T/ACO serves up tasty downtown Boulder tacos

Just off the Pearl Street Mall, the 7-year-old Boulder staple serves up a chill vibe along with great tacos

By Paul Hagey Jul 25 2019

Editor’s note: We’re profiling some of Boulder’s best homegrown taquerias in this summer taco series. Check out our stories on Tierra y Fuego and McDevitt Taco Supply, Mojo Taqueria, and enjoy the T/ACO profile below.

Anyone who works downtown undoubtedly knows T/ACO’s Taco Tuesday, where the $2.50 tacos and margaritas flow like a tender pork belly taco doused in well-balanced salsa.

The “urban taqueria” opened its doors in 2012 just a block south of the Pearl Street Mall at 1175 Walnut Street, where it still slings its Mexican street tacos today. Most tacos go for $3.75.

Walking in, you immediately sense the chill vibe and communal atmosphere. Often packed, the place has a cozy ambience, great, handmade tortillas and amazingly speedy service. Hunting for a quick taco, I dropped by T/ACO recently. No joke — the taco hit my table within 90 seconds of ordering it (and the place was not not busy).

Tacos at T/ACO

T/ACO has burger roots. The principles of a three-location burger joint H-Burger (now closed), decided to jump into tacos in 2012. The group tapped friend Peter Waters to help manage the new operation. Soon after, he became a principal and still runs the day-to-day operation today.

It takes more than great food to thrive in Boulder. “Any competitor with money can move to town and copy everything we do,” Peter says, “but they will never be able to replicate our people. It’s our staff and our guests that make T/aco the unique experience that it is today.”

Tacos served up at T/ACO. Photo: Eric Forbes.

This basic truth explains why BLDRfly, in general, focuses its content on locally-owned operations — they are what make Boulder a special, unique place.

T/ACO’s best-sellers include:

  • Pork belly taco featuring six-hour-braised pork belly marinated in guajillo peppers sauce, topped with pickled red onions, cotija cheese and cilantro.
  • Cotija cheese taco featuring grilled, fresh-grated cotija cheese topped with guacamole, pico de gallo and tomatilla salsa.

T/ACO also has a growing taco catering business, Tacos to the People. (In December, T/ACO owners also opened the glorious grilled cheese and french fry shop Ruthies Boardwalk Social located smack in the heart of the Pearl Street Mall at 1397 Pearl Street.)

As a Tex-Mex taco kid from that food’s capital in Austin, Texas, I’ve always wondered why tacos have not taken over the world. With restaurateurs like those behind T/ACO realizing their appeal and simplicity, slowly but surely they seem to be.

As Peter says, “We were looking for a fun food with a lot of variety that we could deliver in an a la carte menu. Tacos can be prepared fresh from whole ingredients and delivered to your table within minutes of placing your order with our servers,” he continues. “Quality ingredients, affordable prices, great flavor and fast service seemed like something Boulder would fall in love with.”

It’s a no duh, and Boulder’s starting to see locally owned, high-quality taco options proliferate.

Editor’s note: If there’s a locally-owned Boulder taqueria with amazing tacos you think we missed, drop us a line and we’ll add them to the profile series.

Feature photo: Eric Forbes.

Paul Hagey

Paul Hagey is BLDRfly’s founder and editor. When not wrangling video, audio and words in the name of story, he’s riding his mountain bike, trail running and hanging with his awesome wife Jen and their young daughter. paul@bldrfly.com