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El Alteño tacos
El Alteño tacos
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10 Essential Taco Stops in the Lowcountry

Lengua or chorizo?

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El Alteño tacos
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Charleston may not be known as a taco town, but there are plenty of vendors serving up classics and fusion versions. Maybe you demand free chips with your order or expect the joint to serve offal speckled with cilantro and onions — there's a taco joint of every sort in Charleston. From handmade tortillas to Americanized offerings to places with giant margaritas, this is the list of the top taquerias in town. Don't see your favorite? Leave us a comment.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. El Alteño

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10390 US-78
Summerville, SC 29483
(843) 851-4121
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If you like the food truck experience, but hate chasing down the mobile kitchens, then stop by El Alteño in Summerville. The taco truck parks permanently next to the no-frills dining room for easy access to carnitas, lengua, longaniza, and other traditional meats sprinkled with onion and cilantro on a fresh tortilla.

2. Tiki Taco

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1131 College Park Rd
Summerville, SC 29483
(843) 695-1177
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Tiki Taco is a bit like a dive bar that happens to serve good tacos. It’s a bit grungy, has cheap booze, and the service is nonchalant. Order a Corona, sit in the parking lot patio, and try the lengua or chorizo tacos.

3. Taqueria Espres

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2704 Ashley Phosphate Rd
Charleston, SC 29418

Consistently rated as some of the best tacos from a truck around, Taqueria Espres gathers an almost cult following in North Charleston. The doubled up tortillas are stacked with perfectly seasoned meats, onion, and cilantro. Each order comes with a few pickled carrots and a jalapeño.

4. Lucy’s Deliveries Y Mas

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933 Red Bank Rd
Goose Creek, SC 29445
(843) 870-2991
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Petite eatery Lucy’s Deliveries Y Mas (previously known as La Cocina De Lucy) doesn’t have many seats, but it does have multiple options for tacos — asada, pollo, chorizo, lengua, and more come with containers of fresh salsa, limes, radishes, and a roasted pepper. Sit outside if it’s a nice day.

Tacos at Lucy’s.
Erin Perkins/Eater

5. El Molino Supermarket

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1610 Sam Rittenberg Blvd Suite 301
Charleston, SC 29407
(843) 225-8244
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Mexican supermarket El Molino offers a variety of traditional fare to go, including tacos. Choices range from cabeza to carnitas to suedero — all at $2.25 (thought the lengua will cost an extra 15 cents). The taco box full of 15 tacos is a popular item for groups.

6. Las Lupitas

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1745 State Rd S-10-13
North Charleston, SC 29406
(843) 419-0865
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The sign outside Las Lupitas states, "The Best Mexican Food in Town," so it's worth a trek to sample the traditional tacos like the barbacoa or tripe. The small space has a roadside diner sort of feeling with booths to slide into after ordering from the massive menu. Remember: It's cash only here.

7. Torres Superette

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843 Rutledge Ave
Charleston, SC 29403

In the back of convenience store Torres Superette sits some of the best tacos in the Lowcountry. The carnitas with corn tortillas is a popular option, but be sure to take a look at the specials board.

8. Santi's Restaurante Mexicano

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1302 Meeting Street Rd
Charleston, SC 29405
(843) 722-2633
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A favorite since 2003, Santi’s is a staple of the Charleston community. The outdoor patio is the place to be when the weather is nice. Order a giant margarita and then decide if you want Mexican or American-style tacos. The chips and fresh salsa are free and actually worth eating.

Santi’s Leslie Ryann McKellar

9. Taco Boy

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217 Huger St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 789-3333
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A visit to Taco Boy is all about the experience. The interiors are open and full of fun details. It has a long list of tacos with unexpected fillings. Korean beef tacos are stuffed with kimchi and grilled flank steak and the sautéed shrimp tacos come with ancho chile yogurt sauce and cabbage. On a nice day, enjoy the patio with a few friends and a frozen screwdriver to go with the other selections.

10. Mex 1 Coastal Cantina

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2205 Middle St
Sullivan's Island, SC 29482
(843) 882-8172
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Looking for fried shrimp tacos or Baja fish tacos? Then Mex 1 Coastal Cantina is the place to be. With several locations across the Lowcountry, Mex 1 is an easy stop for those looking to capture the Baja California Peninsula vibe.

