Imagine kicking back after a long day after gambling at the casinos in Atlantic City. You’re definitely up, so you’ve decided to treat yourself to a refreshing cocktail as you watch the sun slowly head for the horizon. That’s when it hits you.
You’re hungry for tacos. Don’t worry. This is totally normal. Tacos are delicious.
Fortunately, like it’s bigger brother Las Vegas, Atlantic City has a number of places for you to enjoy tacos. Some of them are a little off the beaten path, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be utterly delicious. In fact, the opposite is true. Some of these smaller places are the perfect place to get a delicious taco.
So, while you may not always think tacos when looking out over the New Jersey shoreline, when you are in Atlantic City and do need a taco, there are places you can go. Here are eight of the top places you can go.
8 – Harry’s Oyster Bar and Seafood
There are a lot of places in Atlantic City that serve a good fish taco, but out of them all, I chose Harry’s Oyster Bar and Seafood. We were tempted to pick Kelsey’s since we pretty much love everything about their soul food setup, but in the end, Harry’s just barely nudged them out.
At Harry’s, you can get your tacos with grilled mahi or with garlic sriracha shrimp. In both cases, they come fully loaded with avocado, pico de gallo, chipotle mayo, and other fixings. Really, the hardest part is deciding if you’re doing the fish or shrimp tacos because both are excellent.
Also, depending on how you like to travel, Harry’s is by far the most upscale location on the list and offers steaks, a raw food bar, lobster, and other delicacies.
7 – Mexico Restaurant and Bar
Mexico Restaurant and Bar looks and feels like a homey, familiar Mexican place that you might find in a lot of cities. The décor isn’t earthshattering, but the restaurant is casual, and the staff is friendly.
Still, everyone goes to (and comes back to) a Mexican restaurant for the food and Mexico Restaurant delivers. The restaurant offers traditional Mexican favorites and delicious fresh choices like shrimp tacos, tacos de bisteck (steak), tacos de pollo (chicken), carnitas, lengua, al pastor, and others.
All of the food looks authentic, but just slightly elevated for a discerning palate. It’s definitely a place to go for any of your favorite tacos.
6 – Los Amigos Restaurant and Bar
Los Amigos sits several blocks off the strip and offers a full range of meat and vegan options for the discerning Mexican diner. Their tacos include scallop tacos (a must try for those who come here), diablo shrimp tacos (yes, they’re hot), fish tacos, al pastor, and ground beef.
For those looking for a meal without the meat, Los Amigos serves vegan albondigas (okay, not a taco, but can you say no to albondigas?), drunken mushroom tacos, and fried cauliflower tacos along with other vegan dishes.
Really, even if vegan is not your thing, the meatless dishes are amazing and full of a lot more veggies than you would find just about anywhere. Therefore, our recommendation is go and get both meat and some meatless options. You won’t be sorry!
5 – El Rincon Del Sabor
El Ricon Del Sabor is one of the less pretentious entries on the list, but don’t start getting too pretentious to eat here. Seriously, for real authentic tacos, El Rincon is one of the best you will find anywhere.
As far as selection goes, El Rincon Del Sabor has the taco favorites you would expect out of a taqueria. In fact, the tripe tacos should top your list when you come here. El Rincon also has a lot of other amazing looking dishes should you start to crave more than just a taco, or 10.
Really, the highest compliment I can pay this place is that this is where the locals go to eat Mexican. Also, it’s not too far away from the boardwalk (relatively) so for those who aren’t locals, there’s a good chance you can get here from your hotel.
4 – Tacos El Tio
Tacos El Tio is a feast for the eyes and the tongue. The restaurant’s space could have been just any other indoor Mexican joint, but they went above and beyond, presenting murals and vibrant colors reminiscent of the best taquerias in Mexico.
Their menu is impressive and full of high quality, authentic dishes you don’t always see. What you will see, though, is their selection of nine different street tacos served in handmade tortillas. These range from a vegetarian option (papas con rajas or potatoes with strips of peppers) to chorizo, carne asada, mahi, and more.
It all looks so good, but the shrimp tacos with pickled habanero might be the best choice, as long as your mouth can take the heat.
3 – El Charro Mexican Restaurant and Bar
El Charro Mexican Restaurant and Bar is another unique looking Mexican destination with a full menu and no less than eight different types of tacos from chicken to steak to chorizo to shrimp. They also have some more unique dishes like the molcajete (a bowl of grilled meat), mixed fried seafood, ceviche, and other dishes, too.
As far as menus go, El Charro doesn’t have the largest, but what they do have, they do extremely well. When you order their tacos (if you can’t decide, you can’t go wrong with the steak tacos), you know you’re getting something that was made with care and with quality.
However, there is definitely one thing you should note: El Charro delivers to the beach and to the best US casinos in the surrounding area. So, go ahead and indulge your taco cravings. El Charro has you covered.
2 – Casa Taco and Tequila
As far as luxury goes, Casa Taco and Tequila is fancy enough to give Harry’s a run for its money. Part of the Tropicana, Casa Taco just has this little upscale vibe that’s hard to describe but easy to see for yourself.
Fortunately, that pizzazz factor that’s evident in the environment is also evident in the food. Their menu is filled with ceviche, salads, crab tostadas, fajitas, and entrees that make me forget about the tacos and order something else. (Seriously, the arrachera, hanger steak with sautéed onions and mushrooms are so good.)
Still, this mission is about tacos and Casa Taco is happy to serve me steak, chicken, barbacoa, surf and turf, or picadillo tacos. Each is done with meticulous care and attention to detail. Of course, the star is the surf and turf (skirt steak and grilled shrimp with refried beans, avocado, queso fresco and salsa roja).
Not only is it a good taco, it just kind of screams “casino” and is a throwback to the glory days of Atlantic City.
1 – Pancho’s Mexican Taqueria
Pancho’s Mexican Taqueria is pretty much the place for tacos anywhere in the eastern part of the United States. It’s not the kind of place you go if you want something with a lot of ingredients or a dish that’s overly refined.
No, this is the place you go when you want tacos. You go to Pancho’s when you want authentic street tacos, you want a lot more options to choose from, and you want to eat deliciousness.
Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with glitz and glamour. Casa Taco made it to number two on the list, but sometimes, I want a taco that reminds me of when I was in Mexico. And that’s when I head to a place like Pancho’s and order al pastor, steak, or suadero (brisket tacos). I eat the meat on homemade tortillas with spicy sauce, and I love every minute of it.
There are a lot more places I could have added to this list. Just about everywhere along the Atlantic City boardwalk is going to have fish tacos on their menu. That’s sort of expected from an oceanside town.
Perhaps more importantly, there are more Mexican restaurants and taquerias that could have been added to this list. Still, we wanted to pare it down to the top eight places and really highlight where to get classy tacos when you go to Atlantic City.
For that, eight was definitely enough since, more than likely, you will need multiple trips to eat at them all (which isn’t a bad thing, right?).
Still, I know you will get great tacos (or other meals) at any of the eight places (nine if you count Kelsey’s) listed above. Just find one that catches your fancy because they all have a different take on tacos, order all the food you want, and enjoy until your cravings are gone.