Tacoria Opens its Doors in Montclair

A trip to Tacoria does not just result in food – it results in experience. Montclair is lucky enough to have one open right in the middle of town!

My first trip to Tacoria was in New Brunswick, as a student at Rutgers. The first thing that struck me about the restaurant was how visually pleasing it was to walk inside. There was no door. On hot summer days, the restaurant is able to fully open the front of the restaurant, creating an atmosphere of openness and sending the spicy smells of their Mexican food all the way down the street.

Photo by Joe Michalitsianos for The Montclair Dispatch.
Photo by Joe Michalitsianos for The Montclair Dispatch.

You can imagine my joy when I found that Tacoria opened a second restaurant – in Montclair.

Tacoria is refreshingly unique. In an America that seems to have played the Mexican food hand one too many times, Tacoria has found a way to have its own style, taste and ambiance.

The Montclair location has opened on 367 Bloomfield Avenue, in a building that once housed restaurants such as Elevation Burger and Euro Barbecue.

Now, the location has a rejuvenated feel to it thanks to the owners of Tacoria. Tacoria is owned by two brothers, Haz and Sean Patel, and their friend, Chuck Patel. The three of them are young, cool guys that share something in common – a love for Mexican food.

“I love Mexican food. I think the flavors, the dishes, even the color of the food is beautiful. It translates really well. Everyone loves Mexican food!” says Sean.

Photo by Joe Michalitsianos for The Montclair Dispatch.
Photo by Joe Michalitsianos for The Montclair Dispatch.

While there is validity to his statement, it’s safer to say everyone loves their Mexican food. The menu is simple. Tacoria offers nachos, burritos, tacos and quesadillas. Each dish is customizable in the sense that you can pick which meat you want, if you’d like guacamole, etc.

The menu also offers snack-sized goodies to go with your meal too, such as Mexican Street Corn, fried avocado and of course chips and salsa.

The three owners all attended Rutgers New Brunswick, so as undergraduates, they were exposed to a delicious array of college town food that is unrivalled by anywhere else in the country. The owners aren’t chefs, or born into the food business. Sean studied economics in school and Haz studied mechanical engineering. The business was born purely from passion.

Photo by Joe Michalitsianos for The Montclair Dispatch.
Photo by Joe Michalitsianos for The Montclair Dispatch.

As Sean showed me around the restaurant, he noted that each of the owners played their part in the formation of the restaurant. Part of Sean’s specific job was stylistic design. The Montclair location is somehow even more aesthetically satisfying than the original location. Bright colored graffiti covers the walls in hearts, as well as a wall made up entirely of books (“It took us over 100 hours to stack these books!” he says). It is a rustic design, with smooth but battered looking wood and metal covering the walls. When I asked how he made it look so good, Sean replied with a smile “When we opened the restaurant, we found that we were good at many things that make a restaurant work. So we all do our part.”

Tacoria is certainly working. As a Rutgers student, I can tell you that Tacoria’s New Brunswick location has been the best new place in a town that prides itself on food. I can safely say that I predict the same for Tacoria in Montclair.


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