The Original El Taco

(404) 873-4656 | View Website

1186 N Highland Ave, Atlanta, GA | Directions   30306

33.787048 -84.355349

Open Hours

Mon.-Thurs.-5-10pm; Fri.-5-11pm; Sat.-11:30am-11pm; Sun.-11:30am-10pm

Restaurants, Catering, Neighborhood Bars  more

Tags: Cheap Eats, Bar Scene, Carry Out, Casual Date Spot, Margaritas, People Watching, Outdoor Dining, Family-Friendly Dining

Price: $

Cuisine: Mexican, Southwestern

Bar & Club Special Features: Date Spot, After Work

Payment Methods: MasterCard, Cash, Visa, American Express

Genres: Gay & Lesbian Films

Neighborhoods: Northeast, Virginia Highland, Northeast

The Original El Taco
House Salsa, Guacamole, Queso Blanco, Queso Royale, Classic Tastes Trio, El Short Stack, Green Chile Relleno, Hanger Steak Pinchos, Fried Chicken, Smoked Chicken... more

Reviews for The Original El Taco


Much better than your average Mexican, with some creative specials and cool cocktails; it's also kid friendly!

over a year ago

ONE OF THE BEST MEXICAN SPOTS AROUND – As a true life lover of mexican food I can honestly say this is one of the absolute BEST MEXICAN restaurant around! As for anyone who would compare this restaurant to Tequieria del Sol, it is less than 5 minutes from where I live and I pass by there on a regular basis to get El Taco. Tequiera is a good cheap mexican restaurant but when it come to taste and innovation, it is light years beyond the corn w/ the lime and mayo. You don't even want me to start talking about the queso royale with sauteed onions and peppers or the mexican pizza which is more like heaven on a crispy crust! More salad than pizza, it's light enough not to make you feel heavy but more than enough food to satisfy any appetite. This place is a jewel and I only wish it were closer to where I live.

over a year ago

Nothing Really Original Here, But Fun! – What a fun and welcomed new place for the hood. Mexican for the masses. The fun factor really goes high. The Margs are delicious, and near perfect. But Orginal El Taco, it is not! It lacks the orgiionality of a true Mexican joint like the one on Chattahoochee Ave., or the Holy funk of the place in East Atlanta. No I'm not going to be tacky, and call out other places by name, like some of the employess of this establishment writing reviews. You never really know if the tacos will be hard of soft. But we did enjoy the Crispy Pork Belly Tacos. Shaun Doty continues his love with Pork Belly, but gosh, does he have to use it in everything, he touches? Mexican Pizza? That's as bad as Japenese Pizza at another certain spot. Be somewhat authentic, and call it Tiayudas. But the Corn In a Lime-Laced Mayo for dipping, was divine. Yes, we will be customers, but for the orginal real deal, we will head to Buford Hwy. or Jonesboro Rd.

over a year ago

A solid addition to the Highlands offering – El Taco is a good combination of affordable and inventive food choices, a great bar, and casual yet upbeat atmosphere. It really fills the void in the neighborhood after the departure of (the original) Sala. My favorite choice for entrees is the Mexican flatbread pizza. We chose the carnitas pizza, which was really yummy. The fresh guacamole was likewise a good choice for appetizers (though they do charge a nominal price for chips and salsa, a downside). As an afterthought I tried the fried chicken taco, which was unbelievable. Frozen mojitos are unique and yummy. They also spin the taco wheel every hour or so for fun prizes. all in all, a great night out with good food and good service that is suitable for any night of the week (or weekend!).

over a year ago

VA-Highland's Best New Restaurant – Finally good mexican food in a great location. I am so tired of standing next to stinky dumpsters waiting to get a tired old table in the carpeted "dining room" at Neuvo Laredo - and equally tired of giving my hard earned cash to the rude owners of that "place" on Howell Mill. El Taco is a welcome addition to the neighborhood! Quickly - my favorites are the mouth-watering guacamole and chips, the shrimp ceviche, the chorizo tacos and the lime-marinated shrimp fajitas. The sides are unique, I think my favorite has to be the addictive grilled corn in lime mayo (like they serve out of carts off Buford highway - but better!)

The staff is refreshingly nice and helpful and the atmosphere makes for a great night out - even on a monday. I forgot to mention the drinks, I love beer, but my friends say the margaritas are divine.

over a year ago

These guys know how to rock a taco! – Yes, I love food and I love good food that is priced right and served by really nice people! That said, I've never had a bad experience at a Fifth Group Restaurant - this is no exception! It is already very popular and I get why - the vibe is fun & casual, the frozen margaritas are perfect, the music, the tv's, the staff, and the price all fit the laid-back Highlands perfectly. I've gone three times since it opened and was with a group twice. We started with the yummy chips (lime and salt!) with guac and queso - everyone loved this. After a round of frozen mojitos and margaritas we shared 2 tasty carnitas and vegetarian mexican pizzas (also great with beer I've noticed) and topped them with a few salsas from the salsa bar. I love the tacos - my 2 favs are the fried chicken (with grilled corn and lime mayo!) and the tilapia. A couple of friends had the Green chili chicken enchiladas - very nice. Next time I go back, I really want to try the Rellenos and pork Carnitas tacos - they sound delicious. Oh - I love the "Wheel of Taco" , you get a poker chip with a number when you are seated and if your number comes up when they spin the wheel you get a free drink or food - it was fun. This place is a winner in my book.

over a year ago

Fifth Group and Shaun Doty team to bring high-brow Mexican in a low-brow atmosphere in Virginia Highland. – In Short
Taking over the stuffy, Sala space off North Highland Avenue, El Taco immediately took its shoes off and decided to stay awhile. Feeling more like a taco "joint" than a taqueria, the open floor plan is highlighted by a mural of bright Mexican graffiti art. Fittingly, the menu is cheap and casual, yet sneaks in obsessive details. House-made tortilla chips are sprinkled with a hint of lime, Mexican coke is imported for dessert floats and flat masa pizzas--though a mess to eat--are a far cry from anything Tex-Mex. Mexican corn dusted in lime mayo is the fried chicken taco's secret weapon, and stands on its own as a must-try side. With frozen mojitos and win-a-prize wheel, it's a playful type of place--one that could have seemingly been conjured up by a group of fun-loving college kids. And frankly, the neighborhood is better for it.

Doesn't Recommend
over a year ago

Good Atmosphere, Very Bland Food. – Wanted to try this place since Sala closed. The place has a good atmosphere and good service but the food is extremely bland. We tried the flautas appetizer which was basically 2 taquitos placed in a cup of refried beans, the talapia and pork tacos were the worst I ever tasted...actually no taste and the pork was extremely chewy (took one bite), the mexican pizza tasted like a corn tortilla with black beans piled high with lettuce, but again, no taste. The place has potential but the menu needs to be revamped. I know good mexican food when I taste it and El Taco needs some help.

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The Original El Taco

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83% 100 20 18 Votes

Best of Citysearch

Won for:
Date Spot (2011)
Mexican Food (2010)
Nominations Nominated for:
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