’t help myself, I typically ask for a side queso fresco to sprinkle on top.
WHAT TO ORDER: Al pastor tacos served Mexicanos style.
El Huarache Azteca: Menu / Location
One of the more underrated taco spots in town is Taco Son. I’m still exploring the menu, but one taco I have to order every time I go is the veggie taco. The menu calls it the ‘Flexitarian’ (disclosing that some items may be flavored with chicken) and it is packed to the brim with black beans, rice, colache (Mexican-style grilled zucchini), cheese, and sour cream. Don’t underestimate this meatless taco as you may begin to feel full after only one of these babies. Another great thing about Taco Son? The prices. The ‘flexitarian’ taco will only cost you a whopping $2.50.
WHAT TO ORDER: ‘Flexitarian’ veggie taco
Red Mesa Mercado
1100 1st Ave N, Saint Petersburg, FL 33705; (727) 954-7430
No surprise here that another Red Mesa restaurant made my list of best tacos. When Mercado opened a couple of years ago, I was ecstatic knowing there would be a walk-up Red Mesa restaurant. Especially since it’s located in one of St. Pete’s best breweries, Green Bench. The grilled shrimp tacos come with dos tacos and pair perfectly with local craft beer.
WHAT TO ORDER: Shrimp tacos and pork carnitas tacos.
This casual eatery served, you guessed it, Cali-style tacos. And just like a lot of businesses in California – is now CLOSED. Most famous for their tempura-battered grouper taco, which was featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. It’s a monster but a very delicious one.
WHAT TO ORDER: Original grouper fish taco.
St Pete Taco Lady
5507 38th Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33710; (727) 251-9021
For these famous tacos, you’ll have to track down the St. Pete Taco Lady as she bounces around town in her colorful food truck from one local market to the next. One thing is for sure, you will find her at the Fall Saturday Morning Market serving up Huevos Rancheros and fresh Mahi tacos.
WHAT TO ORDER: Any and all tacos served on that particular day.
St. Pete Taco: Schedule via Facebook Page
6447 Park Blvd #2, Pinellas Park, FL 33781; (727)289-7080
The ultimate hole-in-the-wall authentic taco joint is perfect for the most adventurous of eaters. Plenty of traditional tacos to choose from like the Puerco (grilled pork) or Cochinita (slow-cooked Mayan pork). They also offer Speciality Tacos, such as the Chori-Queso – chorizo (Mexican sausage) and melted cheese on a flour tortilla topped the Mexicano’s way with cilantro, onion, and salsa.
WHAT TO ORDER: Chori-Queso taco and any traditional taco.
The Burg Bar & Grill
1752 Central AveSt, Petersburg, FL 33712; (727) 894-2874
The cozy neighborhood bar and grill, appropriately named The Burg, has some killer Mahi tacos. Known mostly for their burgers, many people don’t know their fish tacos are some of the freshest around. Head here before a Rays game to get a more local’s experience.
WHAT TO ORDER: Mahi tacos.
Chile Verde 22nd
2801 22nd Ave N, Saint Petersburg, FL 33713; (727) 800-2679
These guys make quite a statement with their very noticeable Mexican spot on 22nd Ave which was once a gas station. Serving more authentic style tacos and much more. You can get with Mexicano or American style (Mexican for me, always) and choose from options like al pastor and other traditional meats. Or, go with the lamb, tripe, or tongue. Can’t say I have had the courage to do those last two yet!
On my list to try…
EL HUARACHE VELOZ
I have been told that they’re some of the best authentic Mexican tacos in town. The best thing about the little remote places like this one in Pinellas Park is that the food is excellent and the prices are very reasonable. What am I (or you) waiting for?
More commonly known as That Mexican Place located on the Southside of St. Pete. Not only does the food look appetizing, this looks like a great place to kick back and have a margarita or two in a fun and lively atmosphere.
LOLI’S MEXICAN CRAVINGS
Okay, this one is actually in Tampa. But with a 4.7 rating and over 1,000 reviews on Google, I think it’s worth crossing the bridge for. They started off as a food truck and have since secured a permanent location in Tampa (I hear there will another soon!) More authentic homemade Mexican tacos done right. For me, that never gets old. Also known for their tamales and sopes. BRB, going ASAP.