We’ve noticed, you’ve noticed, the whole midwest has noticed — It seems like tacos are taking over the food scene and that’s perfectly fine because we happen to love them. Sweet, salty, savory, fresh, cheesy, melty…folks are doing everything you can imagine in a corn tortilla these days. And with this delicious Mexican creation on the rise, we thought it’d only be fitting to give praise to these foldable morsels of heaven by etching out a list of our favorite tacos joints across Ohio.
Taco Bell — Everywhere — Just kidding! Admit it, you just got so upset for a second. Okay, let’s get serious.
Guerra’s Crazy Taco — Springfield — The gentleman behind this spot grows his own herbs and peppers and touts that “fresh” is of the utmost importance. You can certainly tell. If you want to send your tastebuds on an epic journey, try the shrimp tacos or brisket smoked in house.
Condado — Columbus — Two words, Bubba Kush. Don’t let the odd name fool you, just like the rest of the tacos on the menu here, it’s legit. It comes with a “Peezler” shell, which is a hard shell and soft shell combined, smoked cheddar, pulled pork, jicama, onions, pineapple salsa and jackfruit BBQ sauce. Try and recite that entire line without getting all slobbery…impossible. They also have a location in Pittsburgh, but we don’t care about that.
OH Taco — Sandusky — Oh, so you want a view of the Great Lakes while you’re munching on a delightful beer battered tilapia taco? Well look at that, we’ve found a place for you! Albeit fairly new to the restaurant scene, OH Taco more than makes up for its young age with superb authentic Mexican street tacos and a unique atmosphere. Connected to the wonderful boutique-style Hotel Kilbourne and its lobby bar dubbed Moseley’s, patrons here have more than enough choices of venue to go around. Vegetarian? Try the portabello taco with fire roasted poblano peppers for an explosion of south of the border flavor. Did we mention there’s a rooftop bar, too?
Momocho — Cleveland — With one in Lakewood and one in Ohio City, east side Clevelanders have it good…really good. This funky spot focuses on “Mod Mex” cuisine and does it well, and the particular part of that culinary style we’re interested in is the taquitos, or rolled tacos. All taquitos come with five soft corn tortillas, whether it’s the outrageously tasty coffee + chili ancho braised brisket or the beef tongue pastrami. Worried about that second one? Don’t be, it’s so good it’ll make you forget you’re eating tongue. Wash it all down with one of their signature flavored margaritas — We like to go for the Red Bell Pepper.
Los Gauchos — Columbus — If you’re lucky enough to have already happened upon this local’s spot, then you also already know that the taco el pastor here is northing short of life changing. And if you haven’t found this place yet, go. Go now! A perfect combination of slow-cooked marinated pork, cilantro, pineapple and onions served on two soft corn tortillas…you can’t see it, but the “s” on our keyboard has a little bit of drool on it. Los Guachos has two locations, one in Columbus and another in Gahanna.
Mazunta — Cincinnati — Steak? Fish? Pork? It really doesn’t matter what taco you decide to have at this place, they’re all melt-in-your-mouth good. Just for extra measure though, try the pork tacos served with cotija cheese…absolutely ridiculous. This small joint has a beach vibe that’s unlike anything you’ve most likely seen in the states and really makes you feel like you’ve been transported to Oaxaca. On top of all of the goods, prices are very affordable. Make sure to try the horchata, fresh chips and salsa bar as well. You know what? Try everything, you won’t be disappointed.
Casa Nueva Restaurant & Cantina — Athens — It’s true we have a soft spot of Athens and Casa falls right in line with what’s so good about this little southern Ohio town. It’s just different. Different and spectacular. Owned by the workers, the foundation of this restaurant is vastly different from most — Want to leave a tip? They’ll take it, but instead of going in their pocket, it will be donated to a local Athens organization. Make sure you come hungry though because the food here is abundant and the tacos are usually large. Also, keep the number of margaritas you have to a few, as they’re not your average. Wink, wink, they’re strong. If you can swing it, stop in on a Wednesday, order the puerco pibil and then watch everyone look at you like you’re a local.
Have a favorite taco spot you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comment section below!