If you’re in Mesa, Arizona, you don’t have to go all the way to the Mexican border for a good taco. Between the Mexican restaurants in Mesa and the ones in the rest of the east Phoenix metro area, there’s no shortage of great tacos when you live in Arizona.
Backyard Taco sits on East University Drive between Stapley and Gilbert, and although it’s a small restaurant with a counter-serve menu and a patio that’s bigger than the dining room, it’s famous enough that people from all around the Phoenix area stop by to eat their tacos. They’ve even opened a second location down in Gilbert. Their meat options include steak, chicken, and birria, a spicy Mexican stew meat, and their toppings are as simple as cabbage, onions, and red sauce. Backyard Taco cooks their meats to perfection and is well worth the trip.
This spot is on West Broadway Road between South Alma School Road and South Extension Road. This Mexican restaurant is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, and while you can get a full meal there, you can also buy soft and hard tacos individually. Their list of taco meats covers the basics like steak, chicken, and pork, but you can also get fish, shrimp, and beef tongue. And while you can always order in, Taquitos Jalisco also has a drive-through and a delivery service for taco lovers on the go.
Mucha Lucha Taco Shop
The Mucha Lucha Taco Shop is a local chain with locations throughout the Phoenix area. They have a few different options aside from tacos, like burritos, quesadillas, and tostadas, and each is available with beef, pork, or chicken cooked in one of several ways. They also have a vegetarian option, and if you’re willing to pay extra, they also offer fish, shrimp, and meat combinations. While you don’t have to love lucha libre wrestling to eat here, it’ll certainly help you appreciate the decor.
Joyride Taco House
If you’re willing to drive down to Gilbert, you’ll appreciate the food at Joyride Taco House. The tacos here are a little more expensive (except on Taco Tuesdays), but that’s because each meat comes with its own set of toppings, like the chicken taco that comes with avocado, Mexican slaw, and Peruvian yellow peppers. Other options cover the basics, with beef, pork, shrimp, and fish, and while the restaurant doesn’t have a drive-through, it does have a takeout taco dinner for five complete with chips, salsa, and sides.
Mexican food is a favorite all across the United States, but in a place like Mesa, Arizona you don’t have to look hard to find a place that serves authentic tacos and burritos. With slow-cooked meat that melts in your mouth, fresh-cut vegetables that add a real crunch, and salsas with just the right amount of heat to make things interesting, the taco shops east of Phoenix will give you some of the best lunches you’ve ever had.