Looks can deceive. No two tacos pack the same punch.
Our readers voted for their favorite tacos in the Best of Dayton 2018 contest. However, there are some we think might be comparably delicious, but just a little out of reach at times.
We would never want our fellow Daytonians to miss out on an amazing taco.
Address: 215 Byers Road, Dayton
First up, Las Peñas. The menu is low frills. You pay in cash at the Las Peñas Grocery counter, and there are no chips and salsa. However, the payoff is tenfold.
Regular tacos come on two corn tortillas with your choice of meat with a heap of fresh white onion and cilantro for $2.69 each.
“Las Peñas opened in 2010, but flew below my radar until Jhembert “J.P.” Perdomo told my colleague Mark Fisher during an interview,” Dayton.com reporter Amelia Robinson wrote after discovering Las Peñas tacos.
“I tried three regular tacos with chorizo, barbacoa and carnitas. Each came with a mountain of tender meat that the tortilla held up to. I cleaned my plate after squeezing on lime and deliciously spicy chili sauces that lingered in my mouth. The thick bits of barbacoa were a standout, with drizzles of spicy chili oil sauce and salsa verde,” Robinson wrote.
Address: 7 Huffman Ave., Dayton
Allegra Czerwinski, Dayton.com digital audience specialist, considers herself quite the taco enthusiast. After giving this hidden-gem taco stop a try at lunchtime, she proclaimed she has a new favorite Dayton taco.
She ordered a pair of tacos Al Pastor style and loaded on the “green sauce.” It was more flavorful than other verde sauces she’s enjoyed, Czerwinski said. Ingredients were perfectly rationed out, the meat went above her expectations. She said she would be back very soon.
Address: 2721 Linden Ave., Dayton
If we’re basing this list on purely under-the-radar rating, this Dayton taco stop might take the cake (or nacho). Nestled against the La Tapatia II grocery store on Linden Avenue, this taco truck is almost always a drive-by until customers stop for the first time. Then, it usually becomes a can’t-miss.
There’s no website available for Taqueria La Lomita, so we’ve pulled a Yelp review to do the raving for us:
“The unassuming truck parked behind the Hispanic grocery on Linden serves the absolute best tacos in Dayton. Mixteca is good. Taco Loco is good. Even that other truck down the street is good. But these tacos are THE BEST. And I know my way around a taco.
Quesadillas? Check. Burritos? Check. Tortas? Check. Other menu items that I don't know because I don't speak Spanish? Check.
Eat here. You will not be disappointed,” — review by Eric T. from Scottdale, GA.
4. 🌮Miguel’s Tacos
Address: 230 Xenia Ave., Yellow Springs
There is good reason Yellow Springs locals worship this tiny taco truck.
We could rave about multiple items on Miguel’s menu but there is something special about the Chicken Tinga Tacos. Maybe it’s the hometown, authentic feeling customers get while waiting in line for some hot, smothered Miguel’s shells — or perhaps it is Miguel himself. Either way, these are some of the Dayton-area’s most beloved taco treats that can’t be beat.
5. 🌮Sea Jax Tavern
Address: 5900 Bigger Rd., Kettering
If the picture didn’t speak for itself, Sea Jax Tavern in Kettering is going to pile on your money’s worth in taco deliciousness.
The Jax Taco Dinners are reasonably priced and loaded with flavor. For around $12.99 each, each dinner comes with two flour tortillas, black beans and Jax’s delicious Mexican rice. Pictured above are the Fish Tacos ($13.99) with flash-fried Grouper fingers, shredded cabbage, topped with Jax’s secret Boom Boom Sauce and fresh pico de gallo. We highly encourage everyone to ask (very nicely) for extra Boom Boom sauce.
• 6418 Chambersburg Road, Huber Heights,
• 1438 N Keowee St, Dayton
• 483 W. Main St., Xenia
• 1002 N Broad St., Fairborn
• 1929 E. Main St., Springfield
It’s quite easy to recognize a Victor’s taco when you see one. The golden shells hold all the goodness of Victor’s fillings in a perfectly warm, house-fried taco clam. This Dayton stop made our under-the-radar list because a taco shop drive-thru might make some people looking for a delicious, authentic taco meal say “next.” This is not the experience you’ll find at Victor’s.
They’re generous with toppings and fans swear by the sauces. Served up in humble, clear containers, the green and red sauces each add just the amount of heat desired. The red sauce brings the heat while the green sauce is more tangy without being spicy. This is perfect for someone looking to enhance the Mexican flavor of their dish.
What are your favorite hidden gem taco shops (or places that serve up amazing tacos). Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.