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Two tacos packed with pork, pineapple, cilantro, and onion, wrapped with aluminum foil
Tacos al pastor from Taqueria El Amigo in Waltham
Samer Khudairi/Eater

Where to Eat Tacos Al Pastor in and Around Boston

Find excellent versions in East Boston, East Somerville, Waltham, and elsewhere

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Tacos al pastor from Taqueria El Amigo in Waltham
| Samer Khudairi/Eater

From beef tongue in Arlington to carnitas in Somerville to fish tacos near the waterfront to Korean-style galbi short rib tacos in Allston, there’s no deficit of tempting taco destinations in Greater Boston. This map focuses on one particular kind of taco, however: tacos al pastor.

Al pastor is a fusion dish created in Puebla, Mexico, in the 1930s by Lebanese immigrants, who employed the vertical spit-fire technique used to make shawarma, while replacing lamb with pork and flatbreads with tortillas. Al pastor — which translates from Spanish to “shepherd style” — is usually served with pineapple. (The pineapple is sometimes loaded onto the spit along with the pork.)

The spit-fired pork is the star of the show here, and as such limited garnishes are necessary on tacos al pastor: a little onion and cilantro, a squeeze of lime, and an occasional dash of hot sauce go best.

Here are Greater Boston’s best tacos al pastor.

NOTE: A number of Boston restaurants have resumed dine-in service. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: For updated information on coronavirus cases in the area, please visit the Massachusetts coronavirus website.

Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Rincon Mexicano Somerville

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This East Somerville staple has a vast menu, which includes a no-fuss version of tacos al pastor: smoky, juicy pork, bits of pineapple, cilantro, and onion. Voila.

Rincon is open for indoor dining and takeout.

Angela's Cafe Eagle Hill

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Angela’s is best known for its mole poblano de Angela — named for its late founder and matriarch, Angela Atenco Lopez — and you should definitely try that, but its tacos al pastor are also exceptional. Angela’s has a second location in Orient Heights.

Angela’s is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

Taqueria Mexico

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This Waltham institution also has a location in Framingham. Its taco special includes four tacos and a side of guacamole, making for a substantial meal. Select up to two different meats, or just go with four tacos al pastor.

Taqueria Mexico is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

Four tacos al pastor stuffed into a styrofoam takeout container
The portions are generous at Taqueria Mexico
Samer Khudairi/Eater

Taqueria El Amigo

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Taqueria El Amigo specializes in stewed meats, and as such the pork in its tacos al pastor is more braised than crisped and grilled, but the flavors are spot on. Taqueria El Amigo is a must when in Waltham.

Taqueria El Amigo is open for takeout.

Two tacos al pastor swaddled by aluminum foil
Look at these beautiful tacos
Samer Khudairi/Eater

Amuleto Mexican Table

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Adobo roasted pork and pineapple chunks make Amuleto’s al pastor a touch more sweet, but it’s all balanced by a vibrant tomatillo salsa. Amulteto’s tacos are substantial in size, so order accordingly.

Amuleto is open for indoor dining (make reservations here), takeout, and delivery.

Three tacos al pastor, topped with bright green tomatillo salsa
Tacos al pastor from Amuleto
Samer Khudairi/Eater

Antojitos Cafe

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Waltham spot Antojitos Cafe, whose apt name means “snacks,” serves exceptional tacos al pastor on homemade tortillas that are almost bite–sized. The pork and onions are chopped more roughly here, making for a different (but pleasant) textural experience than most tacos al pastor.

Antojitos Cafe is open for indoor dining and takeout.

Three tacos al pastor stuffed into a styrofoam takeout container
Tacos al pastor from Antojitos in Waltham
Samer Khudairi/Eater

Paisanos Restaurant & Bar

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This High Street restaurant serves both Guatemalan and Mexican cuisine. The tacos al pastor are seasoned perfectly, and come served Tex–Mex style (with cheese, lettuce, pico de gallo, and sour cream) or served simply and more traditionally with cilantro and onions.

