Why go: There’s always a lunch crush for the two-ply tacos and tall bottles of Mexican Coke at this taqueria next to Johnny’s Half Shell, but the counter girls usually get you in and out in minutes. Don’t forget to swing by the self-serve stand of fabulous salsas.
What to get: Chunky guacamole (ask for extra chips); the porkiest, most flavorful refried beans around; onion-and-cilantro-sprinkled tacos with chorizo or citrus-scented braised pork; aguas frescas in flavors such as watermelon and pineapple.
Best for: Taking Texans or Californians who think “DC” and “real Mexican food” are as compatible as Democrats and Republicans.
Insider tip: Mornings you’ll find freshly baked pastries plus breakfast tacos, which are easy to grab on the way to Union Station. But don’t plan on sticking around—there’s but a single table outside.
Open Monday through Friday for breakfast and lunch.
>> See all 2009 Cheap Eats restaurants here