We’re loving the opportunities these food trails afford us to support local restaurants and find new-to-us spots we hope to return to for a full meal. Check out our previous food trails: cupcake trail from Norwalk to Fairfield, chocolate shop trail from Westport to Bethel to Fairfield, cookie trail from Branford to Old Saybrook, hot dog trail from Fairfield to Milford, crepes trail throughout Norwalk, and bakery trail in Milford.
This week, we’re sharing a loop we’ve made throughout parts of Stamford, Connecticut that features 7 great spots for tacos. Full disclosure: There are some additional spots for tacos we did not try: Tomatillo Taco Joint opens later on weekends and Ole Mole was a bit off our loop (close to the Merritt Parkway). Stamford has dozens of restaurants and we hope to return soon to explore more locations. Every person we met at each of the following spots was warm, inviting, and enthusiastic about their passion for making good tacos. Truth be told, we loved them all! Note: Call ahead to check current pandemic restrictions regarding indoor dining versus takeout/delivery options. While we ordered take out at each location, many of these locations are offering safe options for indoor dining.
Taco Trail in Stamford:
BarTaco on Summer Street is one of four BarTaco restaurants in Connecticut, and one of 21 BarTaco restaurants throughout 11 states. They all have a coastal, laid back vibe and a very lively bar. The Stamford restaurant has an indoor dining room with booths and tables, in a very popular part of the downtown area, practically next door to Bow Tie Cinemas.
We love the baja fish (the most popular), pork belly (I order it every time we visit), and portobello tacos.
Other options: Roasted half chicken; salads (we love the chopped!); homemade chips and guac/salsa verde, Mexican street corn, and plantains; and desserts like key lime pie, ice cream cones, churros, and tres leches. Check out their bottle hot sauces to purchase and take home. Their popular cocktails are also available in take home kits.
Cost: $2.75-$4/taco. Taco packs ($20 for 8 tacos) and family packs ($49.50) are a good value and provide plenty of food for four (we’ve ordered the family pack from the Westport locale before!)
Full menu here.
Noteworthy: The restaurant is open from 11am-10pm seven days a week. Other Connecticut locations include Westport, New Haven, and West Hartford. All restaurants are cashless. Due to current pandemic restrictions, the restaurant has changed their indoor dining policies- check here for updates. There is a great kids menu with many options (the kids tray is a great choice for younger children). Metered parking is available on Summer Street and nearby parking garages include the Summer Street Garage and Bell Street Garage.
Jerkyz on Summer Street is one of the newest restaurants in Stamford, opening in the fall of 2020. Chef Joab Taylor came to America from Jamaica when he was 16, and opened a restaurant in Harlem that featured jerk chicken, jerky lamb chops and jerk burgers. The Stamford restaurant uses island herbs and spices in many of its dishes, including the tacos we sampled.
We love the shrimp taco trio
Other options: Jerk chicken, wraps, and burgers; chicken and salmon salads; homemade
Cost: $13/ trio of shrimp tacos
Full menu here
Noteworthy: The shop is open from noon until 10pm weekdays, and 12pm-11pm on weekends. There is indoor dining and small, full service bar. Metered parking is available on Summer Street and nearby parking garages include the Summer Street Garage and Bell Street Garage.
California Tortilla began in Bethesda Maryland in 1995. Today, there are 40 locations throughout the East Coast (and Kansas). Everything is made to order on the spot, and dine in guests can enjoy the famous Wall of Flame, which features 75 (!!!) varieties of hot sauce. (Also available in take home bottles for purchase).
We love the California Sunset (with Grilled mesquite chicken, melted Jack cheese, Spicy Sunset sauce, fresh avocado and onion-cilantro relish)
Other options: Almost a dozen burrito bowls; quesadillas and fajitas; five salad and chef bowls
Cost: $4/taco or $11.59/3 street tacos. A Fresh Deal ($4) adds a fountain soda and side or dessert to any entree.
Full menu here
Noteworthy: Open 10:30am-8pm weekdays, and 11am-8pm/7pm on Saturday and Sunday. There is a small dining room indoors and parking is available
Casa Villa on East Main Street transports guests to Mexico with their authentic Mexican cuisine, music, and lively restaurant. They frequently host special events, Cinco de Mayo and National Tequila Day, and meals deals, like Taco Tuesday specials.
