What to order at XO Taco

What to order at XO Taco

XO Taco's specialty tacos, served on house-made tortilla shells, are the highlight of its menu.
Published: November 13, 2018
Decor inside XO Taco, a new Mexican restaurant in Syracuse
On the left wall of XO Taco, neon illustrations of lips hang against a backdrop of ivy.

There are numerous places to get your Mexican food fix in Syracuse. Next time you are craving a taco, consider visiting XO Taco, a swanky restaurant that recently opened in September at 713 E. Fayette St. The place has been generating a lot of buzz on the Syracuse University campus as one of the trendiest local eateries to date. Its specialty tacos, served on house-made tortilla shells, are the highlight of its menu, so here are some recommendations to order when you visit:

Redfish, $5

The “Redfish” is a refreshing take on the traditional fish taco. It has tempura-battered redfish, chipotle slaw, radish and cilantro. The fish in this taco is fresh, well-seasoned and covered in a crispy batter. Bring the heat up a notch with one of XO Taco’s three house hot sauces.

Carnitas, $5

If you are a fan of Mexican cuisine, you are no stranger to carnitas, or Mexican pulled pork. Named after the iconic Mexican dish, this taco has citrus-braised pork, chipotle slaw and cilantro. The shredded meat is juicy, melting in your mouth as you take a bite. The tender pork is perfectly garnished with an authentic blend of Mexican spices.

Carnitas and Hot Chix tacos at XO Taco in Syracuse
The carnitas, and hot chix tacos. The carnitas are Director of Culinary Development Steve Samuels' favorite taco of the three.

Hot Chix, $4

In order to consider a restaurant a “taqueria,” there must be a chicken taco on the menu. The “Hot Chix” is made with roasted chicken, onions and cilantro. If you are looking for something on the less spicy side, give this taco a try. The chicken is lightly salted with little to no spice.

Chimi-Chimi-Cauli, $4

XO Taco is vegan-friendly. They have three different taco options for vegans: “Bobby Vegetal,”  “TO-MF-U” and “Chimi-Chimi-Cauli,” which is made with roasted cauliflower and cilantro-chimichurri. However, this taco is a must-try whether you are vegan or not. Its lively name truly captures the blend of flavorful ingredients, and the marinated cauliflower makes it hard to believe it is only made with veggies.

Not only does the restaurant put a spin on traditional tacos, the atmosphere is worth checking out. Equipped with a full bar, guests have the option of taking a seat by the bartender or at wooden tables that are spread throughout the small restaurant. XO Taco is open from 4 – 11 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. However, if going out to eat sounds too daunting, you can order XO Taco on Grubhub with no delivery minimum and zero fees.