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Tacos from Dejarvis Taco
Tacos from Dejarvis Taco
Dejarvis Taco/Facebook

9 Best Spots for Tacos in the Rio Grande Valley

Fresh and downright delicious

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Tacos from Dejarvis Taco
| Dejarvis Taco/Facebook

Down in the Rio Grande Valley, the southernmost tip of Texas, tacos reign supreme. It’s where tacos are made with heart and soul and lard, wrapped in steaming tortillas and doused in homemade salsa. The area’s gas stations wrap up better tacos than the finest restaurants elsewhere in the country.

In an attempt to put the record straight, here are the best taco spots in the Rio Grande Valley. This means top-notch picks from McAllen, Port Isabel, Laredo, South Padre Island, Edinburgh, Brownsville, and Weslaco. There are breakfast tacos from Ms. G’s, late night ones from Dejarvis, fish tacos at Chillito Pikin, Taco Palenque’s piratas, and others.

For those Austin-related taco cravings, check out the city’s taco heatmap, budget tacos, al pastor, and breakfast tacos.

Everything following is listed in geographical order, from north to south. Make the case for your favorite Rio Grande Valley taco spot if it’s missing below over in the comments, through the tipline, or on the forum.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Taco Palenque

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4515 San Bernardo Ave
Laredo, TX
(956) 725-9898
Visit Website

Though this spot has now been franchised, its tacos are consistently the real deal. Each location offers up a huge salsa bar with various options (e.g. casera, verde, pico de gallo). It also throws in cucumbers, jicama, fresh chips, and cheese for free. Everything is available 24 hours and there is a drive-thru for late night mischief. If choosing to dine in, get a michelada or an agua fresca. Even better: Taco Palenque is expanding to Austin.

Pirata from Taco Palenque
Pirata from Taco Palenque
Taco Palenque/Facebook

2. Taqueria Los 4 Vientos

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525 W Monte Cristo Rd
Edinburg, TX
(956) 383-0201

The cash-only Taqueria Los 4 Vientos offers it all: open air dining, thick corn tortillas, items like molleja and tripa for the somewhat adventurous, and curbside service for quicker food. It dishes out a giant baked potato, but instead of just casually topping the spud with meat and cheese, everything is mixed together and twice baked. Careful with that salsa — it’s nuclear.

Tacos from Taqueria Los 4 Vientos
Tacos from Taqueria Los 4 Vientos
Anyssa A./Yelp

3. Ms. G's Tacos N' More

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2263 Pecan Blvd
McAllen, TX
(956) 668-8226
Visit Website

Anyone who spent formative years in the Valley is well-acquainted with the legendary El Pato. Founded by Lillian “Mrs. G” Gonzalez, people would line up outside the tiny building each morning to get a taco filled with their choice of filling. In 1997, the brand and the recipes were purchased by the Van Burkleo family and they subsequently expanded into several new locations. Mrs. G’s daughter returned to the food business to in 2003 to open Mrs. G’s, a nod to her mother and an approximation of the original El Pato experience.

Ms. G’s Tacos N’ More
Ms. G’s Tacos N’ More
Ms. G’s Tacos N’ More/Facebook

4. Dejarvis Taco

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403 S 10th St
McAllen, TX
(956) 631-4827
Visit Website

Order a very late night or early morning giant taco from Dejarvis (which used to be located in Reynosa, Mexico) and hope against hope that it would forestall a hangover. The sincronizadas (a dish similar to quesadillas stuffed with meats, beans, cheese, and other ingredients) are no less delicious across the border. Try the campechana, a 12-inch flour tortilla stuffed with fajitas, trompo, queso fresco, grilled onions, cilantro, and avocado.

Tacos from Dejarvis Taco
Tacos from Dejarvis Taco
Dejarvis Taco/Facebook

5. Orale Super Tacos

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303 E Business 83
Weslaco, TX

The “super” in Orale Super Tacos leads to super big, super stuffed, and super delicious. These tacos are lovingly wrapped in a huge tortilla. Of the signature tacos, the most outrageous one comes full of beans, fajitas, white cheese, bacon, guacamole, pico de gallo, and Mexican sour cream.

Tacos from Orale Super Tacos
Tacos from Orale Super Tacos
Kayla T./Yelp

6. Nana's Taqueria

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1802 S International Blvd
Weslaco, TX
(956) 447-2798

Another border transplant, Nana’s is found in an old house in Weslaco. It brings the flavors of Nuevo Progreso to America with tiny but mighty tacos, all full of flavor. Another thing to keep an eye out for are the lonches — a fun-sized version of a bolillo roll which are fried and then packed with bistek or pastor. Don’t skimp on the housemade spicy garlic salsa.

Tacos from Nana’s Taqueria
Tacos from Nana’s Taqueria
Diana H./Yelp

7. Chillito Pikin

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3305 Padre Blvd
South Padre Island, TX
(956) 433-5484

While South Texas tacos are more about bistek than fish, Chillito Pikin serves incredible blackened fish and shrimp tacos. The tacos are jammed with seafood, and then topped with fresh red cabbage and spicy crema sauce. It also serves up giant tortas and chicken nachos that could easily feed six people.

Shrimp tacos from Chillito Pikin
Shrimp tacos from Chillito Pikin
Joseph H./Yelp

8. Manuel's

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313 E Maxan St
Port Isabel, TX
(956) 943-1655

You’ve never, ever seen a taco this big. The 14-inch tortillas are hand-rolled in the back of the restaurant by a sweet lady with a rolling pin, and then cooked on a flat top. It can last for three meals, if you so choose. Manuel’s migas and machacado are taco winners, but the Con Todo is the star of the show as the proverbial kitchen sink taco.

