Let’s talk about tacos: They’re delightfully messy. They can be shockingly simple while creating an incredible explosion of flavor wrapped inside a warm, perfectly proportioned shell. They even get their own day of the week — and rightfully so.
Huntington Beach restaurants step up their game far beyond Taco Tuesday, with chef-driven concepts and the mouthwatering spices of carne asada, chicken al pastor, and carnitas stretching from the beach to Bella Terra. Whether you enjoy these handheld bites as a quick post-surf snack or with margaritas at happy hour, you’ll discover a new favorite at these 10 Surf City USA® eateries.
Ola Mexican Kitchen
With a second-floor view overlooking the ocean, it's no surprise that Ola Mexican Kitchen has a taco menu featuring catches fresh from the ocean. Tender pieces of lobster, lightly battered rockfish and blackened shrimp are among the favorite fillings encased in housemade tortillas, as are monthly specials like squash blossom that offer a new experience with each visit.
Las Barcas is a family-owned, counter-service eatery that has served hungry locals for over 30 years. Double-wrapped street tacos marry Argentinian and Mexican flavors, offering diners a hint of fusion with their familiar carnitas, chicken, or steak. Don't skip the deep-fried options, as the shredded beef taco with a spoonful of salsa will turn casual visitors into lifelong fans.
A popular chain with two locations in Huntington Beach on 11th Street and at Bella Terra, Chronic Tacos got its start right here in Orange County. Order your tacos a la carte on corn or flour tortillas or build a plate. Everything is customizable, with options that include a fried mashed potato filling or Beyond beef for vegetarians.
Pete's Mexican Food
Just up the street from The Strand downtown, a colorful shack has treated locals to homestyle Mexican cuisine for over four decades. Pete's Mexican food serves up their tacos overflowing with delicious ingredients, from the guac-topped carnitas to crunchy machaca. The crispy potato taco is a standout on a menu of eight a la carte options at the small mom-and-pop shop.
solita Tacos and Margaritas
For Baja-style Mexican fare, check out solita Tacos and Margaritas located in Bella Terra. They serve up an array of gourmet specialty tacos. Try single offerings like the pork belly dorado or double-tortilla Vampiro with carne asada or grilled chicken, cotija cheese, serrano peppers, and guacamole. Street taco entree plates come with three corn tortillas layered with melted cheese and fillings like beer-battered shrimp, succulent carne asada, or pan-seared ancho chile tofu.
Qué Vida Tacos
Braised short rib and adobo-marinated pork are among the not-to-be-missed full-size taco offerings at Qué Vida. A highlight of these handheld delicacies is the tortillas, which are made fresh daily using yellow corn sourced from Oaxaca, Mexico.
Mario's Mexican Food and Cantina
A Huntington Beach icon, Marios Mexican Food, and Cantina serves up classic crunchy tacos on combination plates and specialties like battered fish tacos with a chipotle cream sauce. Stop by on Tuesdays for street tacos in the bar, where you can enjoy your food with an ice-cold cerveza or frosty margarita.
Puesto, you’ll find a taco unlike any other. Crispy cheese encases decadent fillings like chicken al pastor and carnitas; the morsel is then wrapped in a handmade blue corn tortilla and topped with salsa. It’s the perfect bite of fried and melted flavors. Vegetarians can indulge as well, with a garlic-braised mushroom option and a veggie taco stuffed with squash, potato, jalapeno, and a zucchini blossom.
Taqueria De Anda-Grill
Carne asada, al pastor, chorizo, chicken, and carnitas are common taco fillings at Taqueria De Anda-Grill, a family-owned Beach Boulevard eatery. The street-style offerings are simple yet packed with flavor, showcasing a variety of well-seasoned meats and seafood that also includes grilled shrimp and tender lengua (beef tongue).
With locations in Sunset Beach and at Beach and Yorktown, Super Mex is a convenient spot for grabbing crispy tacos when you’re on the go. Shredded beef, chicken, ground beef, or potato are topped with a handful of crisp lettuce and a sprinkling of cheese — a classic taco that goes well on a combination plate with enchiladas, rice, and beans.