The Best Mexican Street Food in Tampa Bay at the Taco Bus (El Taconazo) in Seminole Heights

the taco bus

Okay, so we’ve all heard the legends of this place. And it seems now that everyone knows… THE TACO BUS RULES. It’s basically the fucking man of quick, cheap, and late-night grub. You stand in line behind a bunch of stinky hipsters (with whom I am regrettably likely associated), order your food, sit down, and in mere moments you are eating. And GOD BLESS DEM TACOS. They will consume you as you consume them.

the bus

This thing is literally a bus that seemingly crashed into the restaurant (on Hillsborough just east of Nebraska) long ago, and, much like the Magic School Bus, somehow became sentient and began serving delicious food for low low prices (and maybe subject you to some far-too-loud music, ranging from peppy Mexican music to some Christina Aguilera classics). There is an indoor section to the restaurant, but the cool kids eat in the outside dining area, right next to the bus itself.

The owner grew up in Mexico and worked at taco stands for many years, and clearly perfected the art. The food you get here is much like what I’d imagine you’d find on the streets of Mexico City, with the freshest toppings, perfectly prepared tortillas, and some of the most mouthwatering, cooked to perfection meat that I’ve ever tasted. It’s all very simple, and it’s all very cheap.

taco and tostada

Their food is great just to look at! The colors of all the ingredients really pop. My usual meal consists of two tacos and a tostada, with a rotating cast of delicious meats. This time, I got carne asada taco on a flour tortilla, cochinita pibil taco (my favorite – a marinated pork based on a 5000 year old Mayan recipe,) on their corn tortillas (not pictured), and a puerco asado tostada. They also have chicken, stewed beef, beef tongue, and chicharrón, fish and shrimp, and a few vegetarian options including tofu, roasted poblano peppers, butternut squash, and “vegan steak strips”(?). And you can do burritos, quesadillas, tortas, whatever. They even have some daily specials. And everything is served with a lime! On every table there is a bottle of their red and their green salsa, both delicious and deceptively spicy.

The Taco Bus is now open 24/7, and they are opening up a St. Pete location (Central Avenue between 23rd and 24th Streets) in November. Basically, you no longer have any excuse not to go. It’s simply the best Mexican street food in the area, a great environment, and a great deal.

…and it’s so hip.

UPDATE: The Taco Bus has just opened a second bus location in St. Pete at 2324 central ave. They actually got a whole new bus for this, so it should be awesome. Check it out!


  1. Jessica

    Hey, they actually have a third location too…It’s a free standing restaurant near King High on 56th St in Temple Terrace, I can’t remember the name but it used to be some gyro place. My parents eat there all the time and say it’s just as amazing as the bus!

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