The best tacos in every state

When another inauthentic taco from Taco Bell just won't do, go in search of the best taco in your state. Even if you need to travel a long distance, the perfect taco is always worth the journey.

A run-of-the-mill fast food taco can serve a purpose. For example, if you're in a rush and you want to scratch an itch for Mexican food, getting something quick and easy from a drive-thru window isn't the worst idea. But you should understand that it simply won't compare to a taco crafted with love by an expert in the field.

By combining reviews, recommendations, awards, and other forms of recognition, we've compiled a list of the best tacos you can find in each state. Whether you prefer your tacos with seafood, pork, beef, or no meat at all, you will find examples on this list. Dig in and prepare yourself to travel to all the tacos that are calling your name.

Alabama: Al Pastor Taco at El Barrio

It makes a lot of sense that the best Mexican restaurant in Alabama is also home to the state's best taco. El Barrio, located in the city of Birmingham, gets glowing reviews, and their Al Pastor Taco gets much of the attention. This amazing taco comes equipped with pork that has been marinated in chile and served with pickled onion and juicy pineapple chunks. The savoriness and the little bit of spiciness from the pork is accentuated by the sweetness of the pineapple. If you're ever in Alabama, be sure to make a stop at El Barrio.

Alaska: The Missing Link at Lane's Quickie Tacos

The history of Lane's Quickie Tacos dates back to a freezing day in Fairbanks, Alaska, in 2013. Soon after that, this taco place became a red hot name in the taco world, as awards and recognition started pouring in from across the state and throughout the country. While there are a lot of yummy looking tacos on their menu, it's The Missing Link that you should order. This unique taco features a sizable smoked sausage link in the middle surrounded by bell peppers, onions, and a creamy white sauce.

Arizona: Fried Cauliflower Taco at Taco Guild

If you're searching for the best taco in Arizona, Phoenicians will tell you that one restaurant stands apart from the result: Taco Guild. Visiting this place is like a religious experience for taco lovers. Why? Well, not only does this highly rated taco joint serve amazing food, it's located inside of a historic church building that dates back to before Arizona was officially part of the United States. If you're looking for a taco blessing, go with their scrumptious Fried Cauliflower Taco. You'll learn it doesn't take a miracle to find a tasty taco that has no meat in it.

Arkansas: Grilled Chicken Taco at Tacos 4 Life

Are you destined to love tacos from the cradle to the grave? If so, you'll appreciate Tacos 4 Life. Not only is their name relatable for many of us, it's the eatery of choice for those in Arkansas who are obsessed with tacos. With around a dozen locations in the state, you're never far from Tacos 4 Life when you're in Arkansas. Their Grilled Chicken Taco will cause your mouth to instantly water. This thing comes in a puffy tortilla shell and is packed with sour cream, queso, pico de gallo, and, of course, grilled chicken.

California: World's Best Fish Taco at Taco Nazo

Taco Nazo has been a pioneering presence in the world of fish tacos since 1978. All it will take is one bite, and you'll fully understand that their expertise is no joke. Just walk up to the counter, say that you want to try their World's Best Fish Taco, and within minutes, you too will be a loyal fan. While you can also find tacos made with chicken, pork, and other meats at this taco joint, it's their fish tacos that have resulted in their nearly flawless reviews.

Colorado: Carne Asada Tacos at El Camino Community Tavern

El Camino Community Tavern is where you can find the best tacos in Denver and, by extension, the state of Colorado. While all their tacos are well worth your hard-earned dollar bills, it's their Carne Asada tacos that will certifiably blow your mind. When you order this meal, you get four four-inch tacos that are topped with steak that has been marinated in a mixture that combines citrus juices and garlic. Additionally, these El Camino Community Tavern tacos have corn salsa, tortilla strips, chile oil, and a yummy yellow sauce that will have you licking your fingers.

Connecticut: Americano Taco at Bodega Taco Bar

Going to Bodega Taco Bar is an experience that you will remember. From their fun beachy vibe to their tequila bar with more than six dozen types of tequila, you'll be having a blast even before your first taco enters your mouth. But once you try their tacos, you too will agree that this is a great restaurant that is worthy of all the hype. Although the Americano Taco may sound boring, it's actually a big hit. This thing is essentially a crispy beef taco with cheese and salsa. It sounds basic, but your taste buds will be overjoyed.

