May 5, 2009

Taco Tour of Flagstaff

Make a run for the border: A taco tour of Flagstaff
By Angele Sionna

Flagstaff is filled with little nook and crannies that are in turned filled with little Mexican dives. Some of these joints are definitely worth stopping in for a satisfying bite with some south of the border flavor. So, join me on a taco tour of Flagstaff’s best, in honor of Cinco De Mayo.

Starting off on the Southwest side of town, working our way North and East… we begin our adventure at …Burritos Fiesta (1530 S Riordan Ranch St # 405C, next door to Bookmans). This place is always packed and has a lot of people sitting at their tables with satisfied grins on their faces. The tacos here are served on corn or flour tortillas and much larger than your average taco dive’s taco. And they serve up a small side of chips on your plate at no extra charge. Taco choices include: shredded beef, steak, fish, shrimp and chicken ranging from $2.50-$3.75 per taco.

Basically across the street, we move into a much smaller little taco joint… Los Altenos Restaurant (1481 S Milton, behind Strombolli’s). Los Altenos is open every day from 8a-9p serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Their taco list is pretty expansive from your standard tacos de pollo (yum) to tacos de tripas – which is intestine with cilanto and onions in a corn tortilla (eew, unless that’s your thing). They also have several types of pork and beef choices, all at $1.99 each.

Moving up Milton, we find ourselves at… Ay Caray! Mexican Grill (1300 S Milton Rd, next to Picazzos) Ay Caray! upgrades their dive status by serving you at your table with fresh, extremely tasty homemade chips and salsa. I really love their chicken taco here. The meat is all white meat and marinated – mmm. They’ve got nine other taco choices too… all are served with salsa or guacamole included for $2.50 each (fish tacos cost $3.25). If you get their to-go menu, there’s a little coupon on the front for 15% off for NAU students or a free ice cream cone for the kids. Nice bonus.

As we head towards downtown on our taco tour, we stop next at… Tacos Locos (2 S. Beaver St. Suite 170 on the Phoenix Ave. side of the building). This taco shop is a little more, okay a lot more, high tech with free wireless internet. They have a unique menu and style- much more “Californian” than others. Their tacos start at $2.29 for a potato taco and go up to $3.49 for a grilled ahi taco. They’ve even got a weird one called a California Taco that has carne asada, guacamole, lettuce and, yes, french fries. It’s pretty good, actually. Extra bonus: they play cool music and serve beer and margaritas. Menu online at:

These next two stops are on the East side, are accessible without leaving the comfort of your car and have lots more than just tacos… Poliberto’s Taco Shop (221 E Cedar Ave.). This quickie stop seems to always have a line, which is what drew me in the first time. They’ve got beef or chicken tacos for $1.99 each or 3 rolled tacos with guac or sour crème for the same price. Fish tacos move up to $2.10 each and specialty ones are $2.45 each. Poliberto’s also has combos that include a drink.

And last but in no way least, our final stop is at… Tacos Los Altos De Jalisco (3650 E. Route 66, off of Fanning Dr.). This joint has drive-thru or sit down options. Los Altos serves hard shelled beef or chicken tacos for $2 each or specialty tacos for $2.25-$2.75. You can also get rolled tacos for 99 cents a pop and mini tacos starting at $1.25. They also have lots of combos, including for breakfast.

If you wanna upgrade…
•To a full-service restaurant: Check out the ever-popular “local’s secret” La Fonda. It’s been in business in Flag since 1958 and has good tacos and everything else. The original La Fonda is at 1900 N. Second St in the Sunnyside neighborhood.
•To a fancy pants taco: I love the pecan-encrusted fish tacos at Josephine’s Modern American Bistro. They’re not always on the menu, but when they are – yum! Great spring and summer lunch choice on their fantastic patio! Josephine’s is at 503 N. Humphrey's Street, just north of downtown.

Note: THis article was firt published in Flagstaff Live! - written by me too!


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