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Set Your Sights on the 6 Best Tacos and Taquerias That the Desert Offers

Written By: Dash Finley
Photography By: Mike Smith Best Tacos in Coachella

The city of Coachella in Greater Palm Springs is a bustling area filled with all manner of fun things to do, beautiful sights to see and delicious food to eat. In particular, the city is known for its coterie of incredible Mexican restaurants, and that means one thing for residents and visitors alike: delicious tacos of every variety! So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the six best taco spots in Coachella—establishments that serve up fresh, south-of-the border-cuisine at a reasonable price.

 

1 | Starting Beef? Best Tacos in Coachella

La Noria

Marked by a small, intimate dining area, this hidden gem is about as authentic as it gets. With a menu written in Spanish and walls decorated with mural artwork, La Noria aims for home-style cooking which cuts straight to the point. Flautas are sure to delight, but the Carne Asada Taco reigns supreme. Says Owner Gabriella: “We use black angus meat…and handmade tortillas.” The taco is then paired with cabbage, guacamole and pico de gallo. With flavor like this, it’s no wonder that Gabriella states: “The carne taco is our most popular item for sure. Customers just love it.”

La Noria
49613 Harrison St, Ste 106B
Coachella, CA 92236
760.398.8131

 

2 | On a Roll Best Tacos in Coachella

El Tranvia

This family-owned establishment bristles with a youthful energy under the helm of Owner Oscar Ventura, who states, “You get to the kitchen and it’s my mom, my aunt, my cousins working there…. That’s what makes this restaurant special.” Though their chicken mole and coco ceviche are divine, special props are owed to their famed Torta De Milanese—a hearty sandwich with a crispy kick. Ventura says, “It’s pork or beef; there’s bread with a bit of butter, melted cheese, the meat, then lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado and jalapeño.” Indeed, El Tranvia is praised principally for its meat, which is prepared each day fresh on the premises.

Native Knowledge: The location can fit up to 175 people. To make use of the additional space, the owner opened up an ice cream parlor directly adjacent to the restaurant so guests can satisfy their sweet tooth.

El Tranvia
1221 6th St
Coachella, CA 92236
760.391.9772

 

3 | How Do You Stew? Best Tacos in Coachella

Taqueria & Birrieria Guadalajara

Ensconced in a quiet portion of an unassuming strip mall, this small local staple offers a casual environment, perfect for a relaxing dinner with family and friends. Though the restaurant prepares a slew of Mexican standards, particular focus is placed upon the Tacos De Birria, which utilizes a spicy goat-meat mixture as its filling. Often served as a stew in the Mexican state of Jalisco, Birria is infused with onions and lime, and marinated with adobo seasoning.

Native Knowledge: Try the house green salsa at your own peril, as locals know it to be bracingly hot to the tongue!

Taqueria & Birrieria Guadalajara
51335 Harrison St, Ste 103
Coachella, CA 92236
760.398.7969

 

4 | The Valley’s First

Jalisco Restaurant

Though perhaps a step up in price range, this mainstay has a historical leg to stand on. Per a representative for the restaurant: “Jalisco opened its doors in 1980…making us the first Mexican restaurant in the city of Coachella.” And along with that reputation comes some seriously tasty dishes, including enchiladas, fajitas and crunchy chips. But the clear winner is the Tacos De Cabeza, which is made with, you guessed it, meat from the head of an animal, typically a cow. This meat within can vary from parts like the cachete (cheek) and lengua (tongue), which are steamed and brined with cilantro, citrus and chiles. The restaurant’s rep explains, “Our mission is [to] give our neighbors in the…Valley a taste of the (most) authentic flavors.”

Jalisco Restaurant
1605 6th St
Coachella, CA 92236
760.398.7113

 

5 | Fiesta Foreva

Taqueria Arandas

Another down-to-earth little nook, Taqueria Arandas boasts a friendly staff and sizable portions. Fan favorites include gorditas, taquitos with charro beans and, of course, the Arandas Special, served with fajitas, lettuce, tomato, cactus, avocado, pinto beans, cheese and tortillas. If you’re looking for a simple staple, however, there’s more than enough options to keep you coming back, such as the mouthwatering tacos al pastor.

Native Knowledge: Want some entertainment while you eat? This taqueria boasts a large flat screen TV, which plays sporting events and even all your favorite telenovelas!

Taqueria Arandas
51557 Harrison St
Coachella, CA 92236
760.398.2882

 

6 | Worth Taco-ing About

Taqueria Guerrero

For over 20 years, this popular eatery has paved its own trail. Manager Oscar Guerrero says, “What makes our Taqueria unique is (how) we strive for original homeland…flavor. Also, our 99-cent Taco Tuesdays and Thursdays special[s] are a big hit with our customers.” Chief among said options is their Carnitas Taco, which is comprised of fresh pork, cooked daily at their own facility. Over a two-hour process, the carnitas are checked over by hand as they sizzle away before being heaped upon handmade tortillas for an unsurpassable bite.

Native Knowledge: Guerrero says, “The (locals) really love our…shrimp ceviche. I hear it is the best in town!”

Taqueria Guerrero
83103 Ave 48, Ste 1A
Coachella, CA 92236
760.775.9020