Giant taco from Manuel’s
Giant taco from Manuel’s
Manuel’s/Facebook

9. Taqueria Ultimo Taco

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938 N Expressway
Brownsville, TX
(956) 554-7663

A taco from Taqueria Ultimo Taco will set you back 97 cents. It’s open late night and, yes there is usually a 2 a.m. rush that rivals Whataburger. While the tacos are famous, be sure to order the frijoles especiales: charro beans topped with queso fresco, cilantro, and your choice of meat.

Bistec tacos from Taqueria Ultimo Taco
Bistec tacos from Taqueria Ultimo Taco
Minda F./Yelp

1. Taco Palenque

4515 San Bernardo Ave, Laredo, TX
Pirata from Taco Palenque
Pirata from Taco Palenque
Taco Palenque/Facebook

Though this spot has now been franchised, its tacos are consistently the real deal. Each location offers up a huge salsa bar with various options (e.g. casera, verde, pico de gallo). It also throws in cucumbers, jicama, fresh chips, and cheese for free. Everything is available 24 hours and there is a drive-thru for late night mischief. If choosing to dine in, get a michelada or an agua fresca. Even better: Taco Palenque is expanding to Austin.

4515 San Bernardo Ave
Laredo, TX

2. Taqueria Los 4 Vientos

525 W Monte Cristo Rd, Edinburg, TX
Tacos from Taqueria Los 4 Vientos
Tacos from Taqueria Los 4 Vientos
Anyssa A./Yelp

The cash-only Taqueria Los 4 Vientos offers it all: open air dining, thick corn tortillas, items like molleja and tripa for the somewhat adventurous, and curbside service for quicker food. It dishes out a giant baked potato, but instead of just casually topping the spud with meat and cheese, everything is mixed together and twice baked. Careful with that salsa — it’s nuclear.

525 W Monte Cristo Rd
Edinburg, TX

3. Ms. G's Tacos N' More

2263 Pecan Blvd, McAllen, TX
Ms. G’s Tacos N’ More
Ms. G’s Tacos N’ More
Ms. G’s Tacos N’ More/Facebook

Anyone who spent formative years in the Valley is well-acquainted with the legendary El Pato. Founded by Lillian “Mrs. G” Gonzalez, people would line up outside the tiny building each morning to get a taco filled with their choice of filling. In 1997, the brand and the recipes were purchased by the Van Burkleo family and they subsequently expanded into several new locations. Mrs. G’s daughter returned to the food business to in 2003 to open Mrs. G’s, a nod to her mother and an approximation of the original El Pato experience.

2263 Pecan Blvd
McAllen, TX

4. Dejarvis Taco

403 S 10th St, McAllen, TX
Tacos from Dejarvis Taco
Tacos from Dejarvis Taco
Dejarvis Taco/Facebook

Order a very late night or early morning giant taco from Dejarvis (which used to be located in Reynosa, Mexico) and hope against hope that it would forestall a hangover. The sincronizadas (a dish similar to quesadillas stuffed with meats, beans, cheese, and other ingredients) are no less delicious across the border. Try the campechana, a 12-inch flour tortilla stuffed with fajitas, trompo, queso fresco, grilled onions, cilantro, and avocado.

403 S 10th St
McAllen, TX

5. Orale Super Tacos

303 E Business 83, Weslaco, TX
Tacos from Orale Super Tacos
Tacos from Orale Super Tacos
Kayla T./Yelp

The “super” in Orale Super Tacos leads to super big, super stuffed, and super delicious. These tacos are lovingly wrapped in a huge tortilla. Of the signature tacos, the most outrageous one comes full of beans, fajitas, white cheese, bacon, guacamole, pico de gallo, and Mexican sour cream.

303 E Business 83
Weslaco, TX

6. Nana's Taqueria

1802 S International Blvd, Weslaco, TX
Tacos from Nana’s Taqueria
Tacos from Nana’s Taqueria
Diana H./Yelp

Another border transplant, Nana’s is found in an old house in Weslaco. It brings the flavors of Nuevo Progreso to America with tiny but mighty tacos, all full of flavor. Another thing to keep an eye out for are the lonches — a fun-sized version of a bolillo roll which are fried and then packed with bistek or pastor. Don’t skimp on the housemade spicy garlic salsa.

1802 S International Blvd
Weslaco, TX

7. Chillito Pikin

3305 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island, TX
Shrimp tacos from Chillito Pikin
Shrimp tacos from Chillito Pikin
Joseph H./Yelp

While South Texas tacos are more about bistek than fish, Chillito Pikin serves incredible blackened fish and shrimp tacos. The tacos are jammed with seafood, and then topped with fresh red cabbage and spicy crema sauce. It also serves up giant tortas and chicken nachos that could easily feed six people.

3305 Padre Blvd
South Padre Island, TX

8. Manuel's

313 E Maxan St, Port Isabel, TX
Giant taco from Manuel’s
Giant taco from Manuel’s
Manuel’s/Facebook

You’ve never, ever seen a taco this big. The 14-inch tortillas are hand-rolled in the back of the restaurant by a sweet lady with a rolling pin, and then cooked on a flat top. It can last for three meals, if you so choose. Manuel’s migas and machacado are taco winners, but the Con Todo is the star of the show as the proverbial kitchen sink taco.

313 E Maxan St
Port Isabel, TX

9. Taqueria Ultimo Taco

938 N Expressway, Brownsville, TX
Bistec tacos from Taqueria Ultimo Taco
Bistec tacos from Taqueria Ultimo Taco
Minda F./Yelp

A taco from Taqueria Ultimo Taco will set you back 97 cents. It’s open late night and, yes there is usually a 2 a.m. rush that rivals Whataburger. While the tacos are famous, be sure to order the frijoles especiales: charro beans topped with queso fresco, cilantro, and your choice of meat.

938 N Expressway
Brownsville, TX

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