You’ve seen our lists of best tacos in Newport and Florence, but when in Covington, the delicious taco options are endless! Whether you’re at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center for an event, or just in town staying at one of the Covington hotels, you’ll want to include tacos for at least one meal.
Agave & Rye
Agave & Rye seems like it’s boomed lately, with a total of nine locations, but Covington was the original, the OG, the epicenter of epic-ness.
Start with the incredible dips–from the guacamole to the queso, you can’t just try one. They’re all delicious. And the chips are house-made. Expert tip: If you like a softer/fluffier chip, or just want to try it once, ask your server if you can have the flour tortilla chips. They typically come with the pimento cheese dip, but man, they’re delicious with the queso!
The elote is also incredible, and those margaritas are where it’s at! They use premium tequila and you can definitely taste the difference. During happy hour (MWRF 3 p.m.-6 p.m.) and all day on Taco Tuesday, the OG margaritas are $6… and worth every penny.
Speaking of Taco Tuesday, the specials at Agave & Rye are incredible. In addition to the margarita special, they also feature $3 chips and queso, and taco specials running from $2.50 to $4. And these tacos aren’t just your typical tacos… They’re double-shelled (a crunchy wrapped in a soft–so it holds the crumbles) and the flavor combinations are amazing. My personal favorite is the Bees Knees, but there are still a few on the menu I want to try–Kangaroo, anyone?!
If you’re not into tacos, there are many other options on the menu, including egg rolls, burger and chicken sandwich, sticky cauliflower bites, Brussel sprouts, Irish Nachos, corn fritters, Lo Mein, and more! You won’t regret a meal here. And don’t miss their sister restaurant next door, Papi Jocho’s, serving up Mexican street dogs!
First and foremost, Gutierrez Deli is a small family-owned and operated Hispanic store located in Covington, near Mainstrasse Village on Lee Street.
First open in 2012, Gutierrez Deli quickly became a gathering place for Covington’s growing Latino population. The deli features a huge selection of imported products from Central America and Mexico… and they happen to also sell incredible tacos, burritos, quesadillas, tamales, and more on a carryout basis (there are some sidewalk picnic tables out front).
The tacos are incredible. The ingredients are so fresh and authentic… and can be “Americanized” with cheese added.
On the weekends, the menu at Gutierrez has additional offerings… Sergio (the son of owner Claudio Gutierrez) suggests trying the mole poblano that is his grandmother’s recipe. We can’t wait to try it!
When you don’t want anything fancy, just incredibly good food, head to Gutierrez Deli.
Speaking of Sergio, he branched out from his father’s deli and opened his own restaurant earlier this summer, Olla Cov.
Unlike Gutierrez Deli, which is carryout only, Olla features some indoor dining space, as well as an outdoor patio. Not unlike Gutierrez Deli, the food is incredible.
From Birria tacos, chicken tacos, quesadillas, elote, and nachos, everything we ate was delicious. I must say, I didn’t order any rice, but tried my friend’s and it was some of the best rice I’ve ever had. Definitely going to order it next time!
These nachos, though, stole the show. All three of us were digging in and admiring all the fresh ingredients. I usually don’t like beans or guacamole on my nachos, but with these, you can’t go wrong! Our server told us to try the Guti Fries, which are similar to the nachos, except with a bed of French fries… sounds delicious!
Read our full review of Olla Cov here.
Located on Madison Avenue in Covington, Zapata Cantina opened in the midst of the pandemic in the fall of 2020. They serve a traditional handmade Mexican experience in a modern, industrial space.
The interior is beautiful. And so is the food…
Don’t leave without ordering the queso fundido appetizer. At $12, some may wonder if it’s really worth it. Trust me, it is. The chips accompanying the queso are equally delicious, so start every meal here with this app.
Our waiter told us the lime juice for the traditional margarita is fresh-squeezed in-house daily and wow–you can definitely tell the difference! The margarita was delicious… we couldn’t wait to get to the food!
My coworker ordered the chicken sopes, served on handmade corn disks. The portion was great and everything was so fresh. But man, those handmade corn disks steal the show.
I ordered the del mar (tempura shrimp, spiced candied pecans, cilantro, cabbage, honey chipotle) and al pastor (pork, cilantro, onions, and pineapple) tacos. Wow–each was so different from the other and other tacos I’ve had, making me confident that Covington can support the several taco restaurant options out there.
A neat note about Zapata is that their seafood is flown in fresh daily–our waiter said they don’t even have a freezer! The shrimp on my del mar taco was delicious and the taco itself could’ve served as a dessert with the spiced candied pecans. Definitely an A+!
Located in Mainstrasse Village, Frida 602 features a tequila & mezcal bar and Latin street food. Owned by the same people as Otto’s and The Standard, it’s no surprise that Frida is top-notch.
In addition to the beautiful art throughout, Frida features some cool hangout spots like picnic tables and foosball on the sidewalks.
And speaking of incredible queso, this one gives Zapata a run for their money as my personal favorite in the city. Both are amazing–this one adds corn. I will gladly eat either. 😉
The above tacos are delectable, and you can get chicken tacos for $2 on Tuesdays.
I personally have not had their margarita (yet), but have heard it’s incredible.
And a drumroll for one of the best things to come out of Covid…….. The Frida taco window! Grab them to go or hang out in the village–can’t go wrong with a meal from Frida 602.
Taqueria San Miguel
An unassuming storefront on Madison Avenue, Taqueria San Miguel offers authentic food at great prices.
If you miss Taco Tuesday, be sure to catch Taco Wednesday here–$1.99 tacos and Modelo or Corona for $2.99.
The tacos are delicious–and choices include carne asada, chicken, tongue, chorizo, barbacoa, carnitas, or al pastor. Yum!
They also have a great selection of tortas, huarache, fajitas, quesadillas, burritos, soups, and Mexican plates.
El Valle Verde Taqueria
From top to bottom, barbacoa, shrimp, chicken, and fish–all incredibly delicious and fresh!
The location is close to my office, so I’ve dined here multiple times and they always serves up fresh food with quick service.
To me, one of their best assets is their outdoor dining space. It’s just like eating on the front porch at grandma’s house, plus you get to participate in one of my favorite pastimes–people watching! Mainstrasse is a great place for people watching and the front-porch patio at El Valle Verde is a great spot for it!
Django at Covington Yard
If you haven’t made your way to Covington Yard yet, what are you waiting for!? It’s dog-friendly & family-friendly, has plenty of outdoor TVs and a stage for DJs and bands, and also has some excellent people-watching.
Comprised of a former fire hall and group of shipping-container restaurants with a nice view of the Roebling Bridge area, Covington Yard is a popular local hotspot.
They also feature a full bar, serving up some delicious slushy drinks in addition to all the regulars. Slushy drink flavors include froze, bourbon sangria, bourbon slush, or a frozen margarita.
The food at The Yard includes Mr. Bulgogi, Yard Bird, Hangry Omar’s, and Django Western Taco number three, which cranks out delicious tacos. The first Django opened in Northside in 2012 and the second inside Kroger Downtown OTR Food Hall.
Django’s menu includes carnitas, carne asada, fried chicken, shrimp, and Brussel sprout taco options as well as chips, salsa, queso, guacamole, and churros. And it’s all mouth-watering!
As you can see, Covington has a strong taco scene. Eat your favorite before or after the Reds or Bengals game, during your next business meeting, for date night, or for a weekend people-watching session with your besties. You can’t go wrong with this list!