Tacos are the quintessential Mexican dish and have assimilated enough to play a major role in American cuisine too. They’re so simple and versatile. You can stuff them with just about anything, from grilled mahi-mahi to slow-cooked beef tongues. No matter what you like to wrap your tortilla around, you’ll find a delicious array of options around town.
Taco Spot, the self-dubbed neighborhood taco dealer, serves a variety of specialty tacos. “The Caribbean” is a roasted chicken taco, replete with rice, lettuce, a jalapeño puree, and a tomato-cucumber based pico smothered in a pomegranate jerk sauce. Owner Lindsey Collier says her favorite is the spicy ginger taco, with warm green tomato chow-chow, Spanish rice, green peas, and pico and lettuce tossed with a spicy ginger-cucumber dressing. The restaurant also offers a breakfast taco brunch on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Relatively-new Johns Island restaurant Caliente is also offering some new twists on the taco. One of Chef Craig Bente’s signature dishes is the puffy taco. Flour tortillas are puffed by deep frying. The tacos are then stuffed with lettuce, pico de gallo, rice, beans, cheese, and one of three varieties of sour cream (plain, citrus, or chipotle).
Vegetarians may feel limited in their options when it comes to tacos, but downtown-eatery Fuel piles the toppings on their vegetarian taco. The tortilla overflows with mushrooms, caramelized onions, pepper, housemade roasted (local) tomato salsa, cilantro, garlic, jalapeños, pepperjack cheese, and broccoli sprouts, making for a rather hearty option.
Across town at Coast, they’ve been serving fish tacos for eight years, long enough to perfect the dish. The restaurant offers a Baja fish taco and a buffalo shrimp taco, which comes with bacon blue cheese slaw. Coast grills their fish on an oak and hickory grill, giving it a nice smoky taste. The restaurant also strictly sticks to mahi-mahi for its tacos, as it maintains its texture when grilled. For those looking for a deal, Coast serves $3 taco appetizers on Sunday.
For those wanting to try a little something different and way more authentic, North Charleston-based La Norteña is where you’ll find traditional Mexican fillings. Standouts are chorizo (pork sausage), lengua (beef tongue), and tripa (beef intestines). The tacos are served on corn tortillas with cilantro, onions, and red and green sauce.