Stories

Nashville Taco Guide

Tacos: We’ll eat them on a patio, in a parking lot, late at night, or at brunch. Anytime, anywhere, really. Here’s where to get them in Nashville.

By Katie Quine • Updated September 27, 2019

Tacos Auténticos

Mas Tacos Por Favor
Considered the standard bearer for tacos on the east side, Mas Tacos grew from a beloved taco truck operation and into a brick-and-mortar. Now their legendary fried avocado tacos, tortilla soup, and Mexican street corn have a permanent address. When a restaurant only accepts cash and still has people lining up in droves, you know it’s got to be good.

La Hacienda
La Hacienda is a South Nashville staple, first operating as a small family-run grocery store that made its own signature tortillas. More recently, the restaurant was in the national spotlight when President Barack Obama swung by for some flautas in 2014. La Hacienda’s menu goes on for days, but its traditional tacos are the perfect little something to enjoy alongside a margarita at happy hour.

Carnicería y Taquería Don Juan
No need to ask for a menu at Don Juan — the menu is painted on the side of the building. You can step outside your comfort zone while still staying in your car at this no-frills drive-thru spot. Try authentic tacos de lengua or de chicharron for only $1.25. You can’t beat it.

Fusion Tacos

Taco Mamacita
This Edgehill joint embraces the unconventional. You’d be hard pressed to find a gyro or sloppy Joe masquerading as taco anywhere else in Nashville, but Taco Mamacita’s unique offerings are what packs folks in every day. After dinner, walk off that queso and over to Legato Gelato next door. That’s called a “balanced diet.”

bartaco
Those who have a hard time deciding between tacos or sushi can satisfy both cravings at bartaco, which not only boasts traditional taco fixings like poblano peppers and chorizo but also Asian-inspired ancho-crusted tuna and kimchi. Between bites, don’t forget to eat with your eyes. With its rustic lighting and white-washed walls, the restaurant is just as pretty as the food.

Taqueria Del Sol
Southern comfort and south-of-the-border spice shake hands on your plate at Taqueria del Sol. The restaurant’s fried chicken taco gets a squeeze of lime jalapeño mayonnaise, and the Memphis taco isn’t afraid to get a little saucy — the barbecue sauce that is used on the pork is spiked with tequila. Order a side of turnip greens and charro beans for good measure.

Late-Night Tacos

San Antonio Taco Company
Lovingly referred to as “SATCO” by locals and Vanderbilt students in search of nocturnal fuel following a night of imbibing — err — studying, San Antonio Taco Company is always open until midnight. The laidback eatery’s menu is equally consistent, delivering a customizable variety of Tex-Mex taco options on the cheap.

Bakersfield
Bakersfield has salads named after Johnny, Loretta, and Willie, but the real talking point is the tacos. The restaurant tops homemade tortillas with ingredients like tender short rib, crispy shrimp, and corn truffles — we’ll let you Google that last one. Stick around for another drink; Bakersfield is open until 2 a.m. on the weekend and has extensive whiskey and tequila lists.

Saint Añejo
Saint Añejo is one of the Gulch’s top brunch spots, but late-night diners can enjoy dishes like skillet nachos and hot chicken tacos with habanero slaw. If you love tequila, you might have to put this spot on regular rotation — there are 195 varieties of tequilas and mezcals to choose from here.

Tacos al Fresco

Bajo Sexto Taco
After an afternoon exploring the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum or before a Nashville Predators game, Bajo Sexto Taco makes for a great place to rest your feet while noshing on Baja fish tacos. The downtown patio makes for great people watching, too. As pedal taverns cruise by, delight in the fact that you don’t have to pedal for your margarita.

Nectar Cantina
Nectar Cantina has an expansive outdoor space where kids can play and leashed dogs are welcome as well as an outdoor beer garden and live music stage. Close to the Grand Ole Opry House, it also makes for a great pre-show dinner option. Nectar’s menu emphasizes fresh and healthy ingredients like pickled and roasted veggies.

Redheaded Stranger
It’s hard to pass up a Tex-Mex joint that shares a name with a song by Willie Nelson, one of Austin’s greatest exports. This East Nashville taco shop has got plenty of southwestern flair, including coveted hatch green chiles