Family News

Our Favorite Recipes

Restaurant Reviews

Back to Arizona Restaurant Reviews

Email Eric 

Email Sharlene:  







Prior to my visit to Tucson, Arizona, in March, 2007, I did a bit of web surfing to gain a bit of insight into the local food scene, specifically Sonora-style hot stands, small Mexican restaurants, and taquerķas.  One name kept popping up, and that was Nico's Taco Shop, located on the busy corner of Ft. Lowell Road and Campbell Avenue.  I noted that the readers of Tucson Weekly had voted them as the runner-up for the "Best of Tucson, 1998" award, so no further urging was needed for me to visit the restaurant.

Photo:  The outside of Nico's Taco shop, as viewed from the street.

Nico's is housed in a medium-sized, 1980's vintage fast food restaurant, which looks like it could have been a burger joint 20 years ago.  The paper had advised that they do a land-office business, selling hundreds of tacos a day, and I can believe it, as the place was very busy during my visit.  The restaurant has a drive through window, open 24 hours a day, and their extensive menu is posted as you enter the drive through.  Inside, the restaurant is pretty much you'd expect, with tile floors and the sort of laminated tables and benches that you see at many fast food restaurants.  I noticed a couple of things that you don't see in many fast food, or Mexican restaurants: Coin-operated video games, and wall-mounted TVs, tuned to C.N.N.  Nico's extensive menu is displayed above the order counter, and from the order counter, you can look into the kitchen, and see the staff busily at work.  The place is clean, well-organized, and very family-friendly.

Photo:   If outdoor dining is your preference, Nico's features a large, shaded, outdoor dining area, for your dining enjoyment.

Photo:  The drive through window is open 24/7, as is the restaurant.

I couldn't believe Nico's menu selections, as the choices are almost overwhelming.  The menu features many varieties of breakfast burritos, tacos, dinner combos, house specials, side orders, tostadas, quesadillas, tortas, deserts, drinks, and much more.  Nico's Taco Shop caters to American tastes, as you won't find any exotic meat like tripas, cabeza or lengua on their menu, and you'll find shredded lettuce and shredded cheese on their products, and English seems to be the language of choice, and the patrons are mostly Americans.  But believe me, Nico's isn't your typical copy of a large American taco chain, as Nico's is a home-grown, Tucson taqueria.

Photo:  The menu is placed above the order counter, and the kitchen is behind the order counter.  You order and pay for your meal at the same time, in the protocol of contemporary American fast-food restaurants.

I felt like something a little different, and since I'd already had the pleasure to enjoy a hot dog from BK Hot Dogs, so took the easy road, and ordered a shredded beef tostada, for the price of only $2.89, from the friendly girl at the order counter.  Within minutes my tostada was ready to go, enclosed in a styrafoam container, as I'd ordered it "to go," so I could power down a couple of cold ones in my motel room, and not have to worry about driving.

Photo:  To the extreme left of the photo, a diner enjoys his meal, while in the background, a customer plays a video game, as she waits for her order.  Note the television monitor at the upper left of the photo.

The foundation of the tostada that I ordered from Nico's Taco Shop was a large flour tortilla, fried stiff enough so you could eat it using both hands, but not crispy, burnt, or dripping with grease.  A big pile of marinated, shredded beef was placed on the tortilla, along with diced, white onions, lots of shredded lettuce, and the whole thing was topped by gooey, melted cheddar cheese.  While not being an authentic Mexican tostada, Nico's tostada was made from very fresh ingredients, very tasty, and at the price of $2.89, a real bargain.

Photo:  My beef tostada, with of lots of melted cheese and shredded lettuce, from Nico's Taco Shop.  My tostatada was delicious, although it was slanted toward American tastes.

If you crave authentic Mexican cuisine, drive the 100 miles south to the Mexican border town of Nogales, or check out a couple of the other restaurants that I've reviewed in my Tucson Restaurant Guide.  But if you crave good, fresh Mexican-style food, with a Tucson twist, at very reasonable prices, available 24/7, Nicos's Taco Shop is the place to visit.

Nico's Taco Shop
1855 East Fort Lowell Road
Tucson, AZ 85719

Copyright(c) 2007 eRench Productions, Inc. All rights reserved. This site has been on the web since December 22, 2002.

Web page design has been created by eRench Productions, custom photography for any occasion..






















































































































Locations of visitors to this page