El Come Taco. Photo by Catherine Downes.


Taco Libre Will Be the Biggest and Best This Year

Go for the tacos, stay for the luchadores.

The fourth annual Taco Libre festival, taking place this Saturday at the Dallas Farmers Market Shed, will live up to taco glory with $2 tacos, live music, and lucha libre matches. El Come Taco, Resident Taqueria, Taco Wasted and others will be on site. VIP tickets give you a first go at the bites—an hour earlier start time, plus complementary drinks and other perks. (I imagine the gates opening, the invasion by hordes of ravenous taco-seekers.) If you think $70 is a lot for access to tacos, I question whether you live here. We love tacos in Dallas.

Festival founder José R. Ralat calls this the biggest and best year. “Twenty-five vendors run the gamut from traditional to specialty,” he says. “By traditional I mean anything from protein on a corn tortilla to puffy tacos and northern Mexican flour tortillas with carne asada.”  One spot will be doing a “taco de oro,” involving leg of goat, which will be running as a $25 special.

“Whisper the word ‘taco,’ and thousands of people show up. So, you need to give [people] a reason to come to your booth. Al pastor is nice, but everyone’s gonna sell that. We encourage the vendors to distinguish themselves from others. And one of the ways is by doing something of their own creation or something that is not commonly found here, but is found in Mexico,” Ralat says.

At the same time, this approach shows the diversity of tacos.

Alejandro Escalante, who owns a restaurant in the Coyoacan district of Mexico City specializing in pre-hispanic antojitos and who wrote the encyclopedic Tacopedia, will be offering chapulines and guacamole tostadas. He’s a vaunted find and a catch, a man whom Ralat calls a maestro. “The taco festivals that happen in Texas have never been able to get a Mexican taqueria here,” he points out.

The magic just happens. If you’re concerned about walking off the taco coma, don’t fret. Ralat reports that one year, he logged twelve miles walking between stands.

The party takes place this Saturday, April 25 at the Dallas Farmers Market Shed from 3 p.m. until 10p.m.

Buy tickets here.