A day without tacos is just a bad day.
Between its taquerias, cantinas, food trucks, market stalls and sit-down restaurants, Calgary has no shortage of Mexican eateries. Authentic spices, Abuelo and Abuela's recipes, and a bottle of Jarritos can take your taste buds on travels down south to the shores of Baja and the street carts of Tijuana.
In fact, Calgary's Mexican fare is so good and so varied that Calgarians can find time for tortillas, filling, crema and salsas every day of the week — in YYC, Taco Tuesday is old news.
Craving some of the city's best tinga, barbacoa, carnitas and birria right now? Jarritos' Taco Tour Map will help you track down some of Calgary's most mouthwatering tacos to help satisfy your cravings.
From classic pollo tacos to Asian-fusion creations, these nine taco spots around Calgary are out-of-this-world delicioso.
Native Tongues Taqueria
Address: 235 12th Ave. S.W., Calgary, AB
Why You Need To Try It: There's a reason this taco spot tops everyone's list, and it's not just for the authentic Mexican cuisine — Native Tongues serves up cocktails and donuts too.
While almost every taco joint in town offers carnitas, pollo and birria, it's the Hongos Tacos de Guisado that will have you praising the deliciousness of mushrooms. Topped with both salsa verde and roja, this must-try charms the taste buds for a memorable taco night.
Address: 12445 Lake Fraser Dr. S.E., Calgary, AB
Why You Need To Try It: Serving up authentic Mexican flavours from a humble location in the Fresh & Local Market & Kitchen, Mestizo is a taco joint you won't want to skip out on.
Make sure to try the Conchinta Pibil; Mestizo's traditional Mayan recipe will transport you right to the heart of Mexico. The pork in this dish is marinated in bitter orange juice and spices, wrapped in banana leaves and then slow-cooked until tender. If you aren't hungry when you get to the market, you will be as soon as you smell the aromas wafting from Mestizo.
Address: 1309 17 Ave. S.W., Calgary, AB
Why You Need To Try It: Chilitos Taberna is quickly becoming a YYC fave, and it's no mystery as to why. With two locations and a third coming in 2022, they're offering up tasty treats like the barbacoa (shredded beef in adobo sauce) for those who like a little heat.
Thanks to its plant-based options, this is a foodie destination that will satisfy the whole squad!
Tacos Mexico YYC
Address: 3725 Memorial Dr. S.E., Calgary, AB
Why You Need To Try It: An authentic gem, Tacos Mexico serves up dishes that will transport you straight to Oaxaca. Try the quesabirria, a modern twist on a classic cantina staple. Is it a quesadilla? A taco? It's the best of both worlds.
Well-seasoned birria is sandwiched between flour tortillas stuffed with cheese, plus there's a decadent broth for dipping. Get ready to get a little messy — and enjoy every second of it.
Address: 2/2116 4th St. S.W., Calgary, AB
Why You Need To Try It: Hip vibes, the best tableside-made guac, Canada's largest tequila collection and a happy hour menu of half-priced tacos. It might sound too good to be true, but heaven does exist and it's on 4th Street.
The Mission-area staple offers both classic tastes and tacos prima like the Tacos de Camaron with Baja-style prawns, plus tasty toppings. One order comes with three, meaning you can mix and match with other prima tacos for one heck of a good night.
Address: #107 — 3851 Manchester Rd. S.E., Calgary, AB
Why You Need To Try It: Asian-Mexican fusion is the name of the game at Taiko Canteen. If you love the fluffiness of bao buns but also crave a piled-high taco, you're in luck. Taiko Canteen is full of unique creations like the Mango Shrimp Tacos.
A dish with mango chutney, sriracha aioli and toasted sesame sounds like it might be a flavour overload, but somehow it just works. This is the kind of culinary creativity that turns a meh day into an excellent one.
Golden Cactus Mexican
Address: 5315 17 Ave. S.E., Calgary, AB
Why You Need To Try It: What are tacos but an adventure? If you're looking to get a taste of real Mexican eats, order a traditional lengua (cow's tongue), prepared with a family recipe passed down through generations. This is one dish for anyone who prioritizes authenticity when it comes to choosing where to eat.
If you're not into lengua, try out their molcajete, a Mexican stew served in a stone hotpot. Wash it all down with a margarita or a refreshing bottle of Jarritos and you have yourself the ultimate meal.
Address: 524 17 Ave. S.W., Calgary, AB
Why You Need To Try It: Fried chicken in a taco? Yes, it works. Don't ask questions, just order the Atole Fried Chicken tacos and enjoy their crispy goodness.
The yuzu aioli is the stuff of happy dreams and has the power to make you feel like you can take on the world. Wait, that actually might be the serrano turning up the heat on your taste buds. Either way, this Gringo St. taco could be giving motivational speeches.
Mikey's Taco Shop
Address: 918 12 Ave. S.W. and 4121 4 St. N.W., Calgary, AB
Why You Need To Try It: Come for the tacos, stay for the live music. Mikey's is a gem with two locations, home to some of the cheapest and tastiest tacos in the city.
The pork belly chicharron (at the 4th Street location) and crispy pork belly (at Mikey's on 12th) are just two of the reasons this taco and live music venue continually tops many "Best of Calgary" lists.
Take a walk through the city's neighbourhoods and you'll quickly see just how many taco spots there are in Calgary. Whether it's an evening journey to Mission or Downtown, there's a cantina that will wow your taste buds with fiesta-in-your-mouth creations. Your local spots deserve the love and support, plus, you might just find a few new fave places. After you've visited these top eight taco joints around the city, check out Jarritos' Taco Tour map and continue your journey through the absolute best tacos in Calgary. If your favourite spot isn't on the guide, nominate them.