Best taco cities in the U.S. revealed: Where Austin ranks

Austin not only has the best tacos in Texas, but the best tacos in the whole country!

The study by Real Estate Witch ranked the 50 top tacos cities in America, and Austin won for the second year in a row.

California is the best state for tacos, according to the study, with the most cities (4) in the top 15.

There are four Texas cities on the list: Austin was 1st, San Antonio was 4th, Houston was 10th, and Dallas came in last in 20th place.

There's clearly a lot of love for tacos in Austin.

The study says Austin has 7.9 taco joints per 100,000 residents – that's 242% more than the average city!

And there’s more — 7.4% of all restaurants in Austin are dedicated to tacos, an exceptional 172% higher than the average city. 

The tacos in Austin also come highly rated. The city has an average Yelp rating of 4.31 — 6% higher than the average city in the Real Estate Witch study.

Which restaurants have the best tacos in Austin? According to the study, it's Palo Seco and El Primo.

Tommy Millan tried Palo Seco for the first time.

"That's beautiful, I can see why they were rated number one. God-damn," he said as he took a bite.

We asked people in Austin what they think. 

"I don't know if we should be telling everyone how good the tacos are here in Austin, everyone keeps moving here," Cody Kyle said. "I think Austin obviously has the best tacos, you got the culture here, and also I feel like San Antonio tacos aren't really Tex-Mex tacos, they're more authentic Mexican tacos, here in Austin you got a blend of both worlds."

Jonathan Churi agrees with the ranking, too. 

"I do, I am from the Midwest, and I think the entire region has suboptimal tacos, if there are good tacos in the Midwest, someone let me know," he said.

"I like an unmarked taco food truck where they take cash only is my favorite kind of taco, anything that's like below four dollars a taco, it's better, and it's also cheaper," Ricky Frable said.

To determine the best cities for taco aficionados in America, the study analyzed data from the U.S. Census, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Yelp, Numbeo, and Google Trends. 

Best Taco Cities in America: 2023

  1. Austin, TX
  2. San Jose, CA
  3. Las Vegas, NV
  4. San Antonio, TX
  5. San Diego, CA
  6. Los Angeles, CA
  7. Phoenix, AZ
  8. Riverside, CA
  9. Denver, CO
  10. Houston, TX
  11. Salt Lake City, UT
  12. Oklahoma City, OK
  13. Sacramento, CA
  14. Milwaukee, WI
  15. Richmond, VA
  16. Raleigh, NC
  17. Kansas City, MO
  18. Portland, OR
  19. Louisville, KY
  20. Dallas, TX
  21. Minneapolis, MN
  22. Washington, DC
  23. Indianapolis, IN
  24. Chicago, IL
  25. Cincinnati, OH
  26. Columbus, OH
  27. Birmingham, AL
  28. Nashville, TN
  29. Orlando, FL
  30. Baltimore, MD
  31. Atlanta, GA
  32. San Francisco, CA
  33. St. Louis, MO
  34. Tampa, FL
  35. Seattle, WA
  36. Buffalo, NY
  37. Virginia Beach, VA
  38. Charlotte, NC
  39. Providence, RI
  40. New Orleans, LA
  41. Jacksonville, FL
  42. Detroit, MI
  43. Memphis, TN
  44. Philadelphia, PA
  45. Miami, FL
  46. New York, NY
  47. Hartford, CT
  48. Pittsburgh, PA
  49. Boston, MA
  50. Cleveland, OH