I love tacos. I could eat Mexican food any day of the week, and tacos are my go-to choice most of the time. Luckily, there are lots of very good places to go for tacos in Charleston.
Another great thing about living in Charleston is that you can easily visit neighborhoods the city and its surrounding areas for lunch or dinner. If you live in West Ashley, you can head across the Ravenel Bridge to Sullivan’s Island or Isle of Palms. If you live in Mount Pleasant, you can cross the bridge the other way and go out for tacos on James Island or Folly Beach.
Of course, you can stay close to home, too, and there are good taco spots within a short drive of nearly all of Charleston’s neighborhoods. With this in mind, here are some of the best places to go for tacos in Charleston:
A personal favorite in downtown Charleston is Pink Cactus. Located at 100 Spring Street, Pink Cactus has a small but lively dining room—and really good tacos. Along with traditional favorites like carnitas and chorizo, Pink Cactus has vegetarian tacos (cauliflower and roasted poblano) as well.
Other places to go for tacos in downtown Charleston include:
- Azul Mexicano (385 Meeting Street)
- El Pincho Taco (616 Meeting Street)
- Maya (479 King Street)
- MESU (570 King Street)
- Taco Boy (217 Huger Street)
Another personal favorite for tacos in Charleston is Taco Boy at Folly Beach (106 E. Ashley Avenue). Taco Boy has a downtown location too, but the Folly Beach location offers a completely different experience. The tacos are equally good at both locations; but, at Folly Beach, the second-floor dining room’s huge windows let you enjoy the ocean breeze while you eat lunch or dinner. If you are looking for vegetarian tacos, the avocado tempura tacos are worth the drive to Folly Beach alone.
Other places to go for tacos on Folly Beach include:
- Chico Feo (122 E. Ashley Avenue)
- Rita’s Seaside Grille (2 Center Street)
Isle of Palms
Papi’s Taqueria is the place to go for tacos on Isle of Palms. Its website invites you to “come try the best tacos in Charleston,” and by many accounts it’s hard to disagree. Located at 1012 Ocean Boulevard, Papi’s Taqueria has several specialty tacos, including the Juan Corleone (with chorizo and charred poblanos), Fishin’ in the Dark (with blackened local fish), and Gotta Go Gringo (with your choice of grilled veggies, chicken, steak, beef, or shrimp).
James Island is home to several Mexican restaurants that have good tacos. Zia Taqueria (1939 Maybank Highway) has reasonable prices, and it has a long list of tacos on its menu—including meat, seafood, and vegetarian options. Other places to go for tacos on James Island include:
- Azul Mexicano (1989 Maybank Highway)
- Casa Fiesta (808 Folly Road)
- Jalisco Taqueria & Tequila (1271 Folly Road)
Johns Island’s up-and-coming restaurant scene has attracted several new eateries to the island. Whether you come here just for tacos or pass through on your way to (or from) Kiawah or Bohicket Marina, Maria’s Mexican Grill (2817 Maybank Highway) and La Fogata (a food truck that parks at 4455 Betsy Kerison Parkway next to Rosebank Farms) are both good options.
Other places to go for tacos on Johns Island include:
- El Mercadito & Taqueria (3575 Maybank Highway)
- Gallina Loca (food truck at 3247 Maybank Highway)
- Minero Mexican Grill & Cantina (3140 Maybank Highway)
- Tacos La Familia (food truck at 3546 Maybank Highway)
Juanita Greenberg’s Nacho Royale is a local favorite for tacos in Charleston that is located just across the Ravenel Bridge at 410 W. Coleman Boulevard. Whether you get a basic taco (topped with lettuce, cheese, and pico) with your choice of filling or you choose one of their specialty tacos, you can’t go wrong.
Other places to go for tacos in Mount Pleasant include:
- Carmen y Juan (1118 Park West Boulevard)
- Guadalajara Bar & Grill (1136 Hungry Neck Boulevard)
- San Miguel Mexican Grill & Bar (1711 Shoremeade Road)
- Santi’s (1471 Ben Sawyer Boulevard).
- SOL Mt. Pleasant (1101 Stockade Lane)
Located at 1262 Remount Road, Dashi is one of the go-to places for tacos in Charleston. Blending Asian and Latin cuisine, Dashi offers several unique flavors, and the three taco plate is definitely he way to go. Dashi has a lot of other really unique options as well; and, if you love burritos just as much as you love tacos, you’ll definitely want to go back another time.
Mex 1 is currently the only Mexican restaurant on Sullivan’s island, not that this is a bad thing. Located at 2205 Middle Street, Mex 1 offers a menu of fish tacos along with more-traditional options and a charred cali-flower option for vegetarians. Located just across the street, Poe’s Tavern on Sullivan’s Island has shrimp and fish tacos as well.
Taco Bartina in West Ashley (located at 1301 Ashley River Road) is quickly gaining a reputation as one of West Ashley’s go-to taco spots. Recently remodeled, Taco Bartina has a relaxed atmosphere and a menu that includes an entire page of tacos. Along with traditional favorites and vegetarian tacos with black beans and red rice, Taco Bartina also offers brisket, pork, and chicken street tacos as well as unique specialties like Black & Bleu, Southern Picnic, and Sweet Thai.
Other places to go for tacos in West Ashley include:
- Agaves Cantina (3871 W. Ashley Circle)
- Locals West Ashley (1680 Old Towne Road)
- Senor Tequila (1836 Ashley River Road)
- Taco Kitchen (2065 Savannah Highway)
- YoBo Cantina Fresca (10 Windermere Boulevard)
These are by no means all of the places to go for tacos in Charleston. There are many more restaurants and food trucks throughout the area that are well worth visiting. This is just a list of some personal favorites—whether for the tacos, the atmosphere, or both—and we encourage everyone to patronize as many local businesses as they can.