132 S. High St.
Columbus, OH 43215
Born and bred in Columbus, Condado has three menu items that it offers in superlative: tacos, tequila and margaritas. Opened in 2014 and since expanded to several locations around Columbus, this build-your-own-tacos concept has since announced plans to expand to neighboring cities and maybe eventually go fully national. The menu really is what you make of it, but make no mistake, you’ll have a good experience.
The system here is pretty simple: it’s all about the tacos, and you build your own with a checklist where you choose proteins, cheeses, veggies and other toppings. Or you can pick from a few recommendations. Some of the things I tried:
- Chips & salsa: Not a free app by itself, but the thick, enormous tortilla crisps are served with a green salsa and a spicier red one to change things up a little.
- Ooey Gooey: Corn hard shell, queso blanco, pollo, black beans, cilantro-onions, and dirty sauce top this classic tacos, which, true to its name, melt and oozes deliciousness all over the place. A delicious mess.
- El Tradicional: Corn soft shell, queso fresco, chorizo, guacamole smear, and onions. A little bit of a crunch, but that spicy chorizo dominates the flavor all the way! It’s just so good.
- Original Margarita: The citrusy margarita doesn’t have too much of that rough tequilla going down, and so it’s almost deceptive with the modest sweetness. And the salt at the end adds a little extra.
- Blackberry Margarita: The blackberry masks the tequilla even further, which is delicious, even dangerous, because it almost tastes like a heavy sangria or something. An easy summer drink.
- Taco Salad: Giant salad with plenty of tomatoes, red cabbage, meat of your choice. Very good if you don’t want any tortilla.
The restaurant is usually pretty packed at mealtimes, and more importantly, it’s packed late into the evening too, especially the Short North location, which is right in the middle of some of the popular bars. The price points are a bit elevated, but about on par with the other “upscale” taquerias that haunt the hot neighborhoods of the hip cities.
Choice is key here, though it can be kind of scary because if you add up a weird combination, you might regret your combo. Regardless, with such interesting unusual ingredients as jackfruit for a protein and spicy salsas, you can come here a dozen times and eat something radically different.
Columbus can’t get enough of this place, and with good reason. As it spreads, the fan base will come with it.
- The build-your-own-taco concept lets you pick what you like, but don’t overload it! A taco with all the toppings isn’t really that great.
- Downtown’s location has a nice outdoor patio, which is good in the warmer months.
- The place is open late, but it can be pretty packed as a result! Just expect the crowds and you’ll be fine.