Taquerias have become a lot like pizzerias, of late: there’s seemingly one on every corner.  And while the menus are generally the same — think tacos, burritos and enchiladas — their vibe ranges from no frills takeout with Spanish telenovelas in the background to more sophisticated (but still casual) spots with outdoor seating, lots of cocktails, and a hangout-and-stay ambiance.

As for what makes them popular, diners rave about the price point (often $3 to $4 for a taco) as well as the fact that they offer simple, filling meals with lots of flavor.

In fact, according to research from TOP Data, the country’s appetite for tacos has risen 12.8% during the pandemic with 42% of us eating between four and 12 tacos per month. Statistics from Technomic’s 2020 Global Food & Beverage Consumer Trend Report confirm the interest with Mexican food rating third among the country’s menu trends, just behind Italian and Chinese cuisine.

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Lizzy Freier, Technomic’s Director of Menu Research and Insights, said consumers have been having a love affair with Americanized Tex-Mex fare for decades but lately, have been more eager to take a deeper dive into the authentic offerings that represent the true culinary traditions of Mexico. 

As far as the types of foods that lead in appeal, it’s mostly handhelds: tacos (67%), burritos (61%) and quesadillas (60%).

If that news made you hungry, read on to see where you can find a taqueria: 

Westchester

Edgar Carrillo in the kitchen at Coco Taqueria in Sleepy Hollow Sept. 8, 2021.

Edgar Carrillo, a chef with two decades-plus experience including seven years as chef de cuisine at X20 in Yonkers, has always wanted to serve people the Mexican food he grew up eating. So, in January, he and his wife Norman Cuenca opened Coco Taqueria.

The taqueria, he said, features the flavors of his childhood (he’s from Puebla, Mexico) along with the foods his mom and grandmother would often make for him.  Taquerias, he said, are the most representative foods of his country and his goal is to bring  that authenticity to Westchester.