Paisanos is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery to Waltham, Newton, and Watertown (delivery minimum $10).

Anna's Taqueria

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This tried and true Mexican mini-chain checks all the boxes for tacos al pastor. Anna’s has multiple locations throughout the Boston area, and each spot nails the ratio of pork to pineapple. The meat is cooked to perfection, and comes topped with Anna’s signature creamy salsa verde.

Anna’s Taqueria Brookline is open for takeout and delivery. Check the company’s website for information about its other locations.

La Catrina - Mexican Food

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The composition of this taco is delightful. A singular soft corn tortilla sets the base for larger strips of pork, and there is a great balance between the spices on the pork and the sweetness from the pineapple in the marinade, which is further complemented by bits of pineapple sprinkled on top of it all. Finish the meal with some of La Catrina’s excellent churros.

La Catrina is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

Chilacates

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Chilacates is expanding quickly throughout Greater Boston, but hit up the original location on Amory Street in Jamaica Plain for some of the best tacos al pastor in the city. Juicy, smoky pork is topped with onions, cilantro, radish, and bits of charred pineapple, and it’s all piled atop a fresh corn tortilla. Also worth your coins: the elote, which is slathered with crema, cotija, lime, and a mix of smoky spices.

Chilacates is open for takeout and delivery.

Los Amigos Taqueria

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This fast casual mini-chain offers a variety of Mexican food like burritos and burrito bowls with a range of different meat and vegetable options, but the tacos al pastor is not to be missed. 

Los Amigos West Roxbury (the original location) is open for takeout and delivery. Check the company website for information about its other locations.

Hungry Coyote

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This relative newcomer in Needham gets its name from Nezahualcoyotl, a scholar, poet, warrior, and ruler in pre-Columbian Mexico whose name translates to “coyote who fasts.” The al pastor at Hungry Coyote is more chorizo-like, and more coarsely chopped than most renditions, but it’s still exquisite. Hungry Coyote is generous with its cilantro garnish, which brightens the dish.

Hungry Coyote is open for takeout and delivery.

Two massive tacos al pastor, plated alongside slices of lime
Heaping tacos al pastor from Hungry Coyote
Samer Khudairi/Eater

La Taqueria

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With locations in Hyde Park and Dedham, La Taqueria offers guests the choice between corn, flour, and hard shell tortillas. The tacos al pastor come with nicely charred pork and pineapple. It’s an exemplar of the genre.

La Taqueria is open for takeout and delivery.

Rincon Mexicano Somerville

This East Somerville staple has a vast menu, which includes a no-fuss version of tacos al pastor: smoky, juicy pork, bits of pineapple, cilantro, and onion. Voila.

Rincon is open for indoor dining and takeout.

Angela's Cafe Eagle Hill

Angela’s is best known for its mole poblano de Angela — named for its late founder and matriarch, Angela Atenco Lopez — and you should definitely try that, but its tacos al pastor are also exceptional. Angela’s has a second location in Orient Heights.

Angela’s is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

Taqueria Mexico

Four tacos al pastor stuffed into a styrofoam takeout container
The portions are generous at Taqueria Mexico
Samer Khudairi/Eater

This Waltham institution also has a location in Framingham. Its taco special includes four tacos and a side of guacamole, making for a substantial meal. Select up to two different meats, or just go with four tacos al pastor.

Taqueria Mexico is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

Four tacos al pastor stuffed into a styrofoam takeout container
The portions are generous at Taqueria Mexico
Samer Khudairi/Eater

Taqueria El Amigo

Two tacos al pastor swaddled by aluminum foil
Look at these beautiful tacos
Samer Khudairi/Eater

Taqueria El Amigo specializes in stewed meats, and as such the pork in its tacos al pastor is more braised than crisped and grilled, but the flavors are spot on. Taqueria El Amigo is a must when in Waltham.

Taqueria El Amigo is open for takeout.

