Lifestyle

11 Taco Places You Need to Visit in Manila

Delicioso!
IMAGE Lagrima | instagram.com/lagrimanila, Drive By Taco Shop | instagram.com/drivebytacoshop

Lagrima

This neighborhood taco shop was dreamt up by communications professional Mano Lotho who craved a taste of the authentic tacos he grew up eating in California. Stumbling into La Lucha Taqueria in Cebu proved to be serendipitous—the stallÂwas run by a Mexican migrant who was quickly gaining a following for his tacos. After three years of "courtship," Lotho finally convinced the chef Jorge Barita to partner up with him in Manila.

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BSA Mansion, Benavides Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City

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La Chinesca

Acclaimed chef Bruce Ricketts returns to his roots, opening his long-awaited taco shop in the South, inside BF Homes (where he established his name at pop Japanese restaurant Sensei Sushi) and paying homage to Mexican cuisine, his favorite. Whether it's a taco, a tostada, or a michelada, you get the chef's signature explosive flavors in every bite.

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248 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque City

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Lo de Alberto

Earlier this year, Lo de Alberto moved to a bigger (and thankfully air-conditioned) location, still within the same compound. The kitchen is headed by Balam Nazar who hails from Mexico and he wears the Mexican flag with pride on his bespoke embellished chef’s jackets. Their schtick is to offer the authentic, street-side Mexican experience.

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City Golf Plaza, Dona Julia Vargas Avenue, Pasig City

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El Chupacabra

Tacos have been offered in restaurants since God knows when, but it was only when El Chupacabra opened in 2013 that it became such a specialty. The menu runs through most Mexican favorites, but it’s their tacos—fish and carnitas, particularlythat people take a shine to.

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5782 Felipe Street, Poblacion, Makati City

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Taco Vengo

This Mandaluyong haunt isn't for everybody. If you're looking for straight-up, classic tacos, drive past and head for the nearby City Golf. Taco Vengo is all about producing show-stopping flavors, whether or not they have roots in Mexico. Think kimchi. Think sous-vide eggs. Think confit.

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UG/F, Building A, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City; 16B Williams Street, Mandaluyong City

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Guisados

Yet another restaurant that puts flavor over authenticity, Guisados is a little-known taqueria in the north. It's the garage band of Mexican restaurants and it looks a bit like an actual garage, too. Instead of sourcing Mexican ingredients, the owners looked for local counterparts—siling labuyo, for example—that promise just as much flavor.

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Guisados is temporarily closed due to relocation. For updates, follow their Facebook page.

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Drive-By Taco Shop

Blink and you'll miss it. Be a few minutes late and you’ll end up just driving by with a bag full of nachos. Drive-By Taco Shop came from the imagination of two culinary school graduates who had a lot of dreams and even more spare lumber. They literally made everything from scratch, from the taco sauces to the wooden bench that makes up most of the restaurant. Always up for the unorthodox, their tortillas are loaded with items like galbi and kimchi.

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167 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque City

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Silantro

Looking for a cheap taco thrill? Silantro is the quick and best answer. This cantina began as a small enterprise in Pangasinan and the owners were pleasantly surprised when the Pinoy food-loving locals embraced their version of Mexican food. Designed with flavors tweaked to the Filipino palate and ridiculously low prices, the goal was to make sure that everybody could appreciate good Mexican, or in this case, Fil-Mexican food.

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75 East Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City; UP Town Center, Quezon City;ÂATC Corporate Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa City

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La Taqueria Mia Amiga

Owned by Chef Gino Gonzales and his wife China, La Taqueria Mia Amiga is an unassuming, semi-hidden hole-in-the-wall along Castor Street. Like most Mexican joints in the Metro, it features short order cooking, utilizing the same ingredients to create combinations for tacos, nachos, and burritos. Despite the relatively low price tag and fast service, La Taqueria Mia Amiga uses premium meats and slow cooking techniques to develop flavors in every bite. They even make their own masa tortillas.

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Pioneer Street Market, Pioneer corner Reliance Street, Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City;Â93-B Scout Castor Street, Tomas Morato Avenue, Quezon City.

