Image: Some dishes are easier to share than others.
Last Updated: December 2022
Current Status: Sit-down, take-out and delivery.
D.C. now has enough reliably good taco spots that a legitimate debate can happen over which one is the best. Taqueria Habanero has been a title contender since it opened nearly a decade ago. It starts with getting the core components right: fresh tortillas made fresh in-house, same with the salsa, and consistently seasoned and prepared fillings. With those in place, it is finding the right balance between tortilla and filling and not over-dressing it. The result is sublime.
The menu is filled out with a few other items other than tacos. Like many of the dishes here, the guacamole has just a touch of spice. The green and red salsas can add the desired amount of punch. The enchiladas are a mainstay and Washingtonian has a soft spot for the curative powers of the chilaquiles. It is the tacos that we love and keep coming back for, but don’t be scared to venture into other parts of the menu.
The inside has been gussied up a little since it opened. Service is now seated instead of counter, and a shiny bar holds half-a-dozen. There is also covered and plastic-wrapped outdoor seating. The beverage menu is also beefed up, with a handful of Mexican beers and cocktails available. The Montero family behind Habanero also opened the more drink-focused spot Tequila & Mezcal down the street a few years ago. That second spot along with the expansion of Habanero to College Park, marks a great success story. One we hope keeps going.
Other Guidance: The tortillas are corn, but the meat is reported to be marinated in beer, so GFs can find something, but need to be careful. There is usually a couple vegetarian options (mushrooms, cactus) that can be vegan by request. The restaurant is located at street level with a slight ramp leading up. It is neighborhood casual.
Cuisine: Mexican/Central American
Neighborhood: Columbia Heights/Petworth
Address: 3710 14th St NW, Washington DC
Washington Post: Tim’s 2014 very positive take in 2014. Even more positive take on the College Park location. Tacos Yucatecos made his top tacos list in 2022. Similar list in 2016. Fritz Hahn noted the impressive number of great places packed into one single block.
Washingtonian: Made the Cheap Eats list in 2019, 30 Best Taco Places in 2022. The Montero family was one of those profiled in 2022. They really like the chilaquiles.