The 5 Best Tacos I’ve Had In The World

The 5 Best Tacos In The World

This article is sponsored by the best tequila from Los Cabos, Cabo Unico.

In the last 2 years I’ve visited 20 countries across Europe, Asia, The Americas & the Caribbean. As a Mexican-American, one of my favorite foods is tacos (it must be in my DNA) and one of my favorite days of the week is Taco Tuesday. I’m also a huge fan of tequila (skinny margaritas FTW) so whenever I travel, I always look for tacos, even if I’m in Asia or Europe. I’m addicted to you taco. 

As you’d expect from a top 5 taco list, 3 of the restaurants are in Mexico and 1 is in California. The 5th restaurant will surprise you but you’ll have to scroll down and find out what it is! 

The Qualifications 

The tacos on this list are NOT your standard tacos. In order to be a part of this list, the taco has to be unique, using an innovative recipe and ingredients you typically do not expect to see in a taco.  I am also not considering the ambiance of the restaurant. This is just a straight up “best tacos I’ve ever had” list. So if you’re looking for your standard chicken taco in a flour shell, you won’t find it here.

La Lupita Taco & Mezcal – San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico

Yelp  TripAdvisor

Do you know when the food is so good, that you just have to keep eating even after you’re full? That’s La Lupita. 

I discovered this restaurant during my last trip to Cabo. I hopped in a taxi and asked the driver where to get dinner. He asked if I liked tacos and without hesitation I said “YES” and he said “La Lupita.” The restaurant is on a quiet street a few blocks away from Plaza Del Centro with a very unassuming exterior. The interior however, is incredible.

I was taken by the host to the back of the restaurant which is an outdoor seating area. It has a full mezcal bar and a bright pink elevated stage with live music.  Even though I am not considering ambiance as a factor in this article, this spot nailed it. Super fun, colorful & rustic atmosphere. The customer service is top notch. The live bands were amazing. They even did a few of Aretha Franklin’s songs in her memory.

Onto the food.

The menu is intimidating! It’s categorized by protein (beef, pork, lamb, seafood, etc.). It’s one of those menus that looks so good you want to try everything. I recommend visiting this restaurant at the start of your trip to Cabo so you can come back a few more times and get the full experience. I asked the owner David Camhi (who happened to be sitting next to me) what his favorite tacos were (which is kinda cheating but if anyone would know what to order, it’s him). My absolute favorites were:

Mexican Flank Steak – OMG this marinade was … I don’t even have words for it. I’m not even a steak eater and I had 3 of these. The steak was like butter.
Baja Scallops – Scallops in tacos??? Who knew!!! I ordered 3 of these too. Cooked perfectly with a crispy, battered outside.
Pork Belly – It melted in my mouth. And you guessed it : 3 of these.

Respect to Chef Galindo!

After we ate, David was kind enough to give me a history of mezcal.

The good news for everyone is that they’re opening more La Lupitas in the near future, including in the US, so you won’t have to come to Mexico to experience this game-changing taco experience, but until then, you should come down to Mexico to experience the original.

Cabo Azul’s Flor de Noche – San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico

Yelp   TripAdvisor

Flor de Noche is the restaurant within Diamond Resort‘s Cabo property Cabo Azul. Not only is Flor de Noche an upscale restaurant, but it’s attached to a swim-up bar that I’ve been coming to since 2012. There’s nothing like crushing 2 for 1 margaritas while never having to leave the pool. You can get buzzed and tan at the same time. Plus, you’ll make a ton of friends at this bar as everyone there is having a good time. One older gentleman next to me was drinking tequila out of a champagne glass until his wife said “stop drinking tequila out of a champagne glass or you’ll go to the dark side.” He looked at me and said “she’s right.” LOL.

Onto their taco.

The only negative about their best taco is that it’s only available during the lunch menu, so if you want it for dinner, you’re out of luck. But now that I think about it, we should all be grateful that this taco is even available at all. If it was only available for a 15 minute window, I would time my entire vacation around those 15 minutes. 

