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10 Essential Taco Stops in the Lowcountry

Maybe you demand free chips with your order or expect the joint to serve offal speckled with cilantro and onions, but there’s a taco joint of every sort in Charleston. From authentic Mexican tortillas to creative multicultural offerings to places with giant margaritas, this is the list of the top taquerias in town. Don’t see your favorite? Leave us a comment.

Note: Map points are not listed ranked.

1 El Alteño

If you like the food truck experience, but hate chasing down the mobile kitchens, then stop by El Alteño in Summerville. The taco truck parks permanently next to the no-frills dining room for easy access to carnitas, lengua, longaniza, and other traditional meats sprinkled with onion and cilantro on a fresh tortilla.

10390 US-78
Summerville, SC 29483
(843) 851-4121

2 Taqueria Espres

Consistently rated as some of the best tacos from a truck around, Taqueria Espres gathers an almost cult following in North Charleston. The doubled up tortillas are stacked with perfectly seasoned meats, onion, and cilantro. Each order comes with a few pickled carrots and a jalapeño.

2704 Ashley Phosphate Rd
Charleston, SC 29418

3 La Nortena

North Charleston stop La Nortena may look like a normal chain Mexican restaurant, but they make real-deal tacos. Order lengua or tripe and soak the tortillas in the homemade salsas they put on the table.

6275 Rivers Ave
North Charleston, SC 29406
(843) 225-7055

4 Taqueria La Jarocha

“Sometimes a man just wants a taco,” writes the one Yelp review for North Charleston taco truck Taqueria La Jarocha — but at $1.25, order a few of the warm corn tortillas stacked with peppery salsa and your choice of meats.

1360 Remount Rd
North Charleston, SC 29406

5 Las Lupitas

The sign outside Las Lupitas states, “The Best Mexican Food in Town,” so it’s worth a trek to sample the traditional tacos like the barbacoa or tripe. The small space has a roadside diner sort of feeling with booths to slide into after ordering from the massive menu. Remember: It’s cash only here.

1745 State Rd S-10-13
North Charleston, SC 29406
(843) 419-0865

6 Santi’s Restaurante Mexicano

Santi’s outdoor patio is the place to be when the weather is nice. Order a giant margarita and then decide if you want Mexican or American-style tacos. The chips and salsa are free.

1302 Meeting Street Rd
Charleston, SC 29405
(843) 722-2633

7 Mex 1 Coastal Cantina

Mex 1 feels like a surf shack, even if you aren’t technically at the beach (though there is a second location at Sullivan’s). Try the Baja fish tacos or the crowd-favorite “Bangin’ Shrimp.” Fans also love the free chips and the creative tequila drinks.

817 Saint Andrews Blvd
Charleston, SC 29407
(843) 751-4001

8 Taco Boy

A visit to Taco Boy is all about the experience. The interiors are open and full of fun details. They have a long list of tacos with unexpected fillings. Korean beef tacos are stuffed with kimchi and grilled flank steak and the sautéed shrimp tacos come with ancho chile yogurt sauce and cabbage. On a nice day, enjoy the patio with a few friends and a frozen screwdriver to go with the other selections.

217 Huger St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 789-3333

9 Minero

Minero comes from celebrity locavore Sean Brock. The menu items take on Mexican and Lowcountry flavors, like the fried catfish tacos with pickled green tomato tartar. Brock spent months perfecting the tortillas for the East Bay eatery and the result comes with high praise from locals.

155 East Bay St
Charleston, SC 29401

10 Carmen y Juan’s

The owners of Carmen y Juan’s relocated to Charleston from East L.A. and set up shop in Park West. Reviewers rave about the food and service. Those in search of cilantro-speckled tacos may not need to chase taco trucks for the authentic fare — try this Mount Pleasant restaurant instead.

1118 Park West Blvd
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29466


Source: Charleston EATER

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