Located in an MIT-owned spot right on Mass Ave, Naco Taco is a long-term popup that honors traditional Mexican street foods while adding its own unconventional riffs with unique seasonings, sauces and flavor combinations. Naco, a Spanish word meaning irreverent and non-conformist, provides the team with an arena to create offbeat and unexpected dishes on a whim, which results in thoughtfully composed food executed with care and served in a lighthearted, casual setting. The frequently changing menu includes plenty of tacos, tortas and sides, and guests can add a little heat or cool things down with a selection of house-made cremas and salsas, too.
The drink program boasts a sizable selection of 30 rotating beers by the can, bottle and on draft that complement the menu. Flowing seasonal sangria offerings, refreshing shandies and a robust wine on tap program take a thoughtful approach to what will pair best with the menu’s unique flavor profiles. The Michelada program is the first of its kind in the city and brings a new, creative perspective to the traditional beer cocktail.
Inside, guests are greeted by a 12-foot, neon lit sign that reads “Siesta Motel.” Naco’s 25-seat, barn wood-topped, horseshoe-shaped bar sits centrally inside the brick and beam space. Tables and chairs are rustic, mismatched vintage that evoke all the rustic charm of authentic taquerias. Works from local artists are displayed on a temporary basis on Naco’s unfinished walls, along with permanent art installations.
Outside, diners can watch as their tacos and tortas are prepared in the gold and teal kitchen trailer that connects to the brick-and-mortar building through a retrofitted vestibule. The food park-inspired 90-seat patio, lined by large concrete planters, is aglow with decorative string lights. During the warmer months it’s an urban oasis, drawing lovers of food and drink like moths to the flame.
297 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139