Shrimp Diablo – This taco is loaded with shrimp, tomatoes, onions, with a generous layer of melted, crispy cheese within the inside of the shell, paired with some of the hottest hot sauce you’ll ever taste (there’s a milder version for those who can’t handle the heat). This was my lunch every day. Are they the healthiest? Probably not. But they are definitely healthy for your soul.

If you’re looking for a beautiful resort in Cabo, check out Cabo Azul. The bonus is that you can get 1 of the best tacos in the world. Everyone that has tasted this taco per my suggestion also agreed.

Acua Bar Y Mar – Rosarito, Mexico

Yelp    TripAdvisor 

Rosarito is less than a 30 minute drive from Tijuana. It’s an adorable little beach city with a raging summertime nightlife scene from the famous club Papas y Beer to the 24-hour bar & restaurant, Acua Bar Y Mar.

Don’t let the Yelp ratings fool you. Yelp reviewers take all factors into account but I am only focused on the quality of the specific taco and the taco that I had here was proudly suggested by the owner. As he handed me the taco, he stepped back and watched me like a proud father, waiting with anticipation for my reaction. My reaction? Speechless. 

Marlin Taco with Pesto Sauce – First, I never tried a marlin taco before, but when you slather it in a delicious, creamy, pesto sauce, it will force you to open up your mind and expand your horizons. 

I was so mind-boggled that I forgot to take a picture of my taco (bad food blogger bad!) but I was able to take a screenshot from a video of me eating the taco. Afterwards I said “this is one of the best tacos I’ve ever had.” And that’s why it’s on the list.

Blue Plate Taco – Santa Monica, California

Yelp   TripAdvisor

I put my money where my mouth is on this one. In the last 3 years that I’ve been living in LA, I’ve gone to Blue Plate Taco in Santa Monica at least once a month. Not only are the food and drinks absolutely delicious, but it’s right on the beach so you get a view of the ocean & the sunsets and it’s a few blocks from one of the greatest shopping areas in the world, Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade.

The one thing I love about LA is that fitness & health is a huge part of the lifestyle because when it’s always summertime, you need to always keep your body beach-ready. It’s very easy to find healthy food options no mater where you are on the west side. Restaurants that don’t cater to a healthier crowd (or at least have healthier options), do not last long on the west side. This goes for Mexican restaurants too.

If you want to keep your meal lean, Blue Plate Taco’s got your back. You can order tacos a la carte and put them in lettuce shells (which they call flacco tacos, meaning “skinny” in Spanish).

The 4 tacos below have been my go-to combination for 3 years. If you’re feeling adventurous, ask for a side of the green hot sauce (habanero). The first time I tried it, I didn’t believe the waiter when he said to be careful. After all, I’m Mexican, I can handle it right? WRONG. My mouth was on FIRE for 30 minutes. Yo soy en fuego! Papi caliente!

Flacco Tacos (your choice) – Like life, I prefer diversity so I always ordered a shrimp, a lobster,  baja fish & a pork belly taco. Each one comes topped with a different sauce meant to complement the meat. The best part is, it’s completely guilt-free. Zero carbs. #winning

Also, if you like ginger ale, they have homemade ginger beer which is basically a stronger-tasting version of ginger ale (but it doesn’t have any alcohol). If you’re THIRSTY thirsty, I recommend a pitcher of the red sangria. You will leave feeling quite lovely!

Taco NGON – Da Nang, Vietnam

Yelp   TripAdvisor

Surprise! Didn’t expect to see Vietnam here, did you??? I didn’t either. I found this restaurant when I visited Da Nang in 2017. I hopped on TripAdvisor’s “Cheap Eats” section and was surprised to see a taco place as #1! You can imagine my excitement.

Getting to eat these tacos was quite an adventure, so I want to share some advice before you go. 

