Best Tacos in Athens GA: Local Favorites and Hidden Gems

Are you a taco lover on the hunt for the ultimate taco experience? If so, you might want to set your sights on Athens, Georgia. This city, celebrated for its rich food culture, is a hidden gem for those craving both traditional and innovative taco options. Athens’ taco scene is as colorful and varied as a vibrant Mexican tapestry.

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While I love tacos, I also love nachos. And quesadillas. And super spicy stuffed peppers. Ok so basically, I just love Mexican food. Check out my guide to the best Mexican restaurants in Athens!

Where can I get the best tacos in Athens?

For the best tacos in Athens, GA, Tlaloc El Mexicano and Tacos Los Plebes are your top picks, offering authentic flavors and a range of options. Taqueria Juaritos provides a street-style experience, while Taco Mama and Cali N Tito’s round out the city’s best with their unique offerings and inviting atmospheres. Whether it’s for traditional tastes or fusion twists, these spots cater to all taco aficionados.

From the charming simplicity of hole-in-the-wall gas station spots to the chic ambiance of trendy, upscale establishments, Athens’ restaurants offer impressive tacos that will delight local food aficionados and visitors alike. The rich flavors, quality ingredients, and authentic preparations offered by these eateries have become a cornerstone of the city’s food tourism.

For those either residing in Athens or visiting for a culinary adventure, the promise of discovering the best tacos in town is an alluring one. Beyond the tantalizing tacos, Athens is brimming with other local restaurants, comfortable accommodations, and engaging activities to enhance your stay.

Key Takeaways:

  • Athens, GA, is a haven for taco enthusiasts, offering a diverse range of both traditional and contemporary taco options.
  • The city is peppered with top-rated Mexican restaurants, making it a prime destination for food tourism.
  • Alongside exceptional tacos, Athens invites visitors to indulge in a broad spectrum of other restaurants and activities.

The Best Tacos in Athens

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Tlaloc El Mexicano

Tlaloc El Mexicano shines as a beacon in the Athens taco landscape, boasting a 4.3-star rating from 348 reviews. This restaurant is where Mexican and Salvadoran cuisines meet, earning accolades for their authentic flavors and quality ingredients. Their tacos have become a crowd favorite, and they’ve also clinched the title for what many believe to be the best margaritas in town.

Whether your preference lies with shrimp, chicken, or carnitas tacos, Tlaloc El Mexicano delivers these traditional dishes with a side of house-made salsa that perfectly complements the texture and flavors. They welcome patrons from 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM, ready to satisfy your taco cravings nearly all day long.

Conveniently, they also make some of the best margaritas in Athens, too.

Tacos Los Plebes

Tacos Los Plebes earns its 4.9-star rating from 38 reviews by serving authentic and affordable Mexican food. This unassuming establishment might just be your new favorite, known for its succulent fish tacos.

They offer a variety of toppings to build a taco that’s not just a meal, but an experience. Open from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM, Tacos Los Plebes stands as proof that great food need not come from an upscale location.

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Taqueria Juaritos

Housed within a humble gas station, this unassuming spot may just serve the best Mexican restaurant-quality tacos around. Garnering a perfect 5.0-star rating from 17 reviews, it’s quickly establishing itself with traditional Mexican street tacos.

The menu, although simple, offers a variety of meats including carnitas, chicken, and shrimp, available from 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM. It’s a hidden gem that aficionados of authentic Mexican food swear by.

Taco Mama

Next up, Taco Mama – Athens. This cool spot delivers a relaxed atmosphere perfect for unwinding with a margarita pitcher in one hand and a taco in the other.

Open from 12:00 PM to 11:00 PM, Taco Mama promises a taco to suit every taste, making it a favorite for both lunch-goers and the late-night crowd.

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Cali N Tito’s

And then there’s Cali N Tito’s, a beacon for those in pursuit of Latin American culinary fusion. While it’s not exclusively a taqueria, it’s become the go-to place for fish tacos, complete with unique sauces and a blend of flavors that push the boundaries of traditional taco fare. This is one of my favorite local Athens restaurants.

Agua Linda Taqueria

At Agua Linda Taqueria, the taco narrative takes a delicious twist with their sensational birria tacos. Picture hot, crispy tortillas filled with cheesy goodness and rich, savory meats—a mouthwatering image for any taco lover.

Especially on Fridays and Saturdays, this place is a hive of activity where the shrimp and chicken tacos join the lineup, creating a delectable meal experience that’s tough to top.

And their rooftop dining area makes it one of the best patio seating areas in Athens.

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Tienda Mexicana Los Amigos

Moving on to the heart of Athens City Center, Tienda Mexicana Los Amigos adds color to the local taco tapestry with a vibrant mix of traditional and unique offerings.

Here, lengua tacos and burritos share the spotlight with an inviting salsa bar. For those with an adventurous palate, dishes like bucé and tripe offer a truly authentic dive into Mexican cuisine.

Each of these establishments, with their diverse range of flavors and atmospheres, adds a unique thread to the fabric of Athens’ taco culture. Whether you’re calling Athens home or just wandering through, these taco spots promise a dining experience that will linger in your memory—and on your taste buds—long after your plate is cleared.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the go-to place for authentic Mexican tacos in Athens, GA?

For a true taste of Mexico, check out Tlaloc El Mexicano or Tacos Los Plebes. Both boast a stellar reputation for serving classic tacos with a variety of meats like carne asada and al pastor, wrapped in corn tortillas and topped with fresh cilantro and onions.

Can I enjoy a food truck-style taco experience in Athens?

Absolutely! While traditional food trucks might not be highlighted, Taqueria Juaritos offers that authentic street taco vibe right at local gas stations, complete with steak tacos and shrimp tacos that will make your Thursday taco night a hit.

Which taco joints offer the best vegetarian options in Athens?

Many eateries, including Tlaloc El Mexicano, cater to the plant-based crowd with a range of vegetarian fillings like lettuce, cheese dip, and peppers. It’s a good idea to scope out online menus or inquire in-person for the full array of meat-free selections.

Looking for the best taco spot atmosphere in Athens, GA – any suggestions?

Taco Mama – Athens is renowned for its cool vibe and welcoming service. They offer outdoor seating and free parking, making it a great spot to enjoy a variety of tacos and perhaps a margarita pitcher with friends.