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Dishes

33 Best Tacos in Springfield and Beyond

Take a bite, or two, out of the best tacos in Springfield, Branson and beyond. Whether you want crunchy, spicy, vegetarian or a breakfast version, there’s a perfect taco waiting for you. But be warned; This list will make your stomach rumble.

By Katie Pollock Estes

Aug 2020

Ceviche Tacos from Cafe Cusco on Commercial Street in Springfield MO
Photo by Brandon AlmsCeviche Tacos from Cafe Cusco Purchase Photo
Best Pork Tacos in Springfield MO

Cesar’s Old Mexico

Cesar's Pork

2627 E. Sunshine St., Springfield, 417-881-8252 
Toppings: Cesar’s pork, onion, cilantro and a guacamole side
Order it with: an adobada sope
What we love: A simple food executed perfectly is the centerpiece in this taco. All the protein options at this spot are delicious, but the slow-cooked Cesar’s pork is that juicy, tender, mouthwatering taco filler that will hit the spot every time and with every bite.

Don Toño

Carnitas taco

1314 S. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, 417-773-0892
Toppings: carnitas, onion, cilantro, tomatoes, salsa
Order it with: elotes on the cob
What we love: Here’s a hot tip you can use when you order the carnitas taco from Don Toño: Ask for fried onions instead of fresh onions for your topping. Trust us.

Al pastor tacos from La Paloma Mexican Grill in Springfield MO
Photo by Brandon AlmsAl pastor tacos from La Paloma Mexican Grill. Hot Tip: Order a cantarito with your al pastor tacos. Purchase Photo

La Paloma Mexican Grill

Al Pastor

3014 E. Sunshine St., 417-719-4484; 1425 W. Battlefield Road, 417-889-2985 
Toppings: al pastor pork, grilled onions and pineapple, cilantro, onion, salsa verde
Order it with: cheesecake chimi
What we love: These flavorful tacos come with some of the toppings in ramekins on the side, so you can construct your perfect taco. We go hard with the cilantro for the freshest bites.

Team Taco

Globetrotter

1454 E. Cherry St., Springfield
Toppings: smoked pork belly, salsa verde, cotija cheese, cilantro, onion
Order it with: chips and queso
What we love: The best way to describe a Team Taco taco is “small but mighty” because the corn tortillas are stacked with layers of flavor so indulgent they make you feel borderline sinful. And what’s better than pork belly for some light gluttony?

Golden Girl Rum Club

Pastor Taco

137 Park Central West, Springfield, 417-425-5162
Toppings: al pastor pork, pineapple, cilantro, pickled onion
Order it with: a Saturn cocktail
What we love: The pork is delish, but it’s the long, slow burn of spicy fresh pineapple slices that take the taco over the edge. Tip for vegetarians: Order it with jackfruit.


Arandas Tacos

Tacos de Papa

2410 W. 76 Country Blvd., Suite A, Branson, 417-334-4949
Toppings: chorizo, lettuce, tomato, cotija cheese, cilantro
Order it with: mangos con chamoy
What we love: Here, the tortillas for the fried shells are homemade, and there’s a good salsa bar featuring additional zesty toppings like radishes. Take all of that and eat it with a taco that’s packed with well-seasoned pork chorizo, and you have a recipe for a very satisfying taco fest.

Tacos El Gordo

Trio of Tacos

1510 N. National Ave., Springfield, 417-402-9307
Toppings: three types of pork, cilantro and a lime
Order it with: a cheese pupusa
What we love: We recommend you order three tacos here, each with a different pork filling. Trompo has seasoned pork cooked on a vertical broiler, Chicharones has fried pork skin in salsa verde, and Guisado de Puerco Rojo has slow-cooked pork in rojo sauce.

Civil Kitchen

Banh Mi Tacos

107 Park Central East, Springfield, 417-501-8456
Toppings: pork belly, pickled carrots, fruit pico de gallo, cilantro, sriracha mayo, greens
Order it with: flash fried kale
What we love: There’s a Vietnamese flair to these flavorful tacos that turns one of our all-time favorite sandwiches into a taco. The best part is the way it combines fresh toppings and indulgent protein.

