Where to get tacos in Louisville, Kentucky - from authentic street tacos to modern style tacos!

Where to Get Tacos in Louisville, Kentucky: The 8 Best Tacos in Louisville

Growing up in a Mexican household in California, I developed an appreciation for tacos from an alarmingly early age (as well as strong opinions on Tex-Mex, but t that’s a debate I’ll save for my wife). So when I moved from California to Louisville, I was determined to eat as many tacos as I could find to find a taste of home.

It’s a hard job, but someone’s gotta do it.

Luckily, it turns out there are tons of delicious tacos in Louisville, from authentic street tacos to modern-style tacos stuffed with flavorful toppings!

Looking for more delicious places to eat in Louisville? Check out some of our other foodie guides:

Best Tacos in Louisville: The Criteria

There are few foods as universally loved as the taco. There’s a National Taco Day, a dedicated day of the week, and several pun-based T-Shirts (i.e. “Let’s Taco Bout It,” a joke I resisted making in this post). But just stuffing some things in a tortilla does not necessarily make a delicious taco.

Plus, there are SO MANY great tacos in Louisville that it would be impossible to say which is THE best. Tacos run the gamut from so good you want to cry all the way to “You … know what a taco is, right…?” so I came up with some criteria to help.

Many people offer tacos on the menu, but few get it right. To me, a good taco is…

  • Handheld. If I need a fork and knife (or hell, even a plate), that’s doing too much.
  • Light on the toppings. There, I said it. Some places like to pile them high with lettuce, pico de gallo, etc. but scale it back! If a taco falls apart while I’m eating it, it’s doing too much.
  • Flavorful. Like the best handheld foods, you need to pack a punch in a compact bite. 
  • Balanced. When I say a lot of flavor, I don’t mean who’s got the spiciest taco around. It’s all about balancing the spicy, sweet, umami, bitter, and sour.
  • Aware of, or at least honors, Mexican cuisine. Tacos have a humble history dating back before colonization. Indigenous peoples would eat fish prepared simply on a fresh tortilla. As such, I have eliminated anyone who just used the taco as a novelty (sorry “waffle tacos”) as these bear little resemblance to the original idea of a taco.

Now, let’s get to the good stuff – who’s serving the best tacos in Louisville?

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Street tacos from Supermercado Guanajuato in Louisville Kentucky
Street tacos from Supermercado Guanajuato

Best Tacos in Louisville: Street Tacos

Tortilla, meat, onion, cilantro, lime wedge: you could not ask for anything better. Authentic-style Mexican street tacos are all about showcasing the chef’s skill and the freshness of the ingredients in a small, delicious package bursting with perfectly balanced flavor.

Here’s where to find the best street tacos in Louisville:

  • El Molcajete – Located around the corner from Churchill Downs, you couldn’t ask for a better way to soak up those juleps. El Molcajete has plenty of meat options for the adventurous (i.e. brain) or those looking for the classics. They’re also known for their soups, including an amazing menudo; my personal favorite soup made of a chili broth, hominy, and tripe. If you’re feeling especially hungry, order their Molcajeteada – a behemoth of a dish made up of steak, chicken, chorizo, cactus, cheese, grilled onions, and jalapenos served in a molcajete (mortar).
  • La Cocina de Mamá – A place called My Mom’s Kitchen should be promising, right? La Cocina gets major points with me because they have one of the most important but often overlooked taco characteristics: grilled pineapple on al pastor (marinated pork) tacos. The sweetness, the fat of the pork, the hint of spice from the marinade. Do I hear angels singing? In addition, they are very generous with their meat; carnivores take note.
  • La Tropicana Company – My goodness; if there was ever a taste of home, this is it. Tropicana is actually a mercado (market), so the taqueria is in the back. The menu is refreshingly basic with some great meat options; in all my research, this was the first place to offer cesina and cachete (dried beef and beef cheek, respectively). They also have the most amazing dessert/drink: the mangonada. It’s a spicy, sweet, and tangy mango shaved ice with pulparindo (a spiced tamarind candy), chamoy (apricot and chili sauce), and fresh mangoes. Perfection.
  • Supermercado Guanajuato #2 – As the name suggests this is actually a market – and it’s HUGE! Supermercado Guanajuato actually has three locations, but the Preston Highway location is the biggest and most popular. The restaurant itself, located at the front of the store, is perfectly decorated to look like you just stepped off a plane and into a warm evening in Mexico – it’s beautiful! Come for the tacos, but stay for the assortment of pan dulces (sweet breads) and to pick up a bag of fresh, hot flour tortillas made right in the middle of the store (along with any other groceries you need).
  • Tacos La Esperanza – Boasting “Nachos bigger than your ass,” (which never fails to make me laugh) this taco truck located between West Buechel and J-Town offers authentic staples and eight meat options, including the hard to find buche de puerco. Yes, that’s pork stomach. If you’ve ever had tripe, this is meatier and less chewy.
See also
The 17 Best Bourbon Bars in Louisville, Kentucky
Tacos from Taco City Louisville ky
Tacos from Taco City in the Highlands

