Looking for the Most Popular Types of Tacos in Mexico?

You’ve come to the right place!

Tacos are a big part of Mexican cuisine and are Mexican gastronomy’s pride (right after tequila) and you can find them anywhere in the country.

They come in different varieties to cover Mexico’s great diversity. They’re affordable and they make any time feel like a fiesta!

So if you’re planning a trip to Mexico and have your agenda set on exploring authentic Mexican tacos, then these 21 most popular types of tacos in Mexico should be on that list.

Note from Sara: I’ve avidly traveling Mexico for over a decade now. I love this beautiful country and know it well, so if you have any questions, I respond quickly to comments!

Most Popular Types of Tacos in Mexico

Carne asada tacos

Consisting of a small corn tortilla, marinated skirt steak, or flank steak and other ingredients, Carne asada tacos is meat that is typically cooked on a grill but can also be cooked in a pan.

The tortilla is usually filled with meat and other ingredients such as onions and cilantro. It can also include avocado slices, tomatoes, or salsa.

Tacos al Pastor

Al pastor tacos are a type of tacos native to Mexico City., but you can find them in many places all over Mexico, such as in Riviera Maya. If you are looking for some of the best tacos in Cancun, Al Pastor tacos are a real delight there.

They are topped with pork shoulder meat and pineapple. Generally, the meat is marinated with achiote and other spices, formed into a pyramid on a spit, and cooked over a vertical grill.

Birria tacos

Birria in Spanish means braised meat, typically goat meat. Birria tacos have their roots in the northern states of Mexico where Mexicans have been cooking goat meat for centuries.

To make a good birria, you need to simmer the meat for a long time. Really good birria also contains habanero peppers and spices like cumin, bay leaves, and clove; which is also an ideal breakfast taco, served with Mexican style breakfast potatoes.

Shell tacos

Shell tacos are an alternative to regular tacos that have a crunchy shell instead of a soft tortilla. They can come with a variety of fillings including meat, chicken, fish, vegetables, or any combination of the three.

Cochinita Pibil Tacos

Cochinita Pibil is Yucatán-style slow-roasted pork marinated in achiote, a natural food coloring extracted from the seeds of achiote.

The word cochinita means baby pig or young pig while the word pibil refers to the cooking process, specifically pit barbecuing or roasting in this case.


Tacos de cazuela are prepared with a variety of ingredients, including pinto beans, shredded meat, avocado, and cheese – all wrapped in a flour tortilla and topped with salsa!

Carne de Res Tacos

Carne de Res Tacos consist of meat that belongs to the cow and it’s usually cooked or grilled and made better with special ingredients such as charred onions and garlic, using spices or seasoning like paprika.

Fish tacos (marlin tacos)

It’s a simple dish made with freshly caught fish and homemade flour tortillas. While the traditional recipes include marlin and trout, most restaurants also make it using other fish.

Barbacoa tacos

In a Mexican barbacoa pit made from volcanic rock, the meats are placed on top of the rocks and a covering of banana leaves is placed over the meats; this creates a moist environment and steamy hot stones cook the meats below.

Shrimp taco

The shrimp taco is a variety of tacos that consist of fried or grilled shellfish (such as prawns, shrimp, crayfish, scallops, or krill), sometimes rolled up in soft corn tortillas with lots of salsa.

Bug tacos

When most people think of tacos, the first thing that comes to mind is tortillas folded around seasoned meat. Here’s another variety of tacos: insect-based tacos.

These are filled with grasshoppers, caterpillars, and other creepy crawlers.

Chicharron Tacos

Chicharron tacos are made with fried pork skin (chicharrón) and various other parts such as ears, lips, and snouts, and served on small corn tortillas.

Guisados Tacos

The ingredients that makeup tacos de guisado vary. However, they usually have meat and cabbage or lettuce that are cooked in a sauce or with water.

The meat can be either traditional, such as pork or chicken, or more hard-to-find meats such as rabbit.

The sauce is typically made from tomato, cumin, and other spices. Oftentimes it’s served with radish and onion slices on top for extra flavor and crunch. Another option is to add cheese or eggs to this dish.

Carnitas Tacos

​Carnitas tacos are some of the tastiest and most delicious tacos you can get. Carnitas are essentially a type of pork preparation, where they marinate and roast the meat in lard or oil.

There are a whole host of different recipes out there for carnitas, each having its own spin on the cooking process. That said, the best carnitas are still slow-cooked for many hours (and even days) to ensure that it comes out juicy and mouth-wateringly good.

Lechon Al Horno Tacos

Lechon Al Horno is a traditional whole roast pig on a spit that is popular in all of Mexico. The pig is marinated in spices and seasonings before being placed on a spit and slowly roasted over an open pit or grill.

The heat caramelizes the marinade, which catches on the pig’s face and drips down onto the charcoal where it smokes and pronounces for even more flavor. They taste amazing when served in hot corn tortillas smothered with delicious toppings.

Poc Chuc Tacos

Poc-chuc is a slow-roasted, pig-based dish. It’s an art form that incorporates vinegar and various spices to add flavor to the meat that’s so succulent and tender it practically melts in your mouth.

The pork skin is removed or trimmed off every time after the meat is browned and moved onto the grill for slow roasting. Imagine this wrapped with corn tortillas and paired with guacamole and salsa verde. You have your Poc Chuc tacos!

Chorizo Tacos

Chorizo is a type of Mexican sausage and there are many recipes for Chorizo Tacos, but they all have certain things in common.

For example, they all contain some kind of meat. In most cases, it’s a slice of pork or chicken seasoned with different kinds of peppers and spices. There are also onions and tomatoes as additional ingredients.

Vegetarian tacos

Vegetarian tacos are tacos that have a meat alternative. They typically resemble the taste and texture of meat but are made out of vegetables, grains, and legumes.

Vegetarian tacos come in many different variations and can include everything from beans to potatoes.

Arrachera Tacos

Arrachera is a type of steak used for tacos in Mexico. Tacos made with arrachera are known for their tenderness, juiciness, and succulent flavor.

Arrachera Tacos are basically a grilled skirt steak on a corn tortilla with salsa and some fresh onion.

Baja Shrimp Tacos

Baja is a Mexican state that’s known for its great seafood. Baja Shrimp Tacos are made with flash-frozen raw shrimp that have been soaked in lime juice and fried, and it’s a typical taco to try in Cabo.

They are also served with corn or flour tortillas. Add some avocado or tomato, crema, cilantro, onion, salsa and salt, and you’re good to go!

Tacos Arabes

Tacos Arabes is a Mexican dish that was created in its current form by the Lebanese community living in Mexico. In Arabic, literally, Tacos Arabes means “Arabic Tacos” or “Tacos from the Arabs.”

Most versions of Tacos Arabes are composed of two tacos filled with fried potatoes, chickpeas, and coriander, topped with chilies and onions, with heavily marinated lamb as meat, and accompanied by salsa verde.

So there you have it, the 21 most popular types of tacos in Mexico. Make sure to grab a bite and you’ll be able to make the most out of this trip and return home with a big smile on your face!

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