Best Beef Tacos in Springfield MO

Chubby Cactus Taco Truck

Mini Quesadilla

@chubbycactus on Facebook
Toppings: barbacoa, mozzarella, onions, cilantro, red chili oil
Order it with: avocado sauce
What we love: This traveling truck’s flavor game is insane, especially in the not-really-a-taco-but-close-enough fried dipped mini quesadilla. Each cheese-heavy “taco” is dipped into hot chili oil and fried on the flat top for maximum crunch and spicy kick.

Crunchy birria d’res tacos from Tacos El Champu in Ozark MO
Photo by Brandon AlmsCrunchy birria d’res tacos from Tacos El Champu in Ozark. Hot Tip: Wash down your birria d’res with a fruity agua fresca. Purchase Photo

Tacos El Champu

Birria D’Res

519 N. 21st St., Ozark; 2322 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield
Toppings: birria, cilantro, salsa verde, avocado
Order it with: a handmade gordita
What we love: These teensy tacos are beautifully crispy and crunchy. Here’s a tasty tip: Ask for some mango-habanero salsa too, so you heat things up! 

El Lago Mexican Restaurant

Taco de la Calle

18942 Missouri Highway Business 13, Branson West, 417-272-8910
Toppings: steak, onion, lime, cilantro
Order it with: chips and salsa
What we love: This one wins us over for being a simple steak taco, done well. Sometimes you just don’t want the wild tacos, right? Plus, one of the 417 crew swears the chips and salsa are the best.

Hard Knox BBQ

Burnt End Taco

2931 E. Battlefield Road, Springfield, 417-720-4811
Toppings: burnt ends, smoked cheddar, fire-roasted corn, cilantro
Order it with: pit beans
What we love: Go for a barbecue vibe on Taco Tuesday. You can order Hard Knox tacos with a few meat options, but the burnt ends are a must-try. So smoky!

SPLIT Social Kitchen

Prison Tacos

431 S. Jefferson Ave., Suite 172, Springfield, 417-771-5059
Toppings: beef, cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato, sour cream, Fritos
Order it with: street corn
What we love: SPLIT always seems like they’re having fun, and these tacos are just one example. Served in a Fritos or Doritos bag, they’re walking tacos taken up a notch.

Great American Taco Co.

Carne Asada

2150 W. Republic Road, 2915 E. Battlefield Road, Springfield
Toppings: carne asada, sauteed onions, melted cheese, fresh cilantro
Order it with: Mexican guacamole
What we love: The tender red chili steak is the star in this taco, but that cheese and those onions make us feel like we’re eating a street taco version of a Philly, and we mean that in the best way possible.

Best Chicken Tacos in Springfield MO

Cantina Laredo

Pollo Asado

1001 Branson Landing, Branson, 417-334-6062
Toppings: grilled chicken, mango-pineapple pico, avocado, poblano sauce, jack cheese
Order it with: a chocolate brownie
What we love: The fruity pico adds a hint of sweetness, but it makes this taco taste oh-so-bright. And we’ll take avocado on every taco from now on, please.

Not’cho Ordinary Taco Truck

Buff Chicken

1530 E. Saint Louis St., Springfield, 417-399-1101
Toppings: blackened chicken, buffalo sauce, bleu cheese, ranch
Order it with: a beer from the Route 66 Food Truck Park bar
What we love: With a shell that’s made from a bacon and cheddar quesadilla, this taco is crazy-good before you even add filling. We love the hint of spice and the crunchy-creamy texture combo.

Chicken Tinga Street Taco from Catrina’s Mexican Kitchen & Cantina in Springfield MO
Photo by Brandon AlmsChicken Tinga Street Taco from Catrina’s Mexican Kitchen & Cantina Purchase Photo

Catrina’s Mexican Kitchen

Chicken Tinga

2925 E. Battlefield Road, Suite 105, Springfield, 417-350-1006
Toppings: seasoned chicken, cilantro, red onion
Order it with: guacamole norteño with chicharones
What we love: These street-style tacos pack a punch within their tiny tortillas, since the chicken is flavored with tinga red chili spices.

J.O.B. Public House

Pancho & Lefty

319 E. Walnut St., Springfield, 417-831-1158
Toppings: grilled chicken, cabbage, guacamole, aioli, black bean salsa
Order it with: pizza balls
What we love: Right now, a limited menu of Grad School and J.O.B. favorites is being served at J.O.B.’s location—with a fresh new patio out back. The tacos are a taste of Grad School, and a pizza balls app is classic J.O.B.

