Whether it’s date night with a special someone or late night with your friends, the key to a great night is great tacos, and Dallas is possible the greatest city in the country to fill all of your taco needs. We have taco joints all across the city with menus ranging from strictly authentic to creatively eclectic and everything in between. No Dallasite ever has to go unsatisfied. In coming to SMU, I took it upon myself to begin my quest for the perfect taco, but found that the perfect taco rests in what you’re in the mood for in that moment, so here are a couple of my favorite tacos spots to fill your taco needs.
Strictly Authentic: Fuel City Tacos
It doesn’t get much more authentic than Fuel City when it comes to tacos in Dallas. Fuel City is a gas station on the south side of downtown that took me about half an hour to find the first time I went, but rest assured, it was well worth it. The line outside the little window where they take orders always moves quickly, so make sure you have your cash ready to order some tasty Barbacoa and Al Pastor tacos (my personal favorites), and don’t forget to get a cup of the Mexican street corn! Once you’ve assembled your meal and bought drinks inside the gas station, I like to sit down at the picnic tables they have for patrons, chat with friends, and watch the exotic animals they keep in a pin next to the parking lot lounge in the shade. As a friend of mine put it, “Fuel City is worth it just for the experience,” but having some of the best tacos in the city helps too!
The Standard: Torchy’s Tacos
If I want a standard Tex-Mex taco, Torchy’s is my go to. Located on SMU Boulevard, not many taco restaurants can beat Torchy’s in terms of convenient access from campus. Their menu hosts a variety of tacos and breakfast tacos that, although I labeled as “standard,” are by no means standard in flavor or quality. Regardless of political views, I always recommend “The Democrat” for those as enthusiastic about Barbacoa tacos as I am, but one can’t go wrong with any menu item at Torchy’s. Speaking of menus, if you’re interested in mixing things up, ask your cashier to see the secret menu for some hidden treasures.
Creatively Eclectic: Velvet Taco
No matter what cuisine you’re in the mood for, Velvet Taco will have the taco for you. Their menu ranges from the Indian “Spicy chicken tikka” taco to the “Ahi Poke” taco, which substitutes a tortilla with a crisp leaf of lettuce filled with fresh tuna poke. If the diverse group of 23 tacos they offer isn’t enough for you, check out their awesome sides like “Red Coconut Curry Queso” and “Crisp Tots & Local Egg,” which sports bacon, goat cheese, smoked cheddar, and an avocado Creama sauce. Located on Henderson Avenue along highway 75, Velvet taco is fairly easily accessed from SMU by car. If you consider yourself a foodie, but down have a car, trust me when I say it’s worth the Uber!
– Stephen Chamberlain