Chalo’s Tacos: street tacos without the street
Chalo’s Tacos is located at 5029 N. Rockwell Avenue in Bethany (map). They are open for lunch (11am to 1pm) Monday through Thursday and all day Friday through Sunday. Call them at 405.440.2984.
Andrew has long been imploring us to get out and experience the tasty offerings of the authentic taquerias found in Oklahoma City. Only problem is that most of his recommendations are found in South OKC and, at least for me, that’s a long way to travel for lunch, which is when I most often have opportunity to grab some food. So, I was excited to hear about Chalo’s Tacos, a true taqueria found on the very north edge of Bethany, and much more conveniently located for my lunching. I had to give it a try.
The truth is, I’ve been meaning to try Chalo’s for a long time. One of our loyal Twitter followers was the first to recommend it to me, and he’s been very persistent in pushing it for some time now. But as I drove by the location over and over, I never saw it. That’s because they only very recently put a sign up outside. So, now it’s pretty easy to spot, sitting in the same strip mall as, and just to the north of, Pizzini’z pizza.
Walk inside and you’ll find a fairly inviting dining room where you can seat yourself at any number of tables. The menu is handwritten on dry erase boards above the counter and it’s pretty simple. Beef, pork or tongue are the meat choices and they can be made up as tacos ($1.35), burritos ($3.75), or tortas ($4.75). They also have tamale ($1.35) when available and a few other specialties.
Please note: they don’t have chips, salsa, guacamole or the like. This is a taco stand in a building, not an Okla-mex restaurant. Go with proper expectations.
Beverage choices are interesting as well. They have an assortment of Mexican bottled soft drinks and beers. I tried to order some water when I was there and was served a bottle of Coke instead (language may be a barrier for those, like me, who don’t speak Spanish). I think they have bottled water but it is evidently hard to get. One important note — if you’d like a bottle of Coke, get the large. They charge the same price for the small or the large. Interesting.
I had tacos (beef and pork — no tongue, sorry Andrew), and a tamal (which was also pork). The tacos are true street taqueria style, small and served open face on two corn tortillas with the meat filling, cilantro, onions and nothing else. They provide you with two different sauces you can add. One is green and one is red. They were both good, but I preferred the green as it was a little spicier and livelier. They also provide you with a plate of limes and thick-cut radishes. I’d never seen the radish thing before, but they were very fresh and I liked them. I guess you can put them on your tacos. I just ate them.
The tamal was good as well. Nothing fancy but very tasty and fresh.
I don’t think that Chalo’s Tacos is the absolute best taqueria in town, but I do think its location makes it very unique. I’m not aware of another place like it on the north side. If you’re looking for that authentic style and south OKC is too far away, it’s a great option. It’s also nice sometimes to have a comfortable place to sit as opposed to visiting a taco truck like Taqueria Sanchez.
However, the downside to Chalo’s Tacos is the price. Keep in mind, these tacos are very small. I ate four of them and a tamal without stuffing myself. That, plus the Coke I didn’t really order, put my bill at $10 for lunch. Compare the $1.35 per taco cost to Max Burger where you can often get two for $1, or to Taqueria Sanchez where the cost is 99 cents.
However, if you’re not quite as voracious as me, you can probably get by for less than I did. Plus, the comfortable atmosphere and convenient location (for those on the north side) accounts for some of the cost.
If Chalo’s Tacos were just a taco truck, I’d say go to Taqueria Sanchez. If it were on the south side, I’d say you have lots of other options to try. But as it is, I say if you’re located in northwest Oklahoma City and looking for a true taqueria where you can sit down and eat with friends, give Chalo’s Tacos a try. And, as always, let us know what you think in the comments.