Best Fish Tacos and Best Shrimp Tacos in Springfield MO

Prima’s Mexican Kitchen

Chipotle Shrimp

Three 417-land locations
Toppings: shrimp, lettuce, tomato, queso blanco
Order it with: elotes bites 
What we love: The sweet little shrimpies in this taco are cooked in chipotle peppers for a smoky flavor that plays nicely with the creamy, indulgent queso blanco that comes on top.

Haruno Sushi Bar & Grill

Fish Tacos

3044 S. Fremont Ave., Springfield, 417-887-0077
Toppings: fried fish, cabbage, cilantro, onion, tomato, spicy seafood sauce, avocado sauce, wasabi sour cream
Order it with: mochi ice cream
What we love: It’s sauce central with this triple-sauced taco that has a delightful Japanese flair and plenty of fresh cabbage crunch.

Fried fish tacos and carne asada fries from Maria’s Mexican Restaurant in Springfield MO
Photo by Brandon AlmsFried fish tacos and carne asada fries from Maria’s Mexican Restaurant. Hot Tip: Order a Traditional margarita with your Maria’s fried tacos. Purchase Photo

Maria’s Mexican Restaurant

Fried Taco

406 South Ave., Springfield, 417-831-9339; 4610 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield, 417-771-5031
Toppings: tilapia, cheese, Mexican coleslaw, chipotle-lime dressing
Order it with: carne asada fries
What we love: The best thing about the famous fried tacos at Maria’s is that they are supremely crispy! One is never enough.

Cafe Cusco

Ceviche Tacos

234 E. Commercial St., Springfield, 417-868-8088
Toppings: cured wahoo, aji verde sauce, pico de gallo, lettuce
Order it with: fried guacamole appetizer
What we love: The wahoo is cured in lime, garlic, red onion, cilantro, cucumber and yellow pepper. The result is an addictively good acidic zip in every bite!


Houlihan’s

So Cal Fish Taco

2110 E. Republic Road, 417-883-3434; 2431 N. Glenstone Ave., 417-862-7777
Toppings: North Atlantic cod, honey-cumin dressing, sour cream, chipotle mayo, napa cabbage
Order it with: grapefruit jalapeno cocktail
What we love: Maybe it’s the hint of sweetness in the dressing or the hint of heat in the mayo, but the flavor combos here are a fave.

El Purple Burrito

Fish Tacos

1700 S. Campbell Ave., Suite A, Springfield, 417-863-6688
Toppings: fried fish, cabbage, salsa, cheddar-jack cheese, tartar sauce
Order it with: a chili rellano
What we love: There’s just something about these tacos. They have more cheese than most fish tacos, and somehow that really, really works. Especially doused in that tangy homemade tartar sauce.

Iguana Roja

Mahi Tacos

107 W. Church St., Ozark417-485-8585
Toppings: mahi mahi, cilantro-lime crema, pico de gallo, slaw, cotija
Order it with: agave-adobo shrimp stack appetizer
What we love: These fresh bites always leave us wanting just one more bite after we’re finished. That fish! That tangy crema! They go together so dang well.

Best Vegetarian Tacos in Springfield MO

Los Cabos Mexican Grill

Fried Avocado

4109 S. National Ave., Springfield, 417-823-9114
Toppings: fried avocado, pico de gallo, roasted corn, black beans, cabbage, cotija cheese, chipotle ranch, tomatillo avocado salsa
Order it with: sopapillas
What we love: The creamy avocado is a clever sub for typical taco proteins, but it’s that tomatillo avocado salsa that ties it all together.

The Press Coffee & Juice Bar

Street Taco

2710 S. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, 417-771-5950
Toppings: Tofu, slaw, pico de gallo, cheese, lime, choice of sauce
Order it with: gyoza
What we love: You can customize the tacos at The Press, and we love opting for tofu and adding spicy goji sauce, sesame sauce and kimchi for some delightful Korean flavors. They’re sloppy and saucy and somehow also oh-so-fresh.

Kimchi Falafel Tacos from The Wheelhouse in Springfield MO
Photo by Vivian WheelerKimchi Falafel Tacos from The Wheelhouse Purchase Photo

The Wheelhouse

Kimchi Falafel

1845 E. Sunshine Street; 1530 E. Saint Louis Street; Springfield
Toppings: falafel, kimchi, cotija cheese, onion, chipotle aioli
Order it with: chips and salsa
What we love: The Wheelhouse’s homemade kimchi brings the heat for a supremely spicy meal. Even the taco shells are something special in these messy tacos that are practically perfect in every way.