First, it’s kinda hard to find Taco NGON. If you don’t have a sim card with access to a map, good luck. It’s basically the only restaurant within a residential area. After a bit of trial and error, I finally found it. The logo is like a dragon/crocodile/lizard. I didn’t really understand it until I sat down in the open-aired restaurant and saw actual tiny, real life lizards hanging out around the walls. Remember – you’re in a beach town that has a lot of humidity. Sometimes you gotta put up with a few lizards while you eat.  

Also, this place doesn’t accept credit cards. A good rule of thumb when you’re visiting Southeast Asia is to always have cash on you. If you’re a tourist, I recommend keeping some money in your shoes, and some in your pants, just to be safe. 

If you don’t have cash, you’ll have to walk 10 minutes to the main street and try different ATM machines until you find one that works.  So just make sure you always have cash with you in Southeast Asia and you’ll be fine (unless you’re in a major city as there are ATMs everywhere).

Onto the food.

One of the best parts about Southeast Asia is how cheap everything is as a tourist and the food is a highlight. These tacos were 35k dong (about $1.50 USD), so for less than $5, you could get 3 reasonably-sized tacos. If you want to sit down and eat with the lizards, you can get tequila shots for 25k dong, or a beer for 15k dong. In US terms that’s $1 tequila shots, $.60 beers…and it’s not even happy hour (actually, these prices would make any hour happy)!!! It’s incredible what $10 USD can get you on this side of the world and a big reason why I’m moving to Thailand in 2 weeks. Your money can last a very long time here. 

The tacos I recommend are :

ALL OF THEM – Their menu is small but as some people say, “fewer, bigger, better” or “focus on fewer things and do them really well.” Both apply here. You pick your protein and then add whatever sauce you want. They recommend specific pairings such as pork + wasabi coleslaw, fish + ginger lime & chicken+ tamarind BBQ sauce but if it was up to me, I would put that tamarind BBQ sauce on everything. I want it for breakfast, I want it for lunch, I want it for dinner. I asked if I could buy a bottle to bring back to the US and the answer was a firm no. This is one of their secret recipes and I can’t blame them. Guess you’ll have to fly to Da Nang and try it for yourself! YOLO!

There’s a reason this place is called Taco NGON. NGON means “tasty” in Vietnamese and this place more than lives up to it’s name. 

So, what did you think about my list? I’d love to hear if you’ve been to any of these restaurant and if not, what some of your favorite taco places in the world are. As a world-traveler, I am sure I’ll be able to get out there in the near future to validate your claims!

If you have any questions about these restaurants, you can contact me adam@befreemysheeple.com. I know some of the owners so I can make an introduction 🙂

And as always, Be Free My Sheeple. Bah.

And check out Cabo Unico tequila below.

Wigwam Arizona : My Weekend At this Historic (and Delicious) Resort

Arizona has always been one of my favorite West Coast getaways so when I was invited to check out The Wigwam in Litchfield Park, I was in! Here’s some highlights from my weekend at this historic (and delicious) resort. 

The Wigwam is a truly stunning and perfectly-maintained resort

The Resort

The first thing I noticed was how immaculate the resort was. You can immediately tell that they put a lot of effort into making sure everything looks beautiful. This really is an upscale resort. If I’m on vacation, I want the place I’m staying to be both beautiful & clean and Wigwam nails it on both fronts.

I later found out that they change the grass every season (different grass does better during different seasons). For those who haven’t been here yet, this herculean task  cannot be overstated: The Wigwam sits on 440 acres and includes 3 professional 18-hole golf courses. They reset the grass 4 times a year. Insane!

The style of the buildings is what’s referred to as Territorial Adobe so while the outside has a historic feel, the rooms themselves are spacious and modern. The Wigwams refers to their hotel rooms as “casitas” (little homes) as they’re much larger than your typical hotel or resort stay.

FootGolf

I had never heard of FootGolf until The Wigwam and it is such a fun sport! It’s a combination of soccer (which I’m not very good at) and golf (which I’m also not very good at) but it doesn’t matter if you’re good at either because its a lot of fun! Same rules as golf just with a soccer ball (and a lot more fast paced)! I also found out through Instagram that there’s a professional FootGolf league. You can check them out here @southwestFGC! It was 105 degrees the day I played so I was able to get a tan too.

