Taco Tour of Pittsburgh

Check out some of the best options the city has to offer. So many tacos, so little time. Can every day be #TacoTuesday?

One of the greatest aspects of Pittsburgh is the diversity that lies among the three rivers we call home. From Polish Hill, to Bloomfield, to Squirrel Hill, there is no shortage of niche neighborhoods to find a place in. However, for as different as all our neighborhoods are, there is one great underlying factor - you never have to go far for Mexican cuisine. That's right, you're never more than a block away from tacos and a margarita. From chain restaurants like Steel Cactus with multiple locations around the city, to home grown passion projects like Baby Loves Tacos in Bloomfield, there is a taco out there for everyone. 

Downtown Pittsburgh

One of the newest places on this list, Bakersfield's cool dark ambiance is perfect for a hot summer's day. Cool off with a selection of over 100 tequilas and American whiskeys. Tip: Try the pineapple margarita! Yum.

Condado is edgy, hip, and super sensitive to food allergies. You can build your own taco from scratch, and there are hundreds of combinations you can try. Tip: Try the diablo queso for some heat and the blood orange mango margarita to cool down. 

Tako is all about bringing a southern California vibe to the Cultural District with their gourmet take on classic street food. Their tacos come two to an order, and you should definitely try the namesake Tako taco paired with a spicy cucumber margarita.

Located in Market Square, Las Velas can be found on top of the Original Oyster House and accessed through a narrow flight of stairs to the right. Arguably one of the best happy hours in the city, the menu is inspired by Mexico City and the Rivera Maya. Try the shrimp tacos and one of their fun margarita options including raspberry chipotle, cilantro, and agave basil.

Shadyside

Photo Credit: Mad Mex Facebook Page

Ahh, Mad Mex. A Pittsburgh staple, and loved by late night foodies and families alike. The "pickadippa" appetizer allows you to try any three of their dips, which include 5 salsas, guacamole, black bean dip, cheese dip, and pepita hummus. This menu is incredibly vegetarian and vegan friendly, so it's a great place to gather for everyone. Try the namesake Mad Mex burrito for a classic Mad Mex experience. 

Located on the edge of Shadyside and East Liberty, Patron Mexican Grill is a locally owned business with additional locations in Monroeville, Fox Chapel, and Wexford. You can have fresh guacamole made tableside for only $10, and they also have great lunch specials and a fair amount of healthy options. Try the cantarito, a margarita made with fresh squeezed orange and lime juice, tequila, chile, salt, and grapefruit soda that's served in a chile-rimmed clay cup.

No matter whether you're at a Pirates game or at the airport, you have a chance to check out Steel Cactus. Try going for brunch to change things up a bit. I mean, who doesn't want to try churro french toast or breakfast nachos? They also have daily specials (including weekends!) as well as a Monday-Friday happy hour from 5-7.

Squirrel Hill

Cuzamil Restaurante Mexicano offers delicious dining and takeout options. It is known for its modern interpretation of classic dishes and its insistence on only using high quality fresh ingredients. Tacos are featured in many of their combination platters, but also try their albondigas soup for a taste of Mexican meatballs. Another unique option is their seafood burritos which are filled with crabmeat, scallops, and shrimp.

North Side

Photo Credit: El Burro Facebook Page

El Burro offers hard or street tacos for $3.50 with your choice of innards: Carne asada, shredded beef, shredded chicken, chorizo, carnitas, vegan chorizo, or potato. They also offer shrimp and mahi mahi for an additional charge. Their rolled tacos come with avocado salsa, pico, and cheese. In addition to tacos they offer a wide selection of burritos (including a breakfast burrito!) and other interesting menu options like the Tijuana street dog and carne asada fries. They offer a separate vegetarian and vegan menu, and all rice and beans are vegan friendly options! They are open Thursday-Sunday.

Lawrenceville/Bloomfield

Photo Credit: Yelp User Monica S.

Smoke BBQ Taqueria is a local favorite. They offer four different varieties of queso (original, house, pig, shrooms, and burnt ends) and five dollar cocktails. Their 13 different taco choices include vegetarian options as well as a variety of additional toppings for an up charge. Definitely try the house made spicy pickles for an added kick! Their sides are homemade and unique. A few things to note: Smoke is cash only, they don't take reservations, and they do have happy hour Wednesdays-Fridays from 4-6 pm and late night specials on Friday and Saturday.

At Round Corner Cantina, the cocktails and daily food specials share the limelight with the tacos. Like many of the restaurants on this list, Round Corner Cantina has great options for vegetarians/vegans including their tofu taco and vegan mole. Their Yucatan-style chicken and al pastor tacos are great choices for carnivores. Also give their elotes (sweet corn on the cob, crema, queso fresco, and spices) a try - you won't regret it!

Photo Credit: Los Cabos Facebook Page

Another take on SoCal Mexican food, Los Cabos offers a full breakfast menu and robust torta sandwich options for lunch. Their tacos come in soft and hard shell options and they offer rolled tacos as well. They have a ton of burrito options, and Yelp users seem to enjoy their surf and turf (carne asada and shrimp) tacos and burritos. There is no alcohol served here. 

Baby Loves Tacos is a community-focused former pop-up turned brick-and-mortar that serves Mexican fare in a basic space. They have some awesome out-of-the box flavor options including buffalo cauliflower, BBQ mushroom, and spicy brisket. Tacos are 3 for $10 and come with protein of your choice, hot sauce, pico, cheese and pickled radishes.

South Side taco options coming soon!