Jun 28, 2022 - Food and Drink

Food fight: Our favorite tacos in Seattle

Photo of tacos al pastor from Sazon Kitchen.

Tacos al pastor from Sazon Kitchen. What more do you need in life? Photo: Lewis Kamb/Axios

It's time for Axios Seattle's inaugural Food Fight! Today, we square off with a street food staple — tacos.

Lewis' pick: Sazon Kitchen (Ballard, Queen Anne).

  • I'm a taco purist. Any taco must meet a few basic requirements: traditional Mexican spiced meats. Small, handmade corn tortillas. Sparse toppings that include some combination of onions, radishes, lime and hot sauce.
  • Throw in a few surprises and keep the meats juicy, and you've made me a regular customer.
  • Checking off all those boxes — and more — is Sazon, my latest top taco.
  • My Sazon pick: The Al pastor — with marinated pork on small, corn tortillas, a mix of onions, cilantro, pineapples and pickled red onions on top, with radishes, limes and hot sauce on the side. There are layers of complementary flavor all for a mere $3 a pop. Don't get fewer than three.
  • Runner up: TNT Taqueria (Wallingford). The meats are juiciest in the late afternoon. Bonus: Victoria beer in a bottle.

Melissa's pick: I'm never one to turn down tacos from Sazon Kitchen. But my current Seattle favorite is Carmelo's Tacos.

Three tacos with salsa verde on top with a slice of lime and carrots and onions on an orange plate.
The al pastor at Carmelo's Tacos is pretty sensational. Photo: Melissa Santos/Axios
  • The handmade tortillas are out of this world.
  • The meat is bursting with flavor, especially the al pastor with its punch of pineapple.
  • The sauces (especially the salsa verde, which I could eat by the cupful) taste unadulterated and fresh, as do the add-ons of carrot and onion.
  • They also have some flavor combinations you can't get everywhere, such as the taco campechano — a mixture of chorizo, potato and steak.
  • The Mexico City-style taqueria recently opened a larger location on 12th and Cherry, in addition to its original spot in Capitol Hill's Hillcrest Market.

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