Whether it’s a jump start to a Saturday gameday, a night cap after a long crawl on Broadway or a snack to power you through a tough Monday, breakfast tacos have cemented their place as a staple food in the hearts of the fine people of Lubbock. The endless combinations of ingredients held together by a warm tortilla are a beacon of hope for the many souls that occupy west Texas. While they say variety is the spice of life, the variety of ingredient options for your choosing combined with the fact that the Texas Tech campus area alone has over 30 places that serve breakfast tacos can make choosing which taco is worthy of your hard earned money difficult.
Luckily for you, we have taken it upon ourselves to try a breakfast taco from every single establishment within a 5-mile radius of Texas Tech and have compiled a 100 percent factually correct list of the flops as well as the champions of the breakfast arena. In an attempt to even the playing field, we decided to order the same control taco from each place before making a final judgment based on price, service and of course tastiness. The control taco is a heavy hitting taco that satisfies all your needs inside one fluffy tortilla. It consists of bacon, eggs, cheese, potatoes, and beans.
Some of the main categories we taste tested for included the structural integrity of the tortilla, the zest of the salsa and how the ingredients flowed together overall. (FYI we are not hired by any restaurant and have made our decisions as unbiased as possible.)
#15 Raider Burrito
Known for their incredible late night street tacos, Raider Burrito can be found a smooth .9 miles from campus right off of 19th street caddy-corner to Lubbock High School. That being said, it’s safe to say we had high expectations for their breakfast tacos based on the many times they have helped us nourish ourselves on a late night food run, but sadly all we were left with after ordering the control taco was a small version of something we could have made at home and a wallet that was nearly $7 thinner.
Overall rating 2.3/10
#14 Ranchito Burrito
Located on 34th street between Slide and Quaker, a mere 2 miles from campus, Ranchito burrito was applauded by several online customers as the best in town, but after a significantly long wait we were rewarded with nothing more than a store bought tortilla and some sloppily thrown together ingredients. While the price was easy on the wallet, the experience was not easy on the heart.
Overall rating 2.7/10
#13 Taqueria Autlan
Praised by many for their lunch specials, Taqueria Autlan is located a cool 2.9 miles from Texas Tech. Usually their tortilla on their lunch tacos is fresh and homemade, but for some reason we were served our control taco on a less than stellar tortilla. While the salsa was tasty and the overall experience was relatively nice, we were surprised to find out that Autlan’s full breakfast menu is only available on Sundays, which severely affected their overall score.
Overall rating 3.3/10
#12 Burrito Tower
Coming in at the number 12 spot we have Burrito Tower, a colorful yellow building located off 34th street 2 miles from campus. While some online review of Burrito Tower claim it to be the best in town, some of the local students of Texas Tech we interviewed had very little nice things to say about it. These conflicting reviews helped me put my preconceived bias aside and try the place myself. While the price is reasonable, the first thing that jumped out to us was the small size of the taco. Burrito Tower is guilty of using what we believe is a store bought tortilla, but their salsa was of good consistency and pleasurable to the pallet.
Overall rating 3.7/10
A short 3.1 miles from campus, Picantes is reveled by many students to be the best in the game. With claims of a fresh tortilla and many options to choose, we walked into Picantes with a sense of excitement. This energy was sadly not matched by the Picantes staff, and after a 15 minute wait my partner and I were left with some slightly below average breakfast tacos. That being said, the bang for your buck factor was present in this transaction, and I believe we got what we paid for. Maybe it was just an off day, but we personally believe Picantes did not live up to the hype.
Overall rating 4.8/10
Open 24 hours for pickup or delivery, and with multiple locations dotted throughout the city, Josie’s is known by many as a go-to for early birds and night owls alike. Good prices and friendly staff really stood out to us at Josie’s, but beyond that is simply a regular breakfast experience. Nothing to complain about, nothing to write home about. Home-made tortilla and a pretty filling taco.
Overall rating 5.3/10
#9 Taqueria Guadalajara
Even though the taste on this taco was on point, we were surprised to find our control tacos had been served on tortilla that was almost not large enough to contain the ingredients comprised in it. While Guadalajara is a go-to lunch spot near campus on 19th street, we believe they could improve their score by using a larger tortilla.
Overall rating 5.6/10
Large and homemade, the Nora’s taco was at first sight a delicious spectacle. The salsa was homemade as well and very tasty, but halfway through the experience the tortilla began to rip and fall apart. This combined with the overuse of beans are what kept Nora’s from achieving a higher score.
Overall rating 5.9/10
Located on 34th street, Amigos is known for their friendly and quick service. While their taco was fresh and had that homemade feel to it, the overall chemistry of the taco just wasn’t quite enough to push it into the top 5. With some improved salsa and a few changes to the proportions of the ingredients, we believe Amigos can find that “it” factor in the future.
Overall rating 6.7/10
#6 Polly’s Place
Arguably the longest wait in Lubbock, we were expecting nothing but the best from Polly’s Place. Polly’s Place is 2.2 miles from campus and the tacos are priced fairly. When we got knee deep in this taco, we noticed that Polly’s Place had a solid taco, but it lacked the chemistry needed to be the best. Polly’s decided to give is very little bacon which I was not pleased with. It was sloppily thrown together and started to fall apart on us. Polly’s Place is solid but not the heavy hitter that we were expecting.
Overall rating 7.4/10
Located right off highway 84 north of campus, Montelongo’s is sure to make the drive worth it. Montelongo’s edged its way into the top five with a large bang for your buck taco with fresh ingredients and slightly above average salsa. Good consistency of ingredients and fast service despite a long line.
Overall rating 7.6/10
#4 Aranda’s Taqueria
Praised by many for their excellent street tacos and burrito plated, Arranda’s had high expectations to live up to in the breakfast department. The combination of quick service and incredible homemade tortilla puts Arranda’s in the top-tier category of Lubbock breakfast tacos. While they were a bit heavy handed with the cheese, we agreed that this place definitely has the “it” factor.
Overall rating 8.4/10
#3 Poliberto’s Taco Shop
Found in East Lubbock across MLK Boulevard, this open-til-midnight (3 am on weekends) taco joint is elite. Since originally starting this journey we have been back to Poliberto’s multiple times and have been consistently surprised with not only the portion sizes, but also the quality of Poliberto’s breakfast tacos. Arguably the biggest taco we tried, Poliberto’s is sure to leave you with a full belly and a smile, no matter what the time of day.
Overall rating 8.7/10
#2 Texas Burrito
Not enough can be said about the consistent quality of Texas Burrito. Surprisingly, this was one of the few places neither of us had heard about before beginning the quest for the best. Although it is located right off 50th street, you might miss it if you don’t know what you’re looking for, but when you find it you are sure to be delighted with the friendly service, made from scratch taco, and deliciously spicy salsa.
Overall rating 9.1/10
#1 Burrito King
The name says it all. Winning the crown in the bang for your buck category as well as the salsa category, Burrito King claims the top spot. The line at Burrito King was longer than any other and after one bite we both understood why. This is as authentic as it comes, and with a location on 17th and Ave Q and a bright pink building, it is hard to miss. For a solid all-around breakfast experience, you need look no further.
Overall rating 9.3/10