Fish tacos are among my favorite foods. In fact, for my birthday this past August, the only thing I wanted was a lunch of fish tacos from Big Owl Tiki Bar. They are the tastiest fish tacos in US, outside of California, but I am open to suggestions.
Fish tacos are particularly interesting because there are so many different styles. The classic Baja style—with battered fish, slightly tangy sauce, and cabbage—is my baseline comparison. While fish tacos in US migrated from Baja up to Southern California (which is where I first ate fish tacos) they can now be found all over the country. While not included in this article, some of the best fish tacos I have had were in Half Moon Bay, Anaheim, Seal Beach, San Diego (all in California), and Melbourne Beach Florida.
I could fill several articles with my fish tacos suggestions but, like my recent best BBQ in US article, I asked some travel and food experts for their fish taco recommendations.
At the top of my favorite taco list is Black Rooster Taqueria’s Crispy Fish Taco with lightly battered Ft. Myers red grouper, topped with pickled red cabbage, creamy avocado, radish, and cilantro. The fresh bright flavors and colors bursting out of the hand-made organic corn tortilla, paired with cilantro poblano rice and black beans, chased by a refreshing house-made watermelon agua fresca, had me dreaming of a Mexican beach vacation. Great food has the power to inspire travel, doesn’t it? The “Farm to Taco” modern taqueria concept from local chef John Calloway is located in the Mills 50 District, near downtown Orlando. The area’s abundant street art, quirky shops, and foodie hangouts make it one of the most eclectic and fun neighborhoods in Orlando, Florida.
[ Ed. Note: Please also see Christina Thomas’ article Guide to Tacos in Orlando ]
The best fish tacos I ever had were from Monkeypod Kitchen in Maui. Just imagine raw, sushi grade ahi tuna in a deep-fried crispy shell, garnished with a wasabi sauce and topped with black sesame seeds. #Heaven!
Chef Victor Albisu, chef/owner of upscale Del Campo in DC, opened his Taco Bamba takeout spot in the same strip mall in Falls Church as his mother’s Latin grocery. Taco Bamba’s menu elevates the standards and adds more exotic options to the usual taco list. Taco Bamba has two locations, the bare bones counter only eatery in Falls Church, and a more expansive location in Vienna with a larger space, more seating, and the same fantastic tacos.
We love any meal at Ford’s Fish Shack, but tasty guac is the perfect excuse to order their delicious fish tacos. We recommend a Sea Dog blueberry beer, or a Dark and Stormy, with your tacos and guacamole. The hefty fish tacos are on our regular lunch list, and the shoestring fries are really good too.
[ Ed. Note: Please also see FuninFairfaxVA’s article fish tacos in Northern Virginia ]
In Islamorada, located in the upper Florida Keys, two places compete for best fish tacos—Wahoo’s Bar & Grill and Zane Grey Lounge. Both locations use a perfectly blackened Mahi and earn my accolades for their sauces too. Eating on site has its perks, especially since both places have upper level elevated views of the water (not very common in the Florida Keys). The Zane Grey Lounge is perfect for a sunset over a bay side marina while Wahoo’s Bar & Grill expansive ocean side view is perfect for lunch.
Craig believes everything tastes good in a taco, as he makes his own, including his favorite Thanksgiving leftover tacos.
Part of the Arizona landmark and Historic Hotel of America, the Wigwam Bar has friendly staff, great service, and FANTASTIC fish tacos! Part of the small bites and appetizer menu, they go down as a treat with the signature Prickly Pear Margarita, and are available on the happy hour menu from 4pm – 6pm for $5.
I’m not much of a fish guy but my friends love to go to Nelson’s restaurant which is part of the Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes. Nelson’s is a casual restaurant located on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. On a warm and sunny evening (go for sunset) it’s surreal and the fish tacos are very tasty but not cheap.
We like Lyfe Kitchen because we can always expect fresh, healthy, flavorful food. Their Mahi fish taco is served with chayote slaw, sliced avocado, cilantro, chipotle aioli on corn tortillas with salsa fresca is perfect.
Thank you travel friends for these amazing fish taco recommendations. The last entry is my amazing fish taco suggestion.
Mid-Atlantic residents, visitors, and Parrotheads can experience Key West without trekking 1,200 miles south. Located a few miles east of Annapolis and on the Chesapeake Bay waterfront, Big Owl Tiki Bar is dwarfed by nearby uber-popular seafood classic restaurants Harris Crab House and Fisherman’s Inn. Once you bypass those distractions and find Big Owl, grab an outside seat (when the weather is nice) near the replica of the Southernmost Buoy marker. You can look at the menu all you want but you should order the remarkable fish tacos. I strayed one time and ordered the Cuban sandwich, which was very good, but I had buyer’s remorse watching my wife enjoy the fish tacos I told her about so many times.
Tell me your favorite amazing fish tacos in US.