Delaware: Tacos de Cabeza at El Pique

El Pique is basically a hole in the wall located in Wilmington, Delaware. While the interior of their restaurant isn't anything to write home about, don't be surprised if you're writing long essays about the greatness of their tacos. While patrons love all their tacos, it's the Tacos de Cabeza that are otherworldly. Yes, the meat in this taco comes from a slow-roasted cow's head — but don't let that gross you out. This is a legendary taco that you owe it to yourself to try.

Florida: Camaron Tacos at Coyo Taco

When people in Miami say they've located the best tacos ever, we should all stand up and listen attentively. That's a city that knows a thing or two about tacos. Not only does Coyo Taco have the top tacos in Miami, these bad boys are the best you'll find anywhere in the state. Their Camaron Tacos are magnificent. They come with Gulf shrimp that have been expertly seared along with guacamole and chipotle aioli inside of a flour tortilla.

Georgia: Carnitas Taco at Taqueria La Oaxaquena

Ask anyone in Atlanta for directions to the ultimate tacos in the state of Georgia, and you'll be sent to Taqueria La Oaxaquena. This top-of-the-line Mexican restaurant gets high marks for their tamales, tortas, and soups, but it's their tacos that are the real star of the show. The Carnitas taco made with pulled pork is particularly popular. If you're adventurous, consider ordering the Buche taco made from beef stomach. This Taqueria La Oaxaquena classic isn't for the squeamish, but it too is glorious.

Hawaii: Cow's Tongue Taco at Ono Loco Tacos

When you're looking for truly authentic Mexican food when you're in the state of Hawaii, Ono Loco Tacos is the place to go. Their tacos are so good that they can compete with any tacos found in the contiguous United States. Try Ono Loco Tacos once, and you'll understand why their reviews are almost perfect. If you have a cowardly palate, go with a Ground Beef taco. But if you want to revel in the best of the best Ono Loco Tacos has to offer, order their Cow's Tongue Taco.

Idaho: Street Taco at Morenita's

Located in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Morenita's is a reliably fantastic place to get tacos and any other type of Mexican food you can imagine. Their Street Taco is particularly impressive. The ingredients are all fresh, the tortillas are so soft that they'll melt in your mouth, and the toppings they give you are top notch. While this place can get busy — especially around lunchtime — it's worth the wait if you have a few extra minutes to spare.

Illinois: Beef Hard Shell Taco at Taco Gringo

Taco Gringo doesn't sound like a place where you'd want to take your abuela for some tacos, but it's a legitimately grand taco dispensary. While their Beef Hard Shell Taco may look like something you can get at from a Taco Bell drive-thru window, the quality difference is impossible to ignore. Taco Bell's version may be cheaper, but the Taco Gringo version is so much better that you won't mind paying a little bit extra. The shells are crispier, the meat has more flavor, and the cheese has a bolder taste.

Indiana: Chorizo Taco at Gil Tacos

Found in Indianapolis, Indiana, Gil Tacos is a beloved restaurant that sells Chorizo Tacos that will have you talking about them for days. These tacos are made from perfectly spiced sausage meat. While they're not super spicy, if your taste buds are susceptible to spicy food, you probably shouldn't add salsa to these tacos — and you might consider cooling them down a bit with sour cream or guacamole. If you don't have a lot of experience with Mexican food, ordering a Chorizo Taco is a great option for a first-time visitor to Gil Tacos.

Iowa: Fried Shrimp Taco at La Regia Taqueria

La Regia Taqueria began its existence as a food truck. After two years, they had enough loyal customers to open a full-fledged restaurant in Iowa City, Iowa. No matter their location, La Regia Taqueria has always gotten excellent reviews. While it's difficult to find a negative word about any of their tacos, it's their Fried Shrimp Taco that will steal your heart. In addition to the fried shrimp, it comes with cilantro, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and a touch of ranch dressing.

Kansas: Tacos al Pastor at Tacos El Mexicano

Tacos El Mexicano has been busy since the first day they opened their doors in 1998. Their customers have remained loyal over the years, which isn't too surprising considering that their tacos have remained unbeatable. Located in Topeka, Kansas, their Tacos al Pastor are perfect. They combine marinated pork and a special sauce to create something that people from all over the state flock to. Add some of Tacos El Mexicano's homemade salsa, and it'd be difficult for a meal to taste much better.

