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Where to Find the Best Tacos in Washington, D.C.

by Lanna Nguyen on May 1, 2015 in Roundups
Where to Find the Best Tacos in Washington, D.C.

Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner and that means two things need to happen: tacos and margaritas. From taco stands to food trucks and brick and mortar restaurants, here are the places you need to go for tacos in DC.
With plenty of outdoor seating, this H Street taqueria will be a prime taco spot once the weather decides to play nice. Build your own tacos (or rice/bean bowl, arepa, tostada) by choosing from one of the eight filling options which include al pastor, beef barbacoa and pollo sofrito. A fan of spicy food or just feeling adventurous? Try the Inferno salsa, which comes complete with a signed waiver requirement. (822 H St., NE; 202-505-4628)
With 5 locations in DC and Virginia, District Taco is slowly taking over the DMV. The menu offers everything from huevos rancheros to salads and nachos, but in our opinion, it’s blasphemy to visit an establishment with the word “taco” in its name and not order tacos. The al pastor and barbacoa are a must-order. Pro tip: Come for shrimp tacos, which are only offered on Thursdays. (Multiple locations)
Head to Bloomingdale for El Camino’s camarones, aka shrimp tacos. Also on the menu? Carnitas, lengua, chicken tinga and picadillo. Come during happy hour (Monday–Friday, 5–7 PM and 11:30 PM–Close) and pair your tacos with $5 margaritas and $1 chips and salsa. (108 Rhode Island Ave., NW; 202-847-0419)
The unique shipping container exterior on U Street will draw you in, and the delicious tacos will make you stay. Options include al pastor, carne asada, adobo chicken, depescado, queso con hongos and a taco of the day. (919 U St., NW; 202-506-6418)
You can grab these Asian-fusion tacos at either food truck or restaurant location in NE. The truck menu offers tacos, burritos or bowls whereas the restaurant menu also includes quesadillas and kimchi fries. Either way, build your own taco by choosing from fun ingredients (with equally fun names) such as Sweet Sexy Tofu, Spicy Flying Pig, Powerful Steak and Bang Tang Chicken. (409 15th St., NE; 202-601-4346)
Tacos at Fuego come two per order with all the traditional fixings. For the adventurous eater, try the Lengua (slow braised beef tongue) or the Birria (Jalisco-style roasted goat). Whenever you visit, be sure to order the daily featured cocktail for just $5. (2800 Clarendon Ave., Arlington, VA.; 571-970-2180)
Tacos at Johnny Pistolas range from $3-$6 per, and include everything from braised lamb to Baja fish. Can’t decide? Get the Taco Tour and sample four of the most popular tacos. Coming with a group? Order one of the taco trays, which can feed up to 4 people and includes tacos, guacamole and grilled corn. (2333 18th St., NW; 202-817-3255)
Open 24 hours, the Dupont Circle taco stand is the place to go when the inevitable midnight munchies hit. As you could probably gather from the name, there are plenty of seafood options including rockfish, blackened tilapia and grilled shrimp tacos. The special 11 PM–11 AM menu features grilled steak or chicken tacos and a scrambled egg/bacon version. (1800 N St., NW; 202-466-1830)
From Victor Albisu, Taco Bamba’s tacos all come at $3 per. Unique protein options include beef intestine, beef tongue, spicy goat and braised beef cheek. If you’re feeling less traditional, order up La Poutina, aka the taco of your dreams. Made with fries (yes, you read that correctly), barbacoa jus, spicy mayo, onions, cotija cheese and bacon, it’s a fun twist on the Canadian comfort food. (2091 Pimmit Dr., Falls Church; 703-639-0505)
From humble beginnings as a food truck, TaKorean has since expanded to Union Market and a brick and mortar in Navy Yard. Serving up tacos with a Korean twist, you’ll find steak bulgogi and tofu as protein options on the menu. Pair your taco up with kimchi slaw and Sriracha sauce and you’ll never look at a taco the same way again. (1212 4th St., SE)

Taqueria Nacional

Here you’ll find no frills, traditional Mexican-style tacos. Choose from steak, carnitas, chorizo, chicken, fish or lamb. Come during happy hour (Tuesday–Friday, 7 PM–Close) and order up a fresh squeezed lime margarita to go with your tacos for $5. (1409 T St., NW; 202-299-1122)

Top photo via
Taqueria Nacional, middle photo via Surfside

Tags: Beer, Cocktails, Food, Tequila
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