The 10 Best Places To Get Tacos In Washington, D.C.

Everyone has their favorite foods, but tacos often reign supreme, appearing at the top of many people's lists. These hand-held bites are a universal meal and are available in a variety of ways, which are just a few of the reasons why so many people love them. But where to get them is the real question. Luckily, with so many great options in Washington, DC, it is easy to find a place that fits your own flare and taste buds.

Here are some of the best spots to grab a taco in the city, from fast food locations to dine-in restaurants worthy of a first date. With a variety of tacos on the menus and a host of refreshing drinks, such as margaritas, there's no need to wait until Taco Tuesday to grab a seat. Take a look through this list that covers all the corners of Washington, DC, that will put you in the best seats to enjoy tacos and much more.

1. Taqueria Habanero

Taqueria Habanero is the perfect mix of a fast food location and a date night spot. The popular restaurant originally featured a storefront on 14th Street in Northwest DC but has since expanded to include a bigger restaurant in Northeast DC. This location was hit with a lot of attention during Cinco de Mayo when President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris walked through the doors to make a surprise visit.

At both locations, Taqueria Habanero features some of the best tacos in the city. The restaurant only offers soft-shelled tacos but they come with a variety of meat options including chicken, steak, chorizo, and even vegetables for non-meat eaters. What makes these tacos at both locations so enjoyable is the exceptional flavor. All of the items are handmade and to order, so you're getting fresh items each time. Plus, they are not expensive, so it's a great way to get a healthy meal at a low cost. If you're looking for a date spot, the Northwest location of Taqueria Habanero has outdoor seating and is close to other popular locations for DC nightlife.

2. Pica Taco

Pica Taco is another DC-specific taco joint that has a cult-like following throughout the city. There are three locations in DC and one in Alexandria, Virginia, and they share a similar menu. 

The restaurant's tacos come in a variety of styles, both as individual items and part of platters that include side items like rice and beans. You can select from a variety of toppings including lettuce, onions, cheese, and radish. A dash of lime is also mixed in to give the tacos an extra bit of kick. Customers can select from chicken, steak, carnitas, and ground beef. Pica Taco offers both hard-shell and soft-shell tacos for every platter, plus you can mix and match your meal to include both. 

Along with that, it offers several authentic drinks like horchata and Mexican sodas that customers can enjoy with their meals. One of the biggest reasons Pica Taco is on this list is because it serves the late-night crowd, which is especially important on the weekends. Staying open until 4:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 3:00 a.m. on other days is perfect for the night owls that are up all hours of the evening.

3. DC Corazon

If you're looking for a quaint and inexpensive taco spot, DC Corazon is your location. Also located on 14th Street in Northwest DC, this is another place that features a great menu. The tacos come with anything fans of the dish could ask for, such as chicken Tinga, barbacoa, carne asada, shrimp, beef tongue, and more. They can be made with a variety of toppings as well, like cilantro, onions, and radishes. 

What makes DC Corazon so special to many is that all the items on the menu are handmade to order — everything from the food to the drinks. While small, the tacos are filled to the brim with protein and toppings, making it a satisfying meal. The tacos are available as individual items, or you can order multiples with a variety of proteins, toppings, and side dishes.

The building itself has a distinct Mexican flare that is appealing to all the senses. The location isn't large, even with its patio seating, but it is well worth a visit for anyone looking to have authentic Mexican tacos while in the Nation's capital.

4. Maiz 64

Located on 14th Street, just blocks away from Taqueria Habanero and DC Corazon, Maiz 64 is one of the most popular and trendy restaurants in the city. The menu features tacos that are available for both brunch and dinner. Unlike the other options on this list, they do not feature quite so many types, instead sticking to either barbacoa or oyster mushroom tacos for brunch, and fish tacos as an appetizer for dinner. While this restaurant doesn't feature the most robust list, the items that are available are packed with flavor. Because Maiz 64 features a menu built around sharing, the tacos are much smaller than one would find at other locations on this list. 

If you're looking for a place to impress your date, Maiz 64 should be on the list. Be forewarned though, as a meal with entrees and drinks can quickly balloon from $200 to $300. However, this location has generated enough attention and whips up tacos tasty enough to make it a can't-miss date night option.

5. Lucha Rosa

Lucha Rosa is the newest restaurant to open on this list, and the new kid on the block has all the attention on it. Located atop the Moxy Hotel, Lucha Rosa opened in April of 2023 and word quickly spread throughout the city. It isn't the menu or drinks that caught the eyes of people looking for a new place to enjoy, instead, it is the aesthetic that mixes in cherry blossoms, pink roses, and luchadors from Mexico. 

