SPOTLIGHT: Ventura’s Ten Best Tacos

From the Taco District on Ventura Avenue, to the Ventura Pier, to Ventura Harbor Village, Ventura’s tasty taco to go options make it pretty much impossible to decide.

Which is why we asked our kind Ventura residents, to decide for us; and you kindly — and wisely — chimed in. We’ll leave you with just one taco thought, “If you cannot make everybody happy, you are not a taco.” And again, equally heartfelt thanks to our Ventura locals and knowledgeable visitors who chimed in. We wouldn’t be able to assemble these polls without you. Added plus, you know your tacos.

1. Spencer Mackenzies

Yep, it’s home to the world-famous fish taco (choose Brooklyn style), but their carne asada street tacos aren’t to be missed. Heroes, take note. On “First Responder Tuesdays,” Spencer Mackenzie’s takes 20 percent off the bill of every first responder.

2. Beach House Tacos

At Beach House Tacos on the Ventura Pier, the show is two-fold; seafood tacos perfectly grilled and drippily garnished (tints of lime, spice, and avocado), and a killer Pacific view.

3. Snapper Jack’s Taco Shack

There are two Snapper Jack’s in Ventura now, including one downtown on the now highly walkable Main Street (so maybe a stroll before the to go). You choose between soft corn or crispy flour tortillas; you can’t go wrong with the grilled fish taco topped with Secret Shack sauce.

4./5./6./7. Since the only honest poll is an honest poll, Lalo’s Fast Food, Taqueria Cuernavaca, Mom and Pop’s Food Truck, and Taqueria Tapititlan

scored a four way tie. The restaurants are all on Ventura Avenue and Mom and Pop’s, well, by definition, is on the move (note; one local doesn’t distinguish between taco tracks: “All the taco trucks on Ventura Avenue after 5:30 .. those are real tacos!!!”). Basically, you can’t go wrong. Start with Taqueria Cuernavaca; the Al Pastor (marinated pork) or veggie tacos (potatoes or mushrooms) will leave you stunned.

8. Taqueria El Tapatio #5

Located in midtown (the Poinsettia Pavilion shopping center at Telephone and Main), Taqueria El Tapatio’s tacos de pastor feature pork with an astonishing marinade. Don’t miss their homemade Horchata.

9. Pierpont Tacos

The fried fish tacos are delicious. If you have a health conscience, get one fried fish taco and one ahi taco, keto style. Added plus, walk your Pierpont Tacos right down Seaward Avenue; it’s a block to the beach.

10. Baja Bay Surf & Taco

Baja Bay Surf & Taco is located in Ventura Harbor Village. Try the fish taco wrapped in a homemade tortilla. Stroll across the street and eat them with an ocean view.

Image: Ventura Visitors & Convention Bureau

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Jan 2021