Here's where to find Cincinnati's 10 best tacos

CityBeat has been in the business of curating the Best Of Cincinnati for more than two decades, highlighting the citys most outstanding selections in Eats, Shops & Services, Music & Nightlife and more. And the responsibility of selecting these exceptional entities is divided between our readers and staff.

This year, more than 900,000 votes were tallied to determine our Reader Picks — and readers logged on to the ballot site to vote for their favorites in a slew of categories, including Best Local Tacos. 

Whether you fancy spicy chorizo, baja fish or al pastor, you have plenty of options to fill up on all of your favorites at any of Cincinnati’s top-voted taco joints. Thousands of your neighbors voted, but we still recommend taking a taste test for yourself to decide who’s really cooking up the best taco in town.

 

1.    Bakersfield | 1213 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine

2.     Mazunte | 5207 Madison Road, Madisonville

3.     Gomez Salsa | 107 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine / 2437 Gilbert Ave., Walnut Hills

4.     Nada | 600 Walnut St., Downtown

5.     La Mexicana Restaurante Cantina & Tienda | 642 Monmouth St., Newport

6.     Cancun Mexican Restaurant | 1781 Monmouth St., Newport

7.     Frida 602 | 602 Main St., Covington

8.     Chuy’s | 7980 Hosbrook Road, Madeira / 9538 Civic Centre Blvd., West Chester / 6825 Houston Road, Florence

9.     Django Western Taco | 4172 Hamilton Ave., Northside

10.  Taco Casa | 1202 E McMillan St., East Walnut Hills / 3711 Paxton Ave., Oakley / 4600 Smith Road, Norwood / 11309 Montgomery Ave., Harpers Station 

