Taqueria Takeover

What’s better than a giant platter of tacos? A giant platter of tacos overflowing with everything from blowtorched avocado to plump fried oysters. Adios, shredded Jack.

boston tacos

Photograph by Bruce Peterson, styling by Nina Gallant

Naco Taco

“I have no desire to do [things] like pollo verde or carne asada—those voices are already out there,” chef Michael Scelfo proclaims. Instead, when the Alden & Harlow chef-­owner opens his Central Square ­taqueria this spring, he’ll take a different approach. Naco will have a sprawling ­patio that seats about 100; its ­creative tortas and tacos will be ­offered from a truck connected to the building; and the bar will serve a slew of ­specialty ­micheladas. As for the tacos: “We’ll have all kinds of stuff—lamb, beef, pork, and chicken—but not at all what you’re expecting,” Scelfo says. Translation? [1] Crunchy, whole-fried smelts with salted cabbage, avocado, and tomatillo crema, and [2] torched avocado topped with smoked-almond salsa and cilantro aioli. ­Naturally, the ingredients are piled up on house-made tortillas.

297 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, nacocentral.com.

Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar

From the team behind Southie hot spot ­Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant comes Loco, a taqueria and oyster bar that opened across the street in January. Chef de cuisine Tim Chatigny says that team-spitballing led to offbeat combos like the [3] shaved pork taco, which is augmented by harissa aioli, pickled green tomatoes, and bacon-­habanero relish. ­Others, though, were no-brainers for the hybrid shop—like the [4] fried oyster taco, which layers crunchy ­cornstarch-dredged Island Creeks with smoky charred scallions, a vinegary curtido slaw, house pickles, and a sriracha-lime aioli. “Those acid flavors ­really help the oysters come through, and that taco ­itself has a lot of New England flair,” Chatigny points out.

412 W. Broadway, Boston, 617-917-5626, locosouthboston.com.

Lone Star Taco Bar Cambridge

Long an Allston destination for street-style Tex-Mex, Lone Star will leap across the Charles to Cambridge this month, bringing its popular menu plus a more-­extensive bar program and a few brand-new items (hello, bacon-wrapped Sonoran hot dogs). “We’re planning to do a lot more specials and seasonal stuff,” chef Rian Wyllie says. “I’ve been messing around with different styles of chorizo, like chorizo verde and a Oaxacan style.” The New Deal Fish Market right across the street, meanwhile, will ­provide plenty of inspiration. Expect the Allston classics: [5] beer-battered white fish matched with ­mango-habanero ­aioli and pickled cabbage, and [6] beef brisket barbacoa, which is marinated with chilies and beer before it lands in a house-made tortilla with avocado crema, pickled red onion, and cotija cheese.

635 Cambridge St., Cambridge, lonestar-boston.com.

Plus! New Tacos from Not-New Restaurants

La Brasa: Lunchtime introduces two tacos: brisket with charred red onion and pickles; and mushroom “chorizo” with pickled peppers.

124 Broadway, Somerville, 617-764-1412, labrasasomerville.com.

Olé: Of the many new tacos to land at this Cambridge spot, the must-try is a pileup of pork belly, scallions, and jicama, with chipotle aioli and a touch of fish sauce.

11 Springfield St., Cambridge, 617-492-4495, olerestaurantgroup.com.