It’s hard to find a person in the Tampa area who hasn’t heard of Taco Bus. And out of those, it’s just as hard to find someone who doesn’t love it. Much like how I feel about Four Green Fields, it’s hard for me to be in the vicinity without stopping in.
In case the name didn’t tip you off, the original Taco Bus is indeed a bus, a school bus to be exact. The original location is right off of Hillsborough Avenue, but they have other locations (some that are a little more brick and mortar style) around the Tampa area. Hillsborough Avenue and the Downtown Tampa spots are probably my two most visited locations.
The atmosphere is extremely casual with a small cluster of buildings and picnic tables among the two school buses. You order your food at the side window of one of the school buses and your meal is prepared in the kitchen of the other bus. Their menu is an array of recipes from the streets of the many regions in Mexico prepared fresh every day. The food is designed to be fresh and simple, and turned around quickly. You choose the dish, filling, and style. Whether you’re in the mood for tacos, burritos, tostadas, tortas, quesadillas, or ensaladas, Taco Bus has got you covered.
J. almost always gets a burrito with Carne Asada, hand cut steak marinated in Mexican seasonings. I typically switch between tacos (on corn tortillas) or their loaded quesadilla. This last visit I opted for the later. Two tortillas filled with your choice of protein (I go for Pollo Chipotle – chicken smothered in a creamy chipotle sauce), cheese and topped with guacamole, sour cream, and all the veggies (which I highly recommend). The pollo chipotle is tender and flavorful without being overly spicy. It almost reminds me of a curry chicken, but with Mexican flavors. It pairs well with the freshness and crunch of the cilantro, cabbage and pico de gallo.
I consider it a Tampa staple that everyone should try at least once. It’s a fun quirky twist on your normal food truck, with great food to back it up.
P.S. Be sure to check out their new location at MLK & US 301. It’ll be open 24 hours!
Until next time!