412 Fresh: 4 Favorite Tacos in the 412

As far as I’m concerned Taco Tuesday is every day in the Burgh. There’s so many taco spots popping up in Pittsburgh that it would be a disservice to your taste buds to only eat tacos on Tuesdays. For research purposes (of course) I’ve checked out quite a few taco spots and some of my favorites make me hungry just thinking about them. From the authenticity of Doce Taqueria to the flavors jam packed into the tacos at Bakersfield there’s a taco place for everyone in Pittsburgh.

Las Velas | Market Square Downtown

Las Velas Pittsburgh Fried Shrimp Tacos
Las Velas Pittsburgh Fried Shrimp Tacos

I’ve been a regular at this place and a Google search recently taught me that no matter how fun it is to say Las Velas means The Candles in Spanish. I briefly lived in Corona Queens and these tacos are the closest thing in Pittsburgh to the real deal. Their breaded shrimp tacos are jam packed with flavor and they don’t skimp on the filling. Every time I bite into one of these tacos I’m transported to another place that isn’t Pittsburgh. They also have a crazy assortment of tequilas and their happy hour margaritas are large and affordable and will have you off your behind if you’re not careful. I always go for the watermelon margarita and their fried shrimp taco.

Doce Taqueria | East Carson Street

This is one of the few places on Carson that doesn’t sell alcohol but their tacos make up for that. Their tacos may cost three dollars any day of the week but my taste buds don’t know that! These things taste like a million bucks. Their specials are ever changing and they’re vegan friendly. My fav is the Pollo taco without avocados (I’m not normal I don’t like guac). Two of these and I’m good to go for a night out or it’s a perfect way to end the night because they’re open super late! If you’re in a hurry they also have walking tacos which is convenient but don’t cheat yourself and go for the real deal.

Bakersfield | Downtown Pittsburgh

I’m a newbie to Bakersfield. I’ve passed it a million times and I’ve never noticed the place. Fun fact: Bakersfield, California is the country mecca of the west. How I didn’t know that baffles me as I’m a big Nashville fan (The television show of course). Any who, from the paintings on the walls to their house made margaritas down to the freshly squeezed juice in them to their handmade tortillas, I felt like I died and went to taco heaven for a while. If taco heaven plays country music than I’ve found the place! Bakersfield has experienced bartenders who can show you a trick or two as they shake one or two drinks at a time. My favorite was their Mahi Mahi tacos. I was shocked that I liked it because I don’t usually like slaw but their slaw knew it was the co-star and didn’t try to overpower the dish so kudos to Bakersfield. I can’t wait to go back to try some more of their cocktails and maybe even their vegan tacos that people rave about.

Tako Pittsburgh | Downtown Pittsburgh

Tako Pittsburgh is nice but getting a seat in this place is like essentially winning the lottery (Good luck even the bar is packed). I’ve been twice and yes, the price of the tacos are a bit much for just two tacos but they pack them with flavor. I’m not brave enough to try their grilled octopus tacos but I did enjoy their Pollo Asado (minus the avocado, I really don’t like avocado). There’s a reason this place has a line because between the interesting flavor profiles here like the jalapeno margarita to the cool atmosphere it’s worth checking out at least once.

Bonus: Emiliano’s

Churro Inception at Emiliano's Pittsburgh
Churro Inception at Emiliano’s Pittsburgh

I tried their food and it was okay as far as Mexican but the dessert by far is why I return. I love churros! Everywhere I go I try them and these ones were so amazing. It was like churro inception. Every time I bit into the churros smothered in ice cream there was more churro. I wanted to cry because I couldn’t finish it in all its gooey glory. Their enchiladas didn’t leave much to be desired but as long as they have churros and margaritas I will show up to Emiliano’s.

Plaza Azteca Pittsburgh
Chicken Enchiladas topped with french fries, smothered in an amazing cheese sauce with a side of rice and refried beans; Plaza Azteca

Extra Bonus (Is that a thing?): Plaza Azteca

I randomly stumbled upon this place on accident and it was a beautiful accident. Pittsburghers put French fries on everything and I skimmed the menu when I ordered my chicken enchiladas so I didn’t notice they came with French fries until I got the plate and I was all “there’s French Fries on my enchiladas y’all.” This Pittsburgh-Mexican mix is awesome. Their margaritas don’t taste like tequila but be careful as there is a lot of tequila in them! The staff was friendly and I wish they weren’t in Robinson or I would frequent the place (I guess it’s a good thing they’re in Robinson then because I don’t need that kind of temptation in my life. 😊 )

Of course, there could be only four but every taco has a special place in my heart (except Taco Bell I haven’t and never will try their tacos).

 Leave your favorite taco spot in the comments below! 

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