There are few foods more versatile and satisfying than the taco. Corn tortillas make for a great gluten-free entrée, veggie-based fillings mean delicious vegetarian options abound, and toppings create the potential for infinite flavor combinations. Here in the North Sound, we may be far from the southern border, but we’re lucky to have plenty of delicious taco options within easy reach. Check our list of favorite destinations, or browse through local hot sauces, salsas, and recipes to create your own fiesta at home.  

Freshest Fish Tacos 

COA is owned by a sister-brother duo who use local ingredients to create authentic flavors from their hometown of Durango, Mexico. Their fish tacos are excellent for many reasons, but a big one is the sweet mango pico on top. Three tacos are filled with perfectly pan-fried cod and then finished off with a drizzle of pimento crema sauce. Find COA in La Conner or at its new expanded location in Mount VernonMultiple locations, 

Make It a Party  

Photo by Kate Galambos

At Black Sheep in downtown Bellingham, the Party in Place Taco Platter serves 3-5 people, making it a perfect option for Cinco de Mayo or any stay-at-home fiesta. The platter comes with your choice of protein plus a dozen house-made tortillas and all the essentials: pico, guac, jalapeno crema, and cheese. Plus, chips and salsa. Order some margaritas to-go, and you have yourself a full party. 211 W. Holly St., Bellingham, 360.526.2109, 

Most Monstrous Margarita 

Jalapenos offers a range of delicious tacos, including rib eye, fish, Tex-Mex, and more. Wash them down a famous Big Mama Margarita. If you’re feeling really thirsty, go for the Big Papa. Stick with traditional lime or venture into other flavors like mango, banana, and peach. The restaurant has locations in Barkley, Downtown Bellingham, and Fairhaven, but you can also get food and drinks delivered to your door. Multiple locations, 

Tastiest Steak Tacos  

For delicious, meat-packed tacos, head to Paso Del Norte in Blaine. The Tacos Al Pastor De Carne comes with three soft corn tacos stuffed with mouthwatering top sirloin steak that’s been marinated to perfection. Find the tacos on the menu for both lunch and dinner, served with rice and beans on the side. 758 Peace Portal Dr., Blaine, 360.332.4045, 

Tacos on a Budget 

For satisfying tacos that won’t bust your wallet, there’s no better destination than Mi Rancho Meat Market in Birchwood. Originally a butcher and deli shop, Mi Rancho’s $1 tacos became so popular they had no choice but to expand into a full restaurant in 2019. Their tacos are still beloved, with meat options ranging from chicken and asada to tinga and adobada. On Taco Tuesdays, buy five tacos and get the sixth free. 3092 Northwest Ave., Bellingham, 360.389.5866, 

Most Unassuming Taco Shop 

Tucked away in a Chevron in Conway, just before you get on I-5, you’ll find Taqueria Corazón Nayarita. This taqueria may be in a gas station shaped like a barn, but these tacos are not messing around. All the tortillas are made by hand, and the price points are hard to argue with. You’ll leave feeling like you’ve found a hidden gem. 18729 Fir Island Rd., Conway 

Taco Trucks 

Photo by Emily Porter

Tacos and trucks are a match made in heaven. Luckily, we have our pick here in Whatcom and Skagit. Find Monolo Eats in Bellingham and Glacier to taste their yummy Chicken Mole Blue Tacos. For a veggie or meat Taco Plate that’s affordable and delicious, drop by A Que Tacos, typically found at Goods Local BrewsOn Burlington Boulevard, just before Chuckanut Junction, you’ll find Tacos Tecalitlan, a favorite destination among locals. You can also find the truck on Riverside Drive, just north of downtown Mount Vernon, and on Guide Meridian in North Bellingham.  

Spice It Up  

Local Hot Sauces to Love 

El Fuego  

Add some fuego to your food with one of El Fuego’s fruity and spicy hot sauces. All of the flavors are natural, vegan, and gluten-freeBuy them online or at one of nearly a dozen locations around Whatcom, Snohomish, and even PortlandMultiple locations, 

Funky’s Hot Sauce Factory  

You’ll recognize Funky’s Hot Sauce by the face on the bottle and the funky names. For a bottle of “liquid sunshine,” stop by Elizabeth Station, the Community Food Co-Op, or the Vault Wine Bar & Bistro. Multiple Locations,

HOSA Hot Sauce  

HOSA was a 2020 Good Food Award finalist, and for good reason. Their delicious hot sauces are packed full of flavor and spice that’ll have you going through a bottle in no-time. Find them around town, both at restaurants and retailers like the Community Food Co-op and Elizabeth StationMultiple locations,   


RADS pepper sauce is aged in American oak barrels for five months, resulting in locally sourced hot sauce that’s deep in flavor, from totally tangy to sweet heat. Look for the bottles at the Community Food Co-Op. Multiple Locations,

Mild to Wild 

Local Salsas to Savor 

Salsa Mama  

For salsa just the way your mama used to make it, check out this family-owned brand. Based in Skagit, Salsa Mama sources from local farmers and retailers to make one-of-a-kind products that include fresh fruit like blueberries, raspberries, and more. Find them at local retailers around Whatcom, Skagit, and Island counties. Multiple locations,

 San Juan Salsa Co.  

