It’s taco time.
Time for lunch, time for a crunch, and time to put that sad excuse of a taco from Taco Bell behind you. (Well, except for when everything else is closed. Or you don’t feel like getting out of your pajamas. Or you need that Doritos Locos taco before you have a breakdown.)
Getting back to good tacos, we asked the Bradenton Herald Facebook group, “Manatee Eats,” for local recommendations.
It turns out that whether you prefer your tacos authentic or Americanized, there’s something for everyone in the Bradenton area.
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Don’t take our word for it; get out there and try them for yourself.
Ready, set, guacamole ...
Poppo’s Taqueria has four locations, all in Bradenton.
The restaurant serves simple yet delicious tacos made with quality ingredients.
Choice meats include spicy beef, ancho chicken, carnitas and chorizo made from Florida wild boar (it’s “as free-range as free-range can be,” according to Poppo’s website). For a non-meat protein, try organic tempeh.
Top your taco with pico de gallo, honey lime slaw, jalepeño relish, jack or feta cheese, red onion and more.
The prices aren’t bad either; tacos range from $3 to $4.
Poppo’s tacos are served in soft tortillas made of corn or a corn and wheat blend, and they are pressed fresh for every order.
Pair your tacos with craft soda or a beer.
Try this: Poppo’s Taco comes with your choice of protein, honey-lime slaw, pico de gallo, feta cheese and hot sauce.
Details: Poppo’s Taqueria is at 212 C Pine Ave., Bradenton; 6777 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton; 4220 53rd Ave. E., Bradenton; and 8471 Cooper Creek Blvd., Bradenton. poppostaqueria.com.
Birdrock Taco Shack
Birdrock Taco Shack is a restaurant in Bradenton’s Village of the Arts operated by chef David Shiplett.
Shiplett lets his culinary creativity run wild, giving tacos all kinds of new twists.
The cozy, homespun environ at Birdrock is complimented by a menu full of pleasant surprises.
Offerings change seasonally, giving you a good excuse to come back and see what’s new.
The menu is divided by price and lists $2, $3, $4, $5 and $7 tacos.
Highlights from the summer 2018 menu include an edamame pineapple bang-bang taco ($2), a fire-seared eggplant taco ($3), a pan-seared mahi mahi taco ($5) and a lobster taco topped with smoked chili mayo ($7).
Birdrock tacos are made with soft corn or soft flour tortillas.
Try this: Birdrock’s roasted beet taco is topped with goat cheese, honey, sriracha, red slaw and almonds.
Details: Birdrock Taco Shack is at 1004 10th Ave. W., Bradenton. birdrocktacoshack.com.
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop in Bradenton is a locally owned franchise of a restaurant brand that got its start in Fort Worth, Texas.
The menu offers a diverse list of 12 taco choices, including meat, fish and vegetarian options.
Highlights include traditional takes like the Special Ground Beef Taco, Fajita Beef Taco and Spicy Pork Taco, as well as alternatives like the Grilled Veggie Taco, Grilled Fish Taco and Tempura Shrimp Taco.
Tacos come standard on a soft corn tortilla, but you can sub it out for a crispy corn tortilla or flour tortilla any time.
Try this: The California Heat Taco is topped with tempura shrimp, bacon, avocado, feta cheese, shredded cheese, pico de gallo and sriracha-lime sauce.
Details: Fuzzy’s Tacos Bradenton is at 4808 14th St. W., Bradenton. fuzzystacoshop.com/locations/bradenton-fl.
▪ Tio Carlos at Red Barn Flea Market, 1707 First St., Bradenton.
▪ Dona Betty’s Tacos (food truck), 5520 14th St. W., Bradenton.
▪ Poblanos Mexican Grill and Bar, 5779 53rd Ave. E., Bradenton.
▪ Señor Fajitas, 316 Old Main St. Bradenton.
▪ Tijuana Flats, 2127 Cortez Road W., Bradenton.
▪ Habanero’s, 5120 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.
▪ Wicked Cantina Bradenton Beach, 101 Seventh St. N., Bradenton Beach.
▪ El Sombrero, 1330 U.S. 301, Palmetto.
▪ Tacos el Guero (food truck), 835 301 Blvd. E., Bradenton.