Kentucky: Baja Fish Taco at Taco Luchador

Taco Luchador has four locations in and around Louisville, Kentucky, and all four are worth a visit. This restaurant gets wonderful grades for its relaxed atmosphere, great service, and scrumptious food. If you're ordering a taco from Taco Luchador, go with the only one that comes with the "chef recommended" tag on the menu: the Baja Fish Taco. The chef knows exactly what he's talking about, as this masterpiece features cod that has been battered in Mexican beer for an extra bit of authenticity, cilantro, pickled cabbage, and chipotle aioli.

Louisiana: Creole Rib Taco at The Rum House

The tacos at The Rum House are extremely popular, and it's easy to see why. This Caribbean taqueria has a unique and extensive menu that isn't replicated at any other restaurant. The Creole Rib Taco has pulled rib that has been slowly simmered in a spicy barbecue sauce. Joining the meat in the taco is roasted pepper and fresh cilantro. If you love creole food and you love tacos, this will be a marriage made in heaven for your taste buds.

Maine: El Camote Taco at Taco the Town

If you're a sucker for punny wordplay, you won't be able to stop talking about Taco the Town. This taco truck calls Brunswick, Maine, home. Inspired by the type of taco trucks you typically find in California, Taco the Town takes that expertise to the opposite side of the nation — and customers are really, really impressed. While they have many carnivore-friendly tacos, it's actually the sweet potato-powered El Camote taco that is the best taco in all of Maine. In addition to roasted sweet potato, it has red salsa, pico de gallo, and the perfect amount of seasoning.

Maryland: Chicken Tinga Tacos at Papi's Tacos

Papi's Tacos has two restaurants in Baltimore, Maryland, with exquisite reviews. While you really can't go wrong with any of their tacos, it's their Chicken Tinga Tacos that are next-level good. The chicken pops with flavor, and the fresh veggies in the taco add a special amount of diversity to the meal. No matter which taco you go with at Papi's Tacos, be sure to order a side of their great guacamole. The guac is a perfect addition to any taco on the menu.

Massachusetts: Grilled Avocado Taco at Lone Star Taco Bar

Massachusetts isn't the Lone Star State (that would be Texas), but it is home to an outrageously good taco joint called Lone Star Taco Bar. This Boston restaurant opened in 2012, and it's already a legendary place where locals go to find the best tacos in the state. The Dallas Spicy Beef taco is great, but the Grilled Avocado Taco manages to be even better. If you're a vegetarian, book your flight now because this thing is one of a kind. Beyond the corn relish and the green salsa, order it with braised tofu, and you'll be in love.

Michigan: Carnitas Taco at Mi Pueblo

Mi Pueblo is a restaurant that brings everything you love about Jalisco, Mexico, all the way north to Detroit, Michigan. And, no, they didn't forget to bring the tacos on that journey. Mi Pueblo is regarded as a top Mexican restaurant in Michigan and the absolute place to go when a taco craving hits. Their Carnitas Taco is supercharged with soft pulled pork that won't do you wrong. It has so much flavor that you don't even need to really add salsa or anything else to it.

Minnesota: Tacos de Alambre at El Taco Riendo

If you want to find authentic Mexican food all the way up in Minnesota, hop on over to El Taco Riendo. Once you get there, order the Tacos de Alambre. These amazing tacos come with either barbecue pork or asada steak. After you pick your meat, your tacos are finished off with pineapple chunks, mozzarella cheese, onions, sweet peppers, and ham. If you've never had ham in a taco, you'll be pleasantly surprised at just how great all of these ingredients mesh together.

Mississippi: Barbacoa Taco at Green Ghost Tacos

Mississippi tacos don't get any better than the ones you find at Green Ghost Tacos. With locations in the cities of Jackson and Ridgeland, this place has good reviews for virtually everything on their menu. While they make it easy to buy tacos by the dozen from this restaurant, if you can only pick one taco, the Barbacoa Taco is what you should select. If you've never eaten barbacoa before, it's definitely one of the Mexican foods you should try whenever you get a chance.

