Where Tacos Come From: Delving into the dish's origins

Millions of people consume tacos every day in a variety of styles, making them an international phenomenon. But how did this simple dish develop over time and where did it come from? In this post, we'll look into the fascinating past of tacos and learn about the various ways people all across the world eat them.

Tacos, those delectable folded tortillas filled with a variety of savory delights, are becoming more and more well-known worldwide. But have you ever questioned where tacos come from? The history and culinary innovation of Mexico are fascinatingly explored through the taco's roots. To explore the essence of this delicious tale, we begin our culinary trip at the historic La Taqueria restaurant.

Where Tacos Come From A Brief History

Food historians believe that the concept of wrapping food in flatbreads dates back to ancient times. The Aztecs, who lived in present-day Mexico, used tortillas made from corn as a portable and easy-to-eat vessel for their meals. They would fill them with various ingredients, such as beans, meats, and vegetables, creating an early version of the taco.

where tacos come from

The first written record of tacos comes from Bernal Diaz del Castillo, a Spanish soldier who accompanied Hernan Cortes during the conquest of Mexico in the early 16th century. In his memoirs, he described how the Aztecs served him and his comrades small tortillas filled with fish. These were the earliest-known examples of what we now call tacos.

Tacos have changed over time to now come with a greater range of fillings, including pork, beef, chicken, and seafood. They also developed into a well-liked street dish in Mexico, where sellers could be found hawking them from stalls and carts in marketplaces and other public areas. 

Read more: How to make homemade torta bread

The Different Types of Tacos

When most people think of tacos, they envision a crispy corn shell filled with ground beef, lettuce, cheese, and sour cream. However, this is just one of many ways to enjoy this versatile dish. Here are some of the different types of tacos you can find around the world:

1. Soft Tacos

Soft tacos are made with either corn or flour tortillas and are filled with various meats, beans, and vegetables. They are usually topped with salsa, guacamole, and other condiments and served warm. Soft tacos are a popular option for those who prefer a more authentic Mexican taste.

where tacos come from

2. Hard Shell Tacos

Hard shell tacos are typically made with corn tortillas that have been fried until crispy. They are often filled with ground beef, lettuce, cheese, and sour cream and offer a satisfying crunch with each bite. Hard shell tacos have become a popular fast food item in many parts of the world, including the United States.

3. Fish Tacos

Fish tacos are a popular variation that originated in the coastal regions of Mexico. They are typically made with grilled or fried fish, cabbage slaw, lime juice, and a variety of different sauces. Fish tacos have gained popularity in recent years and can now be found on menus in many restaurants around the world.

where tacos come from

4. Vegetarian Tacos

Vegetarian tacos are an excellent option for anyone who wishes to enjoy Mexican cuisine without the meat.

How to Make Authentic Tacos at Home

Making tacos at home is easier than you might think. Here's a simple recipe for traditional soft tacos:


  • 2 cups masa harina (corn flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 lb beef, chicken, pork, or fish
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

where tacos come from


  • Mix the masa harina, warm water, and salt in a mixing bowl until the dough forms.
  • Divide the dough into small balls and flatten them with a tortilla press or a rolling pin.
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the tortillas one at a time, cooking each side for about 30 seconds.
  • In a separate pan, cook your meat of choice with oil and spices until it's fully cooked.
  • Serve the tortillas filled with the meat and toppings of your choice, such as chopped onions, cilantro, tomatoes, and salsa.

View more: Where to get good bread near me


In the rich tapestry of global cuisine, the history of where tacos come from is a monument to the enduring popularity of simple yet incredibly delicious items. As we've seen, the taco has a long history as a cherished Mexican street food and a universal cultural icon. La Taqueria Restaurant is a prime illustration of this.


  • La Taqueria
    2889 Mission St San Francisco, CA 94110 Hotline: (415) 285-7117