Tacos: one of food’s greatest equalizers. No matter who you are, what you like, or how you eat, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find one that matches your lifestyle.
Trying to keep it clean on your hunt for the city’s top tortilla? Whether you’re looking for an authentic #TacoTuesday joint or hoping to get your Tex-Mex fix, the Burgh has plenty of places that’ll satisfy those cravings without ruining your health kick. Besides, what better way to refuel after your next sweat sesh than with the help of your favorite healthyish tacos from across the Steel City?
Totopo Mexican Kitchen and Bar
Mt. Lebanon has the hookup for Mexican eats that’ll introduce your palate to a world of flavor. Celebrating both culture and cuisine, they understand the importance of fresh ingredients. Totopo also brings their take on healthy tacos to a whole new level thanks to a “skinny” variation on the signature dish. Skip the tortilla in favor of butter lettuce wraps for an extra refreshing crisp with every bite.
Tacos, tequila, and whiskey are the name of the game here at Bakersfield. Their authentic-style Mexican cuisine brings a little bit of culture and a whole lot of flavor to Downtown Pittsburgh. Their taco menu has just about any combination of proteins, veggies, and cheeses you could ask for. Wanna keep it extra healthy? Order the Hongos for a vegetarian take on your favorite traditional flavors. And because it’s topped with kale slaw, you know you’re getting those greens in, too.
Round Corner Cantina
Any Mexican food aficionado understands the importance of mole — the mouthwatering meal that manages to marry chocolate and chipotle flavors together for an indescribable taste. And at Round Corner Cantina in Lawrenceville, you can get all that goodness delivered in a vegan-style taco that stands above the rest. Herbs, beans, and pickled veggies create a meal so good, even your meat-loving friends won’t know the difference.
There’s no doubt that El Lugar truly earned its spot at North Shore restaurant incubator Federal Galley. After all, the food itself is inspired by owners Stephen Eldridge and Susan Cope’s travels through Mexico — making the dishes just about as traditional (with a contemporary twist) as it gets. And not only is El Lugar whipping up some of the best tacos in the Burgh, but they’re doing so with the help of responsibly-sourced ingredients from local PA. They’ve cultivated a whole lot of menu items for our vegan and gluten-free friends, too, so you can bring the whole gang along for the foodie experience you’ve been waiting for.
There ain’t no taco like a täkō taco. These handmade Asian-inspired creations somehow walk the line between high-end cuisine and street-style eats (don’t ask us how they do it). Plus, everything on the menu is made fresh and on-the-spot by a team of culinary experts (in an open kitchen concept you can see from 6th St. downtown) — meaning you don’t have to worry about those over-processed ingredients weighing you down. Don’t skip out on the opportunity to try the namesake grilled octopus at a one-of-a-kind foodie paradise that’s servin’ up the best tacos in PA.
Condado has taken Downtown Pittsburgh (and soon to be Lawrenceville) by storm with its delicious Mexican-American eats and the street art aesthetics to match. Their build-your-own menu concept puts just about any ingredient on the table — giving you all the tools you need to create your masterpiece. And there’s no shortage of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free selections (Thai-chili tofu, anyone?) for all your dietary needs. So, you can dive right into all that savory, zesty goodness, guilt-free.
Most people will know this place for the nightlife, but at Steel Cactus, you can get yourself a taco prepared in just about any way you’d like. Build your own to select the protein, sauce, and toppings that jive with your diet. Or, check out their specialty section for creative combinations (like the Pescado Parrilla’s mix of fish, fruit, and veggies, or the vegan beef option) that you won’t find anywhere else. Plus, the rooftop bar at Shadyside and South Side locations adds an unforgettable element to the experience that’ll keep you coming back.
Mad Mex is the go-to spot for funky fresh Cal-Mex cuisine that packs a punch. And with a presence in Oakland, Shadyside, North Hills, and beyond, you won’t have to go far to find one. Our recommendation? Try the Herb O’Vore’s Tacos, a dish made up of saucy tofu inside a soft tortilla that tastes even better than it sounds. Keep it dairy-free (and guilt-free) by subbing in Daiya cheese and a side of to-die-for housemade vegan ranch.
Baby Loves Tacos
This Bloomfield taqueria is making a name for itself in a big way. What started as a pop-up stand has taken the East Side by storm thanks to its fresh flavors and organic ingredients. Check out their creative protein choices—BBQ mushroom, chorizo, shaved zucchini—for a selection that excites carnivores and veg-heads alike. And the best part? Guac does not cost extra, so all you avocado-lovers (read: millennials) can feed your craving without emptying your wallet.
Smoke Barbeque Taqueria
One step inside of Smoke’s Lawrenceville hub will get your stomach grumbling right off the bat. Because this BBQ-style taco joint brings the food mashup you didn’t know you needed. Savory protein, crisp tortillas, cheesy dips — it’s almost too much for the taste buds to handle. And they offer plenty of fresh, healthyish BBQ tacos that’ll fill your belly with veggies in the most delicious way possible.
Doce may not be the healthiest taqueria on the block, but in a taco crisis (it happens), they definitely do not disappoint. And thanks to a small menu, it’s not difficult to find items that fit the criteria for your diet — like the vegan option, topped with avocado, lettuce, and fresh pico de gallo. The East Carson St. shop is servin up late-night eats, too, so you can round out your South Side bar crawl with an unforgettable veggie taco that just hits the spot.
Edgar’s Best Tacos
Everyone loves a good food truck. Especially when that truck is selling authentic tacos on the go. The wide variety of vegan, vegetarian, and pescatarian options make Edgar’s one of the best places to indulge your appetite for Mexican cuisine no matter what your diet looks like. If you’re going for a healthier alternative to a classic dish, the Soyrizo has everything you’re after and more. Top it with fresh lettuce, onion, and tomato to add the perfect crunch to an already-exceptional meal.