16 Essential Takes on the Taco

From classic carne asada in soft corn tortillas to Tex-Mex's puffy, fried tortillas

Everyone loves tacos, but which kind is your favorite? We’ve compiled our 16 best taco recipes, stuffed with everything from spicy mashed potatoes to slow-braised suadero. Just remember the taco cardinal rule: don’t overstuff (so you can eat more of them).

2) Braise or Steam Meats and Fish

Yucatán-Style Shredded Pork Tacos with Achiote (Cochinita Pibil Tacos)

Tacos de Carnitas de Pato (Braised Duck Tacos)

Slowly braised duck infused with the aroma of Mexican cinnamon and orange is shredded and pan-fried until crisp in this recipe from chef Roberto Santibanez. Get the recipe for Tacos de Carnitas de Pato »

Tacos de Papa Hwy 99 (Potato Tacos)

Inspired by the potato tacos at Loncheria Otro Rollo in Bakersfield, CA, this versio is stuffed with fluffy mashed potatoes and pan-fried until crisp. The accompanying smoky ranchero sauce also would be great on meat or fish, or spooned over eggs. Get the recipe for Tacos de Papa Hwy 99 (Potato Tacos) »

Shrimp Tacos

Shrimp Tacos

Swiss Chard and Chipotle Tacos

Onions, mushrooms, sweet corn, and chiles in adobo add hearty, smoky flavor to this Swiss chard-based taco filling. Get the recipe for Swiss Chard and Chipotle Tacos »

Carnitas Tacos (Michoacán-Style Braised Pork Tacos)

At the Viva Taco bus in Turlock, Silvestre Valencia adds jalapeño pickling liquid to the pork braise, which tenderizes the meat and keeps it from drying out. Get the recipe for Carnitas Tacos »

Fully Loaded Breakfast Tacos

The fully loaded breakfast taco has avocado, salty cheese, creamy eggs, and crisp bacon.

Jose Garces’ Fish Tacos

Jose Garces’ Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos with Roasted Tomato Salsa

Charred tomatoes and chiles add a deep smoky note to the salsa for these fresh fish tacos—either flounder or halibut works well. Get the recipe for Fish Tacos with Roasted Tomato Salsa »

Summer Lobster Tacos

Summer Lobster Tacos

Taco Truck Tuna Sandwich

The bright flavors of lime, cilantro, and jalapeño are puréed together and combined with canned tuna fish for a unique, taco-inspired wrap.

Tacos de Papa

These tacos are stuffed with cumin-spiced potatoes and fried until they’re crunchy.

Brisket Tacos

Rough-chopped and served on fresh, homemade tortillas is New York City chef Julian Medina’s way of showcasing brisket. Get the recipe for Brisket Tacos »
This recipe for puffy tacos filled with spicy chicken and guacamole comes from Rolando’s Super Tacos in San Antonio. Get the recipe for Puffy Chicken Tacos

Grilled Steak Tacos (Tacos de Carne Asada)

Grilled Steak Tacos (Tacos de Carne Asada)

Grilled Tri-Tip Tacos

The beef cut of choice for California barbecue and grilling, tri-tip steak (also called Newport, Santa Maria, or triangle steak) comes from the lean bottom sirloin. Here it’s sliced and seasoned with rosemary, chiles, garlic, and cumin in a tender filling for tacos. Get the recipe for Grilled Tri-Tip Tacos »