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THE BEST SPOTS FOR DELICIOUSLY HEALTHY TACOS IN HOUSTON

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STEPHANIE KUZYDYM

JUL 14, 2020

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IMAGE VIA TORCHY’S TACOS | FACEBOOK

Every Houstonian values two things: brunch and breakfast tacos. And while we love our boozy brunches, we wouldn’t be HOU if we didn’t have some goodness in a tortilla. Lucky for us, even if the bayou rises, we will still have plenty of spots for healthyish tacos whether it’s grabbing lunch on the go or sitting down for date night.

So, if you’re ready to find the best places in Houston for wholesome filling between the tortilla edges, keep scrolling.

This Austin-born taqueria is the only taco-focused spot in Houston that has 100% gluten-free tacos (as long as you ask for corn tortillas). But no matter what you’re craving, with more than 40 types of tacos—including our favorite way to wake-up, the breakfast taco—there’s bound to be something that will get your mouth watering. Using ingredients like organic eggs and organic refried beans, Tacodeli makes up masterpieces like the Freakin’ Vegan or the Papadulce with roasted sweet potato, grilled corn, caramelized onion, toasted pepitas, and chipotle-camote sauce. Need some meat in that Mexican treat? Go for the Cowboy with dry-rubbed beef tenderloin. Fitt tip: the Space Cowboy is the vegetarian version of this!

This outpost is open almost every hour we’re awake (1am during the week and 4am on the weekend!). Better yet, Velvet Taco just opened its second location in Houston, in Montrose off Westheimer Rd. The quirky taco joints’ menu is broken down into sections of beef, chicken, pork, vegetarian and fish. There are staples like the #8, the Annatto shredded pork with avocado crema, house shred, grilled pineapple, pickled onion, queso fresco cilantro, and all served on a hibiscus corn tortilla. Plus, very week they have their WTF, their Weekly Taco Feature, which offers all the freshness that you can fit inside a flattened piece of corn.

Wanna talk about no-nonsense tacos made from scratch? Then let’s taco’bout Tacos a Go Go. You can make your own breakfast tacos with items like black beans, mushroom, spinach and eggs whites. Maybe you’re feelin’ sliced avocado? Toss it in too. Maybe “unwrap” your burrito for more of a bowl-type feel. Or get any taco Texas-style and have the meat—beef, chicken, or fish—grilled. For you veggie-lovers, give the Verde a try. Grilled zucchini, yellow squash, red onion, mushrooms, and carrots over house-made vegetarian black beans topped with the Tacos a Go Go roasted red pepper cream sauce. Or, skip the sauce to make it vegan.

From the creators of Indianola and Coltivare is this Agricole Hospitality Heights special at the corner of Yale and 11th St. called Eight Row Flint. Better known as an upscale icehouse, the best-kept secret may be the tacos served straight out of Eight Row’s own food truck. Try a taco with Brussels sprouts, crema, radish, charred onion, queso fresco, and cilantro or a roasted chicken with corn, sungolds, mushrooms, queso fresco, and basil. Heck, we’re hungry right now for their taco packed with gulf shrimp, Mayan dust, a tropical fruit slaw, and toasted coconut. What’s Mayan Dust? You’ll just have to go to find out.

We wouldn’t be true to our HOU roots if we didn’t put one spot on this list that is an H-town favorite. Any runner loyal to Memorial Park has pounded the pavement outside this outpost just one mile east of the park. Look, we’re not saying their whole menu falls into the “healthy” category, but you can order any of their breakfast tacos, like the potato and egg or beans and rice, for a perfect post-run refuel. And not waiting too long to eat after burning thousands of calories is always a good look — you’ll be far less hangry.

