5 star restaurants atlanta Buckhead

Where are the best tacos in Atlanta? Both perennial favorites + surprises on this list

taco-cowboy-atlanta-review

October 4th is National Taco Day! Here’s where to find the best tacos in Atlanta. Of course, any day is a great day for tacos!

Table of Contents

1. Bartaco – There are 3 locations in Atlanta of this taco joint.

I definitely like the Buckhead location better than the Westside Atlanta taco spot. It is terrific when the weather is great and allows for all the doors to be open. They do a great job with their outdoor space, making it seem much more secluded than you would think, given that the view is basically the parking lot. The tacos are small here (and inexpensive) but that’s a good thing. Because it leaves room for guacamole, tuna poke and dessert! I loved the shrimp, fish and Carne Asada tacos! But definitely save room for churros and tres leches cake in jar!

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Get the Baja fish, shrimp and carne asada tacos at Bartaco

Tip – they often have specialty cocktails and off menu items at Bartaco in Atlanta. Right now, they have the Chile-lime shrimp taco! Composed of a spicy and tangy Chile-lime marinated shrimp resting on a crisp and bright vegetable escabeche and finished with a zesty pepita salsa macha (see pictures below). I mean how good does all that sound? Right? It’s only available through the end of March so if you want it get in there and ask for the #bartacosecret and they’ll hook you up!

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Get the chili lime shrimp through March at Bartaco

2. Rreal Tacos – Located in the heart of Midtown Atlanta, you gotta try this authentic and delicious taco spot!

Adrian Villarreal’s restaurant marries his training in Le Cordon Bleu Paris with his Mexican heritage. The pork trompo (a must order) is spinning on a skewer as you enter Rreal Tacos in Midtown. You also can’t go wrong with the beef barbacoa and pork carnitas.

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Beef / Pork Trompo Tacos and fried chickpeas at Rreal Tacos

3. Botica in Buckhead 

Chef Mimmo has created a phenomenal new spot! One of the brightest and coolest patios in Atlanta is Botica’s patio and if they weather is good, you can bet it will be crowded. It’s the perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon weekend. But that’s not to say that the inside isn’t gorgeous too because it is! 

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The cocktails at Botica are killer. Don’t miss out on trying them at this Buckhead hot spot!

Let’s first tacobout how fantastic the drinks at Botica are! They are magnificent. I have been twice – once for dinner and once for lunch and can’t get enough of their Siesta (a twist on margarita made with Campari). But my pal loved the Spicy Mule as well! 

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Chef Mimmo shows off his tattoo (L), Pineapple cocktail at Botica in Atlanta (R)

You’ll want to come back again and again not only to work your way through the cocktail menu at Botica but also, the food! I loved the Octopus appetizer we had and if you go to a Mexican spot isn’t a must to have queso and chips? They are glorious and you need something to soak up the booze, right? 

octopus at Botica in Atlanta

Octopus isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Mexican restaurant, but Botica’s is amazing!

Look how big this portion of Octopus is at Botica. Other items I want to go back and try are the Chicken Tamales and Wagyu Carpaccio. But during my first visit I wanted to save room for those tasty tacos. The shrimp seems to be a duplicate of Chef Mimmo’s Red Pepper and is every bit as delicious. While I expected the lamb to be my favorite, it was the Beef Barbacoa that was my favorite. But the fish tacos is a very close second. 

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Botica has so many unique tacos to choose from + excellent drinks

When I returned to Botica for brunch I was blown away by how wonderful it is. I know Chef Mimmo is a fantastic chef, but Botica really does a sensational brunch. I could eat those steak chilaquiles once a week and my hubby’s burrito with chorizo and turkey gravy – Yum! 

4. Twisted Taco Express

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Twisted Taco is back in Marietta with a fast casual theme

Twisted tacos has locations in different parts of the city but they opened a location in Marietta that is fast casual. The decor of this Twisted Taco is light and bright. It is perfect for families and large groups. There are a couple picnic tables set up outside for when the weather is nice. It is located in a shopping center with plenty of parking too! 

One of the best non-taco items we had was the Empanada. This was crispy and made the beef filling was delicious with the salsa verde sauce. We loved the Carne Asada and the Cuban tacos the most. The portions of tacos are quite large so if you aren’t starving two tacos should fill you up quite nicely. They do have plenty of chicken tacos and even shrimp and a Cod taco on the menu so there’s certainly something for everyone. 

You can get a two taco meal for under $10 or three tacos for a just lightly more. One of the things we love about this Atlanta taco spot is that you can choose a side of chips and salsa, chips and queso, or rice and beans! Really nice that you have that much flexibility. You can even mix and match tacos! 

