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November 30, 2021 Inspiration

Judges sample 53 tacos to find Calgary’s best

In an effort spearheaded by Culinaire Magazine, five people had the opportunity to judge a total of 53 tacos from over 25 eateries to find Calgary’s best beef tacos.

Judges included Linda Garson, Tom Firth, and Keane Straub of Culinaire Magazine; Mexican Chef Norma French, and Alberta Beef Producer’s Field Specialist, Megan McLeod.

Judges considered factors like the quality of the beef, the freshness of the other ingredients, the presentation, and how highly they would recommend this to a friend.

Nominated tacos were split into four distinct categories, including: Authentic Birria, Authentic Carne Asada, Classic, and Contemporary.

And the winners are…

Authentic Birria (tie)

Con Mi Tacos

$4.75 each

821 1 Street SW (evenings at Meat &
Bread)

“How do they make these so delicious?
Chef Mikko has spent a good amount
of time in Mexico visiting some of the
best places to learn taco making and its
flavours, and it shows. They grind their
corn each morning and hand-press each
tortilla to order.”

Calavera Cantina

$5 each

4307 130 Avenue SE

“This is an amazing braised beef short
rib. 4½ hours in a smoky-sweet sauce
flavoured with cinnamon, clove, and
ancho peppers made for a juicy, savoury
bite that had me wanting to lick the
platter it was served on.”

Authentic Carne Asada

Unimarket

$10 for 3

127 50 Avenue SE

“Great char with a bit of fat for extra flavour, this carne asada was tender, savoury, and juicy, and is worth the trip off the main drag. Order in groups of three and enjoy it again, and again, and again.”

Classic Taco

Mikey’s Taco Shop, Beef Brisket Taco

$11 for 3 tacos

918 12th Avenue SW

“The brisket is braised for 5 hours, shredded, and cooked again with special salsa with tomatillos and tomatoes – the end result? Flavourful, balanced, and a place I’ll be back to for sure!”

Contemporary Tacos

The J Spot, Beef Bulgogi Brisket Taco

$4.95 each

Fresh & Local Market & Kitchens 12445 Lake Fraser Drive SE

“Whatever you do, don’t just order the Beef Bulgogi Taco without asking what goes into them. Days of effort, slow cooking, and attention goes into this intensely flavoured, interesting approach to a taco.”

Who knew that Calgary’s taco game was so strong? I truly have to commend all of the nominated establishments on providing such a high calibre of tacos for us to judge,” McLeod says. “They certainly didn’t make it easy for us. I highly
recommend trying all the nominated establishments if you can… You won’t be disappointed.”

For more information on the contest, the judges, and the highly recommended winners, head to The Search for Calgary’s Best Beef Taco, by Linda Garson, and watch for Culinaire Magazine’s December issue.


Want to make your own taco-inspired meal? Check out these recipes, on ABP Daily:

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