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Our favorite taco spots on Long Island

The taco landscape in the United States in both finely tuned and fiercely competitive. Taco styles range from authentically Mexican (topped with cilantro, minced white onion and a wedge of lime) to American (showered with shredded lettuce, grated cheese and pico de gallo) to Tex-Mex (stuffed to the gills.) And being surrounded by water means that our fish tacos are among the best on the East Coast. Here’s our cull of some of the Island’s best places to land some superlative tacos.

Avo Taco

Order at counter or kiosk in the hacienda-like dining room. The vegetarian tacos, including one with mushrooms and crispy onions, are standouts.

2340 Jericho Tpke., New Hyde Park

516-373-2340 https://www.avotaco.com/
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Copper & Clay

This spot is known for its al pastor (spit-roasted pork), but tacos filled with grilled local monk fish or octopus and avocado may be among the daily specials. All come on house-pressed tortillas.

6 W. Park Ave, Long Beach

516-992-0628
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Dirty Taco & Tequila

This spiffy spot has a roster of 15 tacos (including one filled with Korean-style short ribs) as well as an equal number of tequilas.

3261 Merrick Rd., Wantagh

516-785-5300 http://dirtytacoandtequila.com/
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El Mercadito

Two doors to the left of El Mercadito bakery and deli is this sister taqueria. The simply topped tacos are dense with flavor and heat.

519 Union Ave., Westbury

516-338-6346
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El Paso Taco Grill

Among the tacos, all templated by the owner’s 60-something mother, the garlicky shrimp taco is a star.

787 Conklin St., Farmingdale

516-752-1872 https://elpasotacogrill.com/
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Little Mexico

The tortilla chips are fresh, the salsa has a kick. Try taco campechanos (stuffed with steak, chorizo and guacamole).

280 Post Ave, Westbury

516- 333-2038 http://littlemexicorestaurantbar.com/
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Nacho Mama’s

In 2019, this food truck went brick and mortar, but the owner still uses a wood fire to cook the taco fillings.

7 West Village Green, Hicksville

516-596-5182
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Nelly’s Taqueria

The tacos here are based on family recipes from Matamoros, Mexico. (Other location: 47 Boundary Ave., Farmingdale)

356 W. Old Country Rd., Hicksville

516-261-9177 https://nellystaqueria.com/
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Piñata’s Mexican Grill

Among the winning soft-corn tacos are spicy chorizo, succulent tongue (lengua) and authentic fish tacos. (Other location: 450 Sunrise Hwy., Massapequa Park)

601 Hicksville Rd., Bethpage

516-502-0399 https://www.pinatasmexicangrill.com/
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Rock A Taco

There are dual taco styles at this 20-seat taqueria: “street cart” tacos garnished with cilantro, onion and lime, and more elaborate “rock’n” tacos.

280 Merrick Rd., Rockville Centre

516-992-0477
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Taco King Mexican Grill

Carnivores go for grilled skirt steak tacos— and vegans, steamed vegetables with beans. Tortillas made in house.

480 Hempstead Tpke., W. Hempstead

http://tacokingonline.com/
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Del Fuego

This is as close to a Tex-Mex institution as can be (at least in Suffolk County), with a lively bar scene and tacos of many stripes. (Other locations: Babylon, East Northport, Patchogue.)

430 N. Country Rd., St. James

631-963-6900 http://www.delfuegorestaurant.com/
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JR El Rodeo

This bare-bones storefront has made-to-order tacos, including tacos dorados, four deep-fried cheese tacos with lettuce and sour cream.

130 Montauk Hwy., East Moriches

631-909-2666 http://www.elrodeony.com/
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Lucharitos Taqueria & Tequila Bar

Tacos are best ordered traditional style, on soft 21 corn tortillas topped with salsa verde, pickled radish, chopped onion and cilantro. (Other location: 487 Main Rd., Bldg. D, Aquebogue)

119 Main St., Greenport

631-477-6666 https://www.lucharitos.com/
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Mamey Mexican Taqueria

This tidy spot near the LIRR station turns out excellent al pastor and carne asada tacos. Don’t miss the hibiscus drink called Jamaica.

122 N. Carll Ave. Babylon

631-539-9144 https://www.mameybabylon.com/
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Mattitaco

At this whimsical new-wave taqueria, the Culinary Institute of America–trained chef serves tacos on organic corn tortillas. A sure bet is the Hawaiian, filled with pork that’s been stewed in orange juice and Coca-Cola.

10560 Main Rd., Mattituck

631-298-7826 https://www.mattitaco.com/
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Mexican Grill 2000

Both the chef and owner hail from Puebla, Mexico; the fish tacos, filled with fried flounder, have many local devotees.

703 Medford Ave., Patchogue

631-607- 6554 http://litrade.net/mexicangrill/
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Swell Taco

Counter service may be in a back alley, but lines often form for their American-style tacos. (Other location: 30 E. Main St., Patchogue)

135 Deer Park Ave., Babylon

631-482-1299 https://www.swelltacoli.com/
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Taco Bout It

The tacos at this hidden gem are cooked by an Oaxacan chef and include shrimp, al pastor, chorizo, fish and roasted veggies. Cash only.

40B E. Main St., Riverhead

631-574-8787 https://www.tacoboutitny.com/
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Taqueria Mexico

The al pastor taco is addictive at this 15-year-old spot. Owner Rolando Mancilla, a Toluca, Mexico, native, also owns nearby Taqueria Cielito Lindo.

709 E. Main St., Riverhead

631-208-2902
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Tocolo Cantina

This modern spot serves California-style tacos, including a cochinita made with Berkshire pork, pickled onion, and salsa borracha.

920 Old Country Rd., Garden City

516-222-0060 https://www.tocolocantina.com/
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Verde Kitchen & Cocktails

The inventive lineup at this hip, handsome restaurant includes charred octopus. The bar turns out first-class margaritas, too.

70 E. Main St., Bay Shore

631-665-6300 https://www.verdekitchen.com/
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Taqueria Mexico Lindo

This taqueria-market is about as authentic as it gets; tacos are traditionally dressed with cilantro, lime wedges and onion.

1429 New York Ave., Huntington Station

631-423-5980
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La Fondita

This popular East End vortex offers takeout and some outdoor seating overlooking a pond. Three terrific tacos: carne asada, chorizo, pescado (fish).

74 Montauk Hwy., Amagansett

631-2267-8800 https://www.lafondita.net/