Photo: Mike Garten

Few words fill us with as much glee as this little guy: taco. What other meal offers such opportunities for creativity? Choose your filling—flaky fish, juicy shrimp, shredded chicken, or tender slow-cooked brisket— then heap it with toppings like peppy sliced radishes or salty Cotija cheese.

Barbeque Brisket Tacos

A sugar- and spice-packed rub lends a robust flavor that’ll have you coming back for seconds (okay, fourths).

Get the recipe: Barbecue Brisket Tacos

Photo: Mike Garten

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Tacos
Chef tip: “I riff on classic salsa by replacing the tomatoes with green mango or nectarine. Then I substitute Thai basil or Vietnamese mint for the cilantro. That way every bite feels fresh.” —Paul Wilson, chef and author of Taqueria

Get the recipe: Sweet and Spicy Chicken Tacos

Photo: Mike Garten

Easy Fish Tacos
Ready in 15 minutes, these are deliciously light and delightfully simple—just use any mild-flavored, white-fleshed fish.

Chef tip: “To add some brightness and mustardy zing, I grate fresh horseradish over beef or fish tacos. And I always give them a spritz of lime juice right before serving.” —Nud Dudhia, chef and coauthor of Breddos Tacos

Get the recipe: Easy Fish Tacos

Photo: Mike Garten

Shrimp Tacos With Mango and Black Bean Salsa
Luscious fruit and coconut flakes add a tropical twist.

Get the recipe: Shrimp Tacos With Mango and Black Bean Salsa

Your Canvas
It’s a question that has bedeviled philosopher cooks for ages: corn or flour? Taco master Paul Wilson says the choice is clear. “That’s like comparing fancy single-origin coffee to instant. Corn tortillas have way more flavor.” But the soft flour variety still deserves a spot on your table: They’re sturdier, more pliable when cool, and more neutral in flavor. Plus, says Wilson, “if they get you in the kitchen, that can only be a good thing.”