Taco Summer

Taco Summer: Grilled Chicken Tacos in the Shadow of Chase Field

Taco Summer: Grilled Chicken Tacos in the Shadow of Chase Field
Felicia Campbell

In the hunt for the latest trendy restaurants, our spotlight often misses neighborhoods that are home to some of the Valley's best kitchens — including those making metro Phoenix's best tacos. Over the next several weeks, we’ll be guiding you toward the Valley’s tastiest tacos, and the taquerías that serve them. Welcome to Taco Summer.

27. Sonora Taco Shop

Taquería: Sonora Taco Shop, 1009 South Seventh Street
Open Since: 2012
Style: No-frills Sonoran tacos and their variants
Signature Taco(s): Grilled chicken tacos shine

This tiny taco shop sits on an industrial corner of Buckeye Road and Seventh Street, within view of towering Chase Field and ASU Downtown. Outside, the dusty lot and weather-worn exterior look less than inviting, but inside, you will be greeted by a cheerful young woman standing behind a stylishly rustic counter.

click to enlarge FELICIA CAMPBELL
Felicia Campbell
Four little tables are wedged into the space along with a modest salad bar. Outside, there are picnic tables for those who want to take in the sights and sounds of busy intersection (which is probably much more interesting after the sun goes down).

But you won't be here for the ambiance. You'll come for the tacos.

The menu consists of asada, chicken, and pastor tacos for $1.99 each; vampiros tastadas with bean and cheese, which are also topped with carne asada or caramelos cheese crisps with meat for $2.99; and burros for $6.89.

click to enlarge FELICIA CAMPBELL
Felicia Campbell
Though it might be tempting to go for the carne asada, given that the name of the joint is "Sonora" grill, the chicken is where it's at.

Smokey, well-seasoned chicken thighs are chopped and trimmed of fat, grilled to golden perfection, and so flavorful that they make a killer taco unadorned. Add a mist of lime and a splash of the spicy, tangy, green salsa, and they are elevated to epic.

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
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Felicia Campbell has written about food, culture, and cars for digital and print publications all over the world and is the author of The Food of Oman: Recipes and Stories from the Gateway to Arabia (Andrews McMeel, 2015). Her husband learned quickly that she’d rather get a bag of avocados than a bouquet of roses.