10 Must-Try Tacos in Boston

By Scott Kearnan  |  April 29, 2014

You've heard it from your California-born friends for years now; when it comes to traditional tacos, Boston isn't exactly an embarrassment of riches. But we sure can get creative, so in honor of Taco Tuesday we rounded up an eclectic mix of must-try tacos, including plenty of new entries with exciting twists. (Plus a few reliable standbys too.)

  • Swordfish Tacos at Beat Hotel

    Why We Love Them: Because swordfish is the steak of the sea, so these tacos are tasty and filling. (They're also filled: with black beans, Spanish rice, Vermont cheddar and salsa.) 

    Insider Tip: In case you can't tell from its name, Beat Hotel hosts near-nightly live music. And tacos are the perfect nosh for next month's Cinco de Mayo celebration, which will feature a nine-piece mariachi band from 8 PM-12 AM.

    Price: $24

  • Roasted Duck Tacos at Gather

    Why We Love Them: Because the restaurant housed inside the 12,000-sq.-ft. District Hall, billed as the "world's largest freestanding public innovation center," allows that inventiveness to imbue its menu. Here, the duck is paired with apple kimchee and salsify chips.

    Insider Tip: While you're at District Hall, check out Gather's sibling, Brew Cafe, a coffeehouse where Innovation District entrepreneurs fuel up on fantastic coffee drinks made with beans from a Northampton-based roasting company. (Or unwind with a beer and wine selection.)

    Price: $15

  • Spicy Lobster Tacos at Lineage

    Why We Love Them: Because obviously the Boston-area needs a standout taco take on the lobster roll, and Lineage takes up the challenge with admirable gusto. The juicy lobster meat is served with avocado mousse and mango salsa.

    Insider Tip: Plenty of people don't know that Lineage offers an affordable Sunday roast dinner. Two courses for $28 from a weekly rotating selection of meats.

    Price: $14

  • Mahi Mahi A La Plancha Tacos at The Painted Burro

    Why We Love Them: Because it brings a taste of the tropics to the Davis Square Mexican, giving the grilled fish and freshy and fruity spin with pineapple and serrano salsa, jicama, avocado and frisee.

    Insider Tip: Painted Burro owner Joe Cassinelli has something new up his sleeve. He's planning to turn the nearby Somerville landmark Rosebud diner into an American eatery serving regional comfort foods.

    Price: $7.50

  • Pescado Taco at The Taco Truck

    Why We Love Them: Because we appreciate any taqueria that comes to us. The roving eatery serves a fabulous pescado pick of crispy catfish, red cabbage, pico de gallo, Mexican tartar sauce and chipotle salsa.

    Insider Tip: The truck launched on Boston streets in 2012, but soon it will have a brick-and-mortar location. One is slated to open in Harvard Square soon.

    Price: $5

  • Hudson Valley Duck Tacos at Poe's Kitchen at the Rattlesnake

    Why We Love Them: Because chef Brian Poe always lets his playful side shine through his Southwestern cuisine. He marinates his duck breast with molasses and cola. Add cranberry-rosemary risotto and a truffle cranberry glaze. Serve. Now.

    Insider Tip: The rooftop patio has some of the most coveted outdoor seats in the city, but get there early; the rooftop doesn't accept reservations.

    Price: $14.95

  • Chicharron at Savvor

    Why We Love Them: The Leather District newcomer, opened in February, takes a deconstructed approach. The pork (prepared with fried garlic and beer and bourbon gastrique) is served with a side of pikliz, a super-spicy "Haitian coleslaw" that is similar to kimchee, and two corn tortillas. Build your own, then devour.

    Insider Tip: Boston isn't known for its late-night dining scene, so you might want to make Savvor your last stop after a night at the local clubs. Its kitchen is open until 1:30 AM.

    Price: $13

  • Smoked Pork Taco at Canary Square

    Why We Love Them: Because the JP joint gives a little nod to New England. The pork is spruced up with pickled onion, cotija cheese, scallion aioli - and pumpkin seed salsa.

    Insider Tip: Dinner and a movie, anyone? Swing by on Sundays at 10 PM, when the restaurant screens nostalgia-inducing flicks like Jurassic Park.

    Price: $5

  • Dorado Tacos at Dorado

    Why We Love Them: Because the Brookline spot serves amazing Baja California-style fish tacos, including plenty of creative monthly specials. But we remain loyal to its eponymous selection, beer-battered Atlantic whitefish with cabbage, spicy chipotle crema, radishes and salsa fresca. Also: they're cheap.

    Insider Tip: If you find yourself hungry and homesick the next time you're in NYC, take heart. Dorado has a second location in Greenwich Village.

    Price: $2.95

  • Barbacoa Tacos at Lone Star Taco Bar

    Why We Love It: Because this hipster haven brings sophistication to a "street food" sensibility and the result is some of the most consistently delicious tacos. We're partial to the beef barbacoa, with smoked brisket and avocado crema.

    Insider Tip: Wash down the tacos at Deep Ellum next door. Lone Star's sister restaurant is known for having one of the best craft beer lists in the city.

    Price: $4