Food & Drink

This is your ultimate guide to finding the Valley’s best tacos

Missed out on the annual Taco Truck Throwdown or craving certain tacos but don’t know where to find the particular truck?

We’ve got you covered.

Here’s a rundown of the taco truck vendors who participated in last month’s Taco Truck Throwdown 7.

You won’t have the convenience of all 29 trucks coming to one central location, as was the case when they converged on Chukchansi Park last month. But as many of you might have discovered during the Throwdown, some tacos are worth the drive.

Remember, food trucks have been known to change their schedules and locations. So check Facebook and Twitter or call ahead to confirm when and where they’ll be open.

The Judge’s Top 10

No. 1 El Mexicano – 2833 E Manning Ave, Fowler, CA 93625

559-834-1477

Hours: 7 a.m.-1 a.m. Monday-Thursday; 7 a.m.-3 a.m. Friday-Sunday

El Mexicano was the judges’ top choice of the Taco Truck Throwdown 7. Their carne asada tacos are delicious. But their carnitas are amazing. Customers also regularly order asada nachos and asada fries.

“My staff works so hard to make sure our food is great,” says Jovita Camacho, manager of El Mexicano. “Our salsa is great. Our food is fresh. All of our ingredients are local.”

For more information: www.elmexicanorestaurant.net

No. 2 Gonzalez Taqueria – No regular stops currently, just events and catering.

559-696-7914

Hours: N/A

Starting in September, Gonzalez Taqueria will be open Wednesdays from 5-7 p.m. at the New Convenant Community Church (1744 E Nees Ave, Fresno, CA 93720).

Gonzalez Taqueria used to serve during lunch time at Eaton Plaza in downtown Fresno. But because of the hot weather, almost all of the food trucks decided to close for the summer.

This taco truck prides itself in their tacos al pastor, which is made of flavored pork that seasoned with a special rub and served with pineapple.

“We got third place by the judges last year and we got second place this year,” says Luis Lopez, the manager and chef. “We want first next time.”

For more information: www.facebook.com/gonzaleztaqueria2016

No. 3 WTF: Where’s the Food – No set location, regularly does catering and special events

316-990-0884

Hours: Typically 5-9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday at Gazebo Gardens (3204 N Van Ness Blvd, Fresno, CA 93704); 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays at Enzo’s Tables (1959 N Willow Ave, Clovis, CA 93619)

Dubbed the “Asian food truck,” WTF: Where’s the Food actually blends Asian flavors with Mexican-style food. And what you get is some really good eats. Favorites to order are the seasoned Teriyaki asada tacos and the asada fries burritos.

“It’s not the traditional taco,” owner Henry Wickman says. “We take carne asada meat and season with it with Teriyaki. The flavors are totally different. But once they try it, you’ll see. We’ve got regulars coming back every week looking for it.”

For more information: www.facebook.com/whereswtf

No. 4 Taqueria Jaliscience – Restaurant at 3115 E Central Ave, Fresno, CA 93725; taco trucks near the intersections of Van Ness and Los Angeles avenues and Cedar and North avenues

559-486-1351 or 559-349-6415

Hours: 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday

A traditional taco truck, Taqueria Jaliscience specializes in carne asada, al pastor and adobada. But it likes to separate itself by offering homemade tortillas at each of their locations.

“They’re all good,” says manager Tony Luviano. “We have a special seasoning for our beef.”

For more information: www.facebook.com/TakeriaJaliscience

No. 5 La Imperial – 2588 S Maple Ave, Fresno, CA 93725 (Northwest corner of Maple and Jensen avenues in the Calvalier Foods parking lot)

559-316-9737

Hours: 5-10 p.m. Monday-Friday; weekends for special events and catering

La Imperial recently expanded its menu, offering more meat selections as well as flavored waters. Their fairly new asada nachos have been a hit. But it’s their asada tacos that remains the most popular.

“That,” says part-owner Francisco Sanchez, “is our go-to food.”

