10 Great Tacos in Orange County

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for taco_man.gif
The numbers don't lie, people: despite the protestations of some commenters to the contrary, ustedes LOVE lists! Ustedes LOVE Best Of-related stuff! So, to increase the love, we're combining the two! A list of Best Ofs! YEAHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Here's the comprende, Mendez: every Friday now, from here until kingdom come (aka, until we start the 100 favorite dishes for 2012 list, which we Forkers actually do love to do), we'll gather a list of great meals that weren't able to win our Best Of designation this year but are perennial contenders. Most of the writing will be rehashes of previous valentines we've written on the subject, mostly because it's okay to plagiarize yourself. Eventually, you'll be able to get these on our Best Of app for your smartphone--take THAT, Yelp!

First up this week: 10 great tacos in la naranja. Now excuse us as we sacrifice another baby to the social-media Ba'als that rule modern-day journalism...enjoy!

10. Al Pastor Taco, Taqueria Tapatia

Thumbnail image for taqueriatapatia.jpg

The tacos are similarly spartan, dressed up only with onions and cilantro, and one of the last places remaining in Orange County where they cost less than a dollar (though just barely, and the price has increased this year...). In both, the al pastor is tender, vaguely possessing pineapple and citrus flavors, and partners well with beans and rice--or, if you want it, shines on its own.

Taquería Tapatía, 202 S. Bristol, SanTana, (714) 972-9115; also at 1118 W. First St., SanTana, (714) 835-8168.

9. Chorizo Taco at Carnitas Los Reyes

los_reyes_window.jpg
Photo by the Elmo Monster


The chorizo is grated until it's as fine as salt, then cooked in oil that looks and feels like transmission fluid but tastes like a thousand spicy hogs. The obsidian-toned meat is gritty, and the flavor subsumes your palate with its thick coat.

273 S. Tustin St. Orange, (714) 744-9337.
My Voice Nation Help
47 comments
Brig Mills
Brig Mills

Carnitas Los Reyes, is there even a challenger?

Dennis Sam S
Dennis Sam S

You need to update your article. Rigobertos Brothers Taqueria Taco Stand at 1st and Mountain View (near Newhope) has the best selection in meats, taste, and tacos starting at .80 cents.

Gregory Soave
Gregory Soave

Damn, nothing north of Santa Ana.. I'll just keep going to De Anda I guess.

Ben Baysic
Ben Baysic

Jazmine Tedtaotao & Anthony Jordan, is this the taco truck you guys are talking about ?

Nelson Mills
Nelson Mills

Well I'm in Tejas suffering with crappy tex mex but when I'm home I'm at Los Reyes every other day

Avanti Natural
Avanti Natural

Come try our NEW Quesadilla too >> Crazy Loco Flavors

OC Weekly
OC Weekly

And Tacos Sahuayo? Since when have white folks eaten pig snout?

OC Weekly
OC Weekly

Carnitas los Reyes, gabacho? All wabs when we go...

Kristen Ross
Kristen Ross

Taqueria 2 Guys on Warner in Santa Ana. Everything is great and the owners are the BEST!

Cesar Jaime
Cesar Jaime

Taqieria zamora are probably the only good tacos....other than that they are all gabacho picks...

grvz5247
grvz5247

After reading rhis all I can say is que chinge a su madre taco bell!

Spencer Askin
Spencer Askin

Glad to see Albatro's did not make the list. Thank you.

Josh Foote
Josh Foote

Are you really gonna drive down to cubbon st. tonight for a taco? I think not.

Josh Foote
Josh Foote

What about El Toro Bravo in costa mesa?...... Big bomb tacos... Try the asada or carnitas

sandybtran
sandybtran

Hell yes!  Albrije's WOULD be on this list twice!

Julilug
Julilug

Where is these place taco acorazado from alebrije's. Is this a taco shop or a roach coach? I couldn't find these place?

Pedrodetacos
Pedrodetacos

Don't forget to try a Tortas de Lomo at Tapatia.

Frankmc9999
Frankmc9999

Totally Lame! ( I hate to quote my 19 year old Daughter, but nothing else came to mind!) El Toro Bravo, 19th street, Costa Mesa, makes hands down, the best taco (my favorite is Carnitas, but please don't let that limit you! they have everything) North of San Diego, and have had since the first time I had one, in my teens, I am now in my Forty's. Just about everyone I know agrees with this assessment and we find it mind boggling that ETB did not make your list, not to mention blow away everyone else ( day in and day out, not just when the food critic is coming!) I have been to more then a couple of the restaurants on your list, and found them all very enjoyable and good, but when you throw the title of "10 Best Tacos" and not even give a cursory nod to ETB, more then a few of us veteran taco eaters of Orange County, stop an go WTF!!!

Diego Ramirez
Diego Ramirez

Ugh, I need to go back to Santana. It's hard to find a decent Taco in West LA.

foodgps
foodgps

This will come in handy. Looks like I've got some catching up to do.

UrNewStepDad
UrNewStepDad

You forgot about your moms pink taco, heard thats a real crowd pleaser

Newportblue65
Newportblue65

Gustavo.....Myself and the other readers I know like the lists, pictures and comments in the OCWEEKLY  SAFII section !! Looking forward to the future articles !!.......Some great looking tacos........

Sofiasibbc
Sofiasibbc

Try tacos fiesta imperial best of Santa Ana220 E. 4th street Santa Ana

Sofiasibbc
Sofiasibbc

Go to tacos fiesta imperial 220 E. 4th st Santa Ana best in Santa Ana

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

El Toro Bravo is for burritos, not tacos.

I don't love their carnitas. They only use shoulder. What's the point?

Pedrodetacos
Pedrodetacos

El Toro Bravo is only good if you happen to be stuck in Costa Mesa.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

El Toro Bravo (and its sister SanTana location) is the most-overrated taco in Orange County and has been ever since over-excited gabachos first took me about a decade ago...

MissingL.A.
MissingL.A.

Dude, are u serious?...you have east l.a. down the street. That its a haven of taco spots and best mexican hole in the wall joints.

Sam
Sam

What a pig....making jokes about someone's mother? You've gotta be in junior high.Take that back, grade school.

Sofiasibbc
Sofiasibbc

Must try Tacos fiesta imperial 220 E. 4th st Santa Ana the best of Santa ana

Sofiasibbc
Sofiasibbc

Try Tacos Fiesta Imperial at 220 E 4th st between bush and french on 4th street best tacos in Santa ana

Sam
Sam

Wow, worse than Javiers?

El Ian
El Ian

Since the title read, 10 Great Tacos in Orange County, is it safe to assume that El Toro Carniceria, off of Bristol and W. 1st St. in Santa Ana, will be included in the follow up article: 10 Best Tacos in Orange County?

UrNewStepDad is weak
UrNewStepDad is weak

UrNewStepDad,Obviously the love of your mama's pink taco made you say that stupid comment...maybe your should worry about getting a proper BJ from a girlfriend than saying dumb-a$$ things on a food blog.

Pedrodetacos
Pedrodetacos

I have been going to both for years and did not know that. The sanTana one is much better so I always thought they were different. When I stayed off Pacific El Toro was the spot.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Yes, Virginia: El Toro Bravo and El Toro Carniceria are owned by the Bonilla familia, an offshoot of which owns El Camino Real in Fullerton. You can look it up.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...