Las Ahumaderas/Taqueria las Tres Salas

Mexican
good
Worth a return
Save

Las Ahumaderas, also known as Taco Alley, is a side-by-side collection of all-night Tijuana taco shacks. They aren’t the best tacos in town, but they are among the most famous, and the tacos here has come to define the Tijuana style. These offer a mix of flame-grilled steak and organ meats like you might find at a South American Churrasco, alongside vertical spits of pork adobada. In addition to tacos, these stands all offer the classic twists. Vampiros are achieved by drying out fresh corn tortillas, until they have a texture like dried pasta, and then grilling this crispy corn cracker until it is charred around the edges. They are something like a smoky twist on the tostada. We still prefer tacos. Vampiros, mulitas, and many other taco alternatives often add lots of gooey cheese to the meat. It’s a popular Northern Mexican combo, but one that we find excessive.

When you walk down the alley, taqueros will tout their wares, each trying to get a little more business than their neighbor. It may feel nice to be wanted, or annoying to be barked at, either way, the tacos are good and cheap. It’s easy enough to try a few challengers. Although the food is similar at all six places, several stands have exceptional qualities.

The first taco stand you’ll pass is known as Paisa. It features the most seating and the most comfortable dining area. The stand next door offers some innovative twists, such as the fool-hardy Kamikaze Taco, which inserts two chopped-up, grilled habanero chiles between the two tortillas of the taco. It might sound adventurous, but few reading this will seriously want to eat two habaneros in three bites. 

If you’re only going to eat at one of the stands here, it should be the one at the end (best for last): Taqueria las Tres Salsas. This is the busiest one, which means the adobada spit stays hot and freshly-carved. It is named for the three different salsas scooped onto different types of tacos. You might wind up with the milder one on your asada, or the spicier one on your adobada, and the green salsa goes with some of the organ meats. The adobada is recognizably better than the neighbors and the grilled meats are better still. The asdada is especially good. Tres Salsas also offers fresher corn tortillas than its neighbors. However, the tacos here, like all on the street, suffered from dry adobada and a punishingly bland guacamole on top. We recommend using plenty of lime and extra salsa to remedy these shortcomings.

What to Eat
Las Ahumaderas/Taqueria las Tres Salas, Taco Asada (Las Tres Salsas)
Taco Asada (Las Tres Salsas)
Must-Try
Although they are known for adobada, we preferred the asada.
Las Ahumaderas/Taqueria las Tres Salas, Tacos Adobada (Las Tres Salsas)
Tacos Adobada (Las Tres Salsas)
Must-Try
Neater than nextdoor, and with fresh tortillas.
Las Ahumaderas/Taqueria las Tres Salas, Vampiro Adobada (Paisas)
Vampiro Adobada (Paisas)
Vampiros are perhaps best seen after sunset.
Las Ahumaderas/Taqueria las Tres Salas, Tacos Adobada (Paisas)
Tacos Adobada (Paisas)
The paper cone makes the plate less necessary for tacos-a-go-go.
Las Ahumaderas/Taqueria las Tres Salas, Kamikaze Taco
Kamikaze Taco
It may look like just another guac-soaked taco, but this one has habaneros hidden in it. Far, far too many of habaneros.
Las Ahumaderas/Taqueria las Tres Salas, Jamaica
Jamaica
This isn't Burger King, this is a repurposed Jamaica cup.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday9am - 5am
Monday9am - 5am
Tuesday9am - 5am
Wednesday9am - 5am
Thursday9am - 5am
Friday9am - 5am
Saturday9am - 5am
Information
Price
$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Credit Cards Accepted
No
Alcohol Served
No
Outdoor Seating
No

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • D.Z. Akins

    San Diego, California

    DZ Akins is San Diego’s archetypal urban deli, home of overstuffed sandwiches, excellent potato pancakes and blintzes, and fresh bakery breads.

  • OB Noodle House & Sake Bar

    San Diego, California

    Fantastic Asian-fusion fare and quick service have made OB Noodle House & Sake Bar Ocean Beach’s favorite noodle spot.

  • Tacos Salceados Ermita

    Tijuana, Baja California

    The most inventive taqueria in Tijuana is known for crispy cheese in tacos and on its Papa Cuadrada, a mind-blowing hash of potatoes & meat.

  • Tacos Memo’s

    Tijuana, Baja California

    Among the crowd of Tijuana taco trucks, Tacos Memo’s is one of the best, tempting pedestrians with mesquite-grilled steak topped with chicharron cracklings.

  • Bol Corona

    Tijuana, Baja California

    A local mini-chain named after a long-gone bowling alley, Bol Corona burrito stands are best in class, revered by locals, tourists and bowlers since 1934.

  • La Cahua del Yeyo

    Tijuana, Baja California

    Local seafood hole-in-the-wall features inventive Baja-Med flavors & Sonoran classics at taco-stand prices. Octopus & olive taco is a Tijuana must-eat.