I wouldn’t call myself an expert on that much – I do love exploring Asheville, but I can’t claim true expertise in many categories. When it comes to the best tacos in Asheville, though, and the eating of delicious foods wrapped in tortillas in general, I am a bit of an aficionado.
We’re blessed in the Asheville area that you can get a great traditional beef, pork, or chicken taco in almost any Mexican restaurant, but there are also some truly unique taco offerings that stand out for their great flavor combinations and high-quality ingredients.
While I can’t be sure which trucks will be on the road during your stay in Asheville if you’re visiting, don’t ignore Asheville’s taco food trucks. Because they keep their menus short and are often the main food option at a brewery or festival, they have refined their menu to be nothing but the stars of the show. The best Mexican restaurants in Asheville often have great tacos, too, but more global flavors are also featured in our list of the best tacos in Asheville.
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13 Places to Try the Best Tacos in Asheville
1. Wake Up with Taco Billy Breakfast Tacos
Taco Billy boldly offers a substantial breakfast taco menu that is served all day long, and they also have a menu just for 11 am onward, making it a real winner no matter what time of day you visit.
I particularly like the variety they bring to the vegetarian and vegan options: you can still have crema made with coconut on top of your many veggie-driven flavors, for instance, and with a ton of sautéed veggies and beans, you really don’t miss the meat.
However, for the carnivores, there are a wonderful variety of options, from chipotle-stewed chicken tinga to slow-roasted pork and even beef medallions on the Kirb Service taco. While the flavors on all the breakfast tacos are good, I personally loved the Mama’s Favorite, which combines sausage, eggs, spinach, and sweet potato with a topping of goat cheese in a plantain tortilla – a wonderful combo of expected and unexpected flavors, with heartiness and richness.
Add to that the variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, the chips and salsa or queso or guacamole, and you’ve got the makings of a great meal. Because so much of the menu can be prepared gluten-free and the team is consciously making vegan and vegetarian combos available, you can bring a big group here with a variety of dietary needs.
Even better – it’s easy walking distance from the main section of Haywood Street, where much of West Asheville’s shopping is, so you can definitely take a walk if you picked one too many tacos and need a constitutional.
Location: 201 Haywood Rd, Asheville
2. Put Anything and Everything in a Taco at White Duck Taco Shop
I am a biased customer when it comes to White Duck Taco Shop: everything from their easy-going decor to their good prices to their off-the-wall flavors of tacos has me completely charmed. Add that the River Arts District location has a beautiful view of the river and tons of space for my kiddo to run around and play, and I’m sold any time of day.
This Asheville taco shop offers a simple menu that has some sides like chips and salsa but focuses mostly on the tacos themselves: what is available at each location changes, but you might find a pork belly taco, a lamb gyro taco, a BLT taco, and a chicken tikka masala taco all sharing the same menu board.
Bulgogi beef or Thai peanut chicken also might grace your plate – the flavor profiles are only rarely actually from Latin America, but the ingredients are fresh and delivered to your table fast. It’s a wonderful and affordable lunch stop, and while it might not tick all your boxes if you’re looking for just one particular kind of authentic Latin American taco, there are some standard flavors available, like their steak and cheese taco or their kids’ cheese quesadilla.
With three locations right here in Asheville and locations in many nearby cities, you don’t have to stop by the White Duck Taco Shop just once. While I do put the RAD location at the top of my list for families who want a nice vista and places for kids to roam, the downtown location is a perfect stop if the fancier restaurants near it aren’t quite your speed for this particular meal. Plus, there is a small courtyard behind the shop that is nicely out of the hustle-and-bustle of downtown, and you can easily get your tacos to go and eat them in Pack Square Park.
The location in South Asheville/Skyland is a great fit for anyone spending most of their time further south in the city, and it features the same fun outdoor spirit, games, and wonderful tacos. Find your lamb gyro or beef bulgogi taco whenever you need a fix!
River Arts District: 388 Riverside Drive, Asheville
Downtown: 12 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville
Skyland: 16 Miami Circle, Arden
3. Order from the Classy Walk-Up Window at Taco Temple
In the heart of pretty Charlotte Street is a great taco joint with a patio and a walk-up window, as well as a drive-through for picking up online orders. From the same team that runs Mamacita’s in downtown Asheville, Taco Temple is located in a historic gas station that has become a compact spot for a great taco experience.
They make their own corn tortillas, and while they have lots of classics like fish and shrimp tacos, I particularly love some of the unusual ones, like their chorizo verde taco and their grilled panela cheese taco. For anyone who isn’t committed to only tacos, I fell in love with the tortas, a messy and flavorful sandwich that will have you trying to eat it before it falls apart.