We love the chicken tacos with salsa picante, onions, and cheese
Other options: More adventurous diners should check out lengua (veal tongue) and adobada (chile marinated pork). There are plenty of soup and salad options; almost 20 large entrees; sides like chips, salsa, guac, rice, and two types of plantains; Aguas Maxicanas sodas; and desserts like flan, churros, and tres leches sponge cake.
Cost: $3/ taco
Full menu here.
Noteworthy: The restaurant has two locations: the larger restaurant on East Main Street (open 12pm-8pm9/pm Monday through Saturday) and an “express” location on West Main Street (open 11am-8pm/9pm Monday through Saturday). Both locations are closed on Sunday. The weekday lunch specials are a great deal (all $13 or less for a full meal). There is a small parking lot adjacent to the restaurant.
Chicho’s Cocina on Shippan Avenue opened in the spring of 2020 and is named for the chef’s father, Chico, who owned his own restaurant in the 1990s. The dining room is small, but the take out menu is large!
We love the cheesy beef tacos (with onions, cilantro, pickled red onions, and homemade avocado sauce). This was our kids’ favorite of the whole trail !!!
Other options: Four varieties of quesadillas, nachos, and almost a dozen options for making custom bowls and burritos. Sides include chips, salsa, guac, rice, three homemade hot sauces for churros for dessert.
Cost: $3.50- $4.50/taco, specials (like the cheesy beef tacos) are $10/3 tacos
Full menu here
Noteworthy: Closed on Sundays, the restaurant opens at 11:30am Monday through Saturday and closes at 8pm during the week and 9pm on Friday and Saturday. On street parking available, and in the Bank of America parking lot at night.
Taco Daddy on Towne Street opened in late 2019 and is located in the Harbor Point development in Stamford. There is large, split dining room with tables and booths, and a long bar tat divides the dining room. Taco daddy serves a variety of non traditional, “no rules” tacos (including dessert!) and has a great vibe with fun music blaring and colorful artwork from the owner’s family displayed throughout the restaurant. There is an outdoor patio that runs the length of the restaurant for warmer months.
We love the Kung Pao Shrimp (my personal favorite of the day), cheeseburger, and the dessert s’mores choco tacos.
Other options: In addition to 16 varieties of tacos, there are half a dozen quesadilla and fajitas options, crunchwraps and bowls.
Cost: Tacos range between $4.75-$6 each
Full menu here
Noteworthy: The restaurant opens seven days a week at 10:30am and stays open until midnight or later. The kids menu includes waffles, burgers, and chicken fingers in addition to taco options. The restaurant is bright with a wall of windows (looking out to the outdoor dining patio in warmer weather) and very tall ceilings. The restaurant is part of the Harbor Point complex that includes condo and apartment complexes and retail shops; there is a large parking lot in front of the restaurant.
Mexicue on Harbor Point Road opened in 2019 in the Harbor Point part of Stamford. The restaurant has a wall of windows that look out onto the Harbor Point Boardwalk and Long Island Sound inlet, and the Common Park is across the street with a great playground. There is a large patio for outdoor dining in warmer months.
We loved the pulled pork, crispy fish, and shrimp tacos on the corn tortillas (romaine boats are available)
Other options: Grilled tacos, five options for burritos, small bowls, almost a dozen options for chips and dips.
Full menu here
Noteworthy: Open from 4pm-9pm during the week, and 12pm-9pm on Saturday and Sunday. Great kids menu here and happy hour options here. The restaurant also has other locations in New York City and Washington DC. Free parking is available in the garage adjacent to the Sign of the Whale restaurant, and an open lot at the nearby fire station.
Our sources for “research”: Three of our favorite sources for researching anything Connecticut are CTVisit.com (the official state tourism website), CTBites.com (THE resource on all things food related), and ConnecticutMagazine.com (a magazine I have subscribed to for years, full of info on a great variety of topics)
For more fun in Connecticut, check out our list of 30 places we love and 32 places where we love to eat in Connecticut. And follow along on our adventures on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.