Shell Shock

The local taco scene in is more vibrant than ever thanks to a new crop of street stars and a collection of dedicated classics.

Fact: tacos are awesome.They’re cheap, flavorful, and loved by all ages. But why confine yourself to Taco Tuesday? Here’s a hot take: tacos should be celebrated every darn day.I’ve waxed poetic about tacos countless times throughout the years, and I’m definitely guilty of having some tried-and-true favorites. But with the vast array of tantalizing taco options out there, I’ve embarked on a quest to uncover new spots that promise to satisfy your taco cravings, seven days a week.So let’s taco ‘bout it.

Taco Norteno

Ask anyone in town where to get the best taco and they’ll inevitably mention this place. For good reason, as the daily crowds attest. Don’t let the line deter you, it’s well worth the wait. Their salsa bar, though not obligatory, is an absolute gem that demands your attention. Regardless of your choice of protein, satisfaction is guaranteed. Personally, I gravitate toward the al pastor or the tantalizing blend of asada y chorizo. For the bold palate, embark on a culinary adventure with the lengua (beef tongue) for an unexpected delight.

Don Poncho

This is the unsung hero of Winter Garden tacos. New to the scene, only opening in the last year, I am still shocked that there’s not a constant line out the door. It’s not merely a lunch or dinner destination; Don Poncho’s opens its doors at the crack of dawn, catering to the early risers with delectable breakfast items, including chilaquiles. And let’s not overlook their offering of Victoria beer, a personal favorite among Mexican lagers. Their portions are huge, the service is top-notch, and you can’t go wrong with the chorizo queso taco (shell made from cheese) or taco de tripa (tripe) for the wildcard.

Panaderia y Tortilleria Las Delicias

For an authentic taco experience that’ll elevate your homemade taco night, make a beeline for Las Delicias, nestled on Dillard Street alongside Key Foods. Renowned for their handcrafted corn tortillas, they’re the talk of the town—and for good reason. Trust us, they’re that good. But here’s the catch: these delectable tortillas sell out fast, so arrive early to secure your stash. As a cozy, family-run establishment, a little patience and gratitude go a long way during your visit. And while you’re there, don’t overlook their irresistible baked goods. A dear friend of mine once exclaimed, and I quote, “I would BATHE in the tres leches.” Need we say more?

El Alacran

A few years back, a friend tipped me off about this hidden gem tucked away on Dillard Street, and let me tell you, it was like stumbling into a fiesta. Ever since, I’ve brought multiple groups of friends and we always have a good time. While I know we’re talking about tacos, their menu is extensive, so don’t limit yourself. Brace yourself for generous portions that spill over with flavorful protein, practically begging to be devoured. This joint exudes authenticity from every corner, but fair warning: parking’s a bit of a gamble, so pack your patience and a smile. Remember, a little kindness goes a long way, even if your Spanish is a tad rusty.

Ocoee Taco Company

While not in Winter Garden, OTC always gets a nod of approval. A small space with only 5 tables, you could almost miss it if it wasn’t for the giant multi-colored chair parked right out front of its building. Don’t let the size fool you, what they lack in tables they make up for in flavor. Go for the asada queso tacos or the keto tacos, with the option of lettuce or cheese shells. Also, try to grab a table so you can try the hot sauces, they add so much to the street-style taco experience. Also, the service is fantastic, so don’t be surprised if the owner stops by your table to say hello!

El Sabor de la Vida

Nestled in the parking lot of US Tire Imports is a gem of a food truck that delivers in every way. Thriving for the past 16 years in Winter Garden, if you haven’t made a pit stop here yet, consider it a culinary sin of omission. What it lacks in a brick-and-mortar setting it makes up for in the quality of food. Their pastor con chorizo is my favorite in town and their spicy green sauce will light you on fire in the best way. For the ultimate authenticity, indulge in the cabeza, or beef head—trust us, it’s an experience you won’t soon forget.

Soluna Tacos

Speaking of food trucks, Soluna Tacos is responsible for some of the best birria tacos in town. Their tagline is “Dip It and Drink It” because their birria consommé is so delectable that you want to sip what you don’t dunk. It’s a little thicker than what’s usually expected, but I just attribute that to all the extra flavor it packs. Parked right inside the Tractor Supply Co. in between Oakland and Winter Garden, there is plenty of parking and they’re also available on DoorDash if you find yourself craving them and aren’t out and about. Also if you want more than tacos, they feature their birria in multiple ways, from quesadillas to ramen. Just another way to drink your consommé.

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