This taqueria planted roots in 14 spots around Houston, including inside Minute Maid Park, so you can grab a healthyish taco while enjoying an Astros game. Choose from options like the Democrat—shredded beef barbacoa, fresh avocado, cotija cheese, cilantro, onions, and a lime wedge with tomatillo sauce on a corn tortilla. Or the Tipsy Chick — chicken fajita, fresh spinach, grilled corn, green chiles, and freshly grated cheddar cheese with chipotle sauce on a flour tortilla. (Though, skip the side of bacon bourbon marmalade if you can.)

No matter where you are in town, you can be sure you’re not far from a Berryhill—with taco stands in the Galleria, Heights, River Oaks, West University, Memorial City Mall, Oak Forest, Sugar Land, and The Woodlands. They have all the regular options of a Mexican joint, but we love the grilled fish taco with chipotle chile marinated fish with dijon sauce, lettuce, and pico de gallo. And if you’re extra hungry, get it burrito-sized by ordering the Parrilla Pescado.

This taco & tequila bar may be known for its late-night nachos, but we’d hang out all happy hour and beyond for its tacos. We’re talking Grilled Portabella with cauliflower puree, jalapeño jam, and Monterey Jack or a Veggie with mushroom, zucchini, yellow squash, onion, and red pepper. That’s Mexican music to our ears.

This scratch gourmet kitchen is known for its sandwiches, but did you know that Local Foods also has an incredible vegan taco salad? It’s complete with vegan “taco meat”, avocado, pickled red onions, kale and romaine mix, tortilla strips, cilantro-corn, and lime vinaigrette. Tuck into any of their five area locations for your taco fix.

In a hurry? Need to grab groceries and not grab everything you see because you’re hungry? You’re in luck. Whole Foods on Post Oak actually has a made-to-order taco stop called Sidestreet Taco Bar. Perfect for grab-and-go-and-grocery trip.

The only spot to serve up completely vegan tacos in the Bayou City — you can find it on the east side off Almeda Rd. green seed vegan is beloved for its vegan burgers and vegan, gluten-free desserts, but this is Texas, so you know there are tacos too. green seed keeps it vegan with options like the rockin’ tacos with raw coco cilantro tortillas with sunflower walnut chorizo, arugula, avocado, pico, cashew cream, and cilantro lime. Or the rawrrito with season coconut meat and topped with zucchini bacon, arugula, pico, cashew cream, and cilantro limon in a collard leaf.

This beloved-Houston hot spot has kale guacamole. Do you need more? Of course you do! True Food Kitchen also serves yummy gluten-free summer tacos that include grilled fish or grass-fed steak, tomatillo-avocado salsa, pickled jicama slaw, coconut lime yogurt, and Anasazi bean.

This health-conscious cafe is perfect if you’re looking for a healthy taco option while shopping in the Galleria area. They offer shrimp tacos with a creamy chipotle, shredded red cabbage, cilantro, pico, and it’s served with chips and salsa or a fruit cup. Or maybe you’re interested in the HS Southwest Grill, complete with chipotle-seasoned chicken, served with Texas caviar, brown rice, a tortilla, and a side of house hot sauce.

All hail the farm-to-tortilla joint known as Dish Society. With locations on San Felipe and in Katy, Dish serves up offerings like shrimp tacos with grilled gulf shrimp, cabbage slaw, house-roasted corn pico, and sriracha aioli on flour or corn tortillas with a side of black beans. Or if you wanna think outside the tortilla, go with their Quinoa Stuffed Avocado, a whole avocado topped with citrus quinoa relish on organic greens.

This place is all about life, liberty, and the pursuit of tacos. All these tacos come on flour tortillas but can easily be substituted for corn for our gluten-free friends. One of our go-tos is the Summer Roasted Veggie, with roasted zucchini, summer squash, red bell pepper, and onions topped with avocado, queso fresco, and sour cream. And we spice up our life with the Cajun Fish, a blackened white fish topped with red cabbage, soy jalapeño, tangy mango, sour cream, cilantro, and chipotle crema with a slice of lime. Now that’s the freedom to eat.

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