If you’ve ever wanted to look into the face of God, eat a taco. As one story notes, the main ingredient of the tortilla and the foundation of Mexican civilization was brought to the world by Quetzalcoatl, an Aztec creation deity. According to another story, Mexicans were created from corn. Or maybe it is as simple as Franciscan friar Juan de Escalona wrote in 1610: “corn is God” in the eyes of indigenous Americans.
Indeed, the taco is composed of a holy trinity—a tortilla, a filling, and a salsa—that, when combined, can move the soul into communion with a higher power. Heady stuff, maybe. But it is important to recognize tacos as something more than stereotypical preconceptions as stale and rigid as a box of prefab taco shells.
The taco is glorious. And the taco is glorious in Dallas. The city’s taco scene has improved since our last taco feature in 2013. It’s now possible to enjoy tacos with roots in Mexico City, Monterrey, Sonora, Sinaloa, Oaxaca, Michoacán, Jalisco, Huasteca, the Rio Grande Valley, Tijuana, and San Antonio. You can enjoy tacos informed by the chef’s sensibilities and using local ingredients.
This time around, we decided to showcase 37 tacos representing the best the city has to offer. We also spotlight three chefs and restaurateurs who, as far as we’re concerned, are doing God’s work. Because we want to set you on a course to the pearly gates of tacos. Can we get an amen?