Missouri: Mexican Street Tacos at Rosy's Cakes & Paco's Tacos

What's better than tacos? Tacos with a delicious dessert like tres leches cake, sopapillas, flan, or churros! That's exactly what you can get at Rosy's Cakes & Paco's Tacos. Located in the city of St. Peters, the Mexican Street Tacos are so good that you'll tell your entire familia about them. Other memorable meals at Rosy's Cakes & Paco's Tacos include the Arroz Con Pollo, the Burrito Campechano, and the Chicken Milanesa Torta. But it's the best tacos in Missouri that will have you coming back again and again.

Montana: Spicy Pork Taco at Taqueria Montaña

Taqueria Montaña has two things going for it. First of all, it has an easy-to-remember name. Secondly, it has the best tacos in the state. Add those two facts together, and it should be easy for you to remember where you need to eat the next time you visit Montana. Get an amazing Spicy Pork Taco, and your jaw will drop with delight. It comes with salsa, cilantro, and a lime wedge on a corn tortilla. You may be tempted to switch to a flour tortilla, but don't mess with perfection.

Nebraska: Pork Marinade Taco at Tacos Las Palmas

Tacos Las Palmas is an elite Mexican restaurant that makes the best tacos in Nebraska. It can be found in the city of Grand Island, and it gets stellar reviews from its myriad of happy customers. While Tacos Las Palmas has an outstanding taco made from cow's tongue, it's their Pork Marinade Taco that reigns supreme. The marinade they use when creating this taco will coat your entire mouth with a flavor that will convince you that you've made a wise decision.

Nevada: Pulled Chicken Taco at El Dorado Cantina

The next time you're busy doing things that you really hope and pray actually stay in Vegas, don't forget to call time out so that you can visit El Dorado Cantina. With three locations in Nevada including one on the Las Vegas Strip, this is the place where you can find the premier tacos in the state. This Mexican restaurant has won a number of awards, and they've earned each one. While you're not going to go wrong at El Dorado Cantina, go with the Pulled Chicken Taco if you have any doubts.

New Hampshire: Carne Gringo Taco at Taco Beyondo

In the small town of Hillsboro, New Hampshire, you'll be able to get your hands on the best taco the state has to offer. Although the town only has a population of around 6,000 people, it's where you will find Taco Beyondo. If their pristine reviews don't convince you, just take a bite of one of their tacos, and you too will see the light. If you want a recommendation, go with the Carne Gringo Taco. While the moniker doesn't sound especially appetizing, you can rest assured that this taco with seasoned ground beef is fantastic.

New Jersey: Carne Asada Taco at Tacos el Tio

With locations in Medford and Egg Harbor Township, you're close enough to the best taco in New Jersey wherever you are in this state. When you're a hop, skip, and a jump away from Tacos el Tio, it's always worth the visit. It's no secret that this is where locals in New Jersey go for great tacos. Of all the choices on their menu, the best taco at Tacos el Tio is the Carne Asada Taco. This taco is made with marinated steak and is so hearty that it could be your lunch and dinner.

New Mexico: Shrimp Taco at Taqueria Mexico

You would think that New Mexico would be a state that has marvelous tacos — and you'd be absolutely right! Taqueria Mexico in Albuquerque has many loyal patrons who simply can't get enough of their food, particularly their tacos. Of all the options, go with Taqueria Mexico's Shrimp Taco. This thing is filled with grilled shrimp, onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes. Be sure to order more than one because these tacos tend to disappear faster than you'd expect.

New York: Adobada Taco at Los Tacos No. 1

Los Tacos No. 1 was created by a trio of friends from California and Mexico whose goal it was to bring authentic tacos to New York. It's safe to say they not only reached that goal, their spot on this list means they exceeded all expectations. With so many taco joints in this state, you know the cream of the crop has to have stellar tacos. Their Nopal taco made from grilled cactus is surprisingly stupendous. However, it's the Adobada taco that has lifted Los Tacos No. 1 over the top of their competition.

North Carolina: Paco's Taco at Paco's Tacos & Tequila

Paco's Tacos & Tequila is a Tex-Mex restaurant in Charlotte that hopes to bring some of that Texas flavor to North Carolina. And that's exactly what they do. While, yes, these tequila experts have margaritas, cocktails, and more to keep you feeling good, it's their tacos that will convince you to make a return trip. Paco's Taco is their specialty, and it's definitely what you should order. This bad boy has beef brisket that has been slow-roasted for ten hours as its centerpiece.

