What Are the Types of Taco Meat?

Last Updated on March 7, 2023 by Lauren Beck

Tacos are a beloved food item that has gained immense popularity around the world. The filling of the taco is the most essential component of this dish, and there are numerous types of taco meat that can be used to create a variety of flavors and textures. 

In this article, we will explore what are the different types of taco meat and answer some common questions about tacos.

11 Types of Taco Meat:

  1. Beef: This is the most popular type of taco meat and is usually made with ground beef. It can be seasoned with various spices such as chili powder, cumin, and garlic to add flavor.
  2. Chicken: Chicken is a healthy alternative to beef and can be grilled, baked, or sautéed before being shredded and used as taco meat.
  3. Pork: Pork is another popular taco meat that can be cooked in various ways, such as braising or slow-cooking. Carnitas is a type of taco made with slow-cooked pork that is shredded and then pan-fried.
  4. Shrimp: Seafood lovers can opt for shrimp as their taco filling. Shrimp is usually cooked with garlic, chili powder, and lime juice to give it a zesty flavor.
  5. Fish: Fish tacos are a popular type of taco that is usually made with white fish, such as cod or tilapia. The fish can be fried or grilled and is usually topped with slaw, salsa, and lime juice.
  6. Tofu: For vegetarians or those who want a meat-free option, tofu can be used as taco meat. It can be marinated in various sauces to add flavor and then cooked to give it a crispy texture.
  7. Mushroom: Mushrooms are another great vegetarian option for taco filling. They can be sautéed with garlic and onions to give it a savory taste.
  8. Turkey: Turkey is a lean meat that can be used as a healthier alternative to beef or pork. It can be seasoned with various spices to add flavor.
  9. Steak: Steak tacos are usually made with grilled flank or skirt steak. It is then sliced thinly and topped with salsa and cilantro.
  10. Lamb: Lamb tacos are not as popular as beef or chicken tacos, but they are a tasty alternative. Lamb can be cooked with garlic, chili powder, and cumin to give it a spicy taste.
  11. Barbacoa: Barbacoa is a type of taco meat that is made with slow-cooked beef cheek meat. It is usually seasoned with garlic, chili powder, and cumin.

What Makes A Taco A Taco?

A taco is a traditional Mexican dish that consists of a corn or flour tortilla filled with various ingredients. The tortilla is usually folded in half to enclose the filling. Tacos can be made with a variety of fillings, but the most popular ones include meat, cheese, lettuce, and salsa.

Where Did Tacos Come From?

Tacos originated in Mexico and have been a staple in Mexican cuisine for centuries. The exact origins of the taco are unclear, but it is believed that it was first consumed by silver miners in Mexico in the 18th century. Tacos gained popularity in the United States in the early 20th century and have since become a beloved food item.

What Is The Difference Between A Taco & A Burrito?

burrito in a white plate

Tacos and burritos are both Mexican dishes, but they differ in their size and fillings. Tacos are smaller and usually made with one tortilla, while burritos are larger and made with a larger tortilla that is filled with various ingredients. 

Tacos are usually topped with salsa, cilantro, and onions, while burritos are typically filled with rice, beans, cheese, and sour cream.

How Do I Choose the Best Mexico Street Tacos?

When choosing the best street tacos in Mexico, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Look for long lines – if a street taco stand has a long line of locals, it’s usually a good sign that their tacos are worth trying.
  • Check the cleanliness of the stand – make sure the vendor is practicing good hygiene, and the ingredients are fresh.
  • Go for variety – look for street taco stands that offer a wide variety of meats and toppings to choose from.
  • Ask for recommendations – don’t be afraid to ask locals for their favorite street taco stands or recommendations on what to try.

What’s More Authentic: Corn Tortillas or Flour Tortillas? Soft Shell or Hard Shell?

When it comes to tacos, there are different opinions on what is more authentic. Corn tortillas are considered the more authentic option as they have been a staple in Mexican cuisine for centuries. 

Flour tortillas are a newer addition to Mexican cuisine, and they are more commonly used in northern Mexico. When it comes to soft shell vs. hard shell tacos, soft shell tacos are considered more traditional, while hard shell tacos are a more recent invention.

Where Are the Best Tacos From Mexico?

Mexico is home to some of the best tacos in the world, but the answer to where the best tacos come from is subjective. Different regions of Mexico have their own unique style of tacos. 

Some of the most popular types of tacos in Mexico include al pastor tacos from Mexico City, fish tacos from Baja California, and cochinita pibil tacos from the Yucatan Peninsula.

Is There Taco Bell in Mexico?

Contrary to popular belief, Taco Bell is not very popular in Mexico [1], and there are only a handful of locations in the country. Mexican cuisine is diverse and rich, and locals usually opt for more traditional and authentic taco stands and restaurants instead of fast-food chains like Taco Bell.

What Are Real Mexican Tacos?

Real Mexican tacos are usually made with corn tortillas and filled with various meats, such as beef, chicken, pork, or seafood. 

Tacos are often topped with cilantro, onions, salsa, and lime juice. Each region in Mexico has its own unique style of taco, so the ingredients and preparation may vary.


Tacos are a versatile and delicious food item that can be enjoyed in various forms. From traditional beef tacos to vegetarian options like tofu and mushroom, there are endless possibilities for taco fillings. The type of taco meat and tortilla used can differ depending on the region in Mexico, but the love for tacos is universal. Whether you’re in Mexico or any other part of the world, tacos are a beloved dish that continues to bring people together.


Lauren Beck
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