Scotland's Best Tacos: The Skinny Food & Drink Survey 2018

We celebrate everyone's favourite handheld Mexican taste sensation, with a look at your favourite tacos

Feature by Peter Simpson | 03 Jan 2018

There’s something to be said for food that portions itself. Sandwiches, bags of crisps, ice cream cones – the sort of dishes where it’s immediately clear what ‘one of those’ amounts to. One man’s reasonable plate of pasta is another man’s ungodly carb avalanche, after all.

Tacos are great for this, as you know exactly what you’ll get in terms of size and heft, but the flavour possibilities are enormous. El Cartel (60 Thistle St, Edinburgh) unquestionably lead the way on that front, with a menu that’s stuffed to the brim with delicious Mexican goodies. There are the classics – the steak, the cod, the ox cheek – and then there the more inventive options like a purple broccoli and salsa for the vegans, or tempura octopus for the very-much-not-vegans. Throw in a supremely cool vibe and enough margaritas to float a battleship, and you’re (evidently) onto a winner.

Bodega (62 Elm Row, Edinburgh) also like to play an experimental game with their tacos, drawing on flavours from around the world in their recipes. Sounds good on paper, but what does it actually mean in practice? Well, we’ve seen their trademark Buffalo chicken taco – spicy chicken, blue cheese dressing, celery – sitting alongside a Jamaican jerk pork taco and a tempura avocado taco with wasabi mayo. Oh, and it’s BYOB, so no need to fear running up a huge bill trying to fight off a particularly potent hot sauce.

And of course, as with the taco itself, reliability and consistency is important. You lot also picked out Taco Mazama and Topolabamba as two of your favourite taco spots – with each operating venues at either end of the M8, they’re a reassuring presence when all you want is a selection of braised meats in an easy-to-carry and eminently countable format.