Celebrating Tradition at the original Mesa Location

Celebrating Traditional Mexican Food in Mesa, AZ

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Backyard Taco got its start in Arizona just over ten years ago when our first location opened in North Mesa. Since then, Backyard Taco has quickly become a fan favorite across the Greater Phoenix area, and today, there are a total of six locations across Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, and Queen Creek. We are so happy to have made our mark on the Valley area and look forward to remaining a part of these great communities for many years to come.

A large part of Backyard Taco’s original vision was to bring authentic Mexican tacos and other dishes to our community. After years of change and success, this has stayed true throughout our history: our aim was and still is to create a place to enjoy traditional Mexican food in Mesa, AZ. We refer to the love, care, and traditional flavors you can find at each Backyard Taco spot as “Mexcellence,” and we’re dedicated to providing truly Mexcellent food to our customers.

How Mexican Food Came To Arizona: The Flavors and Techniques

Mexican food has certainly found a home in Arizona, thanks to Backyard Taco and many other Mexican cooks throughout the state. We’re bordered by the Sonora Province to our south, and because of the proximity, many ingredients and cooking methods have made their way into Arizona. In fact, during the 1800s, the first exchanges between Arizona settlers and the indigenous peoples of México planted the seed for delicious Mexican cooking in our area. Since its arrival here in the US, more and more Arizonans have been introduced to the wonderful flavors of Mexican cuisine.

Traditional Mexican cooking is characterized by its heat source and its ingredients. Corn was used to make tortillas and other foods, which were prepared with other ingredients like cactus, avocado, various beans, and a host of flavorful chiles. Spices like crushed chiles, cumin, and more were also important additions to traditional Mexican dishes.

Today, the Mexican cooking styles associated with the southwest United States are mesquite-fired and al carbon, both using outdoor clay ovens called hornos. The signature smoky flavor is what makes these styles so popular and irresistible, both to Mexicans and people across the US Southwest. As you may have guessed, mesquite cooking refers to the mesquite wood used to cook the food, imparting the unique smoky flavor that has been dubbed “the mesquite flavor.” Al carbon is a Spanish phrase that translates to “cooking over coal” and typically refers to techniques used to cook meat and tortillas over an open flame. You’ll taste both styles in our authentic Mexican dishes.

Serving Traditional Mexican Food in Mesa

4 Tacos with sides at Mesa Location

As you might have expected, with the close connection between Arizona and traditional Mexican cuisine, Mexican restaurants are abundant here in the Mesa area. In fact, this is one of the most popular types of restaurants across the US, and they can be found in nearly every city. The Southwest United States, in particular, has an abundance of taco spots – but you won’t find truly authentic Mexican cooking just anywhere. The thing that sets Backyard Taco apart from the others is our dedication to sharing authentic Mexican cooking with our amigos here in the Valley area.

Before we fill you in on how we got started with traditional Mexican cooking, it’s important to know that things like the addition of sour cream or cheddar cheese are examples of Americanized Mexican food. Here at Backyard Taco, we keep our toppings authentic to Mexican cuisine and prepare our dishes in the traditional style, with chopped cabbage, onions, cilantro, and other simple Mexican finds. We believe that true “Mexcellence” comes from preparing our tacos the way they’ve always been made, with traditional ingredients and techniques. However, we love the idea of topping your authentic Mexican dish however you’d like, so we carry a range of popular items so you can customize your cuisine in a way that suits your taste buds.

How Backyard Taco Got Started With Mazatlán Flavors

The founders of Backyard Taco hail from magical Mazatlán and brought their traditional cooking techniques with them. That’s why, throughout Backyard Taco’s history, there has always been an emphasis on authentic cooking and preparing food with traditional ingredients. Everything in our kitchen is made just like Abuela would have created it.

Ever since the opening of our OG location in North Mesa, we have been offering tantalizing tacos, sabrosas salsas, and belly-satisfying burritos.

Tacos are the heart and soul of Mexican street food, and they are certainly the stars at Backyard Taco. Whether you’re a carnivore or a vegetarian, there’s a taco for everyone when you choose the most authentic Mexican tacos in Mesa here at Backyard Taco. All our meat-filled tacos feature succulent, slow-cooked meats, and our vegetarian option is packed with flavorful beans that showcase our commitment to using high-quality ingredients and time-honored cooking techniques. No matter which you choose, each bite of a Backyard Taco is sure to satisfy.

No Backyard Taco meal is complete without the perfect salsa, and we take our salsa game seriously. Each location features a salsa bar with an array of options to choose from. Ranging from mild to fiery hot, we’ve got something for everyone! The Roasted Tomato Salsa, with its smoky undertones, adds depth to any dish, while the Mango Habanero Salsa provides a sweet and spicy kick that elevates the experience. Ever since our North Mesa salsa bar went live, we’ve been bringing hungry taco lovers back over and over again.

