The Vibe: Starting as a food truck in Tampa’s Seminole Heights, Taco Bus retains some of its kitschy charm (catchphrase: “Broken English, perfectly spoken”) as it morphed into a small fast-casual chain with eight locations from Lakeland to Sarasota.
Finding It: 126 S. Kentucky Ave. | Map
Good to Know: Like a lot of fast-casual restaurants, you stand in line to order. Unlike a lot of table-service Mexican restaurants, chips are extra. You’re looking at an extra $2.99 for chips and salsa or $4.99 for fancier dips.
Signature Dishes: El Jefe: “Weighing in over 2.5 lbs … two tortillas, double rice and beans, cheese, sour cream and guacamole. A portion of the proceeds is donated to local first responder charities.”
Service: On opening day Wednesday, the staff kept the long counter line moving and food coming fast.
Menu online? Yes
Imbibing: Despite late-night hours, don’t go looking for alcohol. You’ll find U.S. and Mexican soft drinks, pineapple water and horchata.
Dietary Diversity: Multiple vegetarian and gluten-flee options; for vegans: soy strips and dairy-free cheese substitute.
Hours: Sunday – Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.