Chalo’s Tacos: street tacos without the street

by | April 2, 2009 | 15 Comments

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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.

Chalo's Tacos in Bethany Oklahoma

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.

Chalo's Tacos on Urbanspoon

This article was posted by Tim Wall on Thursday, April 2nd, 2009. It is filed under:

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  • Greg says:
    April 2nd, 2009 at 6:16 am   

    First off, the tongue there is great. It just is. And I recommend the tortas and the burritos as well. They’re not giant, but I’ve found that one of those and a taco will probably keep me satisfied.

    I think there’s also a place in Edmond, west of Broadway, that serves a very similar menu. Anybody know the name?

  • TR says:
    April 2nd, 2009 at 8:21 am   

    Radishes are commonly served with tacos at taquerias in Mexico but I have never seen a local put one in their tacos.

  • Tim says:
    April 2nd, 2009 at 8:30 am   

    @TR Good to know about the radishes. I enjoyed snacking on them.

    @Greg I think the place in Edmond is called Carnitas Michoacan. I’ve never been but had it recommended to me several times. Need to try it out.

  • Bryce says:
    April 2nd, 2009 at 11:16 am   

    Thanks for reviewing Chalo’s. I’ve been going for a while now (the same Twitter follower turned me onto them, too). I agree with Greg: the tortas are awesome. But the pork taco is probably my favorite item on the menu. Something about the seasoning… Anywhere that serves Mexican Coke is also a plus.

  • Lyn says:
    April 3rd, 2009 at 12:25 pm   

    On your recomendation I went the Chola’s and the Tacos were great! I am using my Blackberery here in the Taqureia…the radishes are a good pallete cleanser. The pork has good flavor but I liked the beef better. Also to note, bring cash…no CC accepted.

  • Andrew says:
    April 3rd, 2009 at 8:29 pm   

    There is also Taqueria Originale over here on NW 10th and Rockwell. I’m not a fan though. Similar menu, similar price, but nothing like the spots on the south side. Come on, try the tongue.

  • Tim says:
    April 8th, 2009 at 8:12 pm   

    @Lyn wow, leaving a comment while actually in the process of eating. that deserves some commendation. well done!

  • Kevin says:
    April 13th, 2009 at 8:19 am   

    Chalo’s Tacos most likely has some of the best carne asada tacos in the OKC area. I have known the owner for awhile through church and even before he opened the taqueria. The small tacos are common in Mexico, what he has is good quality and I really enjoy it a lot. I recommend going on the weekends and eating the the beef birria which is shredded chuck roast marinated in its juices with a special salsa on top, it is very good and very authentic. The owner is originally from Calvillo, Aguascalientes, Mexico.

  • John says:
    April 14th, 2009 at 8:49 pm   

    Thanks for recommending this place, i had the lengua, beef and pork tacos. I couldn’t really tell the difference between the beef and tongue, but they were good. The pork was especially good. A good deal when you can get three tacos and a coca mexicana for under 7 bucks…

  • David Alston says:
    May 11th, 2009 at 10:57 pm   

    I was just in this place today and somebody asked for chips and salsa, then asked if they had queso. I just wanted to bury my head in my hands and say “Sorry, all of us are not that dumb.”

  • Lara says:
    August 18th, 2009 at 9:21 pm   

    Comfortable, air-conditioned, northside taqueria with plenty of sit-down room and a much larger menu than mentioned above: Taqueria Frontera on MacArthur around NW 23rd. Try an asadero taco on corn – they look at you a little funny and try to persuade you to add meat as well, thinking a gringa doesn’t understand what she wants. Oh, I want that thick, thick slab of barely scorched Mexican cheese on a corn tortilla alright. The carnitas are solid; did not care for the asada – a little too gristly. Horchata’s always sugary and cinnamomny and heavenly. Tacos are a buck fifty if my memory serves correctly but, like I said, the menu far exceeds what is mentioned here. Please report any findings, as I’m interested in other opinions…

  • DishinandDishes says:
    September 16th, 2009 at 1:06 pm   

    Tried it out and it was a fun experience. Loved the double corn tortillas for the tacos and the flavor of the chipped type beef was great…couldn’t bring myself to try the tongue either. We will be going back for sure – we had 3 of the tacos apiece and a side of beans and that was great for us for about $5. I am a cilantro freak, so the generous sprinkling of cilantro made my day and with some lime squeezed over top? Good stuff!

  • martin luther says:
    March 6th, 2010 at 4:07 pm   

    Chalo’s is basic authentic mexican and very good. Also mentioned was Taco Originale on 10th and Rockwell. Good food, nice people. Both are comparable to Taco San Pedros but more expensive.

  • JD says:
    March 9th, 2010 at 5:39 pm   

    Good things come in small packages. This is a small restaurant, but clean and inviting. The tacos and tamale I ate were small, but very fresh and tasty. I shall return!

  • Angelica says:
    December 20th, 2010 at 12:01 am   

    Tacos Chalo’s it is simple the best in flavor, taste and their home made salsas. Chicken tacos are my favorites, I care for the flavor and taste, price is worth it!! All they need now it to make their own tortillas and that’s it.

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