Baja fish taco at Mex 1.
Mex 1 Coastal Cantina/Facebook

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1. El Alteño

10390 US-78, Summerville, SC 29483

If you like the food truck experience, but hate chasing down the mobile kitchens, then stop by El Alteño in Summerville. The taco truck parks permanently next to the no-frills dining room for easy access to carnitas, lengua, longaniza, and other traditional meats sprinkled with onion and cilantro on a fresh tortilla.

10390 US-78
Summerville, SC 29483

2. Tiki Taco

1131 College Park Rd, Summerville, SC 29483

Tiki Taco is a bit like a dive bar that happens to serve good tacos. It’s a bit grungy, has cheap booze, and the service is nonchalant. Order a Corona, sit in the parking lot patio, and try the lengua or chorizo tacos.

1131 College Park Rd
Summerville, SC 29483

3. Taqueria Espres

2704 Ashley Phosphate Rd, Charleston, SC 29418

Consistently rated as some of the best tacos from a truck around, Taqueria Espres gathers an almost cult following in North Charleston. The doubled up tortillas are stacked with perfectly seasoned meats, onion, and cilantro. Each order comes with a few pickled carrots and a jalapeño.

2704 Ashley Phosphate Rd
Charleston, SC 29418

4. Lucy’s Deliveries Y Mas

933 Red Bank Rd, Goose Creek, SC 29445
Tacos at Lucy’s.
Erin Perkins/Eater

Petite eatery Lucy’s Deliveries Y Mas (previously known as La Cocina De Lucy) doesn’t have many seats, but it does have multiple options for tacos — asada, pollo, chorizo, lengua, and more come with containers of fresh salsa, limes, radishes, and a roasted pepper. Sit outside if it’s a nice day.

933 Red Bank Rd
Goose Creek, SC 29445

5. El Molino Supermarket

1610 Sam Rittenberg Blvd Suite 301, Charleston, SC 29407

Mexican supermarket El Molino offers a variety of traditional fare to go, including tacos. Choices range from cabeza to carnitas to suedero — all at $2.25 (thought the lengua will cost an extra 15 cents). The taco box full of 15 tacos is a popular item for groups.

1610 Sam Rittenberg Blvd Suite 301
Charleston, SC 29407

6. Las Lupitas

1745 State Rd S-10-13, North Charleston, SC 29406

The sign outside Las Lupitas states, "The Best Mexican Food in Town," so it's worth a trek to sample the traditional tacos like the barbacoa or tripe. The small space has a roadside diner sort of feeling with booths to slide into after ordering from the massive menu. Remember: It's cash only here.

1745 State Rd S-10-13
North Charleston, SC 29406

7. Torres Superette

843 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403

In the back of convenience store Torres Superette sits some of the best tacos in the Lowcountry. The carnitas with corn tortillas is a popular option, but be sure to take a look at the specials board.

843 Rutledge Ave
Charleston, SC 29403

8. Santi's Restaurante Mexicano

1302 Meeting Street Rd, Charleston, SC 29405
Santi’s Leslie Ryann McKellar

A favorite since 2003, Santi’s is a staple of the Charleston community. The outdoor patio is the place to be when the weather is nice. Order a giant margarita and then decide if you want Mexican or American-style tacos. The chips and fresh salsa are free and actually worth eating.

1302 Meeting Street Rd
Charleston, SC 29405

9. Taco Boy

217 Huger St, Charleston, SC 29403

A visit to Taco Boy is all about the experience. The interiors are open and full of fun details. It has a long list of tacos with unexpected fillings. Korean beef tacos are stuffed with kimchi and grilled flank steak and the sautéed shrimp tacos come with ancho chile yogurt sauce and cabbage. On a nice day, enjoy the patio with a few friends and a frozen screwdriver to go with the other selections.

217 Huger St
Charleston, SC 29403

10. Mex 1 Coastal Cantina

2205 Middle St, Sullivan's Island, SC 29482
Baja fish taco at Mex 1.
Mex 1 Coastal Cantina/Facebook

Looking for fried shrimp tacos or Baja fish tacos? Then Mex 1 Coastal Cantina is the place to be. With several locations across the Lowcountry, Mex 1 is an easy stop for those looking to capture the Baja California Peninsula vibe.

2205 Middle St
Sullivan's Island, SC 29482

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