Tacos may just be the perfect food. There are so many different types, you can eat them without utensils, and in addition, they're inexpensive. There are many places to get delicious tacos in Cancun, from well-established restaurants to sidewalk stands surrounded by locals. When in Cancun, be sure to skip the all-inclusive resort buffet at least once and try some authentic Mexican tacos. (Want to skip the buffet twice? Cancun is home to great seafood shacks, too.)
El Polilla is also located in downtown Cancun, just a few blocks from the entrance to the Hotel Zone on Nader Avenue next to Plaza Centro. This is the spot for those looking for a truly authentic experience. El Polilla serves tacos de carnitas (shredded braised or roasted pork), which is true Mexican street food. You will literally eat standing up. Don’t be disturbed by the plastic plates with plastic bags over them. Just give the plate back when you’re done and they’ll change the plastic bag for the next customer. Get there early before they run out.
Bonus tip: The food stalls at Parque las Palapas are another great place to try authentic Mexican street food, including tacos. You can always find the best food by looking for the stall with the longest line.
Tacos Rigo has various locations in Cancun but the most convenient is downtown on Palenque Avenue, close to Mercado 28 (Market 28). You can get pretty much any kind of tacos you are looking for at Taco Rigos, including arrachera (skirt steak), beef, chicken, pastor or chuleta (pork chop). There are also more exotic choices, like lengua (tongue), cabeza (head) and cachete (cheek). They also serve alambres (similar to fajitas but even more delicious), quesadillas, enchiladas, burritos and more. Order a bucket of Mexican beer to go with your meal at a downtown price.
Los de Pescado has many locations in Cancun, both downtown and in the Hotel Zone. There are only six items on the menu, so everything is done very well, but the fish tacos in particular are out of this world. Note that one order is actually two tacos, so if you want four tacos, order two. You won’t believe the price. Be sure to add the shredded cabbage and spicy chipotle-mayo salsa. Los de Pescado also serves shrimp tacos, ceviche, burritos, shrimp soup and fried fish tacos. A cold agua de Jamaica (hibiscus flower tea) is the perfect way to wash it all down.
Los Tarascos has five locations in downtown Cancun and serves the best tacos al pastor in the area. Tacos al pastor are made from pork that is marinated in dried chilies, spices, pineapple and sometimes, achiote. The pork is cooked on a split. The meat is sliced off the spit with a large knife and served on small tortillas with chopped onions, cilantro and a slice of pineapple. Lime and salsa top off the combination. Los Tarascos closest location to the Hotel Zone is on Tulum Avenue just a few blocks from Plaza Las Americas.
The Blue Gecko is a tiny, open-air bar-restaurant located in the Hotel Zone on the lagoon side at kilometer 16. These aren’t really authentic Mexican tacos, but they are delicious and they're so big that most people only need to order one. Try the Smoked Chile Butter Shrimp Taco or the Hurricane Fish Taco. They also offer a huge drink menu, including various different kinds of mojitos, margaritas, martinis and more. The Blue Gecko is popular with locals and tourists of all ages, including Spring Breakers.