10 Best Tacos in Asheville, North Carolina

tacos | © stu_spivack/Flickr
Shawndra Russell

Naming the 10 best tacos in a taco-heavy town like Asheville can be quite a feat. Then, the debate over what the best taco means comes into play. Best classic taco? Most authentic taco? Craziest taco? To satisfy any taco craving, we included a mix of flavors to suit whatever taco dreams someone may have when on the hunt for tasty tacos in Asheville. This list also doubles as a roundup of Asheville’s best taco joints.

1. Zia Taqueria

Restaurant, Mexican

Zia Taqueria’s portabella mushroom taco gets lots of love from locals, and the key may just be in the red onion balsamic cumin marinade that Zia uses to make sure vegetarians – or those just eating mushroom tacos because they’re delicious – won’t miss the meat at all.

2. White Duck Taco

Restaurant, Mexican

White Duck Taco’s Bangkok shrimp tacos are so good, copycats forced the owners to get the recipe trademarked. This flavor combination does get a boost from being fried, but the flavor explosion is worth the extra calories.

3. Taco Billy

Restaurant, Mexican

As one of the newer taco spots in town Taco Billy has made a name for itself as a go-to place for breakfast tacos from 7 am to 3 pm. For a unique twist on the taco genre, try Mama’s Favorite, wrapped in a plantain tortilla and filled with sausage, eggs, spinach, sweet potato and goat cheese. Easy to see why these hearty breakfast tacos easily end up as lunch tacos, too.

4. AVL Tacos & Taps

Restaurant, Mexican, American

If you’re a taco purist and don’t think buffalo chicken tacos should be on a top 10 taco list, skip this one. But if the idea of hot buffalo chicken surrounded by shredded lettuce and two hits of bleu cheese in dressing form and crumbles, head to AVL Tacos and Taps. Just look for the giant luchador sign of this drive-thru joint.

5. Mojo Kitchen & Lounge

Restaurant, Mexican, American

Mojo Kitchen keeps its taco options simple: go for an a la carte taco with your choice of protein, or go for a two-taco plate served with housemade chips and salsa. The smoked chicken is a cornerstone of its menu and shows up in sandwiches, pita pizzas and plates, but really shines in its tacos.

6. Chupacabra Latin Cafe

Restaurant, American, Mexican

To go in a completely different taco direction, make your way to Chupacabra Latin Cafe for its Bahn Mi tacos – its catch-of-the-day tacos are usually pretty amazing, too. The Bahn Mi starts with corn tortillas topped with super-thick, housemade pork belly bacon crisped up and tossed with a carrot Asian slaw, cucumber and queso fresco.

7. Polanco Restaurant

Restaurant, Mexican

Polanco Restaurant considers itself an artisanal Mexican culinary destination, meaning it’s more of an entree place for dinner. But for lunch, the chefs condense their famous mole dish into a taco version with literally over 30 ingredients coming together to create a truly sensational taco.

8. Taqueria Munoz

Restaurant, Mexican

For a classic beef taco, Taqueria Munoz takes the cake. In fact, when new brewery Zillocoah was looking for a food truck partner, it turned to this authentic, down-home spot to expand its brick-and-mortar presence to a food truck version. Think homemade corn tortillas and a condiment bar and low prices. Bonus: it has a Mexican grocery next door so you can stock up on taco-making ingredients for home after your meal.

9. Mamacita's Taco Temple

Restaurant, Mexican

Taco Temple, sister restaurant to popular Mamacita’s, has lots of outdoor seating and unique tacos, like al pastor, Santa Barbara, Toluca, and Loreto. Yet, many fans turn to the panela taco, which combines black beans, pickled onion and roasted poblano peppers with griddled panela cheese for an almost Mexican-style grilled cheese.

10. The Grey Eagle Taqueria

Restaurant, Mexican

If you’re in the mood for tacos with a side of music, check out the lineup at The Grey Eagle. In-the-know concertgoers like to show up early to nosh and enjoy some drinks before heading into the listening room, and many of them choose the vegan chorizo whether they are meat eaters or not – it’s that good.

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