Hello again, friends! I’m so glad you are here to broaden your scope of Milwaukee area taco knowledge. I consider myself to be something of a taco expert. Mexican food is my answer to the question, “If you could eat one type of cuisine for the rest of your life, what would it be?” More than anything, I love an authentic Mexican taco with a corn tortilla, cilantro, onions, and choice of protein. On the other hand, I thoroughly enjoy the artistic display of nontraditional tacos that have been popping up left and right. Have you tried a fried avocado taco? Well I have, and I can tell you from experience that you need to try one too.
I have scoured the city and sifted through hundreds of recommendations from friends and reviews from the public. From taco trucks to sit-down restaurants, this list features some of the very best that Milwaukee has to offer. I have ordered A LOT of tacos during my research and pondered where exactly they may fall on this list of my favorites. In fact, I wish I had an exact number of tacos consumed because I’m sure it would blow your mind! Without further ado, I present to you: the Top 12 Taco Spots in Milwaukee.
12. Chilango Express
Gas station tacos. Sounds weird, doesn’t it? I thought it might be too, but I promise it isn’t. At Chilango Express, you have a tiny little sit-down diner serving up tacos that are cheap and delicious. Pictured is the flavorful and smoky chicken taco topped with cilantro and onions. What I like about Chilango is that there is a plentiful amount options for meats and toppings. Actually, they probably have the most extensive amount of choices on this list. That means you can have them design the tacos exactly to your specifications. Depending on where you are in the city, you can also visit them at their taco truck location on Layton and National. Chilango Express (6821 W Lincoln Avenue, Milwaukee, WI // 414.807.7948)
11. Taco Stop MKE
The fact that Taco Stop MKE is insanely close to my home means that I’m a frequent flyer over there. Chicken chimichangas are my go-to, but I love their steak tacos equally as much. Pictured are the steak and the chorizo, both exactly what I envision when I think of true Mexican-style tacos. South Milwaukee has very very very few options for good food, so we were thrilled to see this spot pop up a little over a year ago. If you’re looking for a crazy quick and authentic taco experience, you’ve got to go to Taco Stop MKE. I usually arrive extremely hungry and never have to wait more than 10 minutes. PS: Their homemade green salsa is THE BOMB. Taco Stop MKE (513 N Chicago Avenue, South Milwaukee, WI // 414.574.5123)
10. Café Corazon
Café Corazon, with locations in both Riverwest and Bay View, has become known for their vibrant decor, locally sourced ingredients, and slew of vegan options. Pictured here is one of my favorite items on their menu, the jicama shrimp tacos. They’re rubbed with a house spice and topped with crunchy jicama slaw (I looove a jicama slaw). Café Corazon has great food and drink and a fabulous atmosphere that’s hard to beat. Read my full post on Cafe Corazon HERE. Café Corazon (2394 S Kinnickinnic Avenue, Milwaukee, WI // 414.544.2774)
9. BelAir Cantina
Even if you’ve never been to BelAir, you’ve probably seen that bull sticker adhered to cars and displayed in random spots throughout the city. Talk about effective branding. But let’s face it, most of you have been to BelAir. Known for their tacos and tequila, BelAir is opening up a new location what feels like every other week! Their menu is “Mexican with some Cali flair” and boasts a list of interesting taco descriptions. Order 3 tacos because it comes with a side of rice and beans. I am a huge proponent of the fried avocado taco! And I’m also a fan of that trio of salsa that shows up at your table (try the orange one!). I like to show up on Tuesdays and Thursdays, where they have a list of select tacos that are $2 each. PS: Their tables are super insta-worthy. BelAir Cantina (1935 N Water Street, Milwaukee, WI // 414.226.2245)
8. Taqueria Buenavista
At Taqueria Buenavista, you’ll find a truly amazing example of a shrimp taco. It’s seasoned and grilled to perfection, giving it a satisfying crunch. It’s mouth-watering to write about. The green sauce is super spicy and the red is more smoky. Stop into their brick and mortar spot or one track down of their taco trucks. They have a large menu filled with all the typical Mexican fare. Taqueria Buenavista (6000 W Burnham, Milwaukee, WI // 414.546.1197)
7. The Laughing Taco
The Laughing Taco is relatively new to the Walker’s Point scene, but thank goodness it’s here. With just a small menu of tacos, soda, beer, and slushies, it’s a super simple and casual spot to stop by while you’re on the go. Or stick around for a while! They have a small number of bar stools and a couple tables for patrons to sit while they dine. I really enjoyed the nopalitos taco, which is seasoned cactus in a mild chile sauce. Who knew cactus would be so delicious? I had no idea. I also love the campechano, which is marinated pork and seasoned steak. The best part of that one is that the cheese is grilled until it’s crispy. Also note: 5 for $12 is a pretty good deal for tacos! The Laughing Taco (1033 S 1st Street, Milwaukee, WI // 414.210.3086)