North Dakota: Hard Shell Taco at The Red Pepper

The Red Pepper has been named as having the best late-night food in the country — and it's their delicious tacos that deserve a lot of that credit. For a restaurant that only has locations in North Dakota to get national recognition, you're right to assume that their food is beyond epic. While their menu has many American classics like sub sandwiches and Coney dogs, don't stray too far away from their tacos. Specifically, it's their Hard Shell Taco that you should order when in doubt.

Ohio: Fried Mahi Mahi Taco at OH Taco

The "OH" in OH Taco is both an exclamation of joy and the abbreviation for Ohio. Considering they have the best tacos in Ohio, it just makes a whole lot of sense. Which of the large selection of tacos is the very best? The Fried Mahi Mahi Taco is impossible to beat. It comes topped with pineapple salsa, and it's a treat to all of your senses. There is also a version of this taco with lighter mahi mahi — but go the fried route unless you are strictly counting your calories.

Oklahoma: Beef Crispy Taco at Tacos Don Nacho

Everyone loves Tacos Don Nacho in Oklahoma, and many agree that it has the best Mexican food around. While there's nothing wrong with their tacos that come with a soft tortilla, it's their Beef Crispy Taco that will truly tickle your taste buds. The outer shell is the perfect texture, and the ground beef in the middle is seasoned to perfection. Be warned that Tacos Don Nacho is always busy (for good reason), so plan your trip with care.

Oregon: Barbacoa Taco at Taqueria Nueve

If upscale Mexican food is your thing, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better restaurant than Taqueria Nueve in Portland, Oregon. Not only do their thrilled customers rave about the guacamole and the margaritas, there's a lot of talk about the Barbacoa Taco. The tortillas here are to die for, but it's the beef in the Barbacoa Taco that sets it apart from everything else. It has a deep flavor that you will swear you can taste in the depths of your soul.

Pennsylvania: Costilla Taco at Philly Tacos

Philly Tacos is the brainchild of Juan Carlos Romero, a culinary legend in Philadelphia who is known specifically for his mastery of the art of the taco. As expected, the tacos here are loved, and people come here from all over the state of Pennsylvania. While perhaps the most popular item on Philly Tacos' menu is the Al Pastor taco, the best one is actually the Costilla taco. This beauty is made with short ribs, and it smells great and tastes even better.

Rhode Island: Black Bean Taco at Tallulah's Taqueria

The greatness of Tallulah's Taqueria is mostly spread by word of mouth, and that won't be slowing down anytime soon. If you try their tacos, you will be infatuated. This Providence, Rhode Island, taco place gets high praise no matter who you ask. It not only has the best tacos in the state, it's one of the most highly rated restaurants in all of Rhode Island. Their Black Bean Taco doesn't have any meat on it but it combines black beans, guacamole, rice, cilantro, onion, and salsa to knock your socks off.

South Carolina: Al Pastor Taco at Papi's Tacos

Like the state of Maryland, the best tacos in South Carolina can be found at Papi's Tacos. While the names are the same, there is actually no other connection between the two restaurants — other than having great tacos, of course. South Carolina's Papi's Tacos is located in the city of Greenville, and its customers point to the food's freshness and the friendly staff as to why this taco place has gotten so popular. If you're in a hurry, go with the Travelin' Taco, served in a Fritos bag. Otherwise, their Al Pastor Taco is the best of the bunch.

South Dakota: Tacos de Pezcado at Sabor a Mexico

If you're in South Dakota, you know there's only one Mexican restaurant that sells five-star tacos — and that's why Sabor a Mexico is always so busy. Located in Rapid City, this eatery has a long list of house specialties, but it's their Tacos de Pezcado that will invade your dreams. An order of Tacos de Pezcado will net you three tacos topped with breaded fish that has been blessed with authentic seasoning, pico de gallo, cabbage, and sour cream.