Buy both your salsa and your tortilla chips from San Juan Salsa Co. Featuring only six ingredients, this salsa comes in seven varieties (plus two types of tortilla chips) and is always made freshWhile it all started out of Arlington, you can now find these salsas at more than 100 locations. Multiple locations,  

Skagit’s Best Salsa Company 

Whether you’re a spice aficionado or prefer to keep it mild, this Conway-based salsa company has you covered. Skagit’s Best comes in three flavors: timid, medium…ish (best seller), and hot! It’s perfect for chip dipping or spicing up your favorite taco. 


Sazon Spiced Salmon Tacos with Mango Corn Salsa 



Sazon Spiced Salmon 

  • 1 pound wild salmon, skin and bones removed 
  • 1 teaspoon paprika 
  • ½ teaspoon cumin 
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle 
  • Canola or vegetable oil 

Mango Corn Salsa 

  • 2 ears of corn, grilled or roasted  
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced 
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped finely (option to remove seeds for less heat) 
  • ½ cup red cabbage, chopped finely 
  • Small bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped 
  • 1 lime, juiced 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 


  • Cotija cheese 
  • Tomato salsa 
  • Tortillas 


  1. For the corn salsa, cut off corn kernels with a knife and add to a bowl along with the mango, jalapeno, cabbage, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine, and taste for seasoning. Let salsa sit while you cook the salmon. 
  2. Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill, then brush oil on the grill. Use a paper towel to pat dry the salmon filet, then generously season with spices. 
  3. Grill salmon for about 3 minutes per side (depending on thickness). Once done, reserve to a plate. 
  4. Use a fork to flake pieces of salmon and serve in tortillas. Top with mango corn salsa, cotija cheese, and tomato salsa. 

Tomato Mango Salsa 



  • 1 mango, peeled and chopped into ¼-inch cubes 
  • 2-3 medium-sized tomatoes seeded and chopped into ¼-inch cubes 
  • 1 lime, juiced 
  • 1 small serrano or jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (with or without seeds) 
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 


Toss together all ingredients in a bowl and allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning and serve with your favorite tacos. 

Raspberry Mezcal Cocktail 



  • 6-8 fresh raspberries + more for garnish 
  • 4-5 fresh mint leaves 
  • 2 ounces Mezcal 
  • 1 ounce simple syrup 
  • ½ an orange, juiced 
  • ½ a lime, juiced 
  • Ice 
  • Tajin for rimming glass 


  1. In a shaker, muddle raspberries and mint until fruit releases its juice. 
  2. Fill the shaker ¾ of the way with ice, then pour in mezcal, simple syrup, and citrus juices. 
  3. Shake well for at least 30 seconds 
  4. Use the leftover citrus peel to rim around the glass, then dip rim in tajin. 
  5. Fill the glass with ice and then strain the drink into the glass. 
  6. Garnish with fresh raspberries and mint sprig.

Tomatillo Salsa 



  • 2 pounds of tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed and cut in half 
  • 1 red onion, quartered 
  • 1 jalapeno, cut in half (seeds removed, if less heat is preferred) 
  • 2-3 garlic cloves 
  • Bunch of fresh cilantro, hard stems removed 
  • 1 tablespoon of honey 
  • 1 lime, juiced  
  • ½ cup water 
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and place tomatillos, onion, jalapeno, and garlic cloves onto a baking sheet. Roast vegetables until softened and slightly charred, about 20 minutes. 
  2. Add cooked vegetables to a blender or food processor along with the cilantro, honey, lime juice, water, and a good pinch of salt. 
  3. Puree until well blended and then taste for seasoning. 

Dad’s Guacamole Dip  



  • 2-3 large ripe Hass avocados 
  • 3 tablespoons Mexican-style sour cream 
  • 2 tablespoons medium salsa 
  • 1 small can chopped olives 
  • ½ teaspoon granulated California garlic 
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • ½ teaspoon pepper 
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder 
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika 
  • dash of lemon juice, set aside 


  1. Mash the avocados well, then add sour cream and mix until creamy. Add remaining ingredients, mix well. Stir in lemon juice and store in an airtight container to prevent browning. 
  2. Tip: don’t leave out the olives…they make it! 

Grilled Pineapple Salsa 



  • Grapeseed or avocado oil, for grilling 
  • 1 pineapple, peeled and cut into long strips
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut in half and seeded
  • 1 jalapeno, cut in half and seeded
  • 1 red onion, cut in half
  • 2 limes, cut in half
  • 1 small bunch of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Pinch of salt 


  1. Heat a grill or grill pan to high heat. Brush oil onto the grill and place pineapple strips, bell peppers, jalapeno, and red onion until charred, about 5 minutes. Flip over and grill for another 2-3 minutes and set items aside. Remove thicker outer peel from bell peppers to expose the softer flesh. 
  2. Place lime halves on the grill until flesh is charred, about 3-4 minutes.  
  3. Chop all ingredients (except lime) into 1/4-inch cubes and add to a bowl. Add cilantro and squeeze grilled lime juice over the salsa. Season with a touch of salt and let marinate for at least 20 minutes before serving. 

 For more like this, visit our Taste section.