The People Have Spoken. Here’s 2023’s Best Taco in Billings
It was a cool, rainy Friday night in Downtown Billings last weekend where things were heating up at The Billings Depot for their 3rd annual Tacos and Tequila event. Two awards were on the line at the non-profit's fundraiser... Best Taco in Billings (per a blind taste-testing panel of judges) and People's Choice Best Taco in Billings.
So much great food.
The aptly titled event showcased tacos and tequila, as seen above. Mixologists created some delectable tequila specialty drinks and brand reps in the VIP section were offering samples of various higher-end tequilas. A cash bar was serving beer, wine, and mixed drinks for those who don't love agave spirits.
Over 20 restaurants, chefs, and food trucks were represented.
The best taco vendors in town were all present, vying for a win. The VIP area started filling up around 5 pm. General public doors opened at 6 and crowds of people showed up for tacos.
10 judges sampled 18 tacos.
I was invited to sit at the judge's table along with nine other people, comprised of various media peeps and food lovers. To keep things fair, we were not allowed into the main hall to watch any of the restaurants prepare the dishes. One by one, we were each brought a different taco in unmarked containers and asked to judge them based on Execution, Appearance, and Taste. The EAT score. We would take a couple of bites and rate each entry on a scale of 1 to 5.
Talk about flavor town.
Almost all of the tacos were really, really, good. I felt bad giving a few of the samples a low score, but this was serious business. Most of the panel gave lower scores to two entrees that weren't technically considered classic tacos. One was a taco pizza and the other was some sort of flatbread taco thing that fell... flat. However, there were certainly a handful of tacos that stood above the rest.
Crazy Taco MT took 1st Place and won People's Choice.
After about 90 minutes of eating 18 different tacos, we were completely stuffed. Magic City's Best tallied the scores on the board and the Crazy Taco MT food truck handily took 1st Place. The food truck's Jamaican taco is absolutely "fire" as the kids say. It is quite spicy with a flavor explosion, featuring tender seasoned beef and the perfect combo of garnishments. The food truck taco vendor also took the People's Choice award, after the sold-out crowd cast their votes. If you love tacos, do yourself a favor next time you see their food truck parked somewhere around Billings and GET THEM IN YOUR MOUTH.
Runners Up's were La Taqueria in 2nd Place and 3rd Place went to Guadalara's.
Hamburgers more your speed?
If you love burgers and want to get in on the fun, the next foodie event at The Depot is the Big Sky Burger Bonanza, on July 9th, where the winning restaurant or food truck gets a guaranteed entry into the World Food Championship Best Burger Competition in Dallas Texas in 2023.