Best Mexican Takeout

Taqueria Nacionale
400 N Capitol St NW, Washington, DC 20001, (202) 737-0400

Should D.C. be ashamed that its best taqueria is run by a James Beard Award–winning chef better known for her riffs on Southern cuisine? Well, not anymore than we should be ashamed that a Frenchman (Michel Richard) makes one of the better burgers in town (at Central). Ann Cashion is a student of la cocina Mexicana, and her tiny takeout behind Johnny’s Half Shell proves she has deep respect for a cuisine too often bastardized for an easy buck. (You listening, you Salvadoran-Mexican joints?) Her simple, two-ply tacos conceal some of the finest ingredients ever stuffed inside corn tortillas, including Bell & Evans chicken. Her handmade tomatillo-based salsas seal the deal, especially the superb cumin-laced one, which I could eat straight from the plastic container (and have). When paired with her cilantro-spiked Spanish rice, her crispy yuca fries, and her fruity aqua frescas, Cashion’s tacos make for the best damn Mexican lunch in town.

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