The BEST Tacos in Wauchula, FL

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best-tacos-wauchula-735x2000There are plenty of things to do while staying at the Peace River Campground – Thousand Trails, but eating is easily one of our favorites. While we were in the Wauchula area in Central Florida this winter, we sampled the dishes of many a local family-run business (really – family-run seems to be THE THING in this area!) and some of our favorites were the terrific little taquerias that were along the roadside.

Two of our three favorites are from kitchens run out of converted travel trailers that are now permanently parked food trucks with outdoor seating areas underneath a covered patio. In the middle of farm fields, it’s not a surprise that we found the produce was crisp, the salsa was fresh and the corn tortillas tasted like the corn had been fresh ground in the morning. We learned that “everything on it” has different meanings depending on the chef and kitchen, so it’s good to ask – some include lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese and sour cream, and some don’t. Best to find out what that loaded taco has on it!

None of these places is more than 10 minutes from the Thousand Trails Peace River Campground and the tacos are all around $1.50 each, so you can have a quick, inexpensive lunch in town while staying at the RV park. For such a small place, Hardee County has a gem in Wauchula for great tacos. Here’s our countdown to the number one taco in Wauchula, Florida…

#3 – Taco Express

Located a couple doors down from Wal-Mart in the shopping center next to the Winn-Dixie, this place is the only non food-truck taco joint in Wauchula that made our list. In a sunny room, a waitress took our orders and brought us a complimentary basket of fresh hot chips from the kitchen and house made salsa. The menu includes a wide variety of meat options for each dish including pig stomach, cheek and fajita steak as well as the usual ground beef or chicken.

We tried steak, pork, chicken and ground beef tacos and all were quite good, although the pork was somewhat fatty. But it IS pork, which is fatty. Fajitas were sizzling hot and chock full of fresh veggies and the tortillas were soft and tasty, as were the beans and rice. The tamale was good as well. Taco Express is a great little restaurant on the northern end of town, particularly if you’re hanging out doing laundry in the shopping center.

#2 – Taquitos Mi Mexico

This place might fool you from its looks – we thought it was perhaps closed, or not a going concern, but we found they are open throughout the week for both lunch and dinner. Next to a produce stand in a parking lot off of US-17S heading toward the RV camp from Wauchula proper. We stopped by one afternoon while doing some errands in Wauchula and had the most fantastic freshly made and fried tortilla chips with homemade salsa (not complimentary, however).

The tacos were quite excellent as well – choices included steak, chicken and ground beef, and toppings included the usual lettuce, tomato and onion as well as sour cream and cheese if so desired. We did not sample any other dishes, but the tacos are definitely recommended, if not the best in Wauchula, they were a close, close second. Plus they are open during the early week when our favorite is closed…

#1 – BEST Taqueria in Wauchula – Taco Isabel

The first taqueria we sampled was Taco Isabel on our first night in Wauchula (yay for Friday Date Nights) and we were not disappointed! We had not only terrific steak tacos, but also fresh and crisp taquitos and a guaraches, which is a flatbread layered with beans, meat, lettuce and avocado, then topped with cheese and sour cream. Served with a green salsa and chopped limes, these tacos were full of flavor, texture and were hot out of the kitchen. We sat in the covered patio and enjoyed the sounds of a Florida night and the twinkling lights around the grounds.

We think Taco Isabel is hands down the best taqueria in Wauchula and the kids agree! We were so impressed with the food, service and even the atmosphere, we brought them back the following morning for breakfast tacos. As usual, we were stragglers and failed to make the 11am cutoff for breakfast by about 5 minutes, but the senorita running the kitchen was kind enough to take pity on our kids’ sad faces and whipped up fantastic tacos with eggs, bacon and potatoes, among other toppings. Open only Thursdays through Sunday, so plan accordingly but don’t miss Taco Isabel if you’re in Hardee County near Wauchula, Florida.

We’re headed back this week, and my mouth is already watering!

 

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