Taco Summer

Taco Summer: The 16th Street Phoenix Taco Truck That You Can Always Count On

21. La Frontera 1

La Frontera 1, 151 North 16th Street
Open Since: 1997
Style: Sonoran-style street tacos
Signature Taco(s): Carne asada, barbacoa, cabeza

La Frontera 1, also known as La Frontera Comida Mexicana, has been parked at the intersection of 16th and Van Buren streets for a decade, where the immobilized truck has become a staple of late-night dining.

In addition to tacos, tortas, quesadillas, and burritos, the shop has random specials, and a rotating cast of excellent fillings. You'll always find their signature carne asada, and standbys like chicken, in addition to el pastor, lengua, carnitas, barbacoa, al pastor, chicharron, or cabeza, depending on the day. The agua frescas flavors rotate, too, though the cooler is always stocked with Mexican Coke.

click to enlarge FELICIA CAMPBELL
Felicia Campbell
Every plate of tacos comes loaded with lime wedges and sliced cucumber, and if you are dining "in" at one of the covered picnic tables, you'll also be handed a bottle of hot sauce and one of avocado sauce.

The barbacoa tacos are juicy and fatty, requiring a generous squeeze of both hot sauce and tangy avocado to balance out the rich meat. The chicken comes on a bed of sauteed peppers and onions, and is perked up with a misting of lime. The carne asada is pretty perfect just the way it is: large chewy chunks of beef seasoned with plenty of black pepper and a light sprinkle of salt.

Whether you come when they open at 8 a.m., or just before closing time at 1 a.m., you are sure to find a few other hungry diners scatters throughout the dining area. It is a quiet and peaceful refuge at the corner of the two major byways, and it has become as much of a fixture there as the brick and mortar shops at the periphery of its parking lot.

Our Taco Summer picks so far:

50. Taqueria Don Beto
49. Kiss Pollos Estilo Sinaloa
48. Tacos Tijuana
47. El Burrito Grande
46. El Horseshoe Restaurant
45. Tacos Sahuaro
44. El Pollo Correteado
43. Adrian's
42. La Fiesta
41. Taqueria Lucy
40. Tortas Ahogadas George
39. Taqueria El Chino
38. Joe's Tacos
37. Taqueria El Gallo de Lagos
36. Tacos Huicho
35. Puffy Taco Shack
34. Ni De Aqui Ne De Alla
33. Mr. Mesquite
32. Senor Ozzy's
31. Tacos Jalisco
30. Ta'Carbon
29. Taqueria Los Yaquis
28: Helio Basin Brewing
27: Sonora Taco Shop
26: Mercado Y Carniceria Cuernavaca
25. Restaurant Atoyac Estilo Oaxaca
24. Paquime Street Food
23. The Rez
22. Asadero Toro