Best Tacos in Louisville: Modernized Tacos

Sometimes you want a little extra. Sometimes you want to get a little creative. There have been some big failures in the modern taco game, but there have also been some huge wins. That’s where these places come in. Here are the best modern tacos in Louisville:

  • Taco Luchador – When I first visited Louisville many many years ago, this was my first Louisville taco experience. All this time later, and it’s still my go-to. The menu seems small, but when you look at the topping options, you see where the variety comes in. These things are FILLING though, so choose carefully. Personally, my order is Al Pastor, Baja Fish, and Suadero (brisket). *Chef’s kiss*
  • Noche Mexican BBQ – A church isn’t exactly the best place to find me, unless I can stuff my face with birria tacos there. And that’s the case with Noche, the Highlands eatery located in a former church. They have a wide assortment of options, as well as one of the best Taco Tuesday deals in town. And it’s not just the tacos here! They also specialize in barbecued and smoked meats. A personal favorite is their Armadillo Eggs – Jalapenos stuffed with manchego and cheddar, wrapped in bacon, and served with a chipotle and berry coulis. Wait…did I just have a religious experience?
  • Bandido Taqueria Mexicana – “Caaaalifornia looooove!” The owners of Bandidos hail from San Diego, CA and they brought West Coast flavors over to Kentucky. They toe the line between modernized and classic, so they’re definitely a crowd pleaser. In addition to tacos, try the MASSIVE surf and turf burrito or the California Burrito – a super burrito filled with fries. 
  • Taco City Louisville – It doesn’t have to be Tuesday to crave tacos at this Highlands spot – and they have just about every kind of taco you could imagine. Try their mole braised chicken tacos or their Baja fish taco and pair it with a mango margarita.

More Tacos in Louisville

We sampled tacos at as many places as we could to compile our list of the best tacos in Louisville. But there are a lot of places to get tacos in Louisville, and it would be selfish not to share a complete list of contenders!

So here’s where else you can try delicious tacos in Louisville (as well as a wide variety of cuisine from other Latino countries and regional specialties). Drop us a comment and let us know if you agree with our rankings!

  • Las Gorditas: This taco truck located in a parking lot in West Buechel serves up yummy tacos alongside their namesake gorditas, sopes, quesadillas, tortas and burritos.
  • El Mariachi: A sit-down Mexican eatery decorated with colorful murals on the border of Lyndon and Anchorage, where you can try delicious and budget-friendly authentic street tacos and other traditional Mexican cuisine.
  • La Chapinlandia: Located inside of a Mexican grocery store (La Groceria Chapinlandia) in Okolona, this Central American restaurant is best known for its Guatemalan food.
  • Mi Preferida Restuarante: This no-frills taqueria on Bardstown Road in Fern Creek is tucked away in the back of the Mi Preferida Supermercado, and serves up phenomenal Mexican food. There’s no website, but if you know, you know.
  • Mexatacos: Specializing in tacos, this unique, modern spot in Crescent Hill features tacos from different areas in Mexico to highlight the incredible variety and depth of Mexican regional cuisine.
  • La Lupita: Located in Clarksville, this Oaxacan restaurant serves up tacos as well as phenomenal tlayudas, tlacoyos, delicious moles, aguachile and torta ahogadas!
  • La Guanaquita: A budget-friendly Salvadorean eatery near Shively where you can order pupusas, balleadas, AND incredible steak tacos.
  • La Rositasol: Visit this taqueria on Preston Highway for delicious street tacos and other authentic Mexican dishes.
  • Mi Casita: Located on south 4th street in downtown, this large sit-down Mexican grill is the spot to get delicious Mexican food and margaritas with friends.
  • Cravings Byanca: Located out in Crestwood, this window – like, not a truck, not a restaurant, but a walk- or drive-up window – is fast and good, with a small menu that includes Mexican classics as well as fresh fruit jugos y batidos that instantly transport us to more tropical locations.
See also
6 Delicious Louisville Vegan Restaurants (& 21 Vegan-Friendly Spots!)

How many of these taco trucks, mercados and restaurants have you visited? Have a hole-in-the-wall recommendation for us to try? Drop us a comment below!

Looking for more delicious places to eat in Louisville? Check out some of our other foodie guides:

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