There are enough taco joints in Durham that one could celebrate Taco Tuesday every day of the week, if not the month. And when it comes to taco styles, well the variety almost matches the number of restaurants. There are Baja tacos, Oaxacan, Tex-Mex, and Cali-style. There are contemporary, higher-end takes on tacos, and there are tacos similar to those you’d find on the street corners of Mexico City. There are fish tacos and chicken tinga tacos and vegan tacos and — the list could go on and on. Those interested in a taco crawl might want to focus on Durham’s North Roxboro Street, where four well-known taco joints can be found one after the other. Whichever style and filling one prefers, there is a taco for everyone in Durham.Read More
12 Outstanding Taco Stops in Durham, North Carolina
Find carnitas, lengua, al pastor, birria, and more around Durham
La Superior is a supermarket, carnicería (butcher shop), Mexican bakery, and, tucked into the far corner, a taqueria. Fillings include chorizo, chicken tinga, suadero (braised beef brisket), and pork carnitas. The pork al pastor tacos are a true star here, and for a slight upcharge a braised lamb taco is also available. All tacos are served street-style with onions, lime wedges, sauces, and a blistered jalapeno.
Consistently one of the most highly-rated taquerias in Durham is Super Taqueria. The menu is filled with popular options like suadero, pollo asado, and chicken tinga, as well as cabeza, lengua, and tripe. The uber-popular carnitas are a particular standout. Like many other taquerias the fillings can also be enjoyed as burritos, quesadillas, and more, and the chile relleno has garnered many a social media mention.
Don Becerra Taqueria
Located on the side corner of the carniceria of the same name, Don Becerra Taqueria (aka Taqueria La Becerrita), offers a menu similar to its other North Roxboro Street neighbors, with a few notable exceptions. The nopales (a type of cactus) tacos come in a spicy and wonderfully tangy green sauce and the chicharron tacos highlight perfectly tender, melt-in-your-mouth pork skin.
Guanajuato Mexican Restaurant
Another North Roxboro Street gem, Guanajuato is a hive of activity around peak meal times as regulars and newcomers alike line up for their counter-service tacos, caldos, tortas, and more. Birria fans can branch out from the usual beef with the birria de chivo taco, and offal lovers might want to try the cabeza, tripa, or higado encebollado tacos. The chorizo taco is another popular option, but all tacos are complemented by one of the largest condiment bars in town, stocked with plenty of salsas, vegetables, and other add-ons.
Taqueria Los Canarios
This women-led taco truck brings southern Mexican cuisine to Durham’s DIY district. An extensive menu of tacos features options like shrimp, fish, al pastor, and campechanos (a mix of beef, chicharron, and sausage). Unlike some of Durham’s other popular taco joints, Los Canarios also has some vegetarian options, like the tacos vegetales or the tacos champiñónes, the later of which is stuffed with griddled mushrooms in a creamy sauce.
Located in the Durham Food Hall, Ex-Voto is a collaboration between Marshall Davis and Angela Salamanca (of Raleigh’s Centro and Gallo Pelón). Their signature dish is a take on the Taco Bell Crunchwrap and is so popular that it’s practically all they sell now. Is a Crunchwrap a taco? Try the chicken, chorizo, short rib barbacoa, or rajas version and decide for yourself.
Lady Gold Tacos
In true street food style, Lady Gold Tacos serves Texas-style breakfast tacos from a cart set up in front of the Remedy Room in downtown Durham on most mornings when it isn’t raining. The chorizo tacos have garnered rave reviews on social media, There is plenty of vegetarian options as well, like a jackfruit birria taco, papas and eggs breakfast taco, and a taco take on the popular Mexican breakfast dish migas. They’ve got coffee too for the full breakfast experience.
The Durham Green Flea Market
Located in East Durham, the Durham Green Flea Market has been a vital social and economic hub for the city’s Latino community for more than a decade. Shoppers can find all kinds of goods, from boots to jewelry to clothing to furniture, along with plenty of food. At any given time there are six or more different food vendors offering all manner of tacos, tortas, sopas, and more, making La Pulga (the Flea) the perfect spot for a taco crawl followed by some shopping. Look for al pastor, carnitas, birria, and a myriad of other taco options at any of the rotating or permanent vendors.
Taqueria La Vaquita
“Look for the giant cow” is how many locals will explain how to find La Vaquita. This counter-service taco stand in the Tuscaloosa-Lakewood neighborhood is consistently one of the highest-rated spots in Durham. It has all the taco basics — carnitas, lengua, al pastor, asado, pollo, and more. The Tacos Dorados are four corn tortillas filled with chicken and mayonnaise then deep fried and served with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, crema, rice, and beans.
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Nuvotaco bills itself as a “modern Mexican eatery,” and its taco offerings fit that bill. Meat options include rotisserie chicken, pork butt, garlic beef, crispy chicken livers, and duck. Seafood lovers can choose from shrimp (grilled or fried), fish of the day, or calamari. Vegetarians and vegans are well served with a grilled veggie taco or vegan chorizo taco, and virtually all tacos are gluten-free.
Leroy's Taco Shop
From the folks behind Lawrence Barbecue, Leroy’s is a new standalone concept centered around the smoked brisket quesabirria tacos that were so popular at Lawrence they had to take them off the menu to manage the crowds. Besides the quesabirria there are other rotating taco options like carne asada, smoked pork carnitas, homemade salsas and queso, and a massive Michelada.
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Mez Contemporary Mexican
Mez offers a dressed-up version of classic Mexican street-style tacos. The steak tacos come with guacamole, a tomato-chipotle salsa, caramelized onions, and queso fresco. Mez’s beef barbacoa tacos are served “Philly style,” with a house made queso dip, plancha roasted peppers and onions, chipotle aioli, and cilantro. Vegan’s will appreciate the mushroom “carne” asado tacos, a nice play on a meatless offering that goes beyond just roasted veggies stuffed into a tortilla. These tacos come with marinated seared Portobello mushrooms, roasted red peppers, crispy-spicy-sweet brussels sprout leaves, pepitas, and chimichurri.