Despite Colonia Roma’s hip and sophisticated vibe, it hasn’t lost its downhome style, which means you can still find lots of great street food in the neighborhood if you know where to look. Here’s a list of some of the best places in Colonia Roma to throw back a taco or two. However, taco stands are known to change locations and hours at will – even more of an adventure!
Los Parados is a neighborhood icon with over half a centry in operation and some of the most famous tacos in the barrio. They serve grilled tacos with steak, cecina or diced porkchop, though spice poblano peppers, grilled nopal cactus, chicken and even bacon are thrown on a couple of their delicious combos. They also have a tacos al pastor trumpa (the roasting spit the meat is shaved from) and they sell hamburgers. How’s that for a little bit of everything? Dining is standing room only, but you’ll be so happy eating you won’t even mind.
If you are a taco aficionado you will know that you can’t get all tacos all the time… that is part of their charm. On Saturday and Sunday in Roma, a nameless barbacoa stand sets up on the corner of Campeche and Tonala streets. They make thick fresh blue-corn tortillas with tender goat meat that’s not too gamey and have just-spicy-enough salsas. They sell tacos dorados (crunchy deep-fried tacos) with barbacoa inside and have a deliciously smokey and smooth consomme (the broth is made from the drippings of the barbacoa as it cooks). Insider tip: The comsomme comes free with your order.
The King of the Taco! This place is the lunch spot in this area of Colonia Roma. They also sell grilled tacos and have a taco al pastor trumpa, but for anyone who prefers their cheese cooked right on the grill with the grease and meat this is the place to order. A thin steak with smothered cheese (bistek con queso) on a flour tortilla is absolute heaven. We also love their alternative toppings – roasted potatoes with onions, or spicy grilled peppers and onions.
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This stand used to be next to the Sumesa grocery on Yucatan street but is now located on the corner of Yucatan and Tonala. They set up in the evenings and have grilled tacos, al pastor and suadero – pork that’s slow cooked in fat or water, a type of Mexican confit – as well as a plethora of odd bits and pieces such as eyes, cheek, tongue, liver and brains. Don’t be afraid to try something risky, these guys have been around a long time and have a good reputation in the neighborhood!
Tacos La Reyna has three stations within their tiny restaurant. There is a station for tacos de cabeza (sheep and cow’s head tacos that are soft as butter), a pork carnitas station and a tacos al pastor station. They do these three things only and they do them well. Seating is outside only, but as a popular quick stop for lunch, many diners just stand around shoving delicious tacos in their mouths wherever they can find a spot. The salsas here are blazing hot so proceed with caution.
Another special stand only open on the weekends, this no-name carnitas place is in the far northeast corner of Colonia Roma’s local market called the Mercado Medellin (the official name is the Mercado Melchor Ocampo). Served up by the butchers themselves, there are only two tiny tables here and if you blink you will miss this place… except don’t because the carnitas (deep-fried pork) are fabulous and an incredible way to cure a hangover!
For a little change up, this vegan taco stand has versions of classic Mexican tacos (al pastor, saudero, etc) but made with vegan-friendly proteins like wheat or soy. They have some incredibly delicious salsas plus beans and rice to put on top. Their daily flavored water is a new delicious surprise, and the vegan desserts are to die for. This place gets packed in the evening and is firm favorite for Mexico City vegetarians and vegans.
Don’t want to wait till Sunday for barbacoa? El Higaldeunse has you covered for at least Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Another neighborhood standard, this somewhat kitshy barbacoa restaurant has fast service and dependably delicious barbacoa and consomme. They serve all kinds of other things on their menu, but really, who cares? Didn’t you come for the barbacoa? One thing we do recommend for those who have never tried pulque are their pulque curados (pulque with added fruit flavors), or maybe if you need something stiffer, a little mezcal to go with your tacos.