• The 528 site is just the first of many restaurants that they plan to open


Almost seven months after Tap N Taco opened in November 2021, business is booming. 

The restaurant, which serves tap, street tacos, quesadillas and papas, has been able to grow their business at their 528 location.

Traditional Mexican tacos or street tacos are served on a corn tortilla stuffed with meat and topped with salsa, lettuce, onion, etc.

“The goal was to replicate food trucks in Mexico that serve street tacos. Then we just added a bar to it,” said Juan Estala, partner to owners Joshua Martinez, Joel Marquez and Javier Chavira.

Co-owner Javier Chavira also owns Barbacoa El Primo in Albuquerque. (Photo by Tap N Taco)

The 528 site is just the first of many restaurants that they plan to open. Its popularity comes along with the authenticity of Mexican street food.

“New Mexican food doesn’t have that same feeling,” Estala said.

New Mexico has many so-called Mexican restaurants but close to none of them serve traditional cuisine. Tap N Taco keeps the focus on family and food, he said.

“With just $10 people can get four tacos and a drink,” Estala said.

Even the way food is ordered is traditional to a taco truck in Mexico. The assembly line of workers build the food and customers sit down with the meal right after paying.

The restaurant is decorated with colorful cutout flowers, sugar skulls, Mariachi legends, and much more. The walls are artistic displays. One wall has a giant mural of Frida Kahlo, the famous Mexican painter.

Customers can sit inside, outside or at the bar. Sometimes the restaurant has live music in the bar area on their decorated stage. There is even an occasional low-rider show.

While many restaurants have encountered staff shortages from COVID and the national worker shortage, Tap N Taco seems to be the exception so far.

Now that the owners have seen their success improve, the focus is on customer service.