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Chihuahua Mexican Grill

Chihuahua is a one-stop MexicanÂshop, offering everything from top-notch burritos to dizzying margaritas. Theirs come in flavors like beef picadillo, pork carnitas, steak, chicken, and vegetarian. If you're having a dreary mid-week, you can get your tacos for half price on Taco Tuesdays.

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Greenbelt 2, Makati City; Crossroads Building, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

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Hermanos Taco Shop

Just like Chihuahua, Hermanos satisfies your every Mexican craving. Whatever Mexican food list you come across, Hermanos is bound to be there, whether it's about their giant burritos or their flavor-packed tacos. Their rolled beef tacos are a best-seller. It's a neat arrangement of tender beef topped pico de gallo, sour cream, guac, and roasted tomato salsa—it's almost like it wants to be an enchilada.

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Molito Commercial Complex, Alabang, Muntinlupa City; Scout Lozano Street corner Tomas Morato Avenue, Quezon City

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This story originally appeared on Esquiremag.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Candymag.com editors.

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Sasha Lim Uy for Esquiremag.ph
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Leslie Lim 17 hours ago

To the Person Who Does Not Know Any 1D Song

By: CJ Reyno

Never in my wildest dream I imagined to meet someone who does not know a single One Direction song or who does not even know, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, and err… Zayn Malik. How did you spend your teenagehood without listening to their songs? The disrespect to my #StyPayHorLikSon. My initial reaction, Vas Happenin’?

Since I was 12 years old, that was way back on 2012, One Direction songs have been my official life soundtrip, my go-to songs whenever I feel happy, sad, mad, excited, and etch. I can still remember how people went crazy just to attend their concert here in the Philippines. I must admit, I was one of those. LOL. The group was also dubbed as, “The Biggest Boyband in the World”. They were an era. You really left me in awe when you told me that you do not know a single One Direction song. Their songs are gold. But I was a little hopeful when a new messaged popped up on our conversation, “Hey I know one, Make You Beautiful”.

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You do not know how my world collapsed after reading your message. I would like to say that I appreciate the effort, thanks, but they do not have a song entitled, Make You Beautiful, because it is, What Makes You Beautiful. I tried to explain but you said that they are just the same. (Tip: Never fight with a Directioner when it comes to this because we will not let our guards down). No! They are not the same. How can you make this big mistake? LOL. What Makes You Beautiful is One Direction’s debut song. Almost everyone knows this, “you’re insecure, don’t know what for,” ring a bell? The music video of this surpassed 1 billion views on Youtube. On my 21 years of existence, you are the very first person who told me this “I-Thought-It-Was-A-Joke-But-You-Are-Serious” statement.

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As a persuasive fangirl, I thought to myself that I should make you appreciate their music, that you should know that it is What Makes You Beautiful, not Make You Beautiful. The group may be in hiatus but their music is and will always remain superior. You are hard-headed lad. We even when to the point where you challenged me to treat so I can make you watch their music video. Am I even surprised that I agreed to this? HAHA. I feel like an agent trying to persuade her customer to buy a property on our company. You do not know how happy I was when you sent me your video listening to What Makes You Beautiful. I felt like I successfully closed a deal with my client. Not to exaggerate but I really jumped because of happiness after watching your video. It was the first message I checked that morning. Thank you for your effort, so much appreciated. Funny how our conversation starts with your innocence on One Direction until it goes deeper and last longer. Up All Nigh conversations which turned to almost Midnight Memories. Ironic how a Directioner had developed an admiration on someone who dislikes her favorite boys? Just like One Direction’s song, Change My Mind, “Never felt like this before. Are we friends or are we more?” I guess, like Liam’s line on Love You Goodbye, “It's inevitable everything that's good comes to an end. It's impossible to know if after this we can still be friends.”

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I was happy that I made you listen to One Direction. At least I made you appreciate and made you aware that there is a song called, What Makes You Beautiful, not Make You Beautiful. I am happy that you already found your Girl Almighty. Wish me luck on finding my Summer Love. xoxo, Your Directioner friend

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