FootGolf, a combination of soccer & golf at The Wigwam

Cocktails

Despite being into fitness, I do enjoy mixology and The Wigwam does not disappoint! Through September 3rd, they’re celebrating the last decade through their Centennial Cocktail Menu (a different drink from each generation). I tried their 1950s Piña Colada, 1980s Bramble & (being from New York City) their 2010 Manhattan Revival. Delicious trio of drinks (the Piña Colada was my fave).

3 cocktails from The Wigwam Bar’s Centennial menu

Also, I gotta shout out their Berry Margarita. I never thought of adding fresh berries to my margarita but they did it here and it was delicious. Nothing beats a fruity Mexican cocktail!

Berry Margarita from The Wigwam

The Food

If you’re visiting The Wigwam, make sure you come hungry! The Wigwam is a foodie’s paradise (If you like food porn, check out my friend’s IG @thefoodiearticles). 

I received an invite to The Wigwam’s famous monthly “Wine Dinner Series” which features an incredible 4-course meal paired with wine by Plumpjack, Cade & Odette. Between each meal, Chef Jason Paterno would discuss his inspiration behind each dish and a Sommelier would give details about the wine’s history and why it was paired with that dish. Not only was this dinner delicious, but it was very educational as well.  The dinner had a number of repeat, local customers so you know this dinner is well-liked.

Check out this savory menu : 

Incredible menu from Chef Jason Paterno

There’s 2 dishes that I must talk about: 

  1. Chef Jason Paterno’s Pork dish (with plum, blueberry, corn & mustard : the texture of this pork melts in your mouth. 
  2. Litchfield’s Diver Sea Scallops (with risotto, sweet corn, tomato, bacon, mascarpone & basil) : this a crowd-pleaser and some of the best-cooked scallops I’ve ever had. And that risotto. <3
Chef Jason Paterno cooks one of the best pieces of pork I’ve ever tasted
Litchfield’s Diver Sea Scallops

So if you’re looking for your next foodie adventure, I highly recommend The Wigwam.

Pet-Friendly

The Wigwam is pet-friendly!

As someone who always travels with their fur kids, I’m always looking for pet-friendly resorts. The Wigwam accepts pets (at $25 per day per pet).

You can learn more about the Wigwam at their website here or on their IG @wigwamresort. If you have any questions or want to connect with their sales or marketing team, you can contact me adam@befreemysheeple.com.

The Key to My Happiness : Create Your Own Career

Create your own career.

This is some of the best advice I can give to anyone.

In 2016 I quit my job to travel across Asia. In those 3 months, I never felt more alive getting lost on the Tokyo trains or exploring the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia or visiting the same jungles in Vietnam that my dad fought the Vietnam War in or hiking in pitch black darkness in Hong Kong. I had zero work e-mails to worry about. I didn’t even think of how many vacation days I was using or how many I had left because for that moment, they felt infinite. (The only thing missing was my dogs).

When I came back to the US, I wanted to enjoy my time in LA so I didn’t work for 4 months. It was glorious. I fell in love with the freedom of not having a job, not having a boss to report to, and every single day of the week being my own. A Monday-Friday felt like a Sunday-Sunday for me. I would wake up and forget if it was a weekend or a weekday because it didn’t matter. I didn’t have to wait for the break between Christmas and New Years to do something epic.

Check out my 2016 life-changing trip to Asia on Instagram by searching #PapisInvasian

But of course there’s this limited resource called money and LA & NYC are not cheap cities to live in so I started to rack my brain about how I could generate income (without dipping into my investments which would continue to multiply if I didn’t cannibalize myself) but still have a relatively easy work schedule and the freedom of traveling whenever I wanted and waking up whenever I wanted. Was it possible to work smarter and not harder?

