Tacos Chiwas opened in March of 2016 and in less than a year has fast become a Valley favorite. An unassuming, casual spot, this family-owned gem stands out from the taqueria crowd for many reasons. First and foremost is the passion of owners Armando Hernandez and Nadia Holguin, who both hail from Chihuahua, Mexico. This husband and wife team bring not only their Mexican roots, but culinary experience to the table. Nadia, who has attended Le Cordon Bleu, helms the kitchen, while Armando brings his front-of-the-house experience from time spent at Pizzeria Bianco and Italian Restaurant. They're also two of the nicest, most genuine people you could meet. Armando has told me that they are simply cooking the food that they love, including recipes handed down through generations. At Tacos Chiwas they are celebrating their home state and family table.
As you enter their small restaurant (a former Dairy Queen), you'll pass the salsa bar with a colorful array of homemade salsas and taco garnishes before heading to the counter to order from the chalkboard menus. Everything is made with quality ingredients from scratch, including corn and flour tortillas made to order. You'll find tacos, gorditas, burritos, montados, quesadillas, refrescos like jamaica and horchata, menudo on the weekend, and homemade desserts such as chocoflan and cheesecake.
Specials might include calabacitas, birria (goat), frijoles charros, barbacoa, or chicharrón en salsa verde. Follow along with Tacos Chiwas on their Instagram for drool-worthy notifications of their weekly especiales such as tacos de chivos. My first visit was in June, our most recent visit was last month, and we'll be heading there again next week. I haven't worked my way through the whole menu yet, but here are some of our favorites.
The signature Taco Chiwas (juicy chunks of marinated beef, ham and green chiles draped in melted queso asadero), carne asada, and tripas (fried beef intestine).
Spicy rajas (roasted onions and green chiles) with cheese in a flour gordita.
Crispy-tender tripitas taco.
Deshebrada roja (shredded beef slow-cooked with dried red chiles) gordita.
One of my favorite specials, chicharrón en salsa verde. Be sure to order if you see it!
Tacos Chiwas is located at 1923 E McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85006. Hours are Monday through Saturday 10 am to 9 pm and Sundays 10 am to 4 pm. Tasty tip: You can also have Tacos Chiwas delivered through UberEats.
(Visit this link for my recap of a special collaboration dinner with Tacos Chiwas and Bitter and Twisted Cocktail Parlour.)