Forget plain old chicken and check out this extensive list of different types of tacos.
From carne asada to carnitas, they’re mouthwateringly delicious!
27 Best Types of Tacos
My go-to taco has to be flaky fish tacos with lots of zesty slaw and plenty of heat. Though I’m also partial to dripping birria tacos with extra pico!
And unless you live under a rock, chances are you’ve had a taco recipe once or twice.
But if you’re looking to upgrade your weekly dinner menu, check out these different types of tacos.
I bet you’ll find more than one new fave!
Tacos Arabes Pueblas translates to ‘Arab tacos,’ and they’re a yummy hybrid.
Typically served in pita bread rather than a tortilla, tacos Arabes Puebla are a super unique cross between Mexican and Middle Eastern food.
The pork is marinated in orange juice, onions, and spices. And it needs to sit for at least two hours to really infuse and tenderize.
Serve the grilled meat in a warm pita with fresh salad and a zippy lime crema. Yum!
Carne asada tacos are one of the most common types of Mexican tacos.
Featuring tender and juicy flank or skirt steak marinated in olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, and spices, it has tons of flavor.
The lime ensures the meat is super soft, though it’s best to pound it with a meat tenderizer too.
Then, grill it on high for a few minutes on either side for a nice char.
Top carne asada tacos with creamy avocado, diced onion, and a squeeze of lime.
Then, sprinkle some cilantro and cotija cheese over the plate for a tasty finishing touch.
Tacos al pastor are a very common pork-filled taco with a dreamy sweet, and tangy sauce.
Al pastor is traditionally a pineapple-based marinade that compliments the salty pork really well.
The flavors meld perfectly, and you end up with an incredibly flavorful and irresistible taco.
Top them with sliced red onion, fresh pineapple, and cilantro. Delish!
Barbacoa is ultra moist and delicious shredded meat. It melts in your mouth and is a true staple of Mexican cuisine.
While it’s traditionally made with beef cheeks, you’ll also see recipes with lamb or goat.
Either way, it has tons of spices and chipotle peppers for flavor.
The secret to getting such juicy and tender meat is cooking it low and slow. So this is the kind of dinner you’ll need to prep ahead.
Tacos de buche (pork stomach tacos) are different but definitely worth a try.
If you’re new to cooking with organ meats, don’t stress. It’s not as scary as it sounds.
Plus, you’ll end up with something tender and delicious.
You’ll stew the meat in a mixture of onions, cloves, jalapeños, Worcestershire sauce, and spices.
When it’s tender, add your favorite salsa, onions, cilantro, crema, and lime.
6. Birria Tacos
Wait, what is birria? Well, it’s a type of stew from Jalisco, Mexico. Often made with goat meat, it can feature lamb, beef, or chicken.
And you guys, it’s insanely good!
As tacos, that tender meat gets stuffed in corn tortillas dipped in the fat from the stew.
Add some Oaxaca cheese and pan-fry them until crispy and delicious.
But that’s not all! They’re also served with a consomé broth for dipping. It’s not tidy, but it’s to die for!
Tacos de cabeza are traditionally made with a pig or cow’s head. Yes, the whole head.
But if you can’t find one at your local store, go ahead and use pork shoulder instead.
That said, if you’re up for an adventure, I highly recommend sourcing the real deal.
Once it’s rubbed in the spice blend, smoked for 2-4 hours, and then wrapped and cooked for another few hours, it’s something pretty special.
Tacos de pescado are one of my personal favorites. Hailing from Baja, California, they’re a staple on the west coast.
Flakey fish deep-fried until the outer crust is a nice golden brown? Oh man, sign me up!
Drizzle on a creamy sauce and add some crunchy cabbage slaw for the ultimate experience.
If you’re looking for a delicious bite of west coast living, you have to make fish tacos.
In the mood for a taco hybrid? Try tacos campechanos!
Traditionally, they’re a mix of carne asada, longaniza (Spanish) sausage, nopalitos (prickly pear cactus), and chicharrones (pork rind or belly).
But this version uses chorizo, pork steak, tomatillo salsa, and pickled onion, so it’s a bit more accessible.
Make these tacos when you need to use up leftovers, and it will be a breeze.
These tacos are seriously irresistible.
From the chipotle spiced shredded chicken to the zippy lime and tender corn tortillas, chicken tinga tacos are smokey, fresh, and oh-so-tasty.
Once you try them, you’ll seek them out whenever you can. But homemade is always best, so keep this recipe close and handy!
11. Carnitas Tacos
Speaking of homemade tacos: it doesn’t get any better than crispy-tender carnitas.
Think of it like pulled pork – only with much more flavor and texture.
Start with a dry rub of oregano, cumin, black pepper, salt, and chili powder. Then slow-cook the pork with the onion, garlic, jalapeños, and orange juice.
When it’s done, it’s zesty, spicy, and pretty much irresistible.
But then you’ll broil it for a few minutes to get a nice crispy edge that’s borderline addictive.
12. Chorizo Tacos
For something that is sure to be memorable, check out this recipe for chorizo tacos.
The homemade chorizo is incredibly flavorful and surprisingly easy to make. But of course, you can always use store-bought to save on time.
Either way, pair it with diced onions, cilantro, and a creamy crema sauce. Delish!