While these thoughts crossed my mind, it also happened that LA taught me the value of TIME & HEALTH over MONEY & THINGS (both of which NYC prioritizes) so I also realized that I didn’t need to make that much money anymore to have the lifestyle that I wanted. Yachts, penthouse apartments & brand names lost their allure to me. Freedom, time with my dogs and the ability to travel started to matter more. You can always make more money but you can’t make more time.

The question I get from people the most is “Adam – how do you live your lifestyle?” And the answer is that I created my own career (and stayed single – relationships come with limitations lol). I launched my own influencer agency called YourFavoriteInfluencer and as it is a business based (mostly) in Instagram, I can work and generate income from anywhere in the world because guess what! Email works everywhere! Do I make the same amount of money I made in NYC? Not even close, but it’s enough to maintain the comfortable lifestyle that I want (and the income will be worth 10x more in Thailand lol). I also take the job very seriously and it’s important to me that all of my clients have a positive experience.

I also set up my own consulting firm and I am exclusively working with VodelMedia to drive revenue from agencies (which is what brings me to NYC 10-14 days a month). I’ll be continuing to work with VodelMedia when I am in Bangkok. Very excited!

Lastly, I rent out my apartment for a rate which far outweighs my actual daily rent and this has given me a rent-free lifestyle (until Thailand).

A big reason for my Thailand move is because you can have an extremely high quality of life for a very low cost. 🇹🇭 YOLO!

So there you have it. That’s the secret to my lifestyle and my happiness. I created my own career. When you create your own career, the money may not be as steady or as predictable as a full time 9-5 job (and lord knows you have to pay for your own health insurance 😂), but the freedom is what life is all about. 2 or 3 weeks of vacation is not enough to live the life you were meant to live and I’m sure it’s not enough to live the life that many of you want to live! Your health is not guaranteed long term. Do you want to finally be free at 60+ when you might not even make it there and even if you do, you might not be physically fit to enjoy hiking Hong Kong Peak or touring Angkor Wat?

If you need advice, feel free to DM me! Don’t be miserable at your job. Travel more. Be more free. In other words…

Be Free My Sheeple! 🐑

P.S. follow me on Instagram either @adamfrancisco or my vlog @befreemysheeple if you aren’t already. I need more followers #addicted. 🚶🏽‍♂️🚶🏽‍♂️🚶🏽‍♂️🚶🏽‍♂️🚶🏽‍♂️

My New York City Experience with Roomors Living (Review)

New York City – the “Capital of the World.” As a native New Yorker, I know how challenging it is to find a NYC rental apartment you like in a location you like, furnish that apartment (either through Amazon or the Ikea in Red Hook), find a roommate (if you want one), & of course be able to afford those insane broker fees (which can sometimes hit 5 figures!). Well that’s before Roomors

Roomors is an all-inclusive housing community for young professionals in NYC.

I was invited to stay at a Roomors apartment from 6/19-6/30 and I was truly impressed. If I was a young professional looking to live in New York City, this would be the first resource I would consider. Now let’s talk about their 9 main selling points.

Fully Furnished

Yep, my apartment was absolutely stunning. It was very clear that an interior designer was responsible for the look of the apartment from the bedding, to the carpet, to the throw pillows on the couch.  My favorite fruit is the pineapple (which is what I kind of modeled my hairstyle after) so it was a wonderful coincidence that the poster above my bed was a pineapple.

My hairstyle is clearly modeled after a pineapple

Community Events

Another aspect of Roomors is that they host events for their community. I was invited to host a fitness class in Central Park which was such a fun experience! Since we didn’t have access to gym equipment (which was very refreshing), I modeled my class after some of the Anabolic Aliens 5-minute bodyweight workout routines.

Fitness Class in Central Park

Flexible Lease Terms

Roomors leases can be as short as 3 months or as long as 1 year (with the option to renew). As you know, I am very strategic when it comes to what I make commitments to (my dogs, my health & traveling) so having a minimum 3-month commitment makes Roomors convenient for things like internships or a season in NYC.