Two tacos al pastor swaddled by aluminum foil
Look at these beautiful tacos
Samer Khudairi/Eater

Amuleto Mexican Table

Three tacos al pastor, topped with bright green tomatillo salsa
Tacos al pastor from Amuleto
Samer Khudairi/Eater

Adobo roasted pork and pineapple chunks make Amuleto’s al pastor a touch more sweet, but it’s all balanced by a vibrant tomatillo salsa. Amulteto’s tacos are substantial in size, so order accordingly.

Amuleto is open for indoor dining (make reservations here), takeout, and delivery.

Three tacos al pastor, topped with bright green tomatillo salsa
Tacos al pastor from Amuleto
Samer Khudairi/Eater

Antojitos Cafe

Three tacos al pastor stuffed into a styrofoam takeout container
Tacos al pastor from Antojitos in Waltham
Samer Khudairi/Eater

Waltham spot Antojitos Cafe, whose apt name means “snacks,” serves exceptional tacos al pastor on homemade tortillas that are almost bite–sized. The pork and onions are chopped more roughly here, making for a different (but pleasant) textural experience than most tacos al pastor.

Antojitos Cafe is open for indoor dining and takeout.

Three tacos al pastor stuffed into a styrofoam takeout container
Tacos al pastor from Antojitos in Waltham
Samer Khudairi/Eater

Paisanos Restaurant & Bar

This High Street restaurant serves both Guatemalan and Mexican cuisine. The tacos al pastor are seasoned perfectly, and come served Tex–Mex style (with cheese, lettuce, pico de gallo, and sour cream) or served simply and more traditionally with cilantro and onions.

Paisanos is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery to Waltham, Newton, and Watertown (delivery minimum $10).

Anna's Taqueria

This tried and true Mexican mini-chain checks all the boxes for tacos al pastor. Anna’s has multiple locations throughout the Boston area, and each spot nails the ratio of pork to pineapple. The meat is cooked to perfection, and comes topped with Anna’s signature creamy salsa verde.

Anna’s Taqueria Brookline is open for takeout and delivery. Check the company’s website for information about its other locations.

La Catrina - Mexican Food

The composition of this taco is delightful. A singular soft corn tortilla sets the base for larger strips of pork, and there is a great balance between the spices on the pork and the sweetness from the pineapple in the marinade, which is further complemented by bits of pineapple sprinkled on top of it all. Finish the meal with some of La Catrina’s excellent churros.

La Catrina is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

Chilacates

Chilacates is expanding quickly throughout Greater Boston, but hit up the original location on Amory Street in Jamaica Plain for some of the best tacos al pastor in the city. Juicy, smoky pork is topped with onions, cilantro, radish, and bits of charred pineapple, and it’s all piled atop a fresh corn tortilla. Also worth your coins: the elote, which is slathered with crema, cotija, lime, and a mix of smoky spices.

Chilacates is open for takeout and delivery.

Los Amigos Taqueria

This fast casual mini-chain offers a variety of Mexican food like burritos and burrito bowls with a range of different meat and vegetable options, but the tacos al pastor is not to be missed. 

Los Amigos West Roxbury (the original location) is open for takeout and delivery. Check the company website for information about its other locations.

Hungry Coyote

Two massive tacos al pastor, plated alongside slices of lime
Heaping tacos al pastor from Hungry Coyote
Samer Khudairi/Eater

This relative newcomer in Needham gets its name from Nezahualcoyotl, a scholar, poet, warrior, and ruler in pre-Columbian Mexico whose name translates to “coyote who fasts.” The al pastor at Hungry Coyote is more chorizo-like, and more coarsely chopped than most renditions, but it’s still exquisite. Hungry Coyote is generous with its cilantro garnish, which brightens the dish.

Hungry Coyote is open for takeout and delivery.

Two massive tacos al pastor, plated alongside slices of lime
Heaping tacos al pastor from Hungry Coyote
Samer Khudairi/Eater

La Taqueria

With locations in Hyde Park and Dedham, La Taqueria offers guests the choice between corn, flour, and hard shell tortillas. The tacos al pastor come with nicely charred pork and pineapple. It’s an exemplar of the genre.

La Taqueria is open for takeout and delivery.

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