I don’t know why but this is the season we seem to enjoy tacos the most. I know it’s coming up on Cinco de Mayo, but tacos are really a year-round favorite of so many, even giving the hamburger a run for its money.

I enjoy a great taco and Mexican cuisine, the heat, spices, and flavors are so enjoyable. There are some places throughout New Jersey that don’t put enough effort into making sure that the taco they serve are the best.

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash
Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash

I have found a few restaurants here in Monmouth and Ocean Counties in New Jersey that serve up some of the best tacos you’ve ever tasted. Everybody has their favorite and I encourage you to send me yours.

Here are my favorite Monmouth and Ocean county restaurants to get a great taco. In no particular order.

Chilango’s — Highlands, NJ

Chilango’s boasts that this is the way Mexican food should taste and they are right.

I enjoy everything I have at this restaurant and use tacos as one of my appetizers. I usually go in with friends and we order Margarita’s and their homemade Sangria, both are outstanding. For one of our appetizers, we got pork and pineapple and fish tacos.

Photo via Google Maps
Photo via Google Maps

I was reluctant to order the pork and pineapple taco but I’m so glad I was encouraged to do so. The pork was so tender, and the pineapple added a sweetness to the taco that was delicious.

The fish taco was fresh and very enjoyable, this is a great way to wake up your palate for more outstanding food.

La Sierra Restaurant and Bar — Lake Como, NJ

This restaurant is authentic and good, very good. They serve up a huge selection of terrific tacos that make an outstanding meal. I love their shrimp tacos. The taco is filled with fresh accompaniments that go well with the marinated perfectly cooked shrimp.

The other choices for your taco experience are many and I suggest you go with a few people so that each of you may have at least a small portion of the many choices.

Have an ice-cold Modelo Especial or Pacifico beer from Mexico to enjoy with your tacos. Their guacamole is outstanding! Don’t fill up on chips and salsa!

La Tapatia Grocery and Restaurant — Asbury Park, NJ

Walk into La Tapatia and you get the feeling that you’re not in Jersey anymore. The authentic décor with the servers and food are purely Mexican.

First enjoy a pitcher of Margaritas or homemade Sangria with homemade chips, salsa, and a very good guacamole. Then browse the simple menu with many choices to make and the tacos are very good.

Photo via Google Maps
Photo via Google Maps

You have a choice of soft corn tortillas or hard-shelled tacos. I like the soft corn tortillas and they have Platillo de Tacos which gives you a variety of meat choices to make a big plate to enjoy.

Don’t forget to get extra guacamole for your taco. They are very good.

Escondido — Freehold, NJ

This is Mexico, the high ceilings with balcony, tucked away booths and wonderful décor make Escondido a destination must. It so reminds me of Rosa Mexicano in New York City.

Escondido’s food is fresh, authentic, and delicious. I have tried so many items on the menu that it makes it more difficult to choose when I frequent the restaurant.

The tacos that I have had are soft corn tortillas and my choice of meats and toppings. The tacos are served perfectly and because of their large size and filling ingredients, the tacos are not necessarily an appetizer choice.

They have great Margaritas and lots of choices of beverage choices. Try the famous tuna guacamole and the regular guacamole, you’re going to love it.

Taqueria La Michoacana — Lakehurst, NJ

This is a small gem in Lakehurst where everything is simple, homemade, and delicious. The food is fresh as it’s made right there. They have some outstanding dishes that pop with spice and leave you wanting more, and you’ll get it too.

The restaurant is small, but they haven’t jammed the tables next to each other.

Photo via Google Maps
Photo via Google Maps

The tacos are very good, and your choices are many. There are also some specials that they have that I highly recommend. Enjoy this wonderful restaurant.

El Familiar Restaurant - Toms River, NJ

I have only been to El Familiar once and I liked it. This is a unique restaurant that blends the cuisine of Columbia and Mexico. The infusion of these two cuisines can provide some interesting and tasty results.

The spices are outrageous and work in the dishes that they present. To those looking for me to only include a purest list, forget it, it’s my list and I like El Familiar Restaurant.

El Mexico Lindo - Brick Township, NJ

The last time I was at El Mexico Lindo I so enjoyed everything that was served. It’s a small restaurant with very fresh food.

Photo via Google Maps
Photo via Google Maps

The taco selection was extensive, and the choices were many including the marinated pork taco al pastor. The fish taco was good, and the toppings were fresh. I ordered a plate of Nachos Grande, I normally don’t order that, but they were very good. A terrific choice.

There’s a very good chance that your favorite Monmouth and Ocean County Mexican restaurant was not on my list.

I’m only one guy and I’d love to hear from you about your favorite restaurant.

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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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