Taco competitions get people fired up.
It’s easy to imagine why. Who doesn’t love the combination of protein and toppings stuffed into a tortilla? Maybe throw in some chips and salsa for good measure.
Thousands of residents and visitors voted during 2017’s contents to name the best taco spot across seven counties that make up Indiana’s Cool North. That participation landed 11 eateries on the list of finalists in St. Joseph County.
Although Los Aces Mexican Food took home the county-wide crown (and was named critic’s choice in the regional competition), all the finalists are worth checking out. You can do so by following the Taco Trek Map. It’s a great way to get a taste of The Bend’s robust taco scene.
Scroll down to find out more about each.
112 W. Colfax Ave. | South Bend
Choose between Mexican or American-style tacos. Pick the former for a corn tortilla, onion and cilantro mixed in with your protein. Go with the latter for a flour tortilla, tomato, lettuce and cheese.
Crooked Ewe Brewery & Ale House
1047 Lincoln Way E. | South Bend
Known as one of The Bend’s best craft breweries, Crooked Ewe does spicy tacos right. They feature pulled pork, sriracha sour cream, cilantro and lime.
Evil Czech Brewery & Public House
3703 N. Main St. | Mishawaka
Another craft brewery that understands the value of quality tacos. Chicken asada and carne asada are favorites. But don’t sleep on the voodoo shrimp tacos, which include a “spicy voodoo” sauce.
119 W. McKinley Ave. | Mishawaka
Fiesta Tapatia has been serving up authentic Mexican cuisine in Mishawaka for almost 20 years. And talk about variety with their tacos. Stray from the usual ingredients and head for the chorizo or fish.
Flamingo’s Mexican Restaurant & Grocery
425 S. Main St. | South Bend
This downtown South Bend eatery combines local grocery store with a restaurant churning out traditional tacos. Give the Paraiso-style taco a try – its main ingredient is avocado.
1636 N. Ironwood Dr. | South Bend
This down-to-earth restaurant offers a standard lineup of authentic Mexican or American-style taco options. Then there’s the specialty options. Taco Yucateco is a fish taco served with pico de gallo and citrus wedges.
Los Aces Mexican Food
3622 Edison Road | South Bend
*Voted the Best Taco in St. Joseph County*
Soft shell tacos are the main event at Los Aces, a no-frills spot on the border on the border between South Bend and Mishawaka. Its reputation is built on ground beef, specially seasoned in house.
Puerto Vallarta Mexican Restaurant
4609 Grape Road | Mishawaka
Puerto Vallarta serves up its authentic Mexican tacos at a couple locations in the bend. Fish tacos, served with a special house sauce and juicy pico de gallo, are a customer favorite.
Rosales Super Market
2812 W. Western Ave. | South Bend
Another combination grocery store and taco spot, Rosales has a reputation as some of the best tacos on the west side of South Bend. There’s a variety of meat available with the traditional toppings.
Taste of Mexico
2637 W. Western Ave. | South Bend
Authentic flavor comes at a quality price point. Taste of Mexico has been called the “real deal” more than once. Try the chicken tacos when you visit. You’re not likely to leave hungry.
2920 W. Western Ave. | South Bend
Build your own tacos here with any number of tacos in either a flour or corn tortilla. Taqueria Chicago is a centerpiece on the west side. Afterward, walk across the street for ice cream at La Rosita.
Insider tip: Food competitions have been a thing in The Bend for awhile. You should also read about the best breakfast spots, best burgers joints and best pizza in The Bend. You’ll be hungry afterward.