Roundup: Five Columbus taco spots to tackle
The opening of Condado in Short North highlights an on-going trend in tacos. Authentic, Americanized, build-your-own, food truck - Columbus has them all. If Condado's arrival has you excited for tacos, then consider trekking to one of these taco joints around town.
Given Bakersfield's crowds, Condado seems to be in the right neighborhood for tacos. The two have a similar vibe: hip bars serving their take on the Mexican fare, loaded with tacos, beer, tequila, margaritas. Bakersfield's taco menu features eight selections served on house-made tortillas. They range from the fresh and tangy (the fish taco) to rich and savory (short rib) to downright spicy (the rajas with poblano peppers). They're all best topped off with a boot of draft beer.
Yabo's has continued its steady expansion around the outerbelt with locations in Westerville, Powell and now Upper Arlington. Its taco menu lies in the fast-casual realm. Similar to other Mexican-themed fast casuals, they offer customers the chance to mix and match meats like chicken, beef and pork with toppings and dressings. Yabo's relies on its four dressings to pack a punch of flavor, from their ancho chili ranch to the Spanish vinaigrette.
Los Guachos Taqueria
Many of the city's taco trucks are on hiatus over the winter months, but thankfully Los Guachos' two brick-and-mortars in Gahanna and Upper Arlington are open year-round. They serve some of the best and most authentic tacos in town, and they're a model of simpler is better. Tacos are served on two corn tortillas with onions, cilantro and your choice of meat. The al pastor is the real stand-out (they're two-for-one on Mondays!), but it's hard to go wrong with the chorizo, lengua (tender beef tongue) or the chicken. Look out for weekend specials on shrimp (Fridays), barbacoa (Saturdays) and veal (Sundays).
Not all trucks are closed for winter. Junior's Tacos on Fifth Avenue is going strong through the cold weather. You maybe won't want to wait in line long, but you can call ahead orders of simple Mexican street tacos adorned with steak, al pastor, chorizo or fish.
Mojo converted last year from a mobile truck to carryout in Powell. Its tagos (tacos to go) lean more toward Americanized versions, but the flavors are all there, from the marinated chicken to the slow-roasted carnitas to the grilled tilapia. The Traditional taco with ground beef might bring back memories of taco nights growing up, but you can also get a little funkier with the Korean BBQ taco, with short rib and cabbage slaw.
Nicholas Dekker writes about breakfast at breakfastwithnick.com and authored the guidebook "Breakfast With Nick: Columbus." He's a regular contributor to Columbus Crave, and leads breakfast tours for Columbus Food Adventures and brewery tours for Columbus Brew Adventures.