5. Taqueria del Sol – These small tacos pack a punch. And lucky for Atlantans there are locations all over the city.

There are only six varieties to choose from, but you can’t go wrong with any of the choices. However, my personal favorite is the brisket. I always pair it with the shrimp and corn chowder plus a house margarita.

 

6. El Taco Veloz – With locations all around Atlanta, don’t expect this spot to be high on decor.

But you will find exceptional tacos here. Skip traditional lunch time or else be prepared to wait.  Get the barbacoa and lengua. Wash them down with a horchata (cinnamon/milk drink).

7. Hankook Taqueria – Hankook opened on the Westside and is a combination of Asian and Mexican tacos. The combination is superb and a fun twist on tacos!

The calamari tacos are a standout and unlike tacos you’ll find elsewhere. And items like the sesame sweet potato fries are a hit. Tip: Parking is a cluster%*&# at lunch.

8. City Barbecue – A barbecue spot with great tacos? Yep. You gotta to try the Brisket tacos when you visit City Barbecue. The brisket is tender and low on fat. Put those pickled onions on these babies and chow down.

9. El Rey de Taco – This restaurant, whose name means “the king of tacos,“ can be found on Buford Highway. For authentic, you can’t beat this Atlanta tacos.

Come here for tasty and inexpensive tacos. Taco fillings like pork stomach, chitlins and tongue are on the menu for the adventurous eaters. However, you can “play it safe” with pork, flank steak or mushrooms and several other tacos.

 
 
 
 
 
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Happy #cincodedrinko err #cincodemayo2018 from @redpepperatl! I don’t ever drink skinny margs, but have to say theirs are amazing. Plus, kale shrimp ? tacos ?? Yum!!

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Some of the best tacos in Atlanta are located outside of the Perimeter

 

10. La Carreta – If you find yourself in Marietta just a little bit outside of Atlanta, but close to the Big Chicken, try to make it over to La Carreta for amazing bite sized tacos.

Handmade tacos are filled with well-seasoned meats, many topped with a creamy avocado sauce. There’s often live music on the weekends!

best tacos atlanta Roamilicious

11. The Original El Taco – This family-friendly restaurant is located in the Virginia Highland Atlanta neighborhood.

Get the pork cheek tacos or the smoked chicken tacos. Going with a group? Get the taco platter (five tacos, rice and beans).

12. Red Pepper Taqueria – There are now a handful of Red Pepper Taqueria locations throughout Atlanta.

So there’s probably one not too far from where you live. The best are the shrimp and kale tacos, and you definitely need to get the cilantro rice and wash it down with a skinny margarita.

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Taco trio at Rock n Taco

13. Rock ‘N Taco – There are 20 gourmet tacos to choose from, all priced between three and four bucks at this Roswell spot.

Standouts include the duck confit, roasted lamb and Mediterranean with smoked salmon, capers, goat cheese and a basil aioli. But if you love tuna poke, you are making a mistake if you don’t get at least one of these tacos.

 

 

 

14. Street Taco – Located in the newly opened Marietta Square Market, I was shocked at how good these tacos are!

Not because it is OTP, I just wasn’t expecting to have something so glorious – it seems like they should have their own free standing restaurant. I don’t know which was better the Mahi Mahi taco or the skirt steak or the pork. Everything was so juicy, yet the shells remained intact too.

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Tuza Tacos in Midtown have super tacos, but don’t miss out on the guac either!

15. Tuza Taco – this taco spot recently opened on Howell Mill Road in Midtown and will transport you to a beach oasis (or at least that’s how I felt when I visited this fun Atlanta taco spot).

The bright colors of Tuza will put you in a good mood no matter what. Well, that and one of their delicious margaritas! I tried several of their tacos and my favorite was the pork belly. But the Carnita and Big Fish tacos are customer favorites too!

Tacos are good for the soul, don’t let anybody tell you different. Luckily, Atlanta has plenty of delicious spots all around the city to enjoy these tasty treats with a variety of fillings. Hope you’ll get out there and enjoy the best tacos in Atlanta.

About the author

Malika Bowling

Malika is the author of several books including Culinary Atlanta: Guide to the Best Restaurants, Markets, Breweries and More! and the founder of Roamilicious. She is also a Digital Marketing and Social Media Consultant. Follow us @Roamilicious on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for the content not shared on the blog. And don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter (subscribe box below) and never miss a contest, giveaway or the latest must visit restaurant!

2 Comments

  • Hi Mailika, great article. You did miss a spot. We live in Roswell and our favorite is Elaina’s on Hwy 9. It’s not the spot for ambiance but for food, it can’t be beat for authentic Mexican food. It’s your own abuela making everything hand made. Check it out! Get the handmade chips and chunky salsa verde too. They only make the pasole on the weekend.

  • Hi CG! Thank you for letting me know about Elaina’s. I will have to check them out!
    -Malika