From ancient Mexico to downtown Chattanooga, the taco has proliferated, becoming one of our most beloved comfort foods.
Since it arrived in America in the early 1900s, according to Smithsonian Magazine, the taco has been evolving. Traditional organ meat was replaced with ground beef; toppings were added -- first, lettuce, tomato and cheese, now anything from aioli to remoulade to crispy bacon and beyond.
The modern American taco knows no bounds, but Chattanooga hasn't entirely lost its taste for the traditional. From the epicurean to the authentic (yes, you can still order organ meat, or "tripa," at some local taquerias), there are countless ways to eat tacos in our area. Here are just 50.
The prices and menu items listed in this feature may be subject to change.
Taqueria La Monarca. Chicharron (pork skin) taco topped with cilantro and onion served on a fresh-made corn tortilla.
$2.25 per taco. Food truck frequently found on Lee Highway near Airport Road.
STIR Chattanooga. Blackened fish taco topped with charred salsa, pico, pickled onions, Cojita cheese and slaw.
$12.95 per order. 1444 Market St.
423 Taco. "Cowboy" taco with shrimp, bacon and Mexican BBQ served on a corn tortilla.
$13.99 for three tacos. 212 W 8th St.
Agave and Rye. "The Rooster" taco made with crispy chicken, mac 'n cheese, Nashville hot sauce and sweet pickles, double-shelled in a crunchy corn and soft flour tortilla.
$8.50 per order. 185 Chestnut St.
Bitter Alibi. "Fun Guy" taco made with Impossible ginger vegan crumble, grilled shiitake mushrooms, shredded lettuce, rainbow vegetables and "Boombox" sauce.
$13 per order. 825 Houston St.
Mexiville. "Tacos Tropicale" made with grilled shrimp, sauteed pineapples, grilled onions, pico de gallo and sour cream served on a corn tortilla.
$13.99 for three tacos. 809 Market St.
State of Confusion. Peruvian lettuce wrap taco made with citrus-marinated chicken and topped with pineapple sweet-chili sauce, Confusion sauce, cancha corn, Cotija cheese and sweet potato.
$11.95 per order. 301 E Main St.
Edleys's Bar-B-Que. Hot chicken taco topped with cheese, bean salad, pico de gallo, jalapeno ranch and cilantro.
$9 for two tacos, $13 for three. 205 Manufacturers Road.
Taco Mamacita. "Shrimp Po'boy BLT" taco made with Creole fried shrimp, spicy remoulade sauce, lettuce, pepperoncini, bacon, pico de gallo, oregano and jalapeno-lime mayo.
$4.25 per taco. 109 N Market St.
Mezcla Cocina y Cantina. Birria (beef) taco topped with Chihuahua cheese, cilantro, onion and spicy salsa and served with consommé (rich broth) for dipping.
$15 per order. 2 Cherokee Blvd.
Taconooga. Bean and cheese taco served on a fresh corn tortilla with queso fresco.
$4 for one taco, $11 for three. 207 A Frazier Ave.
Cashew. Vegan jackfruit taco made with barbecue jackfruit, cashew cheese, coleslaw, pickled red onions and green onions served on a corn tortilla.
$12 for three tacos. 149 River St.
Poblanos Mexican Cuisine. Caribbean mahi taco made with mahi-mahi fish and topped with green cabbage, red cabbage, tomatoes, mango and chipotle aioli.
$15.75 per order. 551 River St.
Real Roots Cafe. Taco salad on a bed of romaine lettuce and spinach with housemade chili, cheese, "ranch" slaw, avocado-lime-cilantro dressing and tortilla strips.
$12.75 for small order, $16.95 for large. 607 North Market St.
Taco Town. Nopales (grilled cactus) taco served with onions and cilantro on two soft corn tortillas.
$2.49 per taco. 5425 TN-153 Suite 137.
Taqueria La Bonita. Carne asada (grilled steak) authentic street-style taco with grilled onions, cilantro and lime on a corn tortilla.
$3.25 per taco. 1700 Dodds Ave.
El Metate. Taco de pastor (marinated pork) with pineapple, onions, cilantro and tomatillo sauce.
$12.99 per order. 5922 Hixson Pike.
El Fogón. Vegetarian taco salad with refried beans, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, grilled pineapple, queso, lettuce and sour cream.
$13.99 per order. 8023 Hixson Pike.
Fiesta Mexicana. Alabama-style "Ricos" carnitas (pork) taco topped with lettuce and cheese on a flour tortilla.
$10.99 for four tacos. 4021 Hixson Pike.
Taqueria Jalisco Ania. Rajas (poblano pepper) Mexican street-style taco served with cilantro, onion and lime on a corn tortilla.
$9 for three tacos. 1639 Rossville Ave.
Bollywood Tacos. Chicken shawarma taco made with chicken marinated in shawarma spices, vinegar, olive oil, garlic and mustard topped with tzatziki sauce and served on naan bread.
$6 per taco. 203 E. Main St.
Conga Latin Food. Steak pupusa taco topped with cilantro and onion and served in two cheese-stuffed corn tortillas.
$12 per order. 26 E Main St.
La Alteña. Crispy beef taco with lettuce and cheese.
$2 per taco. 615 Commercial Lane (sister location at 314 W Main St.)
Taco Roc. Campechano taco made with steak and Mexican pork sausage, served with lettuce, cheese, pico de gallo, beans and rice on either a flour or corn tortilla.
