It might not be Taco Tuesday. But Oct. 4 just happens to be National Taco Day. And that means it’s a great excuse to get out and support one of the many local taquerias in our fine city.
We all have our favorite spots to enjoy a great taco, whether it’s a neighborhood taqueria, a food truck or just a local pub that makes up a fine taco. You could also consider one of the favorite picks from last year’s Dining Month readers poll.
But this would also be a great occasion to branch out and support one of these seven new taco spots, all of which opened over the course of the past few months. Be sure to order up cocktails, beer or other beverages (if available) when you dine in or carry out.
Note: A couple of these new spots aren’t open on Sundays; but be sure to put them on your list for a future visit!
1. Al Pastor
Al Pastor isn’t brand new. But their new restaurant is. The West Alliis staple moved into larger digs late this summer, and they are serving up a bigger better menu there, including their delicicous tacos, made with fillings like al pastor, carne asada, pollo, carne deshebrada (shredded beef), chorizo, carne molida (seasoned ground beef), campechanos and veggie (grilled bell peppers and avocado).
2. Chuy’s Red Tacos
If you love the idea of birria – tender chili-braised beef, enveloped by tortillas which have been dipped in a chili-sauce infused oil and seared, giving them their signature red hue and served alongside a chili-infused consomé - then you’ll love Chuy’s, the new South Side birrieria which has made birria its specialty. Choose from standard “red tacos”, quesabirria” or mulitas. Vegan options (including hibiscus-based birria) are also available.
3. HIYA Taco
If it’s casual fun you’re looking for, you’ll find it at HIYA, the newest addition to the Shorewood scene. They’re offering plenty of options from breakfast tacos to lunch and dinner options including steak and tomato, Milwaukee brat, crispy chicken, fish, mushroom carnitas, Asian jackfruit and Pop Rock tofu with marinated tofu, corn salsa, green onions, cilantro and (yes) pop rocks.
4. La Dama
La Dama is closed on Sundays, but it’s a good time to put this Walker’s Point destination on your list of must-trys. After all, they’re currently offering traditional lamb shank birria on their ever-changing menu. It’s served with pasilla consume, chickpeas, onions and cilantro, chile de arbol and (of course) housemade corn tortillas.
5. Lazo’s Taco Shack
Lazo’s isn’t open on Sundays; but you should definitely put them on your list of taco spots. Since opening last December, they’ve made quite the splash with their offerings, which include breakfast all day, amazing specials (including offerings like housemade mole enchiladas and birria tacos), along with a regular menu of tacos featuring fillings like carne asada, ground beef, tinga, al pastor, carnitas or chicken.
6. Paloma Taco & Tequila
Paloma Taco & Tequila, which opened in the burgeoning Uptown Neighborhood just before the July 4 holiday, specializes in creative tacos (plus offerings like burritos and tostadas) with fillings range from traditional al pastor to unapologetic ground beef filled gringo tacos to dessert tacos like the Fat Elvis filled with peanut butter, bananas and chocolate.
7. Taco Mike’s
Taco Mike's opened its doors Downtown in August, offering a large gluten-free menu largely comprised of tacos, which are served on soft corn tortillas with guacamole, cilantro, onions and lime. Options include breakfast tacos with a fried egg and pulled bacon; vegan tacos with peppers, onions, corn and spicy cauliflower; to twists on classic offerings including barbacoa, birria, al pastor (made with ground pork and pineapple), chorizo, carnitas and chicken tinga.
8. Taqueria De Leon (formerly Flaco’s Tacos)
This new ghost kitchen offers carry-out and delivery only, featuring both a la carte tacos and taco combos (two tacos plus rice and beans for $10 and three tacos with sides for $14) with fillings including Caribbean cod, traditional carnitas, carnitas grande, fire roasted chicken, sweet chili chicken and vegetarian.
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.