Mexico may not be very close to Vermont, but it doesn’t mean that the Green Mountain State isn’t dishing up some authentic fare from south of the border. From delicious fish tacos to tacos paired with some of the best molé sauce you’ll ever try, check out these 10 great taco joints in Vermont!
Smoked pork belly and kimchi tacos, chorizo tacos, fish tacos, squash and veggie tacos, enchiladas, and the best carnitas in the state—need we say more? The meat is smoked in house, the focus is on fresh, local ingredients, and the ambiance is laid back and fun. Plus, you can order individual tacos or have them made to order, so trying more than one is easy. Combine all of that with a great selection of local beers, and you’ll understand why people are mad about Mad Taco.
El Cortijo Taqueria offers traditional tacos, burritos, and Mexican-style entrees in exciting, fresh ways. At El Cortijo, they refer to the experience of dining there as “farm to taco,” and it all happens inside an original, historic 1950s diner. It’s probably one of the few places in the Green Mountain State where you can still get a beef tongue taco, and check out their extensive tequila list, margaritas, 100 percent Agave tequilas, and house-made sangria.
Owned by New England Culinary Institute graduate, Cassidy Warren, Cilantro is a casual Mexican restaurant offering simple, fresh-made tacos and burritos to order. With a focus on local fresh produce and naturally-raised meat, like slow-roasted chicken, braised pork, and marinated beef brisket, everything from the cheese to the sauces to the pickled onions is made in-house. The upshot is fresh, spicy, unctuous tacos and burritos with every bite.
Owned by restaurateur, Carlo Rovetto, formerly the Black Door, offers authentic Latin-style cuisine developed from scratch. Enjoy freshly made cocktails using South American spirits or try the al pastor taco (chili orange grilled pork, grilled pineapple, roasted onions, guacamole, cilantro and the yucca fries. Follow that with a Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin, and you have got yourself a good night.
Owner Manuel Aguilera grew up in Pasadena, California, but his mother was from Mexico, and he remembers all the pungent aromas of corn, lime, chilies, and smoked meats wafting through the house. All of these memories get rolled into his tacos and burritos, as well as smoked Vermont beef brisket, fresh cheese, and jalapenos.
Former head chef and family matriarch, Alejandra Bolles (1938-2011) was born in Mexico and raised by her Mayan Indian grandmother. The cooking is now left to her daughters, and the menu is relatively simple, featuring fresh ingredients prepared traditionally, like tortillas made fresh daily out of corn masa in three distinct styles.
Owner Jennifer Isabell grew up in southern Colorado helping her Mexican grandmother in the kitchen of her store. El Toro is Jennifer’s reflection of that experience and features authentic Mexican food made from scratch and locally sourced ingredients, like Boyden grass fed beef, Misty Knoll chicken, Cabot cheddar, and organic sprouted corn tortillas. Regular menu items include enchiladas, burritos, and tacos, and you can special order the house special, tamales, ahead of time.
Founded in 2014 by owners John and Jodi Seward, Mojo can best be described as Cajun-Mexican fusion food. The upshot is unique dishes like dry-hopped chicken wings and the crawfish tamale. The a la carte tacos are a must have, like the chicken & molé (slow-roasted Misty Knolls chicken, house-made molé sauce, jicama, cilantro, queso fresco).
Jake Tran, a University of Vermont alum, opened Firebird in 2009 to “make good, simple, and fresh food to share with friends.” Although it is famous for its world class breakfasts, Firebird has also been serving up delicious California fusion cuisine for lunch, like guajillo chicken tacos (grilled chicken, tangy guajillo sauce, fresh red cabbage, cilantro and jack cheese on two corn tortillas).
Owner Russ Scully opened this surfboard, tiki torch, and coconut-themed taco joint in 2008, and has been serving up delicious fish tacos and more ever since. The little Hawaii of Vermont’s Queen City has been dishing up specialties like huevos rancheros and Peahi fish tacos for almost 10 years.