10 Airport Taco Stands to Plan Your Trip Around

Tacos Are Terrific

Who doesn't like tacos, something that has become an all-American food? Even if you're traveling, it doesn't mean you have to miss out on this happy hour staple. As airports have upgraded their food, many have taco options that are definitely a step above Taco Bell (no shade to one of my favorite fast-food joints). And as many tacos as you can think of, restaurants are making them in delicious vegetarian and carnivore offerings. Below is my list of 10 airports where you can fulfill your taco cravings.

  1. At Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, go straight to Maudie's Tex-Mex in the West Terminal near Gate 12. This Tex-Mex favorite is known for its breakfast tacos. My favorite is Tatiana's Tamale Taco, which features scrambled eggs, a port tamale, and cheese. For lunch or dinner, you can't lose with the carnitas taco, which comes with black beans and rice. 
  2. I was recently at Denver International Airport and whenever I'm there, I make a beeline for Tamales by La Casita, located in the center of the C Gates. I go for the beef barbacoa hard shell tacos with habanero tomatillo salsa at this local favorite restaurant. And grab some chips and salsa to eat on your flight!
  1. El Taco is a popular restaurant in Atlanta's Highland neighborhood and now it has landed at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. For a distinctly southern take on the taco, go for the Buttermilk Fried Chicken taco, which features Mexican grilled corn, lime mayonnaise, and cheese.
  2. Long Beach Airport is one of my favorites because you get a true taste of the city in its terminal. Go grab baja fish tacos and a Mexican beer at Taco Beach Cantina. And enjoy your meal at the airport's great outside patio. 
  1. Blanco Tacos + Tequila has outlets in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tucson. It is also at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport in Terminal 4 near Gate A5. Sometimes I don't want to eat meat, so the mushroom tacos with peppers, cabbage, and the restaurant's great guacamole.
  2. When I think of tacos, I do not think of Philadelphia. But Philadelphia International Airport is home to Burrito Elito, located in Terminal C near Gate 6. It has great blackened fish tacos served with cabbage slaw, lime, cilantro and chipotle sour cream.
  1. If you're flying out of San Francisco or Oakland International airports,  then stop by Andale, a California-based Mexican family kitchen. I love the spicy chipotle shrimp tacos, served with a yummy habanero-spiced cabbage.
  2. Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport has brought the food truck craze to the terminal. Mango Taco Truck, near Gate C23, features corn tortillas for its tacos. Go for the pollo taco.
  3. Of course, Los Angeles International Airport has a place that sells tacos. Loteria! Grill began life in the city's famous Farmers Market but now has an outlet in the food courts in Terminals 5 and 7. Go for the delicious shredded beef taco, served with guacamole, salsa chipotle, onion, and cilantro. 
  1. I cannot lie. I have purposely routed myself through Chicago O'Hare International Airport to eat at celebrity Chef Rick Bayliss's Tortas Frontera restaurant, with locations in Terminals 1, 3 and 5. Now I'm cheating here because this place sells tortas, which are Mexico's version of paninis. And I love the cochinita pibil torta, which is citrus-braised pork with pickled red onions, black beans and a side of roasted habanero salsa.

Other options available for airport passengers include: 

  • Urban Taco, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
  • Nuevo Leon, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
  • Jim 'N Nick's, Birmingham International Airport
  • Burrito Beach, Chicago O'Hare International Airport
  • Lorena Garcia Cocina, Miami International Airport
  • On the Border, Orlando International Airport
  • Urban Crave, San Diego International Airport
  • Tacquila, Tequila Bar, Newark Liberty International Airport
  • Taco Taco Café, San Antonio International Airport
  • Taco Bron, Tucson International Airport
  • Zona Fresca, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
  • Enrique's, Ponca City Regional Airport
  • Dickey's Pit Barbecue (the tacos are great!), Dallas Love Field
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