Summer has officially arrived! And with it, loads of summertime activities. A D.C. taco crawl should be one of your summertime activities. Grab your friends any day of the week and embark on this adventure. Most of the spots are in the Shaw/Logan Circle area and almost all are super cheap (think $2 a taco). Some tips for the taco crawl: Wear comfortable walking shoes, eat at least one taco at each spot, and get a beverage at each venue. Read on for the itinerary, and for some serious TACO PORN.
STOP #1: EL SOL
The 14th Street location has closed, but the 11th Street one is thriving. Start your crawl here at 4 p.m.!
What to eat and drink: The cactus taco with cheese is the one of the best options; it comes topped with fresh tomatoes, lime, and onions. Enjoy it with a cold beer.
STOP #2: ESPITA MEZCALERIA
It’s best to head to Espita right when they open at 5 p.m. I picked this as one of the earlier spots because it’s the fanciest, so you’re going to want to remember what you ate and drank. Plus, it will get the most crowded as the evening goes on, the earlier you get here the better. Convening here at 5 was perfect for us because we were a group of 12 and basically took over the bar.
What to eat and drink: The mushroom taco is the most famous, and for good reason. Meaty, earthy maitake mushrooms are deep fried, then topped with a mezcal-orange-chipotle salsa and served in a corn tortilla. The tacos come two to an order, so you may want to share with someone. More than one taco at each place can mean you get too full too early, which is a taco crawl fail. To drink, try their ginger, mezcal and cucumber concoction. It’s light and summery and the perfect opener to your night.
STOP #3: TAQUERIA NACIONAL
This spot offers a very different experience than Espita Mezcaleria. You just order at the counter, where you can choose from dozens of different fillings and toppings. Once you get your food, grab a seat on their outdoor patio. There’s a fountain and benches and stools: an ideal spot for lounging with your taco and your marg.
What to eat and drink: I love the potato and kale taco. Get it with cilantro and a couple different kinds of salsa. A margarita will wash it all down.
STOP #4: TACOS EL CHILANGO
My favorite spot on the taco crawl is Tacos El Chilango. It’s small and crowded and the outdoor patio in the back is tiny, but the tacos are damn good and the salsa is bangin’. Order at the counter and then take your food out back.
What to eat and drink: The avocado taco is my favorite. The fresh corn tortillas are smothered in melted cheese, a heady red salsa, and loads of avocado. All you need is cold beer and you’ll be having the best day of your life.
STOP #5: PICA TACO
This is a no-frills type of spot. There is no hard liquor, just a fridge of Modelos (which are great), but I suggest just taking your taco to go! We have still have two stops to go, so you can eat and walk to the next venue.
What to eat: I like the black bean taco, its full of beans, veggies, salsa, guacamole, and cheese. Really hearty and filling.
STOP #6: EL CHUCHO
I recommend taking your time at this stop, as there is a rooftop, outdoor seating, and plenty of great drinks to try.
What to eat and drink: The fried zucchini taco is legendary; it comes with black garlic, ques0 fresco and squash blossoms. Enjoy it with one of their tequila cocktails.
STOP #7: TAQUERIA HABANERO
At this point you’ve already huffed and stuffed your way beyond U Street and into Columbia Heights, and this location sits near the top of that neighborhood on 14th Street. You can be proud of the cardio you got in during that uphill trek, so have a final celebratory taco and claim victory over the crawl.
What to eat and drink: Try the mushroom tacos with radishes, cilantro, onions, and cucumber. It goes perfectly with their house margarita, or the habanero sangria.
And that’s a wrap! If you are not drunk and full after visiting 7 taquerias I am not sure how to help you.