For the past six years, my annual compendium of the Best Places to Eat in Orange County has featured everything from tacos to French haute cuisine. And every year I’ve come away questioning, “Should I have included more tacos?”
Well, I finally cracked. Since 2021 was not a normal year, neither is this edition of the guide. Allow me to present the (long overdue) 50 Best Places to Eat Tacos. It’s a wide-ranging list that weaves a trail from smoke-filled parking lots in Anaheim to the hushed, serene confines of luxury stalwart Taco María in Costa Mesa. It’s an exploration of tacos al carbon, barbacoa, birria, buche, carne asada, carnitas, cecina, chicharrones, lengua, suadero and more.
And I still find myself thinking, “Should I have included more tacos?” Even 50 seems like too small of a number for a county that sprawls across 948 square miles and presumably has more taquerias than gas stations. On the bright side, some of these restaurants have extra locations or multiple trucks, so the truer tally is more like 70. Meanwhile, stay tuned: My traditional guide to the 75 Best Places to Eat returns next spring.