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Tacos are a familiar and delicious staple readily available in Provo.
While BYU students are intimately familiar with the dollar menus of Taco Time, Taco Bell and Del Taco, there are also lesser-known restaurants scattered throughout Provo that can cook up a mean taco for a sweet price.
Rocco’s started as an opportunity for owners Veronica and CJ Gandolph to work for themselves. They started the restaurant when they moved into a bright yellow food truck on Center Street in 2014.
Though their truck first served only two tacos (chicken and fish), they’ve expanded their menu to include wings, sandwiches and scones. They also expanded their business when they moved locations to the building their truck was parked next to.
Owner Veronica Gandolph said the fish taco is the most popular, but Rocco’s constantly adds new variations of the taco to its menu.
“We use the freshest ingredients; everything’s homemade,” Gandolph said. “I’m not sure why everyone loves them, but they are delicious, and we’re glad.”
Rocco’s adds a new twist to the classic taco with deep-fried shells and thousand-island dressing. The restaurant uses its Taco Tuesday 2-for-1 special to pay homage to the food that started it all.
Brasas, which opened February 2015, is a recent addition to the Provo food scene. Though owners Veronica and Eliezer Coca planned to sell their authentic Mexican food via food truck, they instead settled in at their current University Parkway restaurant. They serve up their favorite Mexican foods with trusted family recipes.
“(It’s) the fact that we grill our steak and our chicken,” owner Veronica Coca said. “We do everything basically from scratch. I think that’s what people like the most.”
Their variety of tacos are made to order on wheat or corn tortillas. Every day from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. is Happy Hour, when customers can buy two tacos for the price of one.
3. Taco Paraiso
Taco Paraiso is a family business that serves authentic Mexican food. Father and son Everardo and Moroni Zavala started their taco business at the Provo Farmer’s Market in 2007 before moving into their permanent location on 279 E. and 300 North.
“It was my dad’s idea. My dad worked for his uncle back in California and brought the family recipe back to Utah,” Moroni said.
The Zavala family brought their recipes from their home in Michoacán, Mexico. They serve simple, authentic food. They avoid greasing their tortillas so meals are healthier.
Their super taco, a handmade corn tortilla with shredded beef, is their best-seller, followed by the super burrito. The Zavalas hope to continue growing their business by adding more food to their menu.
Fast food restaurants are not the only places to get a good taco at a good price. There are more than 50 Mexican restaurants in Provo.