Best Mexican Food Truck 2017 | Taqueria Lucy | La Vida | Phoenix

Taqueria Lucy is a venerable west-side lonchera that's been parked in the general vicinity of 27th Avenue and Buckeye Road since 2002. True, it's not the speediest food truck around — there rarely seems to be a lull at the order window, and the lines can get long at peak dinner hours. But the wide-ranging menu — everything from tacos to Sinaloan-style mariscos — rivals the flavor and quality that you'll find at many brick-and-mortar Mexican restaurants. Tacos are made on freshly made corn tortillas, and burritos are enormous, pocketbook-size affairs, stuffed with tendrils of beautifully grilled meat. The setting might seem gritty, but the food is impossibly and irresistibly delicious.

Jacob Tyler Dunn

For fans of Doug Robson's Gallo Blanco Cafe — and there are plenty of them — 2017 is the year that the white rooster came back to life. (White rooster refers to Robson, a white guy raised in Mexico.) And for that, we tip our hats to Robson, who brought his much-loved contemporary Mexican concept back to life in a gorgeously renovated space. The spirit of the old rooster now lives in downtown Phoenix's Garfield District, in a space that befits the menu's old-new, high-low aesthetic. The old menu has been lovingly fine-tuned, and its offerings include Mexico City-inspired antojitos like huaraches, along with an expanded menu of tacos, tortas, and assorted especiales. Long live the white rooster.

Shelby Moore

El Horseshoe Restaurant is a small, family-run Mexican restaurant that has been a landmark on Buckeye Road for decades. The restaurant offers Sonoran-style specialties like machaca, mariscos, chimichangas, and carne asada. The restaurant has a particularly strong breakfast menu, which includes a very delicious menu of breakfast burritos. How about a breakfast burrito bulging with saucy machaca, eggs, and verduras (veggies)? Or a big, powdery flour tortilla wrapped around an eggy bundle of chorizo and potatoes, all of it beautifully lubricated with melted cheese? However you like it, the nice folks at El Horseshoe will graciously make you the breakfast burrito of your dreams.

Meagan Simmons

Comedor Guadalajara may not come to mind as one of the most popular Mexican restaurants in town, but it only takes a handful of visits to this south-central Phoenix staple to witness the crowds that gather there daily. There is almost always a line to get into Comedor Guadalajara, including for breakfast. Maybe it has something to do with the irresistible allure of the chilaquiles? They are wonderful — a little soupy, drenched in savory red sauce, and just spicy enough to make them interesting. The mountain of saucy chilaquiles comes topped with a couple of eggs, and the dish only seems to taste better as the minutes tick by. The sauce softens the slivers of corn tortillas on your plate, until they become not much more than delicious gravy.

Patricia Escarcega

El Gallo de Lagos Taqueria is the kind of family-run strip-mall hole-in-the-wall that is a taco-lover's dream. The restaurant delivers a very strong assortment of tacos, including al pastor cut off the trompo, and luscious, melty buche (pork stomach) tacos. The restaurant is also known for its birria, tortas, huaraches, flautas, sopes, and quesadillas. Only one thing makes all of these delicious dishes taste even better, and it's the house-made assortment of salsas: a deliciously tangy green salsa, a spicy red salsa, and a heady chile-infused oil salsa that might bring to mind the stuff you find at your favorite Sichuan spot. Come for the tacos, but definitely stay for the homemade salsas.

Shelby Moore

Asadero Toro is the kind of nondescript, standalone Mexican restaurant that seems to fade into the metro Phoenix landscape without notice. But if you're the kind of Mexican food aficionado who can appreciate a well-made side of beans, it's worth taking note of Asadero Toro. First, there's the bean and cheese burrito, a simple classic that nevertheless has been known to produce feelings of immeasurable joy. Then there's the simple side of beans, which you can order with pretty much anything on the menu. The beans are about as creamy as melted Brie, and lovingly seasoned to extract intense flavor from the humble legume. It may not be fancy, but it's delicious.

Rita's Mexican Food is one of the west side's quiet gems, a long-running Mexican restaurant with refined airs and great service. It also happens to have some seriously good guacamole. Order it tableside, which at Rita's feels less like a trite menu cliché and more like a delicious indulgence. The whole avocados are sliced right in front of you, the meat of the fruit smashed against finely sliced onions and tomatoes, and seasoned to your liking. The chips are part of the equation, of course, and they are hot and perfectly crisp.

Every week, thousands of tortillas — both corn and flour — are produced at La Sonorense Tortilla Factory in south Phoenix, many of them headed straight to the kitchens of the region's top Mexican restaurants. Why are the tortillas at La Sonorense so highly coveted? They are produced with tried-and-true recipes that have stood the test of time. The hallmark of La Sonorense is the factory's buttery, papery thin flour tortillas, which contain only a handful of ingredients — including flour, shortening, water, and salt — and pressed to a thin yet pliant consistency. They are marvelous, as are the factory's signature yellow corn tortillas. Swing by the friendly storefront early in the morning, when you can pick up a pack of tortillas hot off the conveyor belt.

There is likely not a more elemental Mexican-American dish than nachos. This borderlands staple — invented somewhere in between Mexico and the United States — is frequently looked down on as the lowbrow foodstuff of bowling alleys and movie theater snack bars. But most everyone secretly loves nachos, a dish that marries flavor and texture in beautiful and delicious ways. If you're a secret (or not-so-secret) aficionado of nachos, consider paying a visit to Juan's Authentic Mexican Food, an old-fashioned and unassuming Mexican restaurant on Thomas Road, where the nachos are made in their full and abundant glory. Get the Supreme Nachos, which are loaded with your choice of beef or chicken (the ground beef seems to work the best), plus generous scatterings of tomatoes, green onions, beans, and of course, small lakes of melty, buttery cheese. It's no secret that it's delightful.

Patricia Escarcega

Tacos may be the specialty of the house at Tacos Sahuaro, but this friendly counter-service restaurant also happens to be a destination for terrific quesadillas. The quesadillas at Tacos Sahuaro are extra-cheesy and thickly built on tortillas made from scratch daily. They come stuffed with your choice of meat; the selection includes standards like carne asada, pollo asado, and al pastor, along with harder-to-find offal like buche (pork stomach). The meat and cheese is pressed into a sturdy, thick quesadilla, beautifully griddle-crisped on the outside and opulently cheesy on the inside. A quesadilla here is a satisfying meal all on its own.

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