Though many Mexican taco shops have a menu that extends way beyond tacos, El Tianguis was banking on the success of a singular item when it first arrived in North Park in 2018 with rolled tacos, and only rolled tacos. But owner Oscar Ancira knows taquitos. A veteran of the food industry, Ancira’s family founded Delimex, the line of Mexican convenience foods that’s long been a fixture in the grocery frozen foods aisle.
With El Tianguis, named after the local open-air markets found across Mexico, he approached rolled tacos with a fresh perspective. Each taquito is rolled by hand, with made in-house corn tortillas, and fried in small batches throughout the day. And in addition to the classic fillings of shredded beef, chicken, and potato, the eatery also offers a vegan filling of lentils and quinoa. They’re served with the traditional toppings of sour cream, cheese, lettuce, and guacamole with a variety of hot sauces.
Buoyed by the response to the North Park store, Ancira opened another outpost in Otay Ranch last year and is prepping to add two more locations. He tells Eater that El Tianguis is joining the food court at Plaza Bonita in National City where it should be up and running by early April. The fast-casual eatery is also headed to Mission Valley, where it’ll be part of the 18,000-square-feet of dining and shops at Purl, a new mixed-use development in the Civita community. Alexis Dachs of Location Matters represented Ancira in the Mission Valley location, which will open by late summer/early fall.