Taco Festival Finds the Best Taco in Arizona

Es una fiesta de tacos!

Named as one of “The Top 10 Fall Fests to Feast At” by USA Today, these two boomers roamed to the recently held 2nd Annual Arizona Taco Festival in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The event pitted 42 taco teams competing for a prize purse of $7,500.  The teams were comprised of local restaurants, bars, amateur competitors, and even a taco-fanatic from Bend, Oregon.

The Second Annual Arizona Taco Festival

The competing categories were chicken, pork, beef, and fish tacos.  All submitted to a sequestered panel of 50 National Taco Association judges.

There were 10,000 others joining us as we all chowed down over 40,000 tacos in the unusually warm, nearly 100-degree weather.

If you can’t see the video, click here.

In the end, only one team walked away with the title Grand Champion Taco and it was a group who had never cooked together in Arizona – Chef David Conn and his team from the soon-to-open Distrito restaurant in the soon-to-open Saguaro Hotel. Distrito is owned and concepted by Iron Chef winner Chef Jose Garces, who encouraged his team to enjoy their first cookout together at the Taco Festival.

Defending second place for the second year in a row, La Hacienda, under the direction of Chef Forest Hamrick, took home the title of Reserve Grand Champion. La Hacienda at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort is managed by famed Mexican Chef Richard Sandoval.

2011 Arizona Taco Festival Winners

Grand Champion
Distrito ($1,500)

Reserve Grand Champion
La Hacienda ($700)

Chicken Taco
1st: Tacos el Mauri ($500)
2nd: Distrito ($250)
3rd: T. Cook’s ($125)

Pork Taco
1st: Loco Patron ($500)
2nd: Casa Poco (Petite Maison) ($250)
3rd: Spotted Donkey ($125)

Beef Taco
1st: La Hacienda ($500)
2nd: Distrito ($250)
3rd: Cien Agaves ($125)

Seafood Taco
1st: La Hacienda ($500)
2nd: Blanco ($250)
3rd: Macayo’s ($125)


1st: El Palacio Cantina ($250)
2nd: Team Taco Kisses ($150)
3rd: El Hefe ($50)

1st: El Palacio Cantina ($250)
2nd: El Hefe ($150)
3rd: Sandbar Chandler ($50)

Anything Goes Taco
1st: Loot N’ Booty ($250)
2nd: The Herb Box ($150)
3rd: Sandbar Chandler ($50)

Best Booth Design
1st: El Sancho ($250)
2nd: T-Licious ($150)
3rd: Dos Gringos ($50)

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One Response to “Taco Festival Finds the Best Taco in Arizona”
  1. Greg says:

    Tacos are one of my favorite things in the entire world. These look delicious!

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