For more information: www.instagram.com/la_imperial_taqueria or www.facebook.com/laimperialtaqueria

No. 5 Quesadilla Gorilla – 608 E. Weldon Ave., Fresno, CA 93704; and 302 W. Main St., Visalia, CA 93291

559-636-6375

Hours: (Fresno location) 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday, closed Sunday; (Visalia location) 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday; closed Sunday

Owner Miguel Reyes is the first to admit that tacos are not Quesadilla Gorilla’s specialty. What they typically focus on is in their name: quesadillas. But there’s a reason this taco truck finished tied for fifth place among the judges this year.

“It’s the same concept; we just like to put in cheese and have the meet in between a tortilla,” Reyes says. “But our food is good. We just don’t normally do tacos.”

Reyes recommends trying their asada or jerk chicken.

For more information: www.quesadillagorilla.net

No. 7 Los Toritos – 11065-11099 E Mountain View Ave, Selma, CA 93662 (Mountain View Avenue right off Highway 99)

559-381-3073

Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Sunday

Los Toritos occasionally sets up at Fresno Grizzlies games. The taco truck markets itself as having “famous asada meat.”

For more information: www.facebook.com/jrodriguezlostoritostacotruck

No. 8 Guadalajara – Restaurant and truck at 3020 N. Weber Ave., Fresno, CA; truck at various events.

559-268-9528

Hours: 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Sunday

Everyone seems to do asada tacos. And Guadalajara certainly has that, too. But what this taco truck offer that most others don’t is “camarones a la diabla” – deviled, spicy shrimp. Plus, their flour and corn tortillas are homemade.

For more information: www.guadalajararestaurantfresno.com

No. 8 El Premio Mayor – 3247 E McKinley Ave, Fresno, CA 93703 and 3141 N Maroa Ave, Fresno, CA 93704

(559) 498-9925

Hours: (Restaurant) 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Sunday; trucks regularly attend Gazebo Gardens and other events

A dominant force in the Taco Truck Throwdown, El Premio Mayor might not have won over the judges this year. But it prevailed as the people’s top choice. El Premio Mayor was also the unanimous winner by the judges and fans at the Taco Truck Throwdowns in 2012, 2015 and 2016.

What to get? One item El Premio Mayor sold just for a Fresno Grizzlies game on Fourth of July was a red, white and blue taco.

“The line was super long for those tacos,” says Bianca Loza, a family owner.

But as far as what to order at the restaurant?

“Can never go wrong with asada tacos,” Loza says. “And we definitely like ours.”

For more information: www.facebook.com/TaqueriaElPremioMayor

No. 10 Tacos La Flor – 10920 S. Fowler Ave. Fowler, CA 93662 (Along Highway 43 in Selma)

559-790-5397

Hours: 9 a.m.-12 a.m. Monday-Sunday

What do you have when you add shrimp, avocado and diced onions on top of a crunchy corn tortilla shell? That’d be Tacos La Flor’s “Rica tostada de camarón,” which is a popular item at this truck.

For more information: www.facebook.com/Tacos-La-Flor-Bonita-taco-Truck-240465956415478

No. 10 Locavoria 559 – 3204 N Van Ness Blvd., Fresno, CA for Gazebo Gardens

559-905-7400

Hours: Usually Thursdays from 5-9 p.m. at the Gazebo Gardens, and various special events and catering

Locavoria 559 is a new food truck that combines flatbreads with local food and the love of the band “Queen.” That’s why they have dish names such as “Armenian wrapsody,” which is a chicken wrap with Sanger-based Mary’s organic chicken, Armenian feta bought at a local Armenian market, local cherry tomatoes and “microcilantro” (cilantro sprouts). Don’t expect traditional Mexican tacos here. What Locavoria 559 submitted to the judges, though, was a fusion taco that was based around a crispy pork belly.

“They’re different,” says owner Stacy Dodson-Jorgensen. “But they’re amazing.”

