Tacos are an integral part of American cuisine, with it being estimated that we consume around 4.5 billion tacos yearly. But when it comes to which cities are the best for tacos, it seems that there are a lot of opinions; San Diego should take the top spot due to its close proximity to Mexico, but so should Concord, California for having a dedicated ‘Taco Trail’. 

To settle the debate, we’ve taken a deep dive to explore which cities across the US are the best for tacos, based on the number of taco restaurants per 10,000 people, the number of top-rated taco restaurants per 10,000 people, and the average price of a taco. We’ve also analyzed Google Search Volume to reveal which states are the most ‘taco obsessed’.

Las Vegas, Nevada crowned the best city for taco lovers

According to our research, Las Vegas is the place to be if you’re a lover of tacos. With 2,012 restaurants serving up tacos (working out at 31 per 10,000 people!), of which over 200 are rated 4*+, and a taco costing on average $4.23, Sin City ranks as the best US city for taco lovers.

Coming in second place is Salt Lake City, Utah, with 29 taco restaurants per 10,000 people, of which 11% are rated 4*+, and an average cost of $3.84. Rounding out the top three is Albuquerque, New Mexico, with 25 restaurants per 10,000 people, 17% of establishments rated over four stars, and a taco priced at around $4.17.

The cities with the best taco restaurants

The quest to find the perfect taco is not just about satisfying hunger; it's a flavorful adventure that can be hard to get right. That’s why we wanted to find out which cities have the highest percentage of restaurants that are rated well by their customers. Albuquerque takes the top spot, with 17% of all taco restaurants rated four stars or above. This is followed by Kansas City (13%) and Wichita (12%). 

Burlington ranks in last place, with only 2% of restaurants rated over four stars, and Newark and Detroit come in second and third last with 2% and 3% respectively.

The cheapest cities for tacos

Sometimes delving into the realm of budget-friendly taco havens can become an adventure in itself. Boise, Idaho leads the way when it comes to the cheapest tacos, costing just $3.23 on average. This is followed by Des Moines, Iowa and New Orleans, Louisiana, where tacos are around $3.30 and $3.32 respectively.

On the other end of the scale, we found that Bridgeport, Connecticut is the city with the most expensive tacos, with one taco being on average $8.67! Minneapolis, Minnesota comes in a close second for the most expensive tacos at $8.65 per taco, and Little Rock, Arkansas takes third place with $8.40.

Which states are the most taco-obsessed?

Now we know which cities across the country are the best for the taco lovers amongst us, we wanted to find out which states are home to the most taco-obsessed Americans. We analysed Google Search Volume to see which states are searching “tacos near me” the most and found that Texas has the highest number of taco fans, with yearly searches reaching over 3.5 million. 

This is followed by California, with 2.95 million yearly searches, and Florida with 1.62 million searches per year. Those in Wyoming, South Dakota and Alaska seem to be far less interested in tacos, with yearly searches being as low as 5,760, 7,080 and 8,640 respectively. 

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Methodology and Sources

  • The seed list of cities was based on the most populated city in each state
  • Population data was taken from here
  • The number of taco restaurants was taken from here
    • We searched “tacos” in [city] and made sure the distance was selected as “Within [city]
  • The number of 4* and above Mexican restaurants was taken from here
    • We searched for the relevant city name + “restaurants”
    • We then selected 4 stars and over in the filter panel and selected “Mexican” in the cuisine section of the filter panel
    • If applicable, we then selected “limit search to [city]”
  • The average cost of tacos was taken from here
    • We calculated this by taking an average from multiple taco prices across three different restaurants in each city by inputting the city, selecting “noon/1/2/3 pm”, and then searching ‘tacos’.
    • Please note that in some instances, we had to use an alternative methodology to get a price. This has been done by searching “[city] [state] tacos” in Google and taking the taco prices from menus for restaurants that came up in the Google Maps search

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