I fell hard for the avocado torta, which features cheese, black beans, roasted peppers and onions, pico de gallo, and mixed greens for a meal that feels at once fresh and light and also deliciously rich.
Location: 132 Charlotte Street, Asheville
4. Eat Well Right By the Venue at the Grey Eagle Taqueria
I’d been to the Grey Eagle for music and contra dancing in the past, but the Grey Eagle Taqueria came in after my time there, and going again recently made me happy for them. In addition to a full bar, this taqueria offers tasty food that you can get before, after, or during a show in an adjacent space to the actual venue.
There’s also a large patio, which I imagine gets packed during shows but was pleasantly calm when I visited. They’ve got plenty of traditional options, like chicken, carnitas, brisket, and shrimp, as well as their special chicken and bacon taco that features fried kale and apple butter.
Many of their “Turntable Tacos” are riffs on their standard tacos, with a special added salsa, a flavorful seasoning blend, or the addition of something special like Cheerwine and habanero aioli. I personally loved their Quinoa Avocado Salad, and their housemade tortilla chips might be my favorite in town – I haven’t compared them back to back, but they were crispy-fried to perfection!
Location: 185 Clingman Avenue, Asheville.
5. Try the ‘Taqueria for the Soul’ at Taco Boy
From the spicy margaritas to the tortilla soup, Taco Boy may be a recent addition to West Asheville, but they’ve been perfecting their tacos at their other locations for long enough to be an instant hit here in town.
From a mural to the plants to the in-house tortilla maker, you’ll find plenty to see and great parking, which is a rarity for businesses in the denser parts of the city. Each taco starts with a delicious homemade corn tortilla made with heirloom corn and then gets one of the many fresh combos that grace the menu: firecracker sauce over shrimp with slaw and cilantro, or tempura avocado with sweet Thai chili sauce, or beef brisket with crispy tabasco onions!
While many of the tacos have a traditional bent, the Kimchi Beef taco takes its origin from Korean cuisine, and both the Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Chicken Bacon Ranch tacos are all-American adds.
There are so many options in addition to the salads, appetizers, and quesadillas that you’re likely to be back for another round of margaritas for the next Taco Tuesday. Keep an eye out for a second location coming soon!
Location: 521 Haywood Road, Asheville
6. Take in the Artistic View at Mamacita’s Taqueria
The original location that has created the Taco Temple, Mamacita’s has been serving up a fun atmosphere and delicious tacos since 2004, making them a long-standing player in the downtown Asheville food landscape.
They consistently win top marks in the Best of WNC competitions that take over the city every year, mixing a knowledge of the details with a focus on freshness. Their tacos include the pulled pork carnitas, birria beef with melted cheese, shrimp with baja sauce, and the chipotle chicken with a pico de gallo of your dreams.
There’s also fried fish and fried chicken tacos to satisfy your craving for crispiness. There are also quesadillas, burritos, and great salads if those fit someone’s taste more than a plate full of tacos, but you’re unlikely to steer wrong when Mamacita’s has had such a winning reputation for almost 20 years that it’s a strong candidate for best Mexican food in Asheville.
Location: 77-A Biltmore Ave, Asheville
7. Date Night With Tacos at Mountain Madre
Everything I read online calls Mountain Madre casual, and I guess it is, but I also find it to be such a beautiful space that it would be a pretty great fit for a first date – not too serious but also a little fancier than just wandering up to the taco truck at a brewery (also a perfectly acceptable option, but hey, folks like it fancy sometimes).
I pick this as my date night spot partially because the people-watching on busy Walnut Street is choice, perfect for keeping the conversation going, and they offer a variety of shared plates and a salsas/dip sampler that make for sharing possibilities – you’ll have to try the Chorizo Stuffed Avocados and the Charred Green Beans to believe them.
On the taco front, you’ll find a tasty local pork belly taco that even includes crispy potato to make it even that much more rich, as well as some hearty vegan tacos made with refried beans, jicama, seared avocado, and multiple salsas.
I definitely recommend their chips with the three-dip option, picking your level of heat for salsa, and then adding queso, bean dip, or guacamole (you can add in bacon or pickles if those things sound good in guac to you!). While you’ll have great dates eating tacos anywhere, I think this one has very good first-date potential as one of the best Mexican restaurants in Asheville.
Location: 13 W Walnut Street, Asheville.
8. Enjoy Authenticity and Flavor at Tacos Jalisco Mexican Restaurant
For quality, flavor, and great customer service, an excellent option to try in West Asheville is Tacos Jalisco. This restaurant is more full-service Mexican restaurant than just a taqueria – from main courses and tortas (Mexican sandwiches) to enchiladas and burritos, you’ll have plenty of excellent options.
