Folks young and old are taken with tacos, from garden-variety meat tortillas to those stuffed with lobster and even tongue. Tacos have become synonymous with anything put in a wrap and eaten with your hands, although traditionalists maintain a few qualifiers. They include fresh corn tortillas, a meat choice, chopped onion and cilantro. Not surprisingly, chefs assemble tacos in numerous ways. Here are several places around Atlanta to get your taco fix.
Chicago Supermarket (Doraville)
Semihidden in this Latino supermarket lies a little taco nirvana. Those in the know head to the back of the store to get their hands on budget-friendly street tacos made in the traditional Mexican sense. Place your order from a variety of meats, including tripe, tongue (lengua) or beef cheek (cabeza). Chicken and steak is also available for the less adventurous. Give abuelita a few minutes to prepare them, and you can top off your tacos with traditional garnishes at the condiment cart.
Breakers Korean BBQ (Duluth)
A "taco" from Breakers Korean BBQ definitely qualifies as the modern rendition of this food. Take a bite of a radish-wrapped piece of short rib, chicken, shrimp, pork belly, duck or lobster and top it with some grilled kimchi, rice and spicy mixed greens. It's a little different, but just as flavorful as its traditional taco counterparts. Breakers' version is worth a quick trip to Duluth. Just head up I-85 and see for yourself.
El Rey del Taco (Doraville)
If there is a singular go-to spot for Buford Highway taco aficionados, it's likely El Rey. Truly authentic tacos are served on two-ply white corn tortillas. Spend a few more pennies and splurge on El Rey's handmade corn tortillas. Meats include a variety of offal and goat as well as mouth-watering al pastor and carnitas. Finish with fresh tart and creamy tomatillo-avocado, or try the piquant chile de arbol salsa for a finishing kick.
Taco Veloz (Multiple metro locations)
Tacos in the traditional sense are served with drive-thru speed. With several locations across metro Atlanta, Tacos Veloz operates out of tiny spots formerly home to dry cleaners and the like. For those needing to chase off the evils of the previous night, tacos are available first thing in the morning. With fillings such as barbacoa, chorizo and chile relleno, hangovers don't stand a chance.
Tacos here are Korean-Mexican hybrids. Fusion abounds with fillings such as fried chicken with chipotle aioli, tako salad and jack cheese or calamari with sweet chili sauce. It's spicy with a hint of sweet in Korean BBQ fashion. So why not try bulgogi in lieu of asada the next time you're in a taco mood?
Taqueria del Sol (Westside)
Lines out the door are a testament to Taqueria's contemporary tacos. The Memphis taco with chopped smoked pork, spicy jalapeno coleslaw and tequila BBQ sauce is like a pulled pork sandwich in a tortilla. A fish taco features breaded and deep-fried tilapia with poblano tartar sauce and pickled jalapeños. It will have you back in that line, again and again.