New Jersey: Panchos Mexican Taqueria, Atlantic City
Located right next door to the legendary White House Sub Shop, this unassuming taqueria was opened to cater primarily to employees of the local casinos, but it quickly achieved a level of local renown when chef David Chang stopped by and deemed it “the best Mexican food on the East Coast” in Lucky Peach, and when legendary Philly chef Michael Solomonov fell in love with it on an episode of Vice Munchies. So what makes this place so good, exactly? For one, the tortillas aren’t just homemade, they’re made to order. Second, tacos and huaraches are filled with a wide variety of expertly prepared proteins like steak, chicken, brisket, goat, tripe, chorizo, and carnitas. And third, their mole poblano enchiladas are life-changing. Don’t try to call or look for a website; they don’t answer the phone much and there isn’t one. Just go.