Cecina is a salted Spanish meat that’s dried/cured using the air, sun, or smoke.
And while you can use many types of meat for this, beef and pork are the most common, with bull, goat, or rabbit being a little more unconventional.
It does need 24 hours to marinade, but after that, it’s pretty straightforward. So give it a try the next time you have a free weekend!
14. Tacos de Papa
Fried and crispy tortilla shells filled with mashed potatoes?
Yes, you heard that right.
Tacos de papa are a unique but irresistible taco topped with shredded cabbage, tomato, onion, and a garlicky tomato sauce.
And don’t forget heaps and mounds of cotija cheese!
They’re one of the best vegetarian tacos out there, and you don’t even have to be vegetarian to love them.
If you took Spanish in high school, you might do a double-take at that title.
I mean, chapulines are grasshoppers, right?
Yes! But while it may seem strange, these crunchy critters can be really yummy. You just have to give them a chance.
Wrap them up in a fresh corn tortilla and drench them in a spicy chile sauce, and you’ll forget all about those little legs.
If you’re willing to try chapulines, you won’t regret it. The light crispiness contrasts with the soft tortilla for a texture experience you don’t want to miss.
16. Cochinita Pibil
Conchinita pibil is a type of pulled pork from the Yucatán Peninsula. And this specific recipe only calls for five ingredients.
Better yet, it goes right in your slow cooker.
The meat has a lovely citrusy flavor and can be used in all kinds of dishes. But of course, these tacos are the best option.
Put the pork in a soft tortilla with mashed avocado and pickled red onions for the best flavor ever!
17. Chicharron Tacos
To understand chicharron tacos, we have to first discuss chicharrones.
They’re deep-fried pork rinds (or belly) that get ultra crispy and make a fantastic snack.
Chicharron tacos are the result of simmering those pork rinds in salsa verde until they’re super flavorful and tender.
Add sour cream to cut the spice and a few extra chicharrones for crunch.
18. Nopales Tacos
I mentioned nopales above, but here’s a recipe that really lets them shine.
Prickly pear cactus tacos are super popular in Mexico and southern parts of the United States. Though they’re still relatively unknown.
I mean, did you know you could eat cacti? I didn’t!
But when you stew nopales and chiles together until they’re insanely tender, they’re surprisingly scrumptious.
I suggest using pre-cleaned nopales if you can find them. It’s quicker, easier, and will leave you with fewer battle scars.
Cueritos are another variation of pig skin that aren’t crispy like chicharrones but are just as delicious.
They’re pretty salty due to the brine they come in. But you can easily balance the flavor with other ingredients.
Add cabbage, lime, and chili sauce for the best cueritos tacos.
20. Tacos de Lengua
If you’ve never cooked with tongue before, I suggest starting with this recipe.
Tacos de lengua feature beef tongue with a flavor-packed garlic and onion mixture, and they’re a true Mexican classic.
You’ll serve the beef finely chopped inside of warm corn tortillas with salsa verde for spice.
Add some avocado to balance it out, and prepare to fall in love.
21. Tacos de Canasta
Also known as basket tacos, tacos de canasta are another yummy vegetarian dish I know you’ll love.
You’ll fill corn tortillas with beans and potatoes, then steam them in hot chile oil.
It’s a terrific Mexican street food and snack that’s best served with tangy salsa verde.
Tacos de canasta are great for parties because they turn into little taco pockets after cooking. So you can mingle while you eat without making a mess!
Huitlacoche tacos are made with a type of fungus similar to mushrooms.
The huitlacoche is a kernel infected with fungus. It blooms and changes colors, then it’s a whole new edible delight!
In English, it’s been called “corn fungus”, “corn mushrooms”, or “corn truffles”.
But whatever you call them, they’re heavenly in tacos…unless you just watched The Last of Us. In that case, fungus tacos might not sound too appealing.
23. Tacos de Pollo
Pollo is Spanish for chicken, which is probably the most common type of Tex-Mex taco around.
You can use chopped, shredded, or sliced chicken – just don’t be shy with the spice!
Any way you cut it, I promise it will be delicious.
24. Tacos de Suadero
Tacos de suadero are really popular in Mexico City.
It’s a cut of meat often confused with hanger steak or brisket. But if you see “rose meat” at the market, that’s Suadero!
Buy a nice chink, and shred it up to make irresistible tacos.
Add your favorite salsa, along with some onions and cilantro, and you’re all set.
There’s really no way to sugarcoat it – sesos are brains.
They can come from cows or goats, and they make incredible tacos.
Sesos are richly flavored, if when you add spicy salsa, you’ll love each bite of these daring tacos.
26. Tripitas Tacos
From one unusual ingredient to the next – tripitas tacos are made with small intestines.
And although it may seem scary, this type of meat tastes delicious.
They’re soft on the inside with a crispy exterior. So if you can push past the nerves and try these tacos, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
27. Shrimp Tacos
Shrimp tacos are another coastal treat that you have to try. Plump and meaty shrimp inside warm tortillas is unbeatable.
Plus, when you add crispy cabbage, avocado, and salty cheese, you can’t go wrong.
These colorful and flavorful tacos are perfect in the summer and ideal for parties. Or just make them for yourself and enjoy an insanely good meal.
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