10 Best Places for Cheap Tacos in Metro Phoenix

Morita pork and green chile chicken tacos at Most Wanted Tacos.
Morita pork and green chile chicken tacos at Most Wanted Tacos.
Patricia Escarcega

Is there any dish more simple, nourishing, and economical than a fresh-off-the-grill taco? A street taco is fast food perfection: a hot snack you can demolish in a couple of bites and pay for with the loose change gathering dust under your car seat or sofa cushions.

Here in the Valley, we’re spoiled with an abundance of excellent taquerias and food trucks pushing out meaty, juicy flavor bombs at all hours of the day. But living in a taco town like Phoenix means it can be hard to separate the gristle from the taco meat.

We cut out some of the legwork for you, searching high and low to find some of the best cheap taco spots around metro Phoenix. Each of these tacos is also priced at $2 or less, which means you can probably order a whole round of them — even if it means having to look under the car seat for a few more quarters. 

Most Wanted Taco Shop

One of the best taquerias in Phoenix is in Sunnyslope, and it goes by Most Wanted Tacos. A small taco will run you less than $2, and the ambitious menu of 14 chicken, pork, and beef tacos means you’ll probably find at least one that you love. The restaurant offers harder-to-find fillings, including cochinita pibil, the traditional Yucatan slow-roasted pork dish rippling with citrusy flavor. And if like your tacos spicy, try the morita pork taco. The heat off the smoky, vinegary sauce will linger on your palate for hours. The chicken green chile taco is another great choice, so savory and juicy it’s wise to eat it over a paper plate. The friendly staff even offers free samples of every meat behind the counter, making it easier to navigate the taco menu and discover new favorites.

Pollo asado and carne asada tacos at Tacos Sonora Grill.EXPAND
Pollo asado and carne asada tacos at Tacos Sonora Grill.
Patricia Escarcega

Tacos Sonora Grill

Tacos Sonora Grill is the kind of no-frills place you turn to when you know exactly what you want: Piles of meat, cradled inside steaming hot corn tortillas. Like many Sonoran joints, the house specialty is the carne asada taco, which is stuffed with bubbling, juicy bits of lightly marinated skirt steak. But don’t overlook the pollo asado taco. The chicken is golden brown, juicy and peppery, laced with a delicious lime-citrus marinade. Tacos are $1.89 apiece, and you’ll want to budget for at least a couple.

The Hazz, Lorenza, and Carne Asada tacos at Ta'Carbon in Phoenix.
The Hazz, Lorenza, and Carne Asada tacos at Ta'Carbon in Phoenix.
Patricia Escarcega

Ta’Carbon

You can smell the carne al carbon from the parking lot at this West Phoenix taco shop. Follow the scent to the dining room, which is invariably jammed with eaters during the lunch rush. Pretty much every taco on the menu is irresistibly good — and priced under $2. Don’t leave without trying the Hazz, a green chile beef taco overflowing with rich salty, cheesy savoriness. You’ll also have to try the Lorenza, a newer take on the crunchy vampiro taco. The tortilla is griddled until it’s dried out and crunchy, then layered with salty white cheese, a mild red chile sauce, and carne asada. Who knew eating off a Styrofoam plate could feel so good?

Carne asada tacos at Taqueria El Fundador.EXPAND
Carne asada tacos at Taqueria El Fundador.
Patricia Escarcega

Taqueria El Fundador

Formerly El Nuevo Taquito, Taqueria El Fundador recently went through an extensive rebranding. Thankfully, the kitchen didn’t toss out the recipe for its al pastor tacos. The pork tacos bubble over with juicy, tangy-sweet savory flavor. Also wonderful are the restaurant’s head meat tacos, especially the stringy, savory cabeza taco. The tacos are on the smaller end of the spectrum, but at about $1.35 a piece, there’s little room to complain.  

