How Route 1 Became an Authentic Taco Haven

Taqueria El Mexicano Hyattsville Mexican restaurant

In recent years, the Route 1 corridor has become home to a thriving taco scene.

A number of locally owned Mexican taquerias have opened from the outskirts of Langley Park east to Riverdale Park and south to Edmonston, several of which have gained notice among foodies around the greater D.C. area.

On University Boulevard, there’s Taqueria Garibaldi and Taqueria El Mexicano, which has repeatedly been recognized by the Washingtonian‘s Cheap Eats.

In Riverdale Park, there’s Taqueria El Rey near the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and the longstanding Taqueria Tres Reyes off Kenilworth Avenue.

In Edmonston, there’s La Fondita in a small house on Decatur Street, which has been singled out by critics at the Washington Post for its extensive taco menu.

And Hyattsville is home to Taqueria La Placita, which has been singled out for praise by the Post and the Washingtonian.

Eater D.C. even recently dubbed the area around Kenilworth Avenue Maryland’s “Taco Triangle,” calling it “one of the best areas for Mexican food in the greater metropolitan area.” (Their list of recommended spots included La Sirenita, Taco Rico and El Tapatio in nearby Rogers Heights as well.)

The area has even drawn popular taco places from D.C. College Park has Taqueria Habanero, a second outpost of the popular Mexican spot in D.C.’s 14th Street corridor. Riverdale Park Station has District Taco.

What’s behind the boom in taquerias? A growing population of immigrants from Latin America is increasingly interested in Mexican food (especially second-generation kids). Cheap rent, especially along Kenilworth Avenue and University Boulevard, helps with a traditionally low overhead cuisine. And then there’s classic economic theory, which holds that similar businesses will locate near each other.

Regardless of the reasons, Route 1’s taco scene is a real boon for the area.

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