Where can you find the best tacos in the Syracuse “area”?
Stay tuned, because the answer may shock you….but probably not.
Each year, for the last four years I have set out in search of the best tacos in the Syracuse “area”. That search has brought me to a lot of restaurants in Syracuse and a couple in Madison County. Typically, I set to Instagram and ask for recommendations for places to find great tacos and then I go eat at each restaurant. This year I decided to omit the restaurants I already know suck. You can watch our latest Youtube video if you want to know which restaurants those are.
This year I was more intentional about where I ate. I only went to the restaurants I knew had good tacos or the restaurants that I had not been to before AND had consistently good reviews. Some of you recommend a certain place in the Irish district of Syracuse…and some of you said it was the worst tacos around. So I avoided it for the purposes of this search. Did I try EVERY taco in Syracuse? No. But I did try the most important ones.
Some of you have also recommended places like (insert bad restaurant here). Listen, the “shrimp tacos” at the burger joint will never be great. They may taste good with their frozen shrimp, canned “salsa”, and a mound of iceberg lettuce but they will never compete with XO Taco, Decir Algo, Carmelita’s, or another Mexican restaurant.
Now let’s get down to the winners and the almost winners.
The winner of the best taco in 2022 is Decir Algo with their pork and salsa verde taco.
Simply put, this is a flavor bomb of a taco with 4 simple items inside the tortilla. Pork, Salsa Verde, a little cotija cheese, and a few green onions. It’s no wonder the best taco in Syracuse is made by a woman named…Taco. Seriously, that’s her name. Taco.
The winner for best taco in 2022 in the Birria category is Carmelita’s. No surprise here.
Carmelita’s takes three days to make their Birria tacos. Theresa imports her spices directly from Mexico herself. She makes her own tortillas and tortilla chips. There isn’t a restaurant in town that can even come close to hitting the same flavors that Carmelita’s does with their Birria tacos.
The runners up for best tacos are:
Ponchito’s on W. Fayette with the Chicharron taco that Michael made me. Make sure and try this one because it’s amazing and was THIS close to winning first place.
Madison County Distillery with their roasted veggie taco. This taco took home first place last year and it’s still a great taco. It’s even more astonishing that they make such a great taco that is roasted veggies!
At the end of the day, the taco game in Syracuse has gotten a lot stronger over the years. We now have some solid tacos in the area..a lot more than we did four years ago. I don’t think Syracuse will ever compete with the tacos of Los Angeles, San Diego, Austin, or even the great ones in New York City, but we still have chefs who are looking to make killer food in taco form.