However, their excellent taco salad or various tacos on corn tortillas are a delicious addition to the tacos of Asheville. From shrimp to fish, steak, chorizo, and even tongue tacos, you’ll find all the traditional flavors served with delicious lime on the side to add that last great bit of flavor.
You’ll see why Tacos Jalisco is one of the top contenders for best tacos in Asheville with every tasty bite you take!
Location: 1328 Patton Avenue A, Asheville
9. Make it a Burrito at Neo Burrito
Neo Burrito is a locally-owned fast-casual chain. I first found them on a food delivery app, and I was impressed by how the food held up despite the delivery time – it was really tasty! They offer a lot of options, including their namesake burritos but also build-your-own tacos with rice, beans, cheese, pico de gallo, lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, and a protein.
In addition to some standard proteins, mushrooms and tempeh are possible, making this a great fit for vegetarians and vegans. They focus on delicious, fresh, and simple food, and with a few tasty proprietary sauces, I think they make a meal that will be memorable even if you’re on a total taco tour of Asheville.
Location: 1341 Parkwood Road, Suite 106, Asheville
10. Enjoy a Flavor Feast at Taqueria Muñoz
For authentic experiences, if you’re looking for the best Mexican food in Asheville, many people will point you toward Taqueria Muñoz in West Asheville. They have a wide variety of flavorful tacos and other Mexican staples, and by comparison with some of the restaurants in town, they can be a very affordable place to eat.
The food is prepared quickly and is fresh and tasty, with many people pointing to them as the authentic top option. From house-made tortillas to colorful decor, you’ll find lots to love about this taqueria.
If you aren’t in West Asheville but do frequent breweries, keep an eye out for their taco truck at Zillicoah Brewery in North Asheville, where they dish up some of their greatest hits for you to enjoy alongside your beer.
Location: 1438 Patton Avenue, Asheville.
11. Make a Wonderful Tex-Mex Pit Stop at Andale Way Mexican Grill
Sandwiched between the medical district on the path to South Asheville and downtown/South Slope is a new Tex-Mex-focused Mexican restaurant. Andale Way offers Tex-Mex-style flavor with an extensive menu of smoky, savory, and rich flavors.
From their Tex-Mex soft flour tortilla tacos filled with ground beef, shredded chicken, or avocado to their corn tortilla Mexican tacos full of pastor, chorizo, lengua, and other flavorful meats, you’re sure to find a combination that will be mouthwatering and satisfying.
Their extensive menu also features a wide variety of soups and salads, which isn’t always true for taco shops, so if you’ve got a soup-and-salad lover in the crew, journey to the edge of South Slope for this flavorful feast.
Location: 63 Southside Avenue, Asheville
12. Sample Tacos With Caribbean Flair at Salsa’s
Nearly everyone who has walked around downtown has walked past bright, window-filled Salsa’s, a Caribbean/Mexican restaurant near Pack Square and in the middle of all the hubbub. They’re known for fresh ingredients and flavors that might go beyond the range that you typically associate with Mexican fare.
This was the first place I saw Jamaican Spliff Rolls (featuring crab claw meat with potato, avocado, mole, and seaweed salsa) and NC Fried Salmon Tacos. They also offer BBQ Beyond chorizo tacos with mushrooms, a great savory and umami-filled meal for the veggie-preferring friends in your life.
While the tacos are good, don’t sleep on the rest of the menu – it’s diverse and full of tasty flavors that will have you wanting to come back again and again, especially if you have friends craving some Caribbean flavors.
Location: 6 Patton Avenue, Asheville
13. Experience Authenticity at Top Speed at Taqueria Fast
In a quiet shopping center just across the border in Woodfin, Taqueria Fast is dishing up simple, ultra-authentic tacos every day. Between both dine-in and takeout, people end up coming back over and over for the flavor and consistency.
Service is friendly, and while the menu sticks with a lot of classic flavors, they execute them all to perfection. Their reputation is golden for those who know where to find them, so if you’re in search of the best taco shop in Asheville that you’ve never heard of, this is the one!
While I’m specifically exhorting you to try Taqueria Fast when you’re in the Woodfin area or headed up toward Weaverville, it’s also a general call to try the tacos at whatever Asheville restaurant is near you.
While not all of them could be on this list because people have such strong food loyalties in this town, your best taco spot might be the one close to where you spend your time, where you become best buddies with the waiters and know the cooks by name. There are plenty of tacos to go around, so be adventurous, on and off this list!
Location: 175 Weaverville Road, Asheville