Wyoming November 27, 2019
This Humble Little Taco Stand Started In Wyoming And Became A National Sensation
One of Wyoming’s most successful businesses started off as a tiny food truck, selling tacos and burritos that were hard to find elsewhere in the West. If you’ve ever wondered about the history of Taco John’s, read below and see how one Wyomingite changed the face of our culinary landscape forever.
Do you remember when Taco John's looked like this? The famous Cheyenne-based taco stand first opened its doors in the 1960s and has since become a national sensation.
John Turner's Taco House first opened up in 1968, and within a year, had become popular enough to attract two investors. Turner sold his stand, and it was renamed Taco John's in 1969.
As the restaurant became more popular, the company opened up stores in several towns throughout Wyoming, pitching their food as "West-Mex" and even spreading into neighboring states.
This photo from 1977 shows off the interior of a popular Taco John's. Families would come in for dinner, kids would hang out here after school, and these taco shops continued to spread across the Western states.
When TJ's introduced drive-through service, their popularity soared! The chain grew and grew in the 1970s and 1980s, and even trademarked the term "Taco Tuesday" long before hashtags were a trend.
Today, there are more than 425 restaurants bearing the Taco John's name, and you can find one in 27 different states!
On any given day, you can find a long line at lunchtime or dinner time at your local Taco John's. Wyoming is still obsessed with this home-grown brand that serves up tasty tacos and West-Mex food.
The menu includes classics like crispy tacos, soft shell tacos, and burritos, along with featured items that change seasonally, like their new stuffed tacos.
Stop by in the morning and try their pork carnitas breakfast tacos if you're looking for a tasty way to start the day.
TJ's signature dish, Potato Olés®, is one thing that keeps bringing people back. Dip these crispy potato nuggets in nacho cheese or enjoy them in a burrito for a classic Wyoming snack.
While it may be hard to picture this thriving chain as a tiny taco stand that started here in Cheyenne, when you take a look back at the history of Taco John's, you'll find a whole lot of Wyoming history to enjoy!
Now that you know the history of Taco John’s, are you craving Potato Olés®? Head to your local TJ’s and pig out. After all, you deserve to treat yourself, and you’ll be recognizing Wyoming’s history all at the same time.