August 22, 2023

For YouTube sensation Paulina Cocina, who runs the most visited Spanish recipe sites in Latin America, tacos are a true classic of international gastronomy and can be enjoyed in cities across the world.

In Israel, a country open to all palates, tacos are favorites. Perhaps because it is a cross between falafel and shawarma, perhaps because of the trips that Israelis make to Latin America after their military service or perhaps because all the fillings are within reach.

ISRAEL21c created this guide to the five best places to eat tacos in the country. If you think any are missing, let us know in the comments. (Click here to read this article in Spanish, and click here for a list of the 10 best Latin restaurants in Israel.) 

1. Tacos Luis, Jerusalem

The best places to eat tacos in Israel
In Jerusalem, the place to enjoy this dish is Tacos Luis. Photo courtesy Tacos Luis

It took Luis Cruz Salinas Hernández, a native of Oaxaca, barely five years to conquer the palates and hearts of the Israelis residing in Jerusalem — and not only them but also people from all over the country who agree with his assertion that Tacos Luis serves “the best tacos outside of Mexico.” 

The best places to eat tacos in Israel
Luis Cruz Salinas Hernández, a Mexican originally from Oaxaca, conquered the palates and hearts of Israelis. Photo courtesy Tacos Luis

Tacos Luis specializes in tacos al pastor (marinated turkey meat with spices and pineapple) but also serves different dishes with barbecue or garlic roast meat and rice with beans.

Where: 11 Shlomtzion HaMalka, Jerusalem

Hours: Sundays to Thursdays, 12-9pm

Kosher: Yes

Inquiries: +972-58-404-0287

2. Taqueria, Tel Aviv

What else could you call a restaurant where the main course is tacos?

With a location in one of the most vibrant areas of Tel Aviv, for 11 years Taquería has been a meeting place for locals and foreigners who share tables to savor the house specialty: beer-battered cod tacos served with green and tartar sauces or burritos.

The menu also offers quesadillas and burritos, with vegan options. We recommend starting the meal with nachos and San Miguel beer or a michelada.

Where: 28 Levontin St., Tel Aviv

Hours: Every day, noon to midnight

Kosher: No

Inquiries: +972-3-600-5280

3. Mezcal, Tel Aviv

The best places to eat tacos in Israel
Mezcal tacos in Tel Aviv are a classic. Photo courtesy of Mezcal

Both the tacos with meat and the vegan ones with mushrooms at this Mexican bar and restaurant in the Florentin neighborhood in South Tel Aviv are already a culinary classic among the younger crowd.

The best places to eat tacos in Israel
Margaritas and micheladas accompany Mezcal tacos. Photo courtesy of Mezcal

Bohemians and tourists alike are part of a unique atmosphere flavored by the stupendous traditional Aztec dishes that are favorites in Israel’s most vibrant city.

To sweeten the palate after some tasty tacos, we recommend the homemade flan with caramel and, why not, a classic margarita with Cuervo tequila (from Sunday to Thursday between 5 and 8pm, drinks are 1+1).

Where: 2 Vital Street, Tel Aviv

Hours: Sunday to Thursday, 5-11:30pm; Friday and Saturday, 1pm to midnight

Kosher: No

Inquiries: +972-3-518-7925

4. Mashav Food Trucks, Shoeva

The best places to eat tacos in Israel
The tortillas in Trucos are the most sought after by motorists. Photo courtesy of Mashav Food Trucks

For those in a hurry or in transit between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, stop at the food truck Trucos in Shoeva, on the side of Highway 1, for delicious Mexican food.

This roving vehicle is famous for its interesting variety of tacos. The tacos al pastor with chicken, onion, red sauce, mayonnaise with jalapeños, onion and cilantro stand out.

In winter, when the sun begins to set, it is the best time of day to savor this delicious dish just as if you were in Ensenada or Hermosillo.

Where: Shoeva, along Highway 1

Hours: Sunday to Thursday, 8am to 4pm; Friday till 2pm

Kosher: Yes

Inquiries: mashav-foodtrucks.co.il; givat.mashav@gmail.com

5. Mexicana

The best places to eat tacos in Israel
A tempting taco at Mexicana in Rishon LeZion. Photo courtesy of Mexicana

With seven branches (in Tel Aviv, Rishon LeZion, Rehovot, Glilot, Petah Tikva and one soon to open in Rosh Ha’ayin), the Mexicana chain offers Israelis a wide variety of delicacies.

For this guide, we checked out the branch at Cinema City in Rishon LeZion, where tacos with carne asada, white sauce and cheddar cheese are as tasty as they are popular.

Mexicana’s home-brewed beer is the ideal companion for a dinner with family or friends. 

Where: Yeladei Tehran 5, Rishon LeZion

Hours: Every day, 11am to midnight

Kosher: No

Inquiries: +972-52-632-1332

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