UPDATED: JULY 2019
Kid Allergy was born and raised in the state of Texas. So...the art of taco making is really serious business to this 9 year old wheat allergic boy.
Now, there are plenty of great taco chains out there that are nationwide. Read more here about the nationwide search for a great gluten free taco in Part I: Terrific Tacos in the U.S. But..the ones below are Texas specific restaurants who have won the heart of Kid Allergy over the years.
So, whether you have a hankering for a good casual counter service taco joint or are looking to experience the finer side of contemporary taco making, Kid Allergy hopes when you are making your way through the Lone Star State you try one of these below. Because, ultimately, the taco is a great staple for gluten free eating when on the road at home or abroad.
NOTE: Restaurants do not typically have dedicated fryers even if they list chips as gluten free. The restaurants listed below are no exception. Stay clear of those chips!
SIT DOWN DINING
The Iron Cactus Mexican Grill & Margarita Bar can be found in Austin, Dallas & the San Antonio Riverwalk. The gluten free-ish menu will make you smile with plenty of dishes to satisfy even the most difficult child eater. Don't miss the table side made guacamole for your appetizer (but don't forget to bring your own gluten free chips). And, if you are a seafood lover, you will be overwhelmed with the many gluten free options available here. Our favorite part? Although the tacos are tasty, the over 30 tequila flights will blow your mind if you are a tequila lover.
Rio Mambo is not as prevalent throughout the state of Texas, but Kid Allergy felt like we couldn't leave this one off the list. They used to have a very large dedicated gluten free menu but we have noticed that they have moved away from that in recent months. Good news: the ground beef taco, rice and bean plate is still gluten free. Plus, all tacos are made with very little spice so it will appeal to a kid with a more mild palate. So, whether you are in Weatherford, Burleson, Colleyville, Fort Worth, or Arlington, don't forget to grab your next taco at Rio Mambo.
This Houston area only eatery serves authentic Mexican cuisine in an upscale and spacious environment. Some of the most flavorful traditional dishes can be found at Hugo's like grilled pulpo, huarache filled with cabrito, and some melt in your mouth grilled fish tacos. The Manager proudly explained that roughly 80% of their menu was naturally gluten free. Make sure to request the vegetarian beans if you must eat gluten free because we #nimatested both the vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions and the one using lard tested "gluten found". Accolades come from heavy hitters like Travel + Leisure, Bon Apepitie, The Washington Post, and the James Beard Awards. So the next time you are in Houston make sure to put this excellent Mexican dining establishment on your taco itinerary.
Named one of the 21 best Mexican Restaurants in the country by Thrillist in 2014, Meso Maya Comida y Copas takes Mexican cuisine to an elevated level. With locations only in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, come for the authentic interior Mexican cuisine that is celebrated for complexity and presentation. When at the Dallas location, dine in the luxurious courtyard of a century old building famed for being the oldest dining patio in big D. We hope you will embark on what they call "a culinary adventure" but, if you don't have time to sit and savor, just pop by the taco only walk up window out back of the Dallas location.
Mi Cocina can be found all throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex providing simple, non-spicy Tex-Mex in a festive dine in environment. Great option for salads in addition to gluten free tacos along with margaritas that pack a punch. Lines can be seen out the door at any location throughout north Texas, this popular kid friendly dine in restaurant is a great place for the whole family. The Southlake location even plays cartoons on their tv screens throughout the dining room during the dinner hours!
The more upscale and grown up version of Mi Cocina, Mesero is scattered throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and is owned by the same restaurant group. This Mexican place features a more contemporary setting and a fancier wine list. We love that more than 50% of their menu is naturally gluten free. Our favorite tacos? Don't miss the grilled fish tacos.
Great Tex-Mex staples can be found at Lupe Tortilla all throughout Texas. Tacos are gluten free just make sure to steer clear of the beans since they do have wheat in them. Great mild non spicy taste appeals to Kid Allergy and the dining environment is perfect for large groups and those with small kids.
Revolver Taco Lounge
This place is no joke. Revolver Taco Lounge is a Dallas only based ultra-cool Deep Ellum restaurant that will serve up some pretty mind blowing tacos. It is rated as one of the 31 best Mexican restaurants in America for 2017 by Jose Ralat (a food writer specializing in tacos) & Matt Lynch (editor for Thrillist). So good, that one of the Chef's in the kitchen is actually called the "tortilla whisperer" (and for good reason). Whether you choose to enjoy your tacos in the restaurant or would prefer a more exclusive 7 course chef's tasting menu @ the reservation only private dining room in the back (Purepecha), you will be satisfied with the gluten free taco options galore at this very special authentic Mexican taco place.
National chains can be found in Texas too...
More details on these great gluten free tacos can be found in Part I of Terrific Tacos: U.S. Taco Chain Guide.