GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — For many people, the only way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo is with a taco, and Grand Rapids has plenty of options.

The takeout-friendly food found new success as restaurants were forced to shut down their dining areas during the pandemic.

With at least six new taco restaurants and kitchens opening this year, 2021 is shaping up to be the year of the taco in Grand Rapids.


Basalt | 1450 Wealthy Street SE

(Photos provided by Downtown Market Grand Rapids shows the food and founder of Basalt.)

The business that began last year in the Downtown Market’s incubator kitchen has expanded from serving out of a food trailer at the Fulton Street Farmers Market. Basalt’s brick-and-mortar location opened in Eastown last month with pickup, takeout and delivery service. The menu includes tacos, quesadillas, tortas and limeade. The restaurant will celebrate Cinco de Mayo by offering a margarita doughnut made with tequila, limes and agave syrup.

Condado | 448 Bridge Street NW

West Michigan’s first Condado opened Feb. 4. Located on the ground floor of Bridge Street Lofts, it contains all the restaurant chain Hallmarks: custom made-to-order tacos, margaritas and local art covering nearly every surface. Hidden in the layers of every mural are “Easter eggs” about Condado and Grand Rapids, giving visitors a chance to go on an eyes-only scavenger hunt from their seat. Condado Tacos offers indoor and outdoor seating, as well as takeout service.

Street Chef Shaw | Various locations; 425 Norwood Ave. SE on Wednesday

What started last year as a meal giveaway to people hit hard by the pandemic has grown into a ghost kitchen with pop-up events that have a cult-like following. Street Chef Shaw serves up Swahili-Mexican fusion tacos, quesadillas and nachos. The business will celebrate Cinco de Mayo from the Eastown kitchen of Amethyst Bee Cakery with a special on all tacos and a limited amount of grilled goat birria.


Stan’s Tacos | 67 Ottawa Ave. SW

(A Nov. 30, 2020 photo shows the former Wheelhouse restaurant at 67 Ottawa Ave. SW in Grand Rapids, which will soon be Stan’s Tacos.)

Meritage Hospitality Group is transforming its shuttered Wheelhouse restaurant across from Van Andel Arena into a second Stan’s Tacos, formerly known as Stan Diego’s Baja Taco Kitchen. The company told News 8 last year the original restaurant on Wilson Avenue near Lake Michigan Drive NW in Walker faired well during the pandemic last year. Meritage has not yet announced an opening date for the new Stan’s Tacos, but previously said it’ll wait until events restart and “downtown becomes alive again.”

Barrio Tacos | 37 Ottawa Ave. NW

(An undated photo provided by CWD Real Estate Investment shows the renovated and restored historic building at 37 Ottawa Ave. NW in downtown Grand Rapids.)

The Ohio-based restaurant chain voted as one of the top 10 taco stands in the country in 2018 is expanding to Grand Rapids. CWD Real Estate Investment says Barrio will bring its build-your-own-taco concept to the revamped historic building this fall. Barrio already operates a restaurant in East Lansing and plans to open another location in Traverse City soon.

Tamales Mary | 1551 Wealthy Street SE

The popular Wyoming restaurant that serves up seven types of tamales will celebrate the grand opening of its second location in Eastown on May 25. Tamales Mary has been transforming the former site of Spoonlickers since December. While Tamales Mary is known and named for its authentic Mexican tamales, the restaurant’s menu also includes tacos and desserts. Its Wyoming restaurant will celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a taco special and gift card giveaways.