Who doesn’t love tacos? Mexico’s most famous antojito can be found on restaurant menus from breakfast until the wee hours of the morning — 3 a.m. or even later on the weekends in Ajijic.
What Is a Taco?
A long, long time ago, tacos were created in the celestial heavens and bequeathed to the world by the Aztec god Tacotl. No, but seriously — sometimes these things are so delicious that it seems the only way they could exist is through divine intervention.
A taco, then, is a folded tortilla filled with a guisado (filling), typically meat, that’s topped off with chopped cilantro, onion or other items such as pinto beans or cabbage. A red or green salsa usually accompanies.
A caution that in some restaurants, such as Cenaduría Memo, the word “taco” is used for what we northerners would call a taquito or flauta: a rolled up corn tortilla filled with meat and then deep-fried. The word taco, in this case, is used instead of its full name, taco dorado (golden taco). If you need to clarify which type of tacos an establishment serves, ask: Son tacos o tacos dorados?
What Kind of Meat Is In Tacos?
The most common taco fillings in this part of Jalisco are bistec (chopped beef), adobada (marinated pork), chorizo (a bit like sausage), carnaza (steamed beef from the neck area), lengua (cow tongue), labio (cow lip) and tripa (tripe).
But the kinds of guisos (another word for fillings) for tacos are endless, from chicharron (fried pork skin) to picadillo (ground meat combined with other ingredients). Or, in Oaxaca, fried crickets. Each region of Mexico has its own specialties and favorites which you can usually find now spread over all parts of the country.
Are There Vegetarian Tacos?
Though street tacos almost always have meat, you can still find vegetarian tacos. Popular types of vegetarian fillings for tacos include potato, rajas (sliced green peppers) with cream and corn, and fried hibiscus flower. The best place for vegetarian tacos in the Ajijic/Chapala area is Frida Restaurante).
How Do You Keep Taco Shells From Breaking?
If you’re asking this question, you’re definitely thinking about the wrong kind of tacos. Tacos in Mexico are made with soft corn tortillas, which are usually heated up and slightly cooked on the grill with a little oil. They’re never made from a hard Dorito-like tortilla such as Taco Bell. This is worth mentioning as Taco Bell was recently named the best “Mexican” restaurant in the United States. Most taquerías use tortillas made locally in a small factory the same morning.
The Best Tacos in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico
In no particular order, here are some of the best tacos in Ajijic that you must check out.
Try the specialty at Tacos Los Fabian, the tacos al pastor, which has Lebanese origins. Each comes with a tiny slice of pineapple that goes togetherly perfectly with the thin slices of pork, which are carved off a shawarma-style spit. (Located at Revolución #1C in Plaza Bugambilias, Ajijic. See more about Tacos Los Fabian.)
Tacos “El Cholo” started serving tacos on Ajijic’s central plaza in the late 1970s. Now, 40 years later, this taco stand is owned and operated by “El Cholo’s” grandson, Juan, and Juan’s wife, Angie. They make delicious tacos with beef, chorizo, adobada, carnaza and cabeza (cow head). (Located in the Ajijic plaza. See more about Tacos “El Cholo.”)
Taquería Mi Lindo Ajijic is owned and operated by the Enciso family, who used to run Taquería Jessica at this location. Taquería Jessica is now located directly next door and is open during the day, operated by Rodolfo Enciso. His wife, Elisa Blas, and their son, Juan, run Taquería Mi Lindo Ajijic during the evenings and late into the night (3 a.m. or 5 a.m. on Sunday mornings).
The tortillas here are recién hechas (freshly made), meaning that they’re made to order using fresh masa and a hand-operated tortilla press. Most taquerías in Ajijic use tortillas made the same morning in one of the town’s tortillerías. (Located at Carretera Oriente #21, Ajijic. See more about Taquería Mi Lindo Ajijic.)
Francisco’s tacos include chicken, which is not a common taco filling, especially in this part of Mexico. (Located at Ocampo #88, Ajijic. See more about Tonantin Taquería.)
The tacos at Frida Restaurante are different than the typical tacos you find in the Lake Chapala area. Here you’ll find more interesting combinations of ingredients, such as poblano chile with corn or potato, mushroom with onion and broccoli, and eggplant with zucchini, mushroom and bell pepper. This is the perfect place for vegetarians or vegans who want to experience authentic Mexican food. The tortillas here are freshly made, still hot from being cooked on the comal. (Located at Hidalgo 160 on the highway in San Antonio Tlayacapan.)
For a totally different kind of taco, check out the tacos arabes (Arabic tacos) at Kamellos Food Truck. Though they’re made more like a burrito, tacos arabes are a Lebanese-influenced variation of tacos which originated in the city of Puebla around the middle of the 20th century. Kamellos uses a flour tortilla instead of pita, which is more common, but they do use pita for their kamellos, which are stuffed with spiced beef. (Located at Carretera Oriente #45 in Ajijic. See more about Kamellos Food Truck.)Last updated June 15, 2019