Arizona Taco Festival Announces First Round of Taco Teams: Nice Start, Need More

The Arizona Taco Festival, the state's biggest celebration of the classic Mexican dish, is now in its second year and has announced the first round of taco teams who'll be competing for trophies, cash, and the coveted title of "Best Taco in Arizona" on Saturday, October 15, at the Scottsdale Waterfront.

Over 25 teams have paid the entry fee of $300 to do the taco tussle at the all-day festival, but David Tyda, who founded and organizes the event along with Rick Phillips, both from food scene website, Eater AZ, says he'd love to have around 40 teams who not only have to manage perfectly timed turn-ins of four categories (chicken, beef, pork and seafood) to the judges, but serve $2 tacos to the masses as well.

"It's intense," says 2010 and 2011 competitor, Aaron Chamberlin, chef and owner of St. Francis restaurant. "We didn't know what to expect last year, but now we'll definitely have an advantage over the rookie teams."

Woo-hoo -- trash-talkin' already! Check out the current lineup and let us know who you'd like to see enter the race after the jump.

Current taco teams include:

Black Chile Mexican Grill

Canteen Modern Tequila Bar

Carte Blanche Gourmet Tacos

Chelsea's Kitchen

Chronic Cantina

Dos Gringos

El Hefe Super Macho Taqueria

El Toro BBQ

The Heard Museum Café

The Herb Box

Jalapeno Inferno

Loco Patron

Los Olivos


Mike's BBQ

Private Rack Gastropub

Ralph's Snack Bar


Salty Senorita

St. Francis

T. Cook's

Teazy Tacos

The Mission

Wildhorse Grille at Talking Stick

What say you, taco tasters? Who's missing from the list? Give us your suggestions below.

The 2nd Annual Arizona Taco Festival will be held on from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 15, at the Scottsdale Waterfront (7025 East Via Soleri in downtown Scottsdale.) General admission is $10 (kids under 12 free), VIP is $100. Food samples are $2 each. For more information and entry forms, go here.

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