All About Mexican Tacos: What Are The Different Kinds?

mexican tacos


Tacos have garnered widespread acclaim for their vibrant flavors. They have become synonymous with Mexican cuisine, celebrated for their versatility and ability to satisfy cravings across the globe. While Mexican tacos are beloved worldwide, they hold a special place in Southern Californians’ hearts and taste buds.

Southern California has warmly embraced the flavors of Mexican cuisine, cultivating a dynamic taco culture that captivates residents and tourists. Across the region, the streets are alive with many eateries, ranging from lively food trucks to cherished local taquerias. These establishments proudly present a plethora of taco offerings, highlighting the authentic styles found in Mexico and the region’s diverse culinary heritage.

Whether you’re a local taco connoisseur or an enthusiast from afar, this blog will guide you to understand and appreciate the diverse world of Mexican tacos. Let’s dive in and discover the magic that unfolds when tortillas, fillings and flavors come together in perfect harmony.

Most Popular Mexican Street Tacos

Few culinary delights hold as much charm and authenticity as the beloved street tacos since they perfectly capture the essence of Mexican flavors in portable perfection. 

Below, we explore the most popular Mexican street tacos readily found in Southern California:

Al Pastor

Originating from the influence of Lebanese immigrants in Mexico, Al Pastor tacos feature marinated pork cooked on a vertical spit, reminiscent of Middle Eastern shawarma. The meat is seasoned with a blend of spices, including dried chilies, achiote and pineapple, for a touch of sweetness. The result is tender, flavorful pork with a slightly smoky and tangy taste. Al Pastor tacos are incredibly popular for their unique savory and sweet flavor.


Similar to Al Pastor, Arabes tacos also draw inspiration from Arabian cuisine. These tacos feature thinly sliced, marinated pork that is also cooked on a vertical spit. However, the main difference lies in the marinade, which often includes different spices and herbs, giving Arabes tacos a distinct flavor profile. The specific taste can vary depending on the recipe and regional variations, but overall, Arabes tacos offer a delightful fusion of Middle Eastern and Mexican flavors.


Barbacoa tacos boast a rich history, with origins tracing back to traditional Mexican cooking techniques. Typically made from slow-cooked beef or lamb, the meat is cooked underground, imparting a unique smoky taste and tender texture. The resulting meat is incredibly flavorful, with a melt-in-your-mouth quality. Barbacoa tacos are trendy for their savory, earthy flavor and the delectable combination of tender meat and aromatic spices.


Birria tacos are a beloved Mexican delicacy. Hailing from the state of Jalisco, it is made with goat or beef meat marinated in a blend of spices. It is then slow-cooked until tender and served in warm tortillas. Birria tacos are famous for their rich and robust flavor, complemented by a consommé dipping sauce, which adds an extra depth of savory goodness.

Carne Asada

Carne Asada tacos showcase the essence of grilled meat perfection. This classic style features thinly sliced, marinated steak, typically prepared with a combination of citrus juices, garlic and various spices. The meat is grilled, creating a tantalizing smoky flavor while maintaining its juicy tenderness. Carne Asada tacos are adored for their bold and robust taste, heightened by the charred edges and the combination of tangy marinade and char-grilled goodness.


Carnitas tacos originate from Michoacán, Mexico, and showcase the marvel of slow-cooked, succulent pork. To prepare the dish, pork is simmered in its own fat until it is tender and caramelized. The result is a symphony of flavors and textures—a harmony between succulent, melt-in-your-mouth meat and an irresistible crunch. Carnitas tacos are celebrated for their rich and savory flavor profile.


Chorizo tacos feature a rich filling from seasoned, ground pork sausage. Originating from Spain, chorizo made its way to Mexico and became a staple in Mexican cuisine. It is typically seasoned with a blend of spices, including paprika, garlic and chili powder. The result? A distinct smoky and spicy flavor beloved by millions of people worldwide. Chorizo tacos are famous for their bold and spicy taste.


The origin of Pescado tacos can be traced to the coastal regions of Mexico. Various types of fish are commonly used to make them. The fish is often grilled or lightly battered and fried, resulting in a tender, flaky texture with a hint of smokiness or a delicate crispness. Pescado tacos offer a fresh, vibrant and light taste, allowing the fish’s natural flavors to shine through. They are often accompanied by toppings like cabbage slaw, creamy sauces and zesty salsas to enhance the gastronomic experience.


Pollo tacos feature tender and succulent chicken as the star ingredient. The preparation of Pollo tacos can vary, with different cooking methods, such as grilling, braising or pan-frying the chicken. The chicken is marinated in a flavorful mixture of spices, citrus juices and sometimes herbs, which infuses it with a remarkable taste. Pollo tacos offer a mild yet savory flavor profile, with the chicken’s natural juiciness enhanced by the marinade.

Enjoy Mexican Tacos 

Mexican tacos are not merely a culinary delight; they are a testament to the rich cultural heritage and passion for gastronomy that Mexico embodies. The taco scene in Southern California is a gastronomic adventure not to be missed. 

Gather your friends and family and share the joy of exploring different kinds of Mexican tacos, to celebrate its vibrant flavors. Savor the legacy of Mexican cuisine one taco at a time.

Contact us today and visit your local SteelCraft to enjoy some authentic cuisine!