The menu offers five types of tacos, including chicken Tinga, fish, braised pork, roasted mushroom, and carne asada. They are sold individually, and with the lowest option starting at $8 that final bill can quickly skyrocket. The tacos are smaller items meant as a shareable snack, rather than a full meal. The individual toppings include options like pickled cabbage slaw, chipotle pepper, sour cream, and jalapenos. Customers can also mix and match toppings to create their own tacos as well. 

Lucha Rosa has a strong drink menu, and with it being on the rooftop with excellent views, this location is quickly becoming an attraction to kick off a night in the city. Lucha Rosa is one of those places where customers go to be seen and to see who is out in the DC nightlife.

6. Mi Vida

Mi Vida is another popular restaurant with a few locations in the city. It features bigger venues, including the newest location that is set to open in Penn Quarter. Mi Vida is on this list because it offers multiple types of tacos at prices that can fit within your budget if you pop in during happy hour or Taco Tuesday.

The restaurant offers tacos for lunch and dinner, as well as part of its special happy hour menu. The tacos are available with fish, carnitas, chicken, steak, and veggies. There are a variety of toppings to choose from, including avocado, salsa verde, cauliflower, and sour cream. All plates are served with black beans as a side item. 

The tacos at Mi Vida can be a bit pricey, starting at $17 and ranging up to $20 for two. The real fun comes during Taco Tuesdays, which go down every week from 3 to 6 p.m. During that time customers can get two tacos for $9. Mi Vida is a great option if you're looking for tacos for lunch or before heading out for a long night on the town. 

7. District Taco

District Taco is a growing fast-food chain that features excellent tacos. What was originally available in Washington DC and Maryland has recently ballooned to a nationwide franchise deal that will see it appear in multiple states throughout the U.S. 

What makes this venue stand out is the way its tacos are grouped into categories based on traditional styles. Selecting the "American way" includes tacos with lettuce and cheddar cheese, much like you'd find at Taco Bell. The "Mexican way" switches that up to include cilantro and white onions. The Jefe Way includes lettuce, pico, veggies, cheese, and sour cream. The Breakfast Way features scrambled eggs, potatoes, and the protein of your choice. Even better, these options can be mixed and included with other items, like jalapenos, to make the meals even more unique. The tacos are sold in groups of three and are ready fast, making this a great spot to grab tacos while on the go.

8. El Techo

El Techo is the best location on this list if you are looking for a date night. The venue looks like a tropical treehouse and sits on a rooftop on Florida Avenue; it is covered with plants of varying sizes that are mixed in with bright lighting, creating a great vibe. It has become an attraction in DC not only for its aesthetic and amazing rooftop bar but for its offering of excellent tacos as well.

El Techo's taco selection includes house-made corn or flour tortillas with a variety of meat options including spicy beef, shrimp, brisket, and more. These tacos are available as individual selections, as well as part of entrees that come with sides. Here, you'll find some unique toppings to try out, including chipotle aioli, picante pineapple glaze, banana leaves, and more. If you see something on the list that you'd like to add to your tacos, you can also do that. 

Individual tacos start at $4.99 with a maximum price of $6.29. On Taco Tuesday, all tacos are less than $6 each and you can get three with a margarita for $23. These prices make it easy to enjoy El Techo's tacos as a quick bite or for a longer date night with a loved one. 

9. Taqueria al Lado

Taqueria al Lado is another well-known restaurant in DC that has recently expanded to include a new location in the city. The first location was a table on H Street, but it has recently expanded to include a second location in Adam's Morgan Northwest.

At Taqueria al Lado, tacos come with a variety of proteins and there is also a vegetarian option. The list includes different types of pork and beef, along with fish and chicken. The vegetarian option is a meatless barbacoa-style taco. These options can also be combined into a single taco or used in other dishes on the menu such as the quesadillas. All tacos come topped with onions and cilantro. Each one is priced at $4.50. When coupled with its expansive list of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, this is a venue in Washington D.C. that works as both a lunch, dinner, or even a date option.

10. Republic Cantina

Republic Cantina offers tacos that are based on a Tex-Mex-style menu. A taco dinner includes three tacos and is $18. It features a variety of options to suit your tastes, and the flour tortillas are made in-house. The tacos come with some of the standard protein options, yet with a spin. The taco norteña includes carne guisada, grilled onion, avocado, and chihuahua cheese, while the pulled pork taco includes piña salsa, chile arbol salsa, and cabbage. For something different and delicious, try the beef tongue taco, which is something you are not likely to find in many other restaurants and features avocado, cilantro, onion, cotija, and salsa verde. Republic Cantina also provides a vegetarian option that is based on tofu and features smoked mushrooms and seasonal vegetables. 

You can wash your meal down with a spicy or agave margarita, or a refreshing Cantina Beer-Rita, which is an agave margarita and Coronita. If you really want to test yourself, go for the Pico-Back Shot, which is tequila with a pica de gallo juice chaser.