Taqueria La Oaxaquena

Some of the best tacos in town emerge from the kitchen of this spot that is always packed with Mexican work crews. Here, handmade corn tortillas are folded around delicacies such as stewed beef cheeks and pork al pastor. The specialty that chowhounds have raved about for years is the tlayuda, a large grilled tortilla covered pizzalike with refritos, string cheese, avocado, choices of meat (pork sluiced in chile is tops), and lettuce.

But the kitchen yields other rewards as well. Huaraches, the sandal-shaped boats of masa dough, are sublime loaded with rich goat meat. Chicken tamales, flavored either with mole or salsa verde, have a surprisingly delicate texture. Our latest discovery: Even a burrito stuffed with carnitas blasts the palate in all the right ways. The food makes up for a humble interior and sometimes-slow service.

Photo by Iain Bagwell