Chorizo, carne asada and chicharron tacos at Tacos Sahuayo.EXPAND
Chorizo, carne asada and chicharron tacos at Tacos Sahuayo.
Patricia Escarcega

Tacos Sahuayo

Never tried a lengua (beef tongue) taco before? If not, your first one should probably be at Tacos Sahuayo (sometimes listed as Tacos Sahuaro) in Central Phoenix. The silky, tenderized meat, chopped into beefy rectangles, is generously piled onto a grilled corn tortilla, then finished off with chopped cilantro and onion. Every bite is so juicy and well-seasoned, you’ll forget you’re chewing, well, cow tongue. The chorizo tacos, smoky and a little chewy, are also irresistible. Most tacos are $2, and worth every cent.

Pollo asado and barbacoa tacos at Asadero del Norte Sonora.EXPAND
Pollo asado and barbacoa tacos at Asadero del Norte Sonora.
Patricia Escarcega

Asadero Norte de Sonora

Asadero Norte de Sonora is beloved for its succulent whole grilled chickens – you’ll see plenty of diners carrying them out of the restaurant around dinnertime. It’s no surprise, then, that the restaurant makes a top-notch chicken taco, full of beautifully charred hunks of juicy meat. Every other taco, including the al pastor and barbacoa, is equally addictive. The hefty tacos are served on the restaurant’s chewy flour tortillas with a side of fresh guacamole.  At $1.90 apiece, they're a steal.

Al pastor, cabeza, and carne asada tacos at Taqueria Don Beto.EXPAND
Al pastor, cabeza, and carne asada tacos at Taqueria Don Beto.
Patricia Escarcega

Taqueria Don Beto

You never know quite what to expect from hole-in-the-wall eateries like Taqueria Don Beto, housed in what used to be a convenience store near 27th Street and McDowell. One thing you can expect from this taqueria is an outrageously good cabeza taco. The finely shredded beef will indulge any cravings you may have for richly flavored meat that seems to melt on your tongue like snow. Of course, you’ll have to try one of the tacos árabe (Arab-style tacos), a classic Puebla-style taco developed by the city’s Lebanese immigrants. Like al pastor, the meat is cooked on a rotating spit, but seasoned with traditional Middle Eastern spices like cumin and marjoram.

Al pastor taco from Tacos Old West.EXPAND
Al pastor taco from Tacos Old West.
Patricia Escarcega

Tacos Old West

Tacos Old West is a new kid in town, a homey west-side eatery that’s already getting attention for its excellent tripas (small intestine), carne asada, and al pastor tacos. The carne asada is classic Sonoran, with hefty heaps of sizzling meat deliciously wrapped in mesquite smoke. Bonus points to Tacos Old West for their excellent side cart, which includes finely shredded white cabbage, several homemade salsas, and a unique cucumber-and-cream mirepoix-cut side.

A buche taco at Taqueria La Hacienda.EXPAND
A buche taco at Taqueria La Hacienda.
Patricia Escarcega

Taqueria La Hacienda #1

The Taqueria La Hacienda food truck has become a fixture on Buckeye Road, a place where people from all walks of life converge to chow down on consistently excellent carnitas, asada, pollo and lengua. Most tacos are less than $2, including harder to find cuts like buche (pork stomach). You’ll definitely want to try the chicharrón taco, which is brimming with crisped-up pork skin in a savory red sauce.

A smoked pork taco at TC's Tacos in Tempe.EXPAND
A smoked pork taco at TC's Tacos in Tempe.
Patricia Escarcega

TC’s Tacos

TC’s Tacos, tucked away in a Tempe strip mall next to a drive-thru liquor store, is earning a local following for its smoked in-house meats. Try the smoked pork taco, piled with juicy, tender shredded meat and the occasional bubbling bit of smoke ring-charred pork. With the exception of the carne asada, every taco at TC’s is less than $2.

Use Current Location

Related Locations

miles
Ta'Carbon

5834 W. Camelback Rd.
Glendale, AZ 85301

623-463-8134

miles
Ta'Carbon

2929 N. 43rd Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85019

602-682-7701

www.tacarbon.com

miles
Tacos Sonora Grill

1009 S. 7th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85034

602-252-2795

miles
Taqueria El Fundador
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Taqueria La Hacienda #1

202 E. Buckeye Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

miles
Asadero Norte De Sonora

122 N. 16th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85034

602-253-4010

miles
Tacos Sahuayo

2922 E. McDowell Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85008

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