If tacos aren’t calling your name, try one of our mouth-watering burritos stuffed to the brim with delicious goodness. Choose from a variety of fillings, from carne asada, pollo, or carnitas to bean and cheese. Each Backyard Taco burrito is prepared to make your taste buds sing a song of Mexcellence with each bite.

Salsa Bar at Backyard Taco on University in Mesa

In all of our delectable dishes, we use the freshest ingredients that have been ethically sourced – most of them from right here in Arizona. That’s because, in addition to providing our customers with the best-tasting food, we want to provide food that makes you feel good about where it came from.

It’s Not Just The Food – It’s Where You Get To Enjoy It!

Backyard Taco sign and entrance for the Mesa Location

Another feature that sets Backyard Taco apart is not just our delectable dishes but also the charming ambiance that surrounds you at each of our locations. Customers frequently comment that our comfortable, festive surroundings make them feel right at home. Our restaurants capture the essence of a Mexican street food vendor with vibrant colors, rustic decor, and a welcoming atmosphere. When you enter, the aroma of grilled meats wafts through the air, creating a sensory experience that transports you to the lively streets of Mexico. Backyard is in our name and we’ve created a backyard big enough to fit everyone who wants to experience the flavor of México.

The North Mesa location was the first Backyard Taco, and our backyard has quickly grown to incorporate a total of six fabulous locations. People love to be able to come down to eat with amigos or familia and feel right at home across the Valley region. We welcome everyone to enjoy our delicious food in a location near you.

What our Loyal Customers are Saying

We have been serving our delicious food to happy customers since 2012. Here are some reviews left by our amigos:

“Always drove past this place and decided to check it out! Have only been going here for the best tacos in the valley. The al carbon flavors are fantastic. Nice simple, authentic menu. Fast and very inexpensive.” – Matthew

Our pride in keeping our tacos authentic shines with each order. Don’t mess with the classics and you will always have the tastiest tacos in town!

“Wow. The best Mexican food I’ve had outside of Los Angeles. The carne asada tacos were spot on with the right portions, finely chopped onions and delicious mesquite BBQ smoked steak. And their loco potatoes are amazing baked potatoes stuffed with your choice of your meat. I got mine with al pastor pork and it didn’t disappoint. And finally their salsa bar has the best flavored salsa including avocado salsa. (How do they keep this free?) I wish I had taken some photos but it was too good to wait.” – Noel

Our salsa bar is the shining star of every location, and as Noel said, the avocado salsa is sure to satisfy!

“Best chicken burrito! They must smoke their meat – so beyond tasty! The place was so clean, salsa was tasty and the outdoor seating area was perfect for a large family.” – Emily

We were pleased to have Emily come visit our North Mesa location just last week, and we hope she returns soon!

All in all, our six Backyard Taco locations have become a repeat spot for taco lovers and Mexican food aficionados all over Arizona. We’ve done our best to ensure Backyard Taco is a haven for those seeking an authentic Mexican culinary experience right in the heart of Arizona. From tantalizing tacos and bussin’ burritos to vibrant salsas and our welcoming atmosphere, every Backyard Taco location captures the spirit of Mexico right in our backyard.

The next time you find yourself in Mesa or in the greater Phoenix area, be sure to embark on a flavorful journey at Backyard Taco and savor the taste of tradition.

Backyard Taco’s Frequently Asked Questions

Patio seating at the North Mesa Backyard Taco

When Did The North Mesa Backyard Taco Open?

The first Backyard Taco location was opened in 2012. Since then, we have opened five more locations around the greater Phoenix area. You can find us in Gilbert, Chandler, Queen Creek, Mesa South, Mesa East, and Mesa North.

Is There A Rewards Program at Backyard Taco

We’re pleased to host a fabulous rewards program at Backyard Taco. You can collect points for every meal purchased and use them to purchase taco deals. You can also claim a free taco at any location if you wear your Backyard Taco T-shirt, so be sure to choose your favorite from our taco t-shirt shop!

Are the Tacos Authentic?

Here at Backyard Taco, we pride ourselves on only serving authentic Mexican food and flavors. Our food is made with the freshest ingredients and prepared with Mexican cooking techniques. From the traditional seasonings to the old-fashioned mesquite-fired grill for our mouth-watering carne asada, we cook everything to perfection the way our ancestors have been doing for generations.

Where is Backyard Taco?

Come see us at our original store in Mesa:

Backyard Taco – Mesa North
1524 E University Dr.
Mesa, AZ 85203
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Or, at any of our other 5 locations near you:

Backyard Taco – Mesa South
1633 S Stapley Rd.
Mesa, AZ 85204
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Backyard Taco – Mesa East
1562 S. Signal Butte Road
Mesa, AZ 85209
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Backyard Taco – Chandler
2400 S. Gilbert Rd
Chandler, AZ 85286
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Backyard Taco – Gilbert
1420 S. Higley Rd.
Gilbert, AZ 85296
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Backyard Taco – Queen Creek
24842 S. Ellsworth Road
Queen Creek, AZ 85142
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Staff posing for a picture at the Mesa Original Location

See ya soon Amigos!