Calhoun County has some of the best Mexican food in West Michigan. If you don’t believe us, check out these spots that are the talk of (or “taco”) the town.
Start in Battle Creek, where you’ll find authentic flavors. Some restaurants are so popular, they’ve opened two locations. You can find La Cocina on Beckley Road and West Columbia Avenue. While there are tacos a la carte for Taco Tuesday, go crazy with sizzling fajitas. Or try a favorite from California: Carne asada fries.
The original San Francisco Taqueria on Capital Avenue serves up classic street snacks along with some great tacos (the chicken tacos are our favorite). Grab Dorilokos (taco in a bag) or elote for an on-the-go treat. If you want something cool on a hot day, there’s Mexican ice cream or the mangonada – it’s made with sweet mango smoothie, fresh fruit, a drizzle of chili sauce and a candy-covered straw creating a taste combination unlike anything else. The second taqueria location on Columbia Avenue serves the same great tacos, along with a full-service bar.
Torti Taco on Beckley Avenuehas award-winning tacos that get a lot of buzz. They recently expanded their repertoire with a new downtown restaurant. Torti Taco Bar & Grill is about more than tacos – the menu features culinary details like mole sauce, plantains, skirt steak and oysters. If you want to give them a run for the money, try the Torre de Mariscos, which is an artful tower of shrimp, tuna, octopus, avocado and cucumber with tortilla fresca sauce. When the weather is warm, they’ll open up the walls so you can enjoy some chips and a signature cocktail while part of the summer nightlife.
Nina’s Taqueria can also be found close to downtown Battle Creek. A longtime favorite for locals craving authentic Mexican food, the dining area received a remodeling during the pandemic. There was much cheering when they reopened. The cooks at Nina’s are experts at the grill. There’s also a delicious attention to detail. Even if you’re only getting tacos, make sure to order refried beans and rice along with it. The flavor on the sides are more than an afterthought.
El Tajin in Marshall is known for its big portions and fresh flavor. Order your seafood tacos with a full order of nachos to share with the table. The nachos carbon are topped with three kinds of meat (steak, grilled chicken, chorizo) and covered in cheese dip. Accompany it with a sweet horchata drink.
Lopez Tacos is a longtime favorite for the people of Albion. There’s nothing fancy going on here, just straight-up delicious tacos. If we had to guess why they turn out so good, it might be how the meat is perfectly seasoned and cooked. Or it could be that they’re liberal with the cheese at Lopez Tacos. Either way, end your taco tour with a classic.