6. El Charrito
Parked right down the street from The Laughing Taco is El Charrito. This one is my mom’s favorite. El Charrito’s chorizo taco is out of this world. It’s super juicy, to the point where it’s exploding with flavor. It’s some of the best chorizo I’ve ever had. It’s another place to stop if you’re looking for that authentic Mexican-style taco experience. I will note that their website listed on the back of the truck does not work. But hey, they have delicious tacos and that’s all that matters right? At least we know where to find them. El Charrito (700 W Becher Street, Milwaukee, WI // 414.628.9448)
5. Jose’s Blue Sombrero
This is actually a restaurant I’ve only recently tried, even though I’ve known about it for quite a while. It’s just super convenient now because one of their three locations is in such close proximity to the new Corners of Brookfield. Since discovering its deliciousness, I’ve come back multiple times for their tacos. Pictured are the curry coconut chicken tacos that are on their special menu, because I’m obsessed. The summery concoction of pickled red onion, Thai basil, toasted coconut, and Thai chiles is a blast of flavor in a tortilla. But they have a sizeable core menu as well, so you will always have something great to choose from if your favorite seasonal special has gone sayonara. Jose’s Blue Sombrero (20371 Bluemound Road, Brookfield, WI // 262.432.6667)
Mazorca is an exciting newcomer to the food truck scene! They are parked kitty-corner from Colectivo in Walker’s Point, right before you enter the Third Ward. And let me tell YOU: their bistec taco is muy bueno! The beer marinated beef is tangy and juicy, served with whole pinto beans (not refried). This small innovation adds a texture that is unlike many other tacos on this list. It’s what I would describe as a “refreshing” taco, certainly not your typical spicy/traditionally flavored option. And don’t get me started on their handmade tortillas. They’re grilled, which adds another level of crispness and flavor. Mazorca (209 S 1st Street, Milwaukee, WI // 414.550.7644)
3. Iron Horse Hotel
Every week, Taco Tuesday is observed on the Iron Horse Hotel’s patio, called The Yard. There you will find unlimited tacos for $20, which includes two margaritas! The Iron Horse is one of Milwaukee’s beautiful boutique hotels. It is in a historic building from 1907 that once housed a mattress factory! Aside from the awesome ambiance you will experience at The Yard, the tacos are a reason for you to stop by all on their own. My favorite is the carnitas taco with onion and salsa rojo. Each of their tacos are artfully crafted and oozing with flavor. Iron Horse Hotel (500 W Florida Street, Milwaukee, WI // 414.374.4766)
2. Lala’s Place
Lala’s Place was one of the first restaurants I reviewed for Female Foodie. That’s because it has been a go-to spot for both my family and friends since it opened. They serve the tacos I’m always craving (al pastor) and the best chile relleno platter. Walk in and Lala herself will probably call you “honey” or “sweetie” and tell you to sit anywhere you’d like! Stop by the quaint little restaurant and you can gaze upon photos of Lala and all the friends she has met through the years. The prices are great and the food is the best Mexican you will find in the suburbs. Read my full post on Lala’s Place HERE.
1. Gypsy Taco
Here are the steps you need to experience a true gem of the Milwaukee taco scene. Step One: Walk into Boone & Crockett. Step Two: Go into the backyard. Step Three: Order tacos from the truck in the backyard, called Gypsy Taco. Step Four: Indulge and enjoy. Gypsy Taco has revolutionized tacos, inventing new and interesting combinations of ingredients and flavors. Try the Dr. Pepper beer braised pork shoulder with aoli, cabbage, cilantro, jalapeno, radish, and pickles. The flavor of the meat was sweet and the pickled veggies were the perfect amount of salty. From the seasonal side of the menu, the seared ahi tuna tacos were a nice alternative to the usual fish taco. They’re topped with aioli, nori, arugula, radish, and crunchy sesame seeds. They have homemade salsas to use at your convenience, both mild and hot. It’s a fun backyard environment with an outdoor bar as well. Gypsy Taco is home to some seriously well-designed flavor profiles. You can tell that the chef who put this menu together knew what they were doing! You get the taco that you love in an intriguing and elevated form. Gypsy Taco (2151 S Kinnickinnic Avenue, Milwaukee, WI // 414.743.4935)
As you can see, we have quite an array of different types of tacos in Milwaukee that will leave your taste buds tingling! Try some out and be sure to let us know what you think. We’re always on the lookout for the best of the best here in Milwaukee!