For more information: www.facebook.com/LoCAvoria559FlatBottomGrills

Other participants

Casa De Tamales – 609 E. Olive Ave, Fresno, CA 93728

559-541-4656

Hours: (Restaurant) 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday-Monday; 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. Sunday-Monday; at various events throughout the week

For more information: www.casadetamales.com

Jalapeno Face – Based in Lemoore, but does just events and catering

559-816-8491

Hours: N/A

For more information: www.facebook.com/jalapenoface or www.instagram.com/jalapenofacee

La Jacka 3557 Ventura Street, Fresno, CA; Often at Ventura and 6th

559-400-3780

Hours of operation: N/A

For more information: www.facebook.com/LAJACKAMOBILE

La Luna – 2421 E Clinton Ave, Fresno, CA 93703

559-230-1569

Hours: 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday

For more information: https://lalunabakerycafe.menufy.com

La Mexicana – 15901 East Kings Canyon Rd., Sanger, CA 93657

Hours: N/A

For more information: www.yelp.com/biz/la-mexicana-taco-truck-sanger

Latin Urban Bistro – At Fresno Street Eatz on Tuesdays; sometimes at Gazebo Garden and other events around Fresno

Hours: N/A

For more information: www.latinurbanbistro.com

Tacos Mazatlan – 103 N Broadway St., Fresno, California, CA 93701

559-824-9063

Hours: 7:45 a.m -1:45 p.m. Tuesday; 7:45 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday; closed Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday

For more information: www.facebook.com/Tacos-Mazatlan

Ortega’s Taqueria – 1401 I St., Reedley, CA 93654

(559) 356-1864

Hours: 9 a.m.-12 a.m. Monday-Sunday

For more information: www.facebook.com/Ortegas-Taqueria

Papa Mike’s Cafe – Not around often. This is actually the food truck that Poverello House uses to feed homeless in rural communities.

Hours: N/A

For more information: www.fresnobee.com/living/food-drink/article31910226.html

Smokin’ Burrito – No set location or schedule; open for catering and special events around the Valley

844-835-6033

Hours: N/A

For more information: www.thesmokinburrito.com and www.facebook.com/thesmokinburrito

Super Taco – 553 S Newmark Ave., Parlier, CA 93648

559-356-1838

Hours: 9 a.m.-8:45 p.m. Monday-Sunday

For more information: www.yelp.com/biz/super-tacos-taqueria-parlier

Sweet & Spicy – 1221 North First St., Fresno, CA 93703

559-697-8626

Hours: 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m.-4 p.m.Saturday; closed Sunday

For more information: www.facebook.com/sweetandspicyfresno

Tacos Boys – 54 E. California Ave., Fresno, CA 93706

559-273-0399

Hours: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; closed weekdays

For more information: www.facebook.com/TacosBoys

Tacos Marys – Near the intersection of North Avenue and S. Elm Avenue, west of Highway 41; sometimes at Gazebo Gardens

209-312-3829

Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday; closed Saturday; 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Sundays at the Flea Market at the Fresno Fairgrounds

For more information: www.facebook.com/Tacos-marys

Tacos Navarez – 4555 Cedar Ave, Fresno, CA

559-790-4156

Hours: 7:30 p.m.-12 a.m. Thursday-Saturday

For more information: www.facebook.com/nevarez.tacos

Tacos Y Mariscos Sinaloa – 7264 N. Blackstone Ave, Fresno, CA

559-492-8581

Hours: 11 am..-7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday

For more information: https://local.yahoo.com/info-196725997-tacos-y-mariscos-sinaloa-fresno

Tacos Super Pollos – 4008 W McKinley Ave., Fresno, CA 93728

559-681-8726

Hours: closed Monday-Thursday; 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 7 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Sunday

For more information: www.facebook.com/TACOS-SUPER-POLLO-1642723982658276

Tacos Tepa – Highway 180 and 5th St., Mendota, CA 93640; and 1044 O St., Firebaugh, CA 93622

559-659-2340

Hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 am.-9 p.m. Saturday; 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday

For more information: www.facebook.com/pages/Tacos-Tepa/103191139772081

Bryant-Jon Anteola: 559-441-6362, @Banteola_TheBee

Tacos, Brews & James

RETURN OF THE TACO TRUCK THROWDOWN WINNERS

  • When: August 17
  • Where: Tioga Sequoia Craft Brewery
  • Who’ll be there: El Premio Mayor (People’s Choice winner), El Mexicano (Judges’ choice winner)
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