Four fresh tacos served on a wood board with lime, hot peppers and salsa in a restaurant in San Jose, California

Where to Find the Best Tacos in San Jose, California

Four fresh tacos served on a wood board with lime, hot peppers and salsa in a restaurant in San Jose, California

Where to Find the Best Tacos in San Jose, California

San Jose, CA has some of the best tacos in the country. Food trucks, taquerias, and more — here’s a list of the top 5 tacos spots in the city.


Sunny San Jose, California, is well known for its booming tech industry and West Coast culture, but you might not know it’s a great place to find some of the most delicious tacos on the planet. It’s even home to the Taco Festival of Innovation, a yearly event curated by Moveable Feast that features 30 of the best Bay Area taco trucks. If your business trips need great food to spice them up, add these restaurants to your list for the tastiest tacos in the city.

Downtown

Loteria Taco Bar, 87 N San Pedro Street

As you explore San Jose’s charming San Pedro Square Market, stop for gourmet street tacos at Loteria Taco Bar. A family-friendly eatery that’s been in business since 2012, Loteria serves homemade tortillas filled with juicy, braised meats like beef barbacoa, habanero mango chicken, and the popular fried cod — a taco experience you don’t want to miss. Add a salad, a side of delectable fried sweet plantains, or an order of garlic yucca fries, and you’re all set. Enjoy indoor or outdoor seating options, or take your tacos to go.

Three chicken tacos sit on a wooden board with avocado and lime on the side and a beer in the background in a restaurant in San Jose, California
Source: Shutterstock

South San Jose

Taqueria El Ranchito, 1795 Hillsdale Avenue #60

Enjoy good prices and hefty portions at this taqueria in South San Jose. Offering both a cozy dine-in option and food to go, Taqueria El Ranchito has been a Santa Clara County favorite since it opened in 2011. Pollo asada and tacos al pastor top the list of must-try dishes. In terms of beverages, it’s also the ideal place to enjoy authentic Mexican horchata, a sweet, creamy drink made with rice milk and cinnamon.

The defining feature that really sets this place apart from other taco spots is the fresh salsa bar. Try one or all of the five different salsas, and pile on other fixings like grilled jalapeños until your tacos and chips are precisely as spicy as you want them to be.

East San Jose

Mariscos La Costa, 1805 Alum Rock Avenue

This taqueria, which started with humble beginnings as a beloved food truck, prides itself on authentic Mexican fare featuring fresh seafood. If you’re in the mood for fish tacos, enjoy Baja-style corn tortilla tacos with crispy, beer-battered fish, salsa, shredded cabbage, and white sauce, or try the fried tilapia tacos. If you’re craving seafood instead of fish, the shrimp tacos here are also a winner.

Mariscos La Costa proudly supports several area charities, including The Santa Clara Harvest Food Bank, Boys & Girls Clubs, and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, among others. It’s always nice to know some of your taco money is well spent on taking care of those in need throughout San Jose.

Three beef tacos topped with a white cream sauce, red and yellow peppers and red onion, with a side of salsa in a restaurant in San Jose, California
Source: Shutterstock

West San Jose

Tacos Santiaguito, 609 Saratoga Avenue

Visit this tiny food truck on Saratoga Avenue to discover why so many San Jose residents are willing to brave long lines and rainy weather for a few tacos. Small but mighty, Tacos Santiaguito serves up some of the very best tacos in West San Jose (some might even say the entire city).

Reasonably priced and unbelievably delicious, the taco choices include the crowd-pleasing tacos al pastor, carne asada, and bouche, each garnished with melt-in-your-mouth caramelized onions. Open daily, it is the perfect late-night spot to grab a bite on the West Side.

North San Jose

Speedy’s Tacos, 929 E Duane Avenue

Drop by this delightful Sunnydale taco shop for a casual meal in North San Jose with plenty of authentic Mexican flavor. If you’re feeling daring, top your chorizo, lengua, or pulled pork tacos with Speedy’s signature orange fire sauce, but be forewarned — the spice level is no joke! A family-owned business in operation since 2015, Speedy’s may be more of a newcomer to the San Jose food scene, but patrons come from far and wide to dine in or grab tacos to go for easy, delicious family meals.

No matter where you find yourself in beautiful, friendly San Jose, rest assured that a delicious taco meal is never too far away. If you’re looking for food inspiration for other cities, take a look at the photos and tips on our Instagram page.

Travel