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Our New Obsession: Hard Shell Tacos

From San Antonio to Toronto, taquerias are coming out of their soft shells.

Hard shell tacos

Photo: Mathieu Lévesque; food stylist: Marie-Élaine Thibault; prop stylist: Rodrigo Sergio Eguren Raez

There’s a new taco in town as chefs revive the much-maligned hard shell with versions that pack a crunch. Catty Shack in New Orleans and Toronto’s Hotmess Tex Mex riff on a certain yellow-and-red-box classic, with house-fried corn tortillas, lettuce, grated cheddar, ground beef and pico de gallo. Start your meal at New York’s Momosan Ramen with mini Peking-duck tacos served in crispy gyoza skins. And Lee’s El Taco Garage is a go-to for San Antonio’s signature puffy tortillas – a deep-fried bubbled-corn fold, filled with cumin-spiced beef and potato picadillo that will have you shelling out for seconds.

Catty Shack New Orleans,
Hotmess Tex Mex Toronto,
Lee’s El Taco Garage San Antonio,
Momosan Ramen New York,