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No. 1: Bakersfield (1213 Vine St., OTR) // Tacos, tequila and whiskey. What more can a person ask for? While the restaurant originated in Cincinnati, it has expanded to eight locations across the eastern U.S. over the past six years. From their tacos to signature queso, whatever you get on the menu is sure to be top-notch.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
No. 1: Bakersfield (1213 Vine St., OTR) // Tacos, tequila and whiskey. What more can a person ask for? While the restaurant originated in Cincinnati, it has expanded to eight locations across the eastern U.S. over the past six years. From their tacos to signature queso, whatever you get on the menu is sure to be top-notch.
No. 2: Mazunte (5207 Madison Road, Hyde Park) // Mexican street food of Oaxaca meets the Midwest in this original local joint owned by Josh Wamsley. Passion rests in the bold flavors of these tacos, inspired by the cooking of grandmothers, students and street vendors, who shared their centuries-old recipes with Wamsley.
Photo: Patty Salas
No. 2: Mazunte (5207 Madison Road, Hyde Park) // Mexican street food of Oaxaca meets the Midwest in this original local joint owned by Josh Wamsley. Passion rests in the bold flavors of these tacos, inspired by the cooking of grandmothers, students and street vendors, who shared their centuries-old recipes with Wamsley.
No. 3: Gomez Salsa (107 E. 12th St., Downtown) // Gomez is known for its gourmet salsa inspired by owner Andrew Gomez’s own family recipe. He learned from his abuelita and father, then shared the flavorful salsa, tacos and turtles with Cincinnati.
Photo: Patty Salas
No. 3: Gomez Salsa (107 E. 12th St., Downtown) // Gomez is known for its gourmet salsa inspired by owner Andrew Gomez’s own family recipe. He learned from his abuelita and father, then shared the flavorful salsa, tacos and turtles with Cincinnati.
No. 4: Nada (600 Walnut St., Downtown) // Nada's chic and sleek décor, mixed with a fresh take on Mexican cuisine, is enough to whet anyone’s appetite. This self-described taco and cocktail joint brings color to the plate with local farm-fresh ingredients and offers a full menu, including brunch.
Photo: Provided
No. 4: Nada (600 Walnut St., Downtown) // Nada's chic and sleek décor, mixed with a fresh take on Mexican cuisine, is enough to whet anyone’s appetite. This self-described taco and cocktail joint brings color to the plate with local farm-fresh ingredients and offers a full menu, including brunch.
No. 5: La Mexicana Restaurante Cantina and Tienda (642 Monmouth St., Newport) // No-frills in décor, but all serious with the cuisine, La Mexicana is deemed to be one of the most authentic Mexican restaurants in the area. From asada to bistec to milanesa, they've got the meats. But they also serve up a host of veggie options.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
No. 5: La Mexicana Restaurante Cantina and Tienda (642 Monmouth St., Newport) // No-frills in décor, but all serious with the cuisine, La Mexicana is deemed to be one of the most authentic Mexican restaurants in the area. From asada to bistec to milanesa, they've got the meats. But they also serve up a host of veggie options.
No. 6: Cancun Mexican Restaurant (6385 Glenway Ave, Cheviot) // This local chain's success can be tied back to their old family recipes — from green corn tamales to fajitas. They serve all the classics, at a reasonable price: homemade guacamole, queso, jalapeño bean soup and margs.
Photo: Ty Wesselkamper
No. 6: Cancun Mexican Restaurant (6385 Glenway Ave, Cheviot) // This local chain's success can be tied back to their old family recipes — from green corn tamales to fajitas. They serve all the classics, at a reasonable price: homemade guacamole, queso, jalapeño bean soup and margs.
No. 7: Frida 602 (602 Main St., Covington) // Named after the iconic and empowering painter Frida Kahlo, this mezcal bar and taqueria embodies the owner’s ability to merge art with food. Frida 602 continues to draw in crowds night after night, not only for their wide variety of beverages, but also for their savory and bold Latin street food.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
No. 7: Frida 602 (602 Main St., Covington) // Named after the iconic and empowering painter Frida Kahlo, this mezcal bar and taqueria embodies the owner’s ability to merge art with food. Frida 602 continues to draw in crowds night after night, not only for their wide variety of beverages, but also for their savory and bold Latin street food.
No. 8: Chuy’s (7980 Hosbrook Road, Maderia/9538 Civic Center Blvd., West Chester) // An Austin, Texas-based chain, Chuy's motto is “deep in the heart of Tex-Mex.” Inspired by family recipes collected from all over New Mexico and Texas, they strive to deliver authentic Tex-Mex in every bite.
Photo: Provided
No. 8: Chuy’s (7980 Hosbrook Road, Maderia/9538 Civic Center Blvd., West Chester) // An Austin, Texas-based chain, Chuy's motto is “deep in the heart of Tex-Mex.” Inspired by family recipes collected from all over New Mexico and Texas, they strive to deliver authentic Tex-Mex in every bite.
No. 9: Django Western Taco (4172 Hamilton Ave., Hamilton) // In the heart of Northside is the laid-back Django Western Taco. Menu items are made from scratch. There are five varieties of tacos that match the eclectic clientele.
Photo: Patty Salas
No. 9: Django Western Taco (4172 Hamilton Ave., Hamilton) // In the heart of Northside is the laid-back Django Western Taco. Menu items are made from scratch. There are five varieties of tacos that match the eclectic clientele.
No. 10: Taco Casa (1201 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills / 3711 Paxton Ave., Hyde Park / 11309 Montgomery Road, Harper’s Station) // Polly Laffon, a Cincy native, opened Taco Casa after living in Texas while her husband served in the military, bringing the Tex-Mex recipes she learned back to her home. Forty-five years later, this “CincyMex” joint is still in the fam. Owned by her son, Gene, it continues its tradition of using fresh ingredients and original recipes.
Photo: Ty Wesselkamper
No. 10: Taco Casa (1201 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills / 3711 Paxton Ave., Hyde Park / 11309 Montgomery Road, Harper’s Station) // Polly Laffon, a Cincy native, opened Taco Casa after living in Texas while her husband served in the military, bringing the Tex-Mex recipes she learned back to her home. Forty-five years later, this “CincyMex” joint is still in the fam. Owned by her son, Gene, it continues its tradition of using fresh ingredients and original recipes.