Tennessee: Cast Iron Chicken Taco at Mas Tacos Por Favor

Mas Tacos Por Favor translates to what you'll say after you eat at this restaurant: More tacos, please! This Nashville, Tennessee, taco joint is not only a favorite among locals, their tacos have caught the attention of the Food Network. Those who saw this restaurant on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives have not been disappointed after eating here. If the national spotlight and positive reviews don't tempt you, just take a look at the Cast Iron Chicken Taco, and you'll be convinced. The chicken is unbelievably soft, and it's topped with a generous amount of cilantro and other goodies.

Texas: Chorizo and Egg Breakfast Taco at The Little Taco Factory

If you're in Texas and you're looking for the state's best taco, you need to wake up early. That's because the best tacos in Texas are actually breakfast tacos. At The Little Taco Factory in San Antonio, you will find highly reviewed breakfast tacos that come in a variety of combinations. While it's difficult to go wrong, the most flavorful of the bunch is their Chorizo and Egg Breakfast Taco. The savory sausage and the egg combine to create an absolute fiesta in your mouth.

Utah: Zucchini Blossom Taco at Taco Taco

When you're in Utah, just say the word "taco" twice, and your Uber driver will know where you want to go. Taco Taco in Salt Lake City has tacos that couldn't be rated higher. While their menu has all the classics including favorites like Chicken Mole Negro and Carne Asada, the Zucchini Blossom Taco is a grand slam. You wouldn't think that a taco could rely on slices of zucchini to win you over, but that's exactly what's happening with this taco.

Vermont: Carnitas Taco from Taco Gordo

There's no false advertising when you go to Taco Gordo in Burlington, Vermont, as you'll see that their tacos are indeed fat. Of all their pleasantly plump menu options, the Carnitas Taco is the one you should choose. Made with hand-selected pork shoulder that has been slow-cooked for hours, it's fantastic. After you eat it, you will join the chorus of overjoyed customers who promote this place as the best taco joint in all of Vermont.

Virginia: El Rico Pollo from Taco Bamba

An award-winning chef named Victor Albisu is the man behind Taco Bamba, a restaurant that has quickly claimed the title as the king of tacos in Virginia. Taco Bamba has five locations in the state, and the reviews couldn't be any higher. El Rico Pollo is a taco with chicken that the chef describes as "Peruvian-ish" along with puree made from green chili, salsa, crunchy bits of potato, and more. If pork is more your thing, try the Slumdog Millionaire with its chipotle pork, candied chili, and cucumber.

Washington: Taco Chukis at Tacos Chukis

Tacos Chukis has been around since 2011 and was inspired by the tacos that can be found in Tijuana, Mexico. Today, they not only have the best tacos in the state of Washington, many agree that this is the state's best Mexican restaurant. Patrons talk glowingly about all four locations, which are spread across Seattle. The best taco is the one that's so good that they named it after the restaurant itself. The Taco Chukis has adobada pork, guacamole, cheese, grilled pineapple chunks, and other magical ingredients. It's definitely a must-try.

West Virginia: Pork Belly Taco at Maria's Taqueria

Shepherdstown, a small town on the Potomac River, is where you can find West Virginia's ultimate taco. Maria's Taqueria is a hip eatery with a relaxing atmosphere and, yes, amazing tacos. The reviewers aren't lying when they sing their praises. While you can find a wide variety of tacos worth your time and money at Maria's Taqueria, it's the Pork Belly Taco that is good enough for you to make a detour to Shepherdstown to put in your mouth.

Wisconsin: Beer Battered Fish Taco at Mazorca Tacos

We all know that Milwaukee is famous for its beer, so it makes perfect sense that the best tacos in the city would incorporate beer into the mix. That's exactly what happens at Mazorca Taco, where their Beer Battered Fish Taco is even better than you're imagining. If you don't like fish, you'll be happy to learn that they also apparently marinade their beef in beer too. Give either of these tacos a try, and you too will be saying good things about Mazorca Taco, the best taco joint in Wisconsin.

Wyoming: Breakfast Taco at Hatch Taqueria

If Texas is a little too far for you to go to try their legendary breakfast tacos, perhaps Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is close enough for you to justify a visit. That's where you will find Hatch Taqueria and their Breakfast Taco. Customers agree that the food here is excellent. And if you need something tasty to wash down the food with, Hatch Taqueria was also voted to have the best margaritas in town — and they have a number of tequilas for you to choose from.