NEW BEDFORD — Looking for some fun, new places to check for tacos today for National Taco Day? From sit-down restaurants to takeout, we’ve got you covered.
The taco first came to the United States in 1905. Tacos were known as a “street food” at the time, specifically in Los Angeles. By 1920, Mexican food started to fuse with American ingredients.
The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon once said in a thank-you note, “Thank you, hard taco shells, for surviving the long journey from factory, to supermarket, to my plate and then breaking the moment I put something inside you. Thank you.”
Whether it be in a crunchy or soft shell, chicken, beef or fish, spicy or sweet — check out these eight SouthCoast spots.
Taqueria La Raza (New Bedford)
Located at 1216 Acushnet Ave, according to their website, “La Raza is an unconventional family taqueria serving insanely delicious authentic Mexican cuisine.”
Started by a a husband-wife duo, in 2010, their hope for guests is “to share traditional Mexican food made with love, our own flavors, and with a modern touch to the community for years to come.”
La Raza serves a large array of taco choices topped with cilantro and onions. Guests can order ingredients such as pollo (chicken), carne asada (beef), chorizo (Mexican sausage), Halisco (goat meat), and barbacoa (shredded beef).
No Problemo (New Bedford)
Located at 813 Purchase St., the colorful-tiled joint offers a fun hangout in downtown New Bedford for Mexican food, snacks and drinks. “Its decor is as much Mexican history as it is youth culture,” said a previous Standard-Times article.
No Problemo offers regular, veggie, beef, spicy BBQ and a super taco choice. All taco’s start with a flour tortilla, beans, Monterey Jack cheese, lettuce, scallions, salsa and sour cream. Customers can also add guacamole or plantains. Note: the menu changes frequently and it’s cash only.
Cali-ritos Burrito Grill (New Bedford)
Since opening in February 2021, Cali-ritos Burrito Grill has two spots in New Bedford on Cove Road and Union Street. “Menu features a host of mouth-watering dishes and scratch made specials. We take pride in creating a memorable dining experience,” says the website.
Offering several different ingredients to add to your taco, guests can watch their meal be made right in front of them. “Today was my first visit and I will definitely be back,” said Mary Kelly in a Google review. “The food was delicious, in my opinion. Much better than anything I ever tasted from the big chains…”
Mi Antojo (New Bedford)
Mi Antojo has been on the South End of New Bedford since 2017. Its move to 601 South 2nd St allowed for a larger seating area, with the bar area on the left and the dining room on the right, and freshly painted walls and accent coloring to add more spice to its Mexican vibe.
After moving from Zacatecas, Mexico, in 1995, owner Javier Rojas’ mission is to create tasty and savory Mexican food. He loves experimenting with new creations, according to the website.
The menu features a variety of taco options (three minimum when ordering). The choices include tacos with shrimp mixed with onions and green peppers and a mixed sausage and grilled beef taco.
In January, the former Mi Antojo on Rivet St, burned down after a three-fire alarm in the middle of the night. “My life is there,” said Rojas, reflecting on his 22-year-old business in a previous Standard-Times interview. “The most I lost there were the memories.”
Fiesta Mexican Restaurant (North Dartmouth)
Since 2015, State Road has been home to Fiesta Mexican Restaurants. However, there are four others in the SouthCoast area. The family business was started by Efrain Ramirez, born in Union de Tula, Jalisco, Mexico. He first opened the business on County St in Somerset. The chain of restaurants are overseen by his son, co-owner Zoel Ramirez.
The men features four tacos to choose from such as a codfish taco and the tacos fiesta. According to the website, the fiesta is three hard shell tacos with your choice of shredded chicken, ground beef, or pork and topped with lettuce, tomatoes, and cheddar cheese. It’s served with Mexican rice, refried beans, and sour cream on the side.
There is also a vegetarian taco available on the menu.
Pub6T5 (New Bedford)
Open since 2017, according to the pub’s website, “The atmosphere is sophisticated and inviting making for a great date night, drink after work or a business lunch during the week.”
Located on Ashley Blvd, the Pub 6T5 menu features a trio of pub tacos which is topped with coleslaw, pico de gallo pickled red onions, drizzled with avocado poblano ranch and made with fried chicken, fish or grilled shrimp.
One online review wrote, “Beautifully renovated, lunch was great, a friend and I both had the fried haddock tacos, no leftovers for either of us. Service was terrific!”
Frontera Grill (Fairhaven)
Opened in April 2014, Frontera Grill is located on Huttleston Avenue in Fairhaven. According to the website, “Served in a family friendly environment, we strive to provide an authentic and memorable dining experience. We have fresh guacamole prepared table side to your liking, live Mariachi, a full bar and your favorite dishes.” This is the second location, the first located in Chicopee.
Frontera Grill offers an outstanding 12 different types of tacos to choose from on their menu. There’s a street taco, Baja fish taco and turkey club taco, to name a few. The Marco Polo taco is a bacon-wrapped shrimp, corn tortillas, melted cheese, caramelized onions, cabbage, pico de gallo, and cholula garlic lime aioli.
There’s also the tacos de calamar which is calamari, shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, cilantro, and cholula garlic-lime aioli.
The Westporter (Westport)
Established in 1992, drawing from inspirations like chef Alice Waters, the farm-to-table hand-crafted menu’s goal is be flavorful that “delight the palate and comfort the soul.”
Located at 1031 Main Road, The Westporter’s menu updates daily. However, the most recent menu features five creative taco choices from the vegan kimchi taco to the fried haddock taco. There is also a chicken and BBQ pulled pork taco available as an appetizer.
The chipotle cauliflower taco is roasted cauliflower served on fire-roasted taco shells, with native green, pico de gallo and vegan chipotle mayo.
Standard-Times staff writer Seth Chitwood can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on twitter: @ChitwoodReports. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Standard-Times today.