The History of Tacos

Vote: Who has the best tacos in Atlanta | Best of Atlanta

They can be hard or soft and filled with beef, chicken, fish or pork. Their toppings range from lettuce to kimchi to barbecue sauce. 

Tacos have become as common as burgers on America’s dinner tables.

A fast-food staple now, tacos are believed to have been invented by Mexican silver miners in the 18th century. The word “taco” referred to the charges the miners used to excavate the ore.

“These were pieces of paper that they would wrap around gunpowder and insert into the holes they carved in the rock face. When you think about it, a chicken taquito with a good hot sauce is really a lot like a stick of dynamite,” Jeffrey M. Pilcher, a history professor, told

Nowadays, you can get a taco without leaving your car, thanks to Glen Bell and his Taco Bell chain.

We want to know: Where is your favorite place to get a taco?

If you don’t see your favorite spot here, you can send your write-in nomination to us by emailing Stephanie Toone at If enough people send us a nominee, we’ll add it to the poll.

Looking for more than just tacos? Check out Nuevo Laredo Cantina, which you voted as 2018’s best Mexican restaurant in Atlanta. Or drive to Buford Highway and take a Mexican food tour.

Looking for something other than tacos? Here is a list of other Best of Atlanta winners:

» Best burger in Atlanta

» Best barbecue in Atlanta

» Best happy hour 

» Best Chinese food