Terrific taco spots in Calgary

The quintessential Mexican meal, tacos are also a relatively scarce commodity in Calgary. However, we’ve done some digging and unearthed the select few restaurants that make truly marvelous versions of these hand-held snacks.

Native Tongues Taqueria

AB

This contemporary Mexican taqueria is located in a cheerfully lavish spot just northeast of Central Memorial Park. Featuring a central bar, shared tables and stool seating, it serves tacos el carbon (wood-fire grilled) lovingly incorporating house-made tortillas. Enjoy fish, roast lamb and rib eye versions with a mile-long mescal- and tequila-based drinks menu. The happy hour and late-night menus (the place has its own takeout window) feature Mexican street food such as hamburguesa, tacos and burritos.

Los Chillitos Taco & Tequila House

1
1309 17 Ave Sw, Calgary, AB T2T 0C4

This sunny little converted house on 17th Avenue Southwest features a two-level outdoor patio is summer and a super taco selection all year round. Variations on this Mexican cuisine theme include the cochinita with slow-cooked pork and pickled red onion, as well as fish, veggie and beef tacos. Try the five-meat taco sampler. Also keep an eye out for the Los Chilitos “taco patrol” food truck, and visit its Calgary Farmers’ Market kiosk for more of the same.

Taqueria El Charrito Corp

2
B2-808 Edmonton Trail NE, Calgary, AB T2E 3J6

The order of the day is tacos made the Jalisco way. This cafeteria-style Mexican restaurant has two locations, including its Edmonton Trail original. Its tacos are made with birria and barbacoa, two types of marinated, shredded beef with a distinct taste and flavour well known in east-central Mexico.

Anejo Restaurant

3
2-2116 4 St SW, Calgary, AB T2S 1W7

This critically acclaimed contemporary Mexican spot on Fourth Street’s restaurant row is conspicuously marked with a flowery window-front Day of the Dead skull. Anejo’s bright sky-lit space features multi-level seating. Grab a seat and tuck into wicked tacos and all sorts of shareable small plates, as well as refined Mexican entrees from mole chicken and lamb shank barbacoa to sizzling molcajete barbecue dishes. Also, the bar carries a 150-plus-label selection of top tequilas.

Tres Marias Food Market

4
3514 19 Street SW, Calgary, AB T2T 4X6

The taco variety es mucho at this pleasant Marda Loop Mexican grocery and restaurant. Its entree menu features poblano-pepper, fish, chicken mole, barbacoa as well as bison tacos. Ingredients are local and gluten-free shells are an option.

Salt & Pepper

5
1413 9 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0T4

A Mexican eatery with two sunny and spacious locations — one in Inglewood and a second on Bowness Road — Salt & Pepper is one of the city’s oldest Mexican restaurants. Its taco entree features three tacos filled with your choice of chorizo, chicken or beef dressed with cheese, lettuce, crema and adobo.

Dairy Lane Cafe

6
319 19 St NW, Calgary, AB T2N 2J2

A fixture in the West Hillhurst neighbourhood since the 1950s, Dairy Lane Café serves a diner-style menu that’s heavy on local and sustainable fixings and incorporates Latin leanings. For breakfast, it’s omelettes and tostadas, for lunch, burgers and sandwiches. Carnitas tacos are served all day, but you’ll have to wait until 5 pm to sample the jalapeño mac ‘n’ cheese.

Tubby Dog

7
1022 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2T 0A5

A You Gotta Eat Here alum, this very hip diner is a gourmet hotdog destination most nights of the week. Tuesdays, however, the place becomes Tubby Taqueria, serving house-made tacos until they simply and quickly run out — demand is that high. Filling flavours include chicken, beef, pork and lengua (beef tongue) as well as beans with cheese.

The city’s summer season features a delicious dance card of culinary festivals and events. Many, such as Stampede-time pancake breakfasts, are easy to access the day of, but the various tasting and tippling shindigs listed here can fill up quickly, so purchasing tickets sooner than later for these foodie festivities is recommended. Image credit: iStock.com/kasto80.
The city’s pathway system is one of the longest in North America. Given its lengthy stretches, the occasional rest and snack stop, though few and far between, are a welcome sight when walking, biking and inline skating. Here are a few restaurants, cafés and snack shacks located on or near our scenic cycling system. Image credit: iStock.com/mihailomilovanovic.
The annual YYC Taco Fiesta bursts upon Calgary’s restaurant scene like the tastiest piñata ever invented. From April 28 to May 7, restaurants across the city will serve bargain-priced individual tacos as well as platters, with a portion of profits being donated to local charities. Here are a few of the participating taco competitors. Image credit: iStock.com/rez-art.
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