Taco Tuesday is so popular that some bars and restaurants will open on this slow day knowing they will draw lots of taco-lovers who will wolf down an ungodly amount of carnitas and crispy tacos while also — barkeepers hope, crossing their fingers — downing lots of beers and margaritas to fatten up those tabs.
Restaurants and dives are not the only spots offering discounted tacos. Look around gas stations that dot the greater Seattle area, and you might find many food trucks and taquerias in these unassuming parking lots that also run discounts on Tuesdays.
Taco Tuesday deals by gas stations?! (Yes, really!)
For great taco deals, my trick is to search for a food truck or a taqueria located under a Chevron or Shell sign. The best Taco Tuesday bargains are often located in a gas station lot, where the overhead is cheaper for owners, who then can sell food at a lower price than at other brick-and-mortar places.
But just being cheap doesn’t make something a great dining deal. Exquisite flavors matter. I present three great taco deals below as an example. All of these gas-station-adjacent tacos taste delicious, and just happen to cost under two bucks.
Tacos Los Potrillos No. 1
6815 Rainier Ave. S.; 206-451-3768; Tacos Los Potrillos No. 1
Tacos Los Potrillos No. 1 food truck, parked next to the Lucky One convenience store and gas station in Rainier Valley, runs one of the best and arguably cheapest ($1.25) Taco Tuesday deals in Seattle, offering six options from beef cheeks to chicken. But the best is the carnitas taco plumped out with ribbons of confit pork and onions. Is it wrong to eat 10 tacos in one sitting? I’m asking for a friend.
Taqueria El Ranchito
26220 116th Ave. S.E.; Kent.; 253-854-2699; elranchitokent.com
Taqueria El Ranchito by the Chevron station in Kent also does $1.25 tacos on Tuesdays. When I was there, I watched a father in line order eight tacos (chicken, pork and beef) for his two young children — that guy may be onto the best family deal in the South End. His bill was about $10. And by the looks of his kids who were salivating over the food, they were ready to crown him Father of the Year for allowing them to eat as many tacos as they wanted.
Tacos El Patron
16402 Military Road S., SeaTac; 206-705-0805; tacoselpatronseattle.com
Tacos El Patron, parked next to the Chevron station in SeaTac, is one of the best taco trucks in town. So come Tuesday, when many of their taco prices drop to $1.50 each, you know where you need to be, right? They offer five options, from spicy pork to chorizo with roasted potato.
— Tan Vinh
Up north, head to La Catrina Tacos & Tequila
517 First St., Mount Vernon; 360-336-5566; catrinastacostequila.com
Located in Mount Vernon, this buzzy taco shop has a screaming deal for Taco Tuesday, with a dozen varieties priced at $1.75 each. Highlights include the smoky chicken tinga, the crispy carnitas and the spicy Chorizada with steak, chorizo and pineapple. There are also a handful of tacos not included in the deal, and a full drink menu with a house margarita for under eight bucks.
— Jackie Varriano
The secret Taco Tuesday deal at Maria Sabina Mexican Restaurant & Bar in South Lake Union
711 Westlake Ave. N., Seattle; 206-453-4756; marinasabinarestaurant.com
It’s not listed anywhere on the menu or the website, but an urban edition of Taco Tuesday is a beautiful reality at Maria Sabina Mexican Restaurant & Bar. The long tables along the floor-to-ceiling front windows have a very pretty view of Lake Union Park and MOHAI across Westlake Avenue, while you have your choice of 10 kinds of very tasty street tacos, all $1 off — a decent discount on the new-normal-Seattle price of $3-$5 each.
Choose from carne asada with a good chew and pronounced beefy taste; smoky-and-faintly-sweet al pastor; big shrimp, perfectly sauteed with poblano peppers and drizzled with Manzano pepper cream; mushroom or calabacitas for our vegetarian friends; and more, all on just-right-cushy corn tortillas that come fresh daily from Casa El Dorado in Everett. Note that an order for a single quesabirria taco here doesn’t automatically come with consommé for dipping, but they’ll bring some if you ask (which you should). And if you happen to be near Maria Sabina on a non-Tuesday, note that they have a pretty damn good happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. every day.
— Bethany Jean Clement
Tan Vinh: 205-515-5656 or [email protected]; on Twitter: @tanvinhseattle. On Facebook: facebook.com/tanvinh, and on Instagram @tanvinhseattle.
Jackie Varriano: covers the food scene in the neighborhoods around Seattle. She loves digging into stories that discuss why we eat the things we do — and when — in our region and beyond. Reach her at [email protected]. On Twitter: @JackieVarriano.
Bethany Jean Clement: 206-464-2050 or [email protected]; On Facebook bethany.jean.clement and on Instagram @bethanyjeanclement. Bethany Jean Clement has written about food, restaurants, and the people and cultures intrinsic to them for The Seattle Times since 2014.