You're driving by a street corner when you spy an exposed lightbulb and a plume of smoke. It sure smells good. Here's how to tell if it IS good.
  1. Tight menu
    Real craftsmen specialize in one of two regional styles. If they have something for everyone, they're rookies. Move along.
  2. A region in the name
    When vendors call out their place of origin, there's a lot at stake. No self respecting taqueros would risk their hometown's rep on mediocre grub.
  3. A tortilla lady
    Traditionally it's the women who make tortillas by hand. Such a dama indicates the place is going that extra mile.
  4. Speedy taqueros
    Taco masters, like sushi chefs, spend years on their craft. The man behind the tronco (wood) cutting board should be a blur of knife skills and choreography.
  5. Tidy salsa station
    Sides and salsas should be well stocked. Empty bins and spills are evidence of a slacker.
  6. A long line
    A crowd isn't a foolproof sign, but if customers are chatting up the Taqueros (preferably in Spanish), they're probably regulars.
  7. Multiple workers
    A cashier on duty signifies cleanliness. If it's a solo operation, the taquero should put on a glove before taking your cash. (Text by Bill Esparza. For more check out #tacoweek at or July issue on newsstands)
  8. If there are Central Americans eating there. If a truck attracts cats doin labor that are from Guatemala, El Salvador or Nicaragua, it's bomb. Fuckin period. 100 percent of the time.
    Suggested by @youdirtymick