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Fearless Critic restaurant review
DC
Food
Feel
Price
8.6
5.5
$15
Mexican, Salvadoran
Counter service

Hours
Wed–Mon 10:00am–10:00pm

Features Kid-friendly
Bar None
Credit cards None

Arlington, VA
2710 Washington Blvd.
Arlington, VA
(703) