Hidden Gems

The best street tacos in all of San Antonio are at this north side gem

The best street tacos in all of San Antonio are at this north side gem

Erick's Tacos barbacoa mini taco plate
The barbacoa mini street tacos are a must-try item at Erick's Tacos. Jen M./Yelp
Erick's Tacos patio interior
The colorful interior of Erick's patio is covered with old photos of futbol stars. Chiqui B./Yelp
Erick's tacos fruit cup
Fruit cup with watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, coconut, cucumber, jicama, and kiwi topped with chili and lime. J. M./Yelp
Erick's Tacos sit-down restaurant.
Erick's is an under-the-radar spot that has cultivated a cult-like following. Photo by Edmond Ortiz
Erick's Tacos barbacoa mini taco plate
Erick's Tacos patio interior
Erick's tacos fruit cup
Erick's Tacos sit-down restaurant.

Let's face it. You've been out on the town all night and you're hankering for some street tacos. We're talking budget-friendly, no-frills, home-style tacos that will make you want to come back for more, even after 2 am.

You can find all this and more at Erick's Tacos. Located on Nacogdoches Road between O'Connor and Thousand Oaks, Erick's gives off a quasi-border town vibe on the northeast side of town.

Erick's began, appropriately enough, as a food truck some years ago, riding the wave of trailer mania that has swept through San Antonio over the last decade. The owners then set up an outdoor fruit stand in a lot that now accommodates both the truck, complete with tacos and tortas, and the stand, which offers paletas, raspas, and a fruteria. Of course, the latter comes in extremely handy on those hot, sticky summer nights.

The next phase was a brick-and-mortar restaurant on the same property, which opens early for breakfast and continues with lunch and dinner service. It attracts area residents and workers wanting to relax a while with affordable, delicious, traditional Northern Mexico and Tex-Mex cuisine.

The colorful red, green, and yellow three-in-one combo is hard to miss when driving by. Get your taco fix at the outdoor stand as late as 3:15 am on a Friday or Saturday night. Take your food with you to-go or dine on the stand's outdoor patio, which features pictures of old soccer (er, futbol) stars. Very often you can find the TV tuned to a soccer match or a Spanish station with Tejano music piped in overhead. The tables and metal folding chairs are spartan, and include salt-and-pepper shakers and paper towels. But c'mon, that's all you really need.

Mini taco plates are extremely popular at the truck — choose from barbacoa, al carbon, chorizo, bistec, and al pastor. They may be mini, but they all come with generous portions of meat, along with cilantro and white cheese spread all over or put on the side. Top if off with one of the homemade salsas and lime juice, and you will be in culinary heaven. The carne asada torta and the flor de calabaza quesadillas are also joys to behold.

At the stand, add sweet and savory treats to your meal like aguas frescas, flan, tres leches, arroz con leche, smoothies, raspas, corn in a cup, as well as hot Mexican chocolate for those rare cold nights. There's more than 20 flavors of raspas and paletas, which are actually made by the El Paraiso parlor on Fredericksburg Road.

While many neighborhood residents make Erick's Tacos a routine stop, it's still an under-the-radar combination a lot of San Antonians are unfamiliar with. The employees at Erick's are straight to the point, but they invest much time to ensure the food is fresh and fulfilling.

Once you go, you can't help but become a regular customer.

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