Tacos have served as an inexpensive street food for centuries now, but they’re ready for an upscale makeover. The rise of the fast casual restaurant is providing the perfect atmosphere for a Mexican food upgrade. Chipotle, Qdoba, and Chevys Fresh Mex started the trend and now enjoy surprising success in a very competitive market. While some of these locations serve tacos, the newest wave of the trend drops the burritos and quesadillas in favor of focusing exclusively on the humble taco. These new chains are piggybacking off the Chipotle trend of using unusual and fresh ingredients.
Taco Bell isn’t trying to compete directly. Instead, they opened up the U.S. Taco Co. with sustainable fish and fresh vegetables. Chronic Tacos has already been on the scene for 12 years, attracting attention across the U.S. and Canada with strange combinations like mashed potatoes. For the classic street taco experience without heading south of the border, look for an America’s Taco Shop location. This small yet popular chain was recently purchased by franchise giant Kahala Corporation, which also owns big names like Coldstone Creamery and Blimpie. Of course, there are plenty of other chains and new franchises popping up each day focusing on tacos.