Pico de Gallo | South Tucson’s Best Tacos | Street Food

Review by: Michael Stern

Hand-Made Tortillas

Pico de Gallo serves Tucson’s best tacos. They start with a soft corn tortilla. Look into the kitchen as you place your order. Here you see a big white mound of moistened masa from which the cook pinches off a piece each time a tortilla is needed. When you order three corn tacos, let’s say filled with birria, chicharron, and carne asada, each of the three tortillas will be made to order on the grill. These tortillas are soft, earthy, and full-flavored — in an entirely different league from store-bought ones.

Menu Highlights

You will find much of what’s on the menu in many South Tucson restaurants. Choose tacos filled with beef tongue or beef cheek, fried fish or veggies. Burros and quesadillas earn loyal fans, as have tamales by the dozen. Do pay attention to coctel de elote (corn cocktail). It is not quite the beverage its name suggests. It does come in a large Styrofoam cup like a drink. But inside the cup is a warm stew of corn kernels, drifts of soft melted cheese, hot chili, and lime. Spoon it up like soup. Corn-sweet and lime-zesty, it dazzles taste buds.

Exhilarating Bite of the Rooster

Many Mexican restaurants in the city serve Pico de Gallo’s namesake dish, pico de gallo. In this case, the “beak of the rooster” is a blast of salt, chili powder, and lemon juice. They sprinkle that atop a ravishing bouquet of watermelon, coconut, pineapple, mango, and even some jicama. Can you say refreshing?

All in the Family

Ignacio and Antonia Delgado started Pico de Gallo as a push-cart taco stand. It has since grown into several small rooms and has gained fame as a source of Tucson’s best tacos. Informality rules. Walk in and study the day’s menu. Order and pay at the counter. If you’re not totally familiar with the Mexican food of South Tucson, you likely will be able to discuss things with Adan Delgado, the founders’ son. He explained to us that the purple beverage in the vat next to the sweet rice drink known as horchata is wild-berry lemonade; and that the day’s special taco, cahuamanta, was manta ray.

What To Eat

Pico de Gallo



Birria Burrito

Fish Tacos



Pico de Gallo | South Tucson’s Best Tacos | Street Food Recipes


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