I think we can all concur that road trips involving food are the best kinds of road trips.
Here in Arizona, we’re unashamed of our love for tacos – they’re practically a food group in the Grand Canyon State. That said, we can be a bit snobby when it comes to what’s in them and how they’re prepared. If getting our hands on a good taco means driving halfway across the state, we’re jumping in the car without a second thought. This trail is only four hours long and takes you to 10 of the very best taco joints in Arizona. Think your stomach is up for the challenge?
1. Taqueria Los Yaquis (Phoenix)
If you think $1 tacos are worth standing in an insanely long line at 2 a.m. for (spoiler alert: they are), this is the place to be. Taqueria Los Yaquis is permanently parked at the light rail stop on 7th Avenue, and it's open until 4 a.m. on Friday & Saturday nights. Nothing satisfies quite like greasy Mexican food when a fourth meal craving strikes. The restaurant is located at 705 W Camelback Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85013.
2. Taco Guild (Phoenix)
Just in case you're like us and have passed this building countless times wholeheartedly believing it was a church, here's a revelation: it's not. At least not anymore! Taco Guild is indeed a restaurant, and it specializes in fully-loaded tacos as well as other fan favorites like elotes, craft beer, and tequila. You'll find this gem at 546 E Osborn Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85012.
3. La Santisima (Phoenix)
Voted the #1 taco joint in Arizona on numerous occasions, La Santisima is arguably the most important stop on this trail. The innovative, gourmet cuisine reflects different parts of Mexico, including Oaxaca, the Yucatan Peninsula, and Mexico City. Oh, and there's also a salsa bar! The address is 1919 N 16th St., Phoenix, AZ 85006.
4. PAZ Cantina (Phoenix)
Another food truck, PAZ moves around the Phoenix-metro area and offers three to six different tacos on a rotating basis. Pro tip: bring a few friends so you can sample all of them. The carne asada is everyone's favorite, but don't sleep on the highly underrated veggie! With a patio and craft cocktails, dinner here promises to be a night well spent.
5. Mucha Luca (Tempe)
This ASU-area restaurant might look unassuming, but it serves up some undeniably delicious grub. Choose from nine different meats and get five tacos for just $7 - an absolute steal, especially for those on a college budget. You'll find Mucha Luca at 818 W Broadway Rd., Tempe, AZ 85282.
6. Joyride Taco House East (Gilbert)
Artsy tacos are the best tacos. With a plethora of colorful veggies, herbs, and sauces to put on top, each one has an opportunity to shine in its own right. That's what Joyride specializes in, and all their creations are served in soft shells (our favorite.) Crispy fish seems to be the crowd favorite, and not ordering an agua fresca would be a cardinal sin. The address is 302 N Gilbert Rd., Gilbert, AZ 85233.
7. Guayo's El Rey (Miami)
You won't find anything fancy here at Guayo's. Good old-fashioned greasiness is what they're all about, and we couldn't be any more okay with that. The tacos are loaded up with shredded meat, lettuce, and cheese encased in a crispy shell. So simple yet so timelessly delicious. The restaurant is located at 716 Sullivan St., Miami, AZ 85539.
8. Taqueria Aqui Con El Nene (Tucson)
This long-standing Tucson staple might be most well-known for its famous Sonoran dogs, but the carne asada tacos are positively mouthwatering as well. A sit-down restaurant was recently opened, so choose whichever atmosphere works best for you. You'll find the truck at 4415 N Flowing Wells Rd., Tucson, AZ 85705.
9. La Botana (Tucson)
How could anyone pass up such an inviting place? La Botana's brightly-colored decor is everything we love about authentic Mexican restaurants. You can taste the pure heart and soul poured into each and every menu item, but the Gobernador al Ajillo has to take the top spot in our opinion. It's a shrimp taco that's heavy on the garlic, so try not to kiss anyone afterward! The restaurant's address is 3200 N 1st Ave., Tucson, AZ 85719.
10. Street Taco and Beer Co. (Tucson)
If you're as indecisive as we are when it comes to food, street tacos are a godsend. They let you try a variety of different flavor combinations without getting stuffed. Along with the main course, sides like Spanish rice, pinto beans topped with white cheese, and (of course) chips and salsa balance out the meal perfectly. Street Taco can be found at 58 W Congress St., Tucson, AZ 85701.