Tinga Tacos

Fu Yu Taco

308 W. McDaniel St., Springfield, 417-831-8007
Toppings: seasoned tofu, mango habanero sauce, pickled onions and carrots, cabbage, cilantro
Order it with: cheesy corn
What we love: Despite the habanero in the sauce, there isn’t any heat. Instead it’s a delightful salty-sweet combo with some of the most flavorful tofu we’ve ever had.

Best Breakfast Tacos in Springfield MO
Farmstand  Breakfast Tacos from First Watch in Springfield MO
Photo by Brandon AlmsFarmstand Breakfast Tacos from First Watch Purchase Photo

First Watch

Farmstand Taco

2946 S. National Ave.; 3103 E. Sunshine St., Springfield
Toppings: scrambled eggs, Cajun chicken, chorizo, cheese, avocado, pico de gallo
Order it with: million dollar bacon
What we love: In a taco with three proteins, the cool and creamy addition of fresh avocado slices is a smart move. We can’t get enough.

Tortilleria Perches

Machaca Tacos

1601 W. Sunshine St., Springfield
Toppings: machaca, eggs, pico de gallo
Order it with: homemade flan
What we love: Machaca (shredded beef) mixes with just a bit of eggs for a satisfying breakfast. They’re great as-is, but you can also ask for some salsa verde to jazz it up.

El Tacos with Bacon from Early Bird Breakfast Pub in Springfield MO
Photo by Brandon AlmsEl Tacos with Bacon from Early Bird Breakfast Pub Purchase Photo

Early Bird Breakfast Pub

El Tacos

1717 E. Cherokee St., Springfield, 417-885-8088
Toppings: bacon, scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, pico de gallo, queso
Order it with: a Breakfast Margarita
What we love: The addition of those carby fried potatoes is what we love about these tacos. It’s great for when you need some hair of the dog along with breakfast.

El Quetzal Restaurant

Breakfast Taco

129 S. Main St., Carthage, 417-358-7708 
Toppings: scrambled eggs, chorizo or potato, tomato, onion, jalapeno, shredded cheese
Order it with: a garnacha
What we love: Feed your carb craving with potato filling, or feed your protein craving with spicy chorizo. Better yet: Get one of each.

Best Margaritas and Mexican Drinks in Springfield MO
Iguana Roja Margarita from Iguana Roja in Springfield MO
Photo by Brandon AlmsIguana Roja, Blood Orange and Tijuana Panther margaritas from Iguana Roja Purchase Photo

⇡ Iguana Roja

Iguana Roja Margarita

The margarita game is strong here, but the Iguana Roja is our fave. Pineapple-vanilla infused tequila and a spicy hit of jalapeno pack the flavor in this margarita.

La Paloma

Cantarito

Served in a clay cup, the cantarito combines grapefruit soda, citrus juices and tequila for a refreshing summer sipper and a change of pace from margaritas.

Catrina’s Mexican Kitchen

Rosita's Margarita

It’s a blend of dragon fruit, simple syrup and lime with a Tajin rim and Bozal mezcal for a smoky flavor.

Tacos El Champu

Agua Fresca

There are several flavors of sweet agua fresca here, such as kiwi, mango strawberry and of course horchata.

First Watch

Pomegranate Sunrise

Enjoy tequila in the morning with this blend of pomegranate juice, lime juice, agave nectar and tequila.

Cantina Laredo

Tajin Watermelon Rita

Spicy and sweet, this drink has tequila, blood orange liqueur, triple sec, Monin cucumber, jalapeno, agave nectar, watermelon and lime.

Cesar’s Old Mexico

Margaritas

House margaritas here are favorites not because of unusual flavors or crazy infusions but because they do a simple thing well—and those margs pack a serious punch!

Maria’s Mexican Restaurant

Margarita Sandia

In season, we love this marg blended with sweet, fresh watermelon. Our fave summer fruit plus tequila and lime is an A+.

Los Cabos Mexican Grill

Boomer Swirl

Your margarita of choice is swirled with sangria for a fun-looking drink with a hint of fruity flavor.

Catrina’s Mexican Kitchen

Bloody Mariachi

The bloody mary at Catrina’s swaps in tequila and adds herbaceous fresh rosemary.