17 Cleveland Tacos You Need to Try ASAP

These are 17 of the best places to find the tacos you need to try, if you haven’t already. And if you have, revel in the glory of some of the best in town – and then pay them a visit.

Whether it’s Taco Tuesday night, Taco Thursday night or just an everyday menu, Cleveland’s been hit by the taco craze, and has been for awhile. We’re constantly seeking out the next hot cantina, but let’s not forget all the goods right under our noses. These are 17 of the best places to find the tacos you need to try, if you haven’t already. And if you have, revel in the glory of some of the best in town – and then pay them a visit. It’s been, like, almost a week since you stopped in, and we can all agree that’s a long time to go without tacos.

Photos courtesy of Yelp, Facebook and Instagram

By Nikki Delamotte

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17 Cleveland Tacos You Need to Try ASAP
Cleveland Vegan -
17112 Detroit Ave., 216-832-7440, clevelandvegan.com
Like chili, tacos have a reputation for being overstuffed with meat, but it’s often the vegetarian versions that steal the show. Lakewood’s vegan powerhouse, Cleveland Vegan, makes a compelling case of that theory. The creamy chickpea tacos are filled with red cabbage, mushrooms, onion, tahini crema in a homemade tortilla. Gluten-free options also available.
Cleveland Vegan - 17112 Detroit Ave., 216-832-7440, clevelandvegan.com Like chili, tacos have a reputation for being overstuffed with meat, but it’s often the vegetarian versions that steal the show. Lakewood’s vegan powerhouse, Cleveland Vegan, makes a compelling case of that theory. The creamy chickpea tacos are filled with red cabbage, mushrooms, onion, tahini crema in a homemade tortilla. Gluten-free options also available.
El Señor's at La Mexicana Grocery - 
170 East Washington St., Painesville, 440-354-3896
We promise your trip to be Painesville will be well worth the drive when you get your hands on El Señor’s tacos. A small restaurant attached to a supermarket, seating here is limited but flavor is plentiful. Choose from pork, beef, beef tongue and pork stomach For a little refreshment, cool down with a Jarritos.
El Señor's at La Mexicana Grocery - 170 East Washington St., Painesville, 440-354-3896 We promise your trip to be Painesville will be well worth the drive when you get your hands on El Señor’s tacos. A small restaurant attached to a supermarket, seating here is limited but flavor is plentiful. Choose from pork, beef, beef tongue and pork stomach For a little refreshment, cool down with a Jarritos.
El Torito Taqueria -
1572 W 117th St., 216-712-6735, eltoritobar.com
El Torito is new on the scene, but its tacos are worth making the trek to the unassuming storefront in Lakewood. The simple tacos, topped with cilantro and onion, come in double-wrapped in corn tortillas and can in the styles of steak, shredded pork, chicken, chorizo, beef tongue, al pastor, cabesa, and barbacoa.
El Torito Taqueria - 1572 W 117th St., 216-712-6735, eltoritobar.com El Torito is new on the scene, but its tacos are worth making the trek to the unassuming storefront in Lakewood. The simple tacos, topped with cilantro and onion, come in double-wrapped in corn tortillas and can in the styles of steak, shredded pork, chicken, chorizo, beef tongue, al pastor, cabesa, and barbacoa.
Hoopples -
1930 Columbus Rd., 216-575-0483, hoopples.com
We give a lot of credit to Hoopples for having one of the best views in the city with its industrial panoramic of the river and Cleveland skyline backdrop. An even more glorious scene: a basket full of filled-to-the-brim tacos. Sure, Tower City looks nice all lit up, but it’s twice as nice with cheap chicken, beef and black bean tacos.
Hoopples - 1930 Columbus Rd., 216-575-0483, hoopples.com We give a lot of credit to Hoopples for having one of the best views in the city with its industrial panoramic of the river and Cleveland skyline backdrop. An even more glorious scene: a basket full of filled-to-the-brim tacos. Sure, Tower City looks nice all lit up, but it’s twice as nice with cheap chicken, beef and black bean tacos.
La Placita -