Affordable

If you’ve moved into a NYC apartment before you know how insane those broker fees get. With Roomors, there are no fees. The monthly price you pay includes everything. It’s a truly plug & play solution.

Free WiFi

Life without WiFi is not life. Roomors has WiFi. #blessed

Housekeeping

Roomors will hire a housekeeper to clean your apartment once a month. This is such an incredible amenity. If you live in a shared apartment, they’ll clean your common areas. If you live in a studio, they’ll clean the entire thing. Even you lazy people who are so lazy that you forget to hire a cleaning person won’t have to worry about that because Roomors will take care of it for you.

Roomors will hire a housekeeper once a month to keep your place looking on fleek

Utilities

All utility bills are included in your monthly rent to Roomors. I can’t tell you how much peace of mind this provides. Water, gas, electric…no more bills.

Kitchenware

My kitchen was all set up for me to cook up a nice meal. Awesome Cuisinart kitchenware and a modern microwave, refrigerator & stove. You can order & cook all the HelloFresh you want.

Amenities

Roomors kills it here too. My apartment came with an in-unit washer & dryer. When I used to live in NYC I would have to use a delivery service to ship my clothes out and have it delivered (wash & fold). It was such a blessing to be able to do it from the comfort of my home. Brand new appliances too.

Speaking of cleanliness, their shower was hotel-quality. Newly renovated, I had a beautiful shower that made me feel like I was on vacation (like living in Los Angeles).

My bathroom made me feel like I was on vacation.

Marvel’s Luke Cage debuted while I was in NYC so I was so excited when my Roomors apartment came pre-equipped with a a flatscreen HDTV including Roku & Netflix. Sweet Christmas.

Summary

Overall, I give RoomorsLiving 5/5 stars & highly recommend this NYC apartment service that fulfills a need for young professionals.

If you have any questions, you can contact me at adam@befreemysheeple.com.

And remember, always Be Free My Sheeple.

The End of an Era: Goodbye Continental, One of New York City’s Cheapest Bars!

If you’ve lived in New York City you’ve probably heard of or been to Continental Bar NYC. It’s a bar located in East Village on the very busy intersection of 9th street & 3rd avenue. It was the perfect pre-game spot for those nights where you didn’t have money or didn’t want to spend a lot of money. Their drink special of 5 shots for $10 was the hook (now it’s 6 shots for $12, or 5 shots for $10 with the purchase of a drink). 

As you know, NYC is an expensive city.  A night of drinks typically costs no less than $100, especially if you’re going to non-dive bars. Continental provided the financial relief that young, broke New Yorkers who wanted to drink outside of their apartments needed.

Unfortunately, most of the block is going to be demolished and developed into “boutique office buildings” so Continental will be gone forever in the next few days. My friend @jeffbukhari* & I wanted to stop by and pay our respects with 1 last round of shots.

Here’s the post from the owner Trigger from the Continental website:

“It is with heavy heart that I have to inform everyone that Continental’s days are numbered. Shortly after June 30, 2018 this entire corner will be knocked down and developed. It’s truly heartbreaking that we and so many Old Skool places are falling by the wayside but unless you own your building that’s how it goes. This Bar has been my life. First as a Rock Club and then as a Dive Bar and I’ve loved every minute of it (mostly speaking). Don’t hate my landlords. They’re older now, got a great deal and I can’t blame them and I want to thank them; Eddie, Ruth and Jack (RIP) for treating me like Family and always giving me an affordable rent and I also want to thank Jeff Bezos for not selling Beer. Special Thanks to my Staff- especially Noel and Bingo, the Bands, the Regulars and the rest of you lunatics for coming to my bar all these years! I’m grateful and honored that we’re part of NYC Rock History and I’m also very proud of this incarnation, what I call a Classy, Dive Bar. When I was bartending my way through college- this was my Dream and it happened! I will always be so deeply grateful for this experience…Trigger”

Good bye Continental. Thanks for the memories … at least the ones we can remember.

*Jeff is single and an eligible bachelor. You can find him on Instagram & DM him here