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Dining

[The Mexican Food Issue]

Three taco carts where you should stuff your face

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Tacos Gil knows how to handle tripa so it’s crispy, clean-tasting and totally delicious.
Photo: L.E. Baskow
Brittany Brussell

For some, the words “street food” conjure images of sketchy corners and mystery meats. But food tastes better when you’re outside in the sunshine, mingling with fellow eaters and talking up the people making your meal. It’s closer to home cooking than a restaurant, fresh and full of love, with the added bonus of exposure to cultural nuance and no sideways glances if you lick your fingers. Street food provides a connection beyond stuffing your face, and some of the best tacos in Vegas come from these roadside carts.

Taqueria El Buen Pastor

You know you’re in the right place when you stumble on a tire shop parking lot saturated in fluorescent lighting and accordion music with a long, snaking line. Mexico City mainstays like alambres and huaraches are available, but opt for the al pastor tacos and their near-perfect sweet-salty ratio of pork to pineapple. Huge hunks of meat also make the lengua tacos a hit. 530 Las Vegas Blvd. North.

Tacos Gil

Tripe tacos in a thrift store parking lot? Checkmate. This spot just opened late last year, but the kitchen crew knows how we like it: tripe crispy and clean-tasting, generous cuts of carne asada and sublime hand-made corn tortillas. Load up on additions like grilled onions and jalapeños at the condiment bar. 6029 W. Charleston Blvd.

Taqueria El Pastorcito

When it takes four cooks to man a taco cart and patrons drag along their own lawn chairs, you get the sense this place means business. The name hints at the desired order—al pastor tacos. Served meat-only on larger-than-normal corn tortillas, these babies deserve a dose of veggies, spicy salsas and an icy Mexican Coke. 1639 E. Charleston Blvd.

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