2511 Clark Ave., facebook.com/LaPlacitaCleveland
At this Hispanic-themed open-air market in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood, street food vendors sling tacos, empanadas and more. Tacos that are cooked up in front of you are a staple here. Enjoy it with a side of plantains and live music. The plan or La Placita is to evolve into a permanent indoor, year-round operation that houses micro-retail businesses within La Villa Hispana – which means tacos in every season.
La Placita - 2511 Clark Ave., facebook.com/LaPlacitaCleveland At this Hispanic-themed open-air market in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood, street food vendors sling tacos, empanadas and more. Tacos that are cooked up in front of you are a staple here. Enjoy it with a side of plantains and live music. The plan or La Placita is to evolve into a permanent indoor, year-round operation that houses micro-retail businesses within La Villa Hispana – which means tacos in every season.
La Plaza Supermarket - 
13609 Lakewood Heights Blvd, 216-476-8000
All it takes to get your hands on what many deem the best tacos in Cleveland is venturing to the far back corner of a supermarket. This small hot food station cooks up barbacoa, carnitas, chorizo and al pastor tacos in front of your eyes. They’re served up as-is, but load up on diced onion, cilantro, guac and salsas to your heart’s desire. Tip: You can pre-pay for your tacos at the front counter, but keep it simple and just carry cash.
La Plaza Supermarket - 13609 Lakewood Heights Blvd, 216-476-8000 All it takes to get your hands on what many deem the best tacos in Cleveland is venturing to the far back corner of a supermarket. This small hot food station cooks up barbacoa, carnitas, chorizo and al pastor tacos in front of your eyes. They’re served up as-is, but load up on diced onion, cilantro, guac and salsas to your heart’s desire. Tip: You can pre-pay for your tacos at the front counter, but keep it simple and just carry cash.
Lopez on Lee -
2196 Lee Rd., 216-932-9000, lopezonlee.com
Head to this Southwestern gem of Cedar-Lee for heartily-stuffed tacos. There may be a slightly higher price tag, but Lopez doesn’t skimp on the fixings or slack in the creative department. Don’t expect your average, run-of-the-mill Taco Tuesday pub fare. Lopez covers ground from seafood to meaty to veg-friendly. These are piled with ancho-batter catfish, wild mushroom and brisket with tangy slaw. Let the flavors pop with a white peach margarita.
Lopez on Lee - 2196 Lee Rd., 216-932-9000, lopezonlee.com Head to this Southwestern gem of Cedar-Lee for heartily-stuffed tacos. There may be a slightly higher price tag, but Lopez doesn’t skimp on the fixings or slack in the creative department. Don’t expect your average, run-of-the-mill Taco Tuesday pub fare. Lopez covers ground from seafood to meaty to veg-friendly. These are piled with ancho-batter catfish, wild mushroom and brisket with tangy slaw. Let the flavors pop with a white peach margarita.
Mahall’s -
13200 Madison Ave., 216-521-3280, mahalls20lanes.com
Mahall’s isn’t just for bowling. Or bands. Or hot, sweaty 90s dance parties, if that’s your thing. They also serve up delicious tacos of the meaty and vegetarian variety.
Mahall’s - 13200 Madison Ave., 216-521-3280, mahalls20lanes.com Mahall’s isn’t just for bowling. Or bands. Or hot, sweaty 90s dance parties, if that’s your thing. They also serve up delicious tacos of the meaty and vegetarian variety.
Merry Arts Pub and Grill -
15607 Detroit Ave., 216-226-4080
Forget Taco Tuesdays. It’s Taco Thursdays at Lakewood watering hole Merry Arts. The crispy fried-flour shells have garnered this low-key pub a cult taco following. Don’t forget to thank Patty, the weekly taco chef, when she brings them over to your table.
Merry Arts Pub and Grill - 15607 Detroit Ave., 216-226-4080 Forget Taco Tuesdays. It’s Taco Thursdays at Lakewood watering hole Merry Arts. The crispy fried-flour shells have garnered this low-key pub a cult taco following. Don’t forget to thank Patty, the weekly taco chef, when she brings them over to your table.
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