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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Which Mexican restaurant has the best tacos in Ocala?

The Ocala Downtown Market Food Truck Park recently made the claim that its Mexi-Rican food truck has “the best tacos” in Ocala.

Ocala Downtown Market Food Truck Park
Ocala Downtown Market Food Truck Park posted this on their Facebook page earlier this month

There’s around a dozen locations in Ocala that might disagree with that.

We thought we’d give you a chance to chime in, so we have included ten from around the city as a starting point. We’ve separated them by location, but they’re listed in no particular order. If you think there are others that should be highlighted, share your thoughts in a comment or a letter to the editor.

Taco ‘N Madre has been a downtown Ocala staple for decades, boasting perhaps the most well-trafficked location at the intersection of U.S. 441/Pine Ave and Silver Springs Boulevard. The restaurant offers a drive thru that stays consistently busy while offering quick service throughout the day.

Taco 'N Madre Taqueria and Mexican Restaurant in Ocala, Florida
Taco ‘N Madre Taqueria and Mexican Restaurant in Ocala, Florida
Carne asada tostada, rice, and beans at Taco 'N Madre in Ocala, Florida
Carne asada tostadas, rice and beans are one of the many specials available at Taco ‘N Madre
Carne asada burrito at Taco 'N Madre
The burritos at Taco ‘N Madre are large and come packed with a meat of your choice

Taco ‘N Madre lost its title as the only downtown restaurant specializing in Mexican cuisine when Sayulita Taqueria opened its doors a few years ago. Located at 10 NE 1st Street, Sayulita Taqueria has a collection of popular, simple tacos, including their popular walking taco that is served in a Doritos bag.

A health inspector forced the temporary closure of Sayulita Taqueria, located at 10 NE 1st Street in Ocala, last week after finding multiple violations.
The carnitas tacos are a signature dish at Sayulita
Carne Asada, Mahi, and Carnitas tacos at Sayulita
Carne Asada, Mahi, and Carnitas tacos are just a few of the many taco options at Sayulita

In west Ocala like many of the restaurants on this list, La Hacienda offers a popular taco Tuesday, in addition to a variety of other daily specials. The restaurant is attached to a grocery store that sells a variety of Hispanic foods and goods. And next door to both is another restaurant that specializes in Mexican cuisine, Taqueria Mi Ranchito.

La Hacienda in Ocala, Florida
La Hacienda in Ocala, Florida
Carne asada tacos at La Hacienda
Tacos are only 99 cents apiece every “Taco Tuesday” at La Hacienda
Carne asada taco with salsa and guacamole at La Hacienda
Tacos come with cilantro and onions, but there are a few sauces and additional toppings that you can add to each one

Further down the road in west Ocala along S.R. 40, Pepe’s Tienda Mexicana y Taqueria operates a restaurant and supermarket similar to La Hacienda.

Located in the Market Street at Heath Brook in southwest Ocala, Las Margaritas has an extensive menu with dozens of authentic Mexican dishes, including a wide variety of tacos. Just down the road, Mezcal opened its doors recently and sees large crowds from nearby active adult communities, On Top of the World and Oak Run.

Las Margaritas Mexican Restaurant and Gallery
Las Margaritas Mexican Restaurant and Gallery
Burrito, rice, and beans at Las Margaritas Mexican Restaurant in Ocala, Florida
Burrito, rice, and beans at Las Margaritas Mexican Restaurant in Ocala, Florida

In east Ocala, El Toreo has been selling Mexican cuisine for over 30 years. The restaurant boasts a second location in southwest Ocala that sees a steady flow of local and interstate bound visitors.

Comparatively, the newly opened Los Magueyes just opened the doors on its first location in Ocala, in the southeast portion of the city along Baseline Road. It is the restaurant’s sixth overall location, with popular spots in Belleview and Wildwood.

Many might suggest that the best taco is not at a local restaurant, and in fact can be found at some of the national chains. Do you think national chains like Moe’s, Tijuana Flats, Chipotle, or Taco Bell should take the title?

Which restaurant has the best tacos in Ocala? Share your thoughts in a comment. If you’d like to share a food review, write a letter to the editor.