In October, I went on a mission to find the best dessert in Polk County. The article was so well-received that I decided to keep it rolling. All November long, I tried the best voted tacos in the county.
The process: My idea was to let local residents do the talking. So, I set up a poll on the giant Polk County Food Group Facebook page. People of all ages and backgrounds nominated and voted for their favorite spots.
I told those who responded that I would be rating the top five results on the poll and giving my feedback on everybody’s favorites. In the process, I found my new favorite taco I have ever eaten — and it was not even the most voted!
The following are the most popular in order. Please keep in mind, these reviews have absolutely nothing to do with the actual restaurants, the service, the environment, the menus or anything else besides the tacos themselves.
1 - Tacos My Friend
Votes for this top pick blew the other options out of the water. This big-time food truck over on Recker Highway has long lines each day at lunch time. Don’t let the lines scare you away, though, as I experienced a shorter wait time here than at other locations with far fewer people. They also do catering, and have an all-encompassing menu of Mexican food items.
My thoughts: Best Taco = Pork Pastor
Address: 3899 Recker Highway, Winter Haven
2 - Mega Mercado
Runner-up for the taco showdown is Mega Mercado in Lakeland. This location, in the Wabash Shopping Center, is a storefront with a restaurant inside. You can also order their tacos from UberEats or GrubHub. The most obvious difference between this one and the rest is the larger portion size.
My thoughts: Best Taco = Chicken
Address: 2009 George Jenkins Boulevard, Lakeland
3 - Plaza Mexico
Taking third place on the list is Plaza Mexico, a Mexican grocery store in Winter Haven. This authentic market has a little takeout taco joint on the outside. They were extremely quick, and they offered both red and green salsas alongside my meal.
My thoughts: Best Taco = Steak
Address: 3061 Rifle Range Road, Winter Haven
4 - Angel’s Kitchen
Angel’s Kitchen is a bright, orange trailer with a tented seating area attached. This is a difference maker! The area is paved with tables to enjoy your meal. Most of their tacos are $1 besides a select few specialty tacos that cost $1.50. The wait time was 10 minutes after ordering at noon. It was extremely worth it, but, if you can, get there early.
My thoughts: New favorite taco EVER = Barbacoa (ask for the green sauce!)
Address: 102 Casey Ave, Winter Haven
5 - Ximena’s
These taco-making connoisseurs have two locations in Polk County. One location is in Auburndale, which I have not yet visited. The location I tried is over in Lake Wales. On Wednesdays and Thursdays tacos are $1. It is a full, indoor restaurant and more often a sitdown place.
My thoughts: Best Taco = Chorizo
Address: 343 West Central Avenue, Lake Wales
These types of articles are SO much fun to put together and everyone who votes gives me new ideas and new places to try!
Sharing this wealth of food knowledge from all different directions with you is the best I can do! If you would like me to do another poll and taste test, please reach out to let me know topics you’re interested in. Should we do a vote on best pasta dishes? What about the most delicious local cocktails?
You tell me! I can be reached by email at email@example.com and you can follow me on Instagram at @_baileysophia.