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Central Little Rock Maumelle North Little Rock
Central Food 2

Top 10 Taquerias in Little Rock

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The Little Rock area has many amazing taquerias. Some would argue that Mexican food is what our town does best. With that said, I have challenged myself with the task of narrowing down all these wonderful spots to my Top 10 Taquerias in Little Rock.

1. El Palenque

El Palenque is the best taqueria in Little Rock for one simple reason: everything they do, they do quite well. Actually, there is another reason. The restaurant never has a bad night. My two favorite dishes are the shrimp burrito and chicken nachos, but the chicken enchiladas verdes and shrimp a la plancha are fan favorites, as is the taco arriero with grilled bits of steak and chorizo.

2. Del Campo a la Ciudad

Del Campo is a small taqueria located in the back area of a grocery store. Known for their made-to-order corn tortillas, the tiny taqueria has a loyal following of lunchtime eaters scarfing down tacos loaded with barbacoa and carnitas.

3. La Pasadita

Readers of this site are familiar with La Pasadita. Originally a food stand, El Pasadita then relocated to a food trailer and now has a brick-and-mortar location in the heart of West Little Rock. The queso-drenched burritos are a highlight, but so too are the tortas, the massive sandwiches filled with your choice of protein, refried beans, tomatoes, and avocado on a soft hoagie roll.

4. El Torito

Half grocery store and half taqueria, El Torito delivers the entire food experience for foodies in search of authentic Mexican cuisine. The tacos al pastor with juicy chunks of pineapple are irresistible, as are the sizzling beef and shrimp fajitas. Oh, and do not forget about the churros. They are made in-house and can be found in the pastry case near the entry.

5. Gorditas Paty

Well, for starters, you better get a gordita. The thick, corn tortilla pockets are filled with any meat of your choosing. Gorditas Paty also does birria, the goat stew that is now insanely popular here in the United States. The star, however, is the posole, a traditional Mexican soup with tomato-based broth, hominy, radish, cilantro, and a ton of dried spices.

6. Taqueria Azteca

Tacos, tacos, and more tacos. While I am not overly optimistic on the refried beans and rice, Azteca, with locations in Bryant and Maumelle, really excel at tacos. The heavy hand of raw onion and chopped cilantro is always a bonus for me, but so is the incredibly fresh salsa (both green and red) served at the restaurant.

7. Taqueria Karina

This is another taqueria known for its taco. Imagine that. Seriously, based strictly on tacos, I think Karina serves up the best in Little Rock. At Karina, the sister restaurant of Del Campo, every protein is a hit. The chunkier refried beans are also spot-on.

8. Taqueria Guadalajara

If you absolutely adore a fantastic Mexican breakfast, Taqueria Gualadalaja in North Little Rock is the place to go. Get the huevos rancheros. Two eggs come topped with a heavy hand of grilled veggies, a slightly different take than the typical thin salsa topper. Trust me, it works, as does the huevos a la Mexicana with refried beans and scrambled eggs. Not in the mood for breakfast? Order the Huarache Pastor, a super thick corn tortilla topped with pork, beans, queso, lettuce, and onions.

9. La Poblanita

While the posole at La Poblanita (on John Barrow) isn’t quite as good as the aforementioned version at Gorditas Paty, it’s still a soup I’d highly recommend. To me, however, the item to get here is the torta al pastor, a sizeable sandwich filled with tender strips of pork, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and a thin layer of beans.

10. Tacos El Gordo

Tacos El Gordo is the only non-brick-and-mortar inclusion on the list. This trailer resides off JFK Boulevard in North Little Rock and serves up the best tacos al pastor in the area. The pork comes sliced straight off the spit. I prefer the flour over corn tortillas, and, as always, love tons of fresh cilantro. Each taco costs $2.

 

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Kevin Shalin is a food writer living in Little Rock with his wife, Sara, and two daughters, Natalie (12) and Sydney (7). He started his own blog, The Mighty Rib, seven years ago while living in Houston. Six months later, he began writing for Eating Our Words, a Houston Press food blog. After a year in Boston, he moved to Little Rock, where he’s been for almost five years. During that time, he’s written for Little Rock Soiree, Rock City Eats, Treatsie, and Bourbon and Boots.

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2 responses to “Top 10 Taquerias in Little Rock”

  1. Jenny Boulden says:

    Thanks for this list, Kevin! I agree about El Palenque and El Torito, and have much left to explore. Based on reviews I’ve read from, I was expecting to see Taqueria Samantha #2 (have to love the delightfully incongruous name) on your list. I hear nothing but raves about that one.

    Also, I can’t think of the name, but have you tried the new restaurant in the drive-through place across from UALR?

  2. Amanda says:

    The “Heart of West Little Rock”?
    Funny

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