Slideshow: 6 Great Taquerias in Detroit

El Papa De Los Pollitos
El Papa De Los Pollitos
Half chickens are marinated and slow-cooked over mesquite coals by the street then passed through the window to the cook waiting inside. To construct your taco, she starts by shredding off some chicken meat and placing it on a hot comal, then drapes a couple tortillas over the top. The edges of the tortillas hit the surface and crisp up while the center stays soft and moist. It's an odd hybrid of a traditional taco and a crisp-shelled taco and it's crazy delicious, particularly with the smoky red chili sauce and bits of crispy skin mixed in.

El Papa De Los Pollitos: 4047 W Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48209; map; 313-729-0259

El Parian
El Parian
I haven't been able to find a single mention online of this taco truck that's parked on the corner of W. Vernor Highway and Dix Avenue, but it should be written up more. It had the best chorizo and carnitas that we tasted piled generously into flaky, charred tortillas from El Milagro. It was the last stop on a tour of 11 taquerias, but we still managed to down an entire plate of them, licking up the stray drips of bright red sauce after we were finished.

El Parian: W. Vernor Highway and Dix Avenue, Detroit, MI 48209; map

Tacos El Primo
Tacos El Primo
This truck in the parking lot of a Chinese buffet has passably good chicken and steak tacos, but it's their lengua and carnitas coupled with excellent hot and tart salsa verde piled into blistered and tender tortillas from El Milagro that set them apart.

Tacos El Primo: Dix and Central, Detroit, MI 48209; map

Grilling Chicken Legs Outside Pollos
Grilling Chicken Legs Outside Pollos "Los Gallos"
Chicken tacos are pretty much never good—or so I thought before my little taco tour of the Midwest where I discovered the secret to awesome chicken tacos is using spice-rubbed dark meat only and slow-cooking it over coals until the skin is crisp and the meat is fall-off-the-bone juicy. That, and plenty of salt.
La Mexicana Supermercado
La Mexicana Supermercado
You might have a hard time locating this taqueria as the only signage for La Mexicana Supermercado does not mention tacos at all and on top of that, it's half missing. It's worth seeking out though. Served out of the deli stand of a Mexican Supermarket, there are even picnic tables inside where you can park yourself to wolf down their incredibly tender meats—try the thick-sliced lengua or the spicy, moist chorizo, once again served with those awesome El Milagro tortillas.

La Mexicana Supermercado: 7934 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit, MI 48209; 313-841-3024 map

A Tortilla From El Milagro
A Tortilla From El Milagro
Pliant, moist, blistered, and poofy, El Milagro tortillas are about the best I've had short of the freshly made variety. In fact, they're even better than many fresh-made tortillas I've had.