We published our third attempt at ranking the country’s top tacos, and this time we looked to our readers to help us identify more of the best. We put out a call to action, asking them to comment on our site or our social media pages, or to email us with their nominations for the best tacos in the country. Additionally, we asked our knowledgeable Daily Meal staff and City Editors to weigh in with their picks. We gathered these nominees together and added them to all the tacos that were considered last year. In the end, we had a list of about 330 tacos, which we then compiled into a survey and sent to our distinguished panel of taco experts — food and restaurant personalities who know a superior taco when they taste one. They voted, we tallied the results, and then put together America’s 75 Best Tacos.
The best tacos tend to be simple, with clean, vibrant, and varied flavors, each component good enough to stand on its own. A perfect taco is balanced in flavor, and isn’t loaded down by superfluous add-ons. The tortilla (traditionally corn in Mexico, but often flour around the U.S. today) should be super fresh and, ideally, handmade where it will be served. The filling should be made with an eye for balance in taste and moisture level. The toppings, be they traditional onions and cilantro or new-wave chipotle harissa, should brighten, heighten, and tie the whole taco together into a cohesive, delicious dish. There are some amazing tacos served around the country and, as it turns out, a few can be found in Charleston.
This fun cantina on Folly Beach (with a second location downtown) serves some killer margaritas and guacamole, and, as the name implies, expertly prepared tacos. They’re available in 17 varieties, ranging from kimchi beef to al pastor to Southwest seared tuna, but it’s the carnitas norteño that are out-of-this-world delicious. They’re made with your choice of corn or flour tortilla, tender slow-roasted pork, poblano rajas, and ancho chile sauce.
They’re so good, in fact, they were voted to the #47 spot on our national list, beating out Básico (#57) and FUEL Charleston (#74), which means the carnitas norteño taco at Taco Boy is also the very best taco in Charleston.