Taqueria Nacional

400 N. Capitol St., NW
Washington, DC 20001


Neighborhood: Capitol Hill, Capitol Hill

Cuisines: Tex-Mex, South American, Mexican, Breakfast, Deli/Quick Bites

Opening Hours:
Open for lunch Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 3 PM.

Nearby Metro Stops: Union Station, Federal Center SW

Price Range: Inexpensive

Dress: Informal

Noise Level: Chatty

Reservations: Not Needed


Best Dishes:
Tacos filled with beef or carnitas, each topped with chopped onion and cilantro; fish tacos with cabbage slaw; aguas frescas in such flavors as mango-orange or watermelon.

Dirt Cheap Eats 2007: Taqueria Nacionale


Ann Cashion’s three-month-old taqueria might be hidden off to the side of her Southern seafood destination, Johnny’s Half Shell, but this daytime takeout is worth seeking out. The James Beard Award–winning chef’s style of fast food includes vibrant salsas made in-house, double-layered tortillas filled with the likes of orange-scented braised pork and piquant ground buffalo ($2.25 each), and fudgy brownies and breakfast pastries baked by Half Shell pastry chef Valerie Hill.

You won’t find blobs of sour cream or shredded cheddar—fresh cilantro, chopped onion, and a zigzag of avocado salsa enhance the flavorful meats just fine. To drink, there are glass jugs of freshly made fruit agua fresca—watermelon is especially refreshing—and glass bottles of Mexican-made Coke, which gets its mellower sweetness from cane sugar instead of corn syrup.