One of the perennial pleasures of being an Indianapolis resident is being surrounded by a bevy of unbeatable taco joints. Some fancy, some are holes in the wall, but all are delicious. Buen provecho.
La Chinita Poblana
La Chinita Poblana isn't your average taco joint. The small shop serves up East-meets-Southwest style fare, like chicken tacos spiced with tamarind and cumin and topped with sweet chile de arbol salsa, star-of-anise braised beef tongue with avocado crema, and crispy Japanese eggplant with carrot-ginger-habanero dressing. Prices are modest — at $3 each, you should absolutely get more than one flavor (a lunch special offers 2 tacos, a cup of soup or chips and salsa, and homemade agua fresca for $8), and definitely get an order of the mole sweet potato fries. Desserts include a Thai tapioca pudding with mango and whipped cream, a crispy chocolate banana eggroll or tres leches flan.
927 E. Westfield Blvd., 722-8101, lachinitapoblana.com
One of the OG's of Mexican food on the near eastside, this yellow building has long been the home to some really delicious tacos and other Mexican food accoutrements. Woefully, we forgot it on our list of delicious stoned dining, so we wanted to give it some love on our tacos list. Drive down New York Street to catch this fabulous little spot.
1642 E. New York St., 917-0095
The "street Mexican" lineup at Bakersfield typically consists of eight tacos - including the fan favorite fish (crispy mahi) and Pastor (marinated pork and pickeled red onions) - two tortas, two salads and chips with dips, including vegetarian options. Bakersfield's guac - hand-cut with chunks of avocado, lime-forward and punchy - won a "Best Guacamole in Cincinnati" award from three publications last year. If guests waver on a decision between the more than 50 varieties each of bourbon and tequila available, a large poster of Johnny Cash holding a glass of whiskey might push them away from the tequila menu. A full bar is available for those who prefer other liquors, and rotating drafts will offer selections of local and national craft beers.
334 Massachusetts Ave., 635-6962, bakersfieldmassave.com
La Margarita is most famous for its impressive tequila selection, with flights available at a variety of themes. With a name like La Margarita, it probably also goes without saying that you should order a pitcher of margaritas—and the top shelf pitcher is worth it. The bar also features an impressive lineup of craft beer. They serve lunch specials every day at the Fountain Square location, which has also played host to classic pinball tournaments in the past.
1043 Virginia Ave., 384-1457, lamargaritaindy.com
You might call this a "hole in the wall" kind of place, but the food here is outstanding. Get a plate of real, homestyle tacos or enchiladas, and pour on lots of the handmade salsa. Everything is spicy and flavorful, but the surroundings are not exactly tourist-friendly, and the service is notoriously slow. But we assure that the wait is well worth it. The restaurant even serves a handful of vegetarian options of you prefer to skip the meat, and killer flan.
2958 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr St., 927-0493
Revolucion has been serving up a variety of tacos for a couple of years now. But what sets them apart isn't the tacos, but the huge selection of salsas available to splash all over your tacos, chips, or whatever is nearby. They have sweeter, lighter salsas and devilishly mouth-searing varieties, not to mention crazy-delicious guac and queso. The beer selection changes regularly, so you'll have to become a friend on Facebook to keep current on what's new. One of the very best things you can avail yourself of while there is the spicy margarita. It comes with a chili-salt rim and a little pepper in the glass, and while it won't make you sweat or make your eyes water, it definitely leaves behind a Satisfying tingle on the lips.
1132 Prospect St., 423-9490, facebook.com/RevolucionIndy