$7.49 for two tacos. 6960 Lee Hwy. Suite 101.
El Meson. "Tacos Dorados," or a deep-fried taco with shredded chicken topped with lettuce, tomato, green sauce and Mexican cheese, served with a side of poblano rice.
$11.99 per order of three. 2204 Hamilton Place Blvd.
Los 3 Amigos. "Tacos Los 3 Amigos" made with grilled shrimp and chorizo, topped with pineapple, cilantro and onion and served on a corn tortilla.
$11.29 per order of three. 3536 Cummings Hwy.
Sugar's Ribs. Fried catfish taco with lime crema sauce, grilled sweet onion, radish, queso fresco, roasted salsa and cilantro served in a fresh-made corn tortilla.
$4.50 per taco, $12 for three. 2450 15th Ave.
Molcajete Mexican Restaurant. Al pastor (marinated pork) birria taco topped with cheese and served on a corn tortilla with dipping sauce, cilantro and onion.
$13.99 for three tacos. 6231 Perimeter Drive.
Tacos y Tortas Don Beto. Taco de cachete (beef cheek) served with onions and cilantro.
$4 per taco. 6312 Bonny Oaks Drive.
Carnitas Carmelita. Taco de tripa (braised cow stomach) topped with cilantro and onion.
$1.50 per taco. 2604 Amnicola Hwy.
Pupuseria Marelyn. Carne de cerdo adobada (pork marinated in adobo sauce) taco topped with onions and cilantro.
$3.99 per order. 3992 Ringgold Road.
Miss G's Tortas y Tamales. Vegetales taco with green and yellow zucchini, onion, tomato and diced cilantro.
$3.44 per taco. 4801 English Ave.
La Familia Mexican Restaurant. Shredded beef street-style taco topped with cilantro, onion and tomatillo sauce and served with rice and beans.
$9.99 for three tacos. 516 Chickamauga Ave., Rossville, Georgia.
Restaurante y Tienda el Gallo Giro. Chorizo "Taco Supremo" with lettuce, cheese, pico de gallo and sour cream, served with a side of nopales (cactus).
$5.80 per order. 4700 Rossville Blvd.
Amigos at Peerless Mill. "Los Sloppy Tacos" filled with grilled steak and chorizo sauteed with pico de gallo, topped with spicy suiza sauce, served in a soft shell flour tortilla filled with melted cheese and wrapped in a hard shell corn tortilla.
$15.99 per order. 501 McFarland Ave., Rossville, Georgia.
Misfit Tacos. "Run Forrest Run!" taco with panko-fried Cajun shrimp, cheddar cheese grits, bacon, crispy vegetables and creole remoulade.
$5.29 per taco. 810 Stuart Road NE, Cleveland.
Taqueria Azteca. Pork taco with cilantro, onions, cucumbers and radish served in a housemade tortilla.
$2 per taco. 3920 Ringgold Road.
Delia's Mexican Food. "Delia's Taco" with steak and chicken, grilled vegetables, secret seasoning and melted cheese served on a flour tortilla.
$2.99 per taco, $8.99 for three. 8363 Dayton Pike, Soddy-Daisy.
Del Taco. Stuffed Quesadilla Jumbo Shrimp taco with grated cheddar cheese and queso between two grilled flour tortillas filled with jumbo shrimp, cabbage, secret sauce, garlic-parmesan sauce and pico de gallo.
$4.39 per taco. 564 Battlefield Parkway, Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia.
Farm to Fork. House-smoked pulled pork taco topped with coleslaw, BBQ sauce and applewood rub.
$10.50 for three tacos. 120 General Lee Drive, Ringgold, Georgia.
Taco Mac. Southwest fish taco with honey chipotle, lettuce and black bean/ corn salad served on a flour tortilla.
$10.99 per order. 423 Market St.
Carniceria Loa #7. Asada (steak) taco served in a warm corn tortilla with self-serve toppings, including cilantro, onion, pico de gallo, radish, housemade salsa and more.
$2 per taco. 1500 Broad St.
Spanglish Modern Mexican. Baja-style taco stuffed with crispy fish and topped with Mex slaw, chipotle aioli and avocado sauce.
$15 for three tacos. 5622 TN-153.
Universal Joint. Blackened tilapia taco with lettuce, tomato and jalapeno aioli served with chips and salsa.
$12.50 per order. 532 Lookout St.
Mayan Kitchen. Brisket taco served on a flour tortilla with charro beans and pico de gallo.
$12.10 for three tacos. 507 Broad St.
Tacos El Cuñao. Pollo (chicken) taco served with cilantro, onion, cucumber, radish and lime.
$2.75 per taco. 5813 Lee Hwy.
Chuy's. Fajita chicken taco served in a soft flour tortilla, topped with lettuce, tomato, cheese and guacamole and served with a side of rice and refried beans.
$10.49 per order. 2271 Gunbarrel Road.
Don Juan Taqueria Mexicana. Lengua (beef tongue) authentic street-style taco served on a corn tortilla with cilantro and onion.
$2.69 per taco. 6016 Ringgold Road.
Taqueria El Chepes. Taco de cabeza (cow head) served on a housemade corn tortilla with onions and cilantro.
$2.50 per taco. 3208 Rossville Blvd.
Taqueria la Delicia. Al pastor (marinated pork) taco served in a corn tortilla with cilantro, onion, salsa and a lime wedge.
$3 per taco. 3001 Rossville Blvd.