Oak Cliff Tacos Illustrated

Taqueria El Si Hay by Catherine Downes

Wherever there are taquerias, there is art that distinguishes each shop from its competition, attracts clientele and marks the origins of business. This folk art takes the form of menus painted onto facades, anthropomorphic tacos and chiles, women hard at work at a metate, Monterrey landmark Cerro de la Silla, whatever the owners or workers can imagine. There need not be any association between what the taqueria serves and what adorns its edifice, as is the case of El Si Hay in Oak Cliff, a Dallas neighborhood famed for its tacos. The freestanding joint does not serve tacos al pastor from a trompo; yet, there on an exterior wall is a painting of a taquero at a trompo. Dallas Observer photographer Catherine Downes was kind enough to take shots of some of Oak Cliff’s remarkable taqueria art, including of El Si Hay. A collection of those wonderful photos, and the next installment in our Tacos Illustrated series is below.

Taco Rico, photo by Catherine Downes

Taco Rico is one of the few Dallas taqueria serving tacos al vapor (steamed tacos).

Fito's #2 Tacos de Trompo, photo by Catherine Downes

The local Fito’s chain specializes in northern Mexican tacos, like tacos de trompo, piratas and campechanas.

El Jacalito Facade Menu, photo by Catherine Downes

There is no mystery as to what is on Tortas El Jacalito’s menu.

Taqueria Habanero mural, photo by Catherine Downes

Taqueria Habanero is one of the more brilliantly decorated restaurants.

Taqueria Habanero's Catedral de Saltillo, photo by Catherine Downes

The mural representing the cathedral in Saltillo, Coahuila, indicates the Taqueria Habanero owners’ hometown.

Painting inside Taqueria Habanero, photo by Catherine Downes

Taqueria Habanero is part art gallery. The artist responsible for the restaurant’s exterior murals has art for sale in the dining room.

All photos © Catherine Downes

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2 Comments

Filed under Dallas, North Texas, Oak Cliff, Tacos Illustrated, Texas

2 responses to “Oak Cliff Tacos Illustrated

  1. sherman

    Love that taco “art”. I think Cool & Hot would have been a worthy addition.

  2. Pingback: Around the 'hood: Grocery wars, Trinity toll road, Frito-Lay, taco art » Oak Cliff

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