Put your taco eating pants on, we're going on a journey.
In case you're new around here, let me start by saying this: HELLO EVERYONE MY NAME IS NICOLE AND I LOVE TACOS. Being celiac, I've found comfort in Mexican food, being that it's mainly a corn based cuisine. National Taco Day 2019 (AKA my most sacred food holiday) is today, Friday October 4th, so gran your stretchy pants, we're going on a taco adventure.
Here's my top picks for tacos in the Tristate area.
Carlitos Barbecue Taqueria - Paramus, NJ
I first found Carlitos food truck at a taco festival in NJ and I've been hooked ever since. Recently featured in NYC Food and Wine Festival and makes weekly appearances at Smorgasburg World Trade and Smorgasburg Food Truck Fridays, this local gem calls Paramus, NJ home with a restaurant. Focused on creating great BBQ culture, Carlitos staff are very well versed with allergies, including gluten. If you come across Carlitos, don't be afraid to try the elote as well! Everything from Carlitos is delicious, including the pickled onions and salsas.
Los Viajeros Food Truck - Brooklyn, NY
Another food truck festival find was Los Viajeros Food Truck! Making weekly stops in NYC, Caitlyn and Carlos own (in my humble opinion) one of the most killer food trucks in NYC. Don't believe me that the food is THAT good? Owner Caitlyn was on Food Network's Chopped, kicked butt and won. Besides the tacos, the loaded fries are also amazing. (NOT a dedicated fryer, but I could be wrong).
Taqueria Los Gueros - Fairfield, NJ
Located in a strip mall on Rt. 46 between a vitamin shop and a nail salon, on first glance you might miss this hidden taco spot. But I can assure you, the amount of times I've uber eats-ed Taqueria Los Gueros is uncanny. On Tuesdays you can get 4 tacos for $4 (pictured above) which is insane. The meat is always fresh, as are the chips. TLG can also be found at food truck festivals as well.
Badlands Tacos - Ramsey NJ
My OG taco place, the place that started the obsession. If you missed my post, Bandlands Tacos was an absolute STAPLE for me when I worked in Ramsey. There's nothing quite like the Chicken in the Garden Taco. There's nothing quite like their salsa. There's nothing quite like their Taco Tuesday special, trying to figure out with your coworker just how many tacos will make your pants burst. I also highly suggest trying their guac.
Ma & Pa's Tex Mex BBQ - Mount Laurel, NJ
My most recent find from the Hopatcong Food Truck Festival, was tacos from Ma & Pa's Tex Mex BBQ which is based out of Mount Laurel, NJ. Ma & Pa's crowd draw is the pina colada you can get in a WHOLE FREAKING PINEAPPLE but lemme tell you, stay for the tacos. I got mine without sour cream, but even my friend who got their tacos gave them a 10/10. NOTE: you have to ask for corn tortillas. Their signature tortilla is a flour blend.
Wild Burrito - Wildwood, NJ
Absolutely 100% my favorite South Jersey taco place is now Wild Burrito. After my most recent trip, I am sold on their crunchy, delicious chicken tacos. I'm writing this and am sad because I know I can't just go pick these up tonight. The shells? Crunchy. The chicken? Juicy. The location? Iconic. In the not taco realm, might I suggest the Flight of Fire hot salsa flight. Not to mention they are dedicated for gluten free AND vegan(!!) options.
SolToro - Mohegan Sun, Uncasville CT
Another vacation frequent of mine is SolToro in Mohegan Sun casino. Recently they had a little bit of a menu switch up and we were not disappointed. The mole spices on the chicken are delicious, making me wish every time that I had more than three tacos. Is it weird to order twice? Asking for me. Don't forget to try their table side guac - we added roasted garlic to ours and have been wondering ever since why the hell everyone else doesn't add roasted garlic to their guac.
NOT PICTURED: Chili Willie's Mexican Restaurant - Boonton, NJ
When I created this account back in November in my good old unemployment days, Dave and I had a straight up craving for Mexican food. Our usual spot happened to not be open, and we searched for local places, which was then that we met Jackie and Jose. To make a long story short, we've been back so many times that at this point, Dave and I consider Jackie and Jose family. They are the kindest, most gentle hearted people, who cook the most insanely delicious authentic Mexican food. They also do BBQ and may I highly suggest to you that you get some BBQ chicken on a taco. It's straight up *chef's kiss*. In the not taco realm.... order literally anything else off the menu, there's no possible way to get a bad dish from them.
Not Pictured: Riviera Maya (Restaurant) - Rockaway, NJ
Riviera Maya (sit down restaurant) has been another staple and Dave and I's relationship. I specify the sit down restaurant because a) margaritas and b) the taquerias just don't live up to the hype. RM has a full menu, including absolutely delicious tacos, with hard or soft corn tortillas. We've had them countless times, and never have I gotten sick from gluten. Additionally, they have some of the best nachos I've ever had. Real cheese, not weird and gross cheese sauce. WARNING: stay away from the table side guac. We've had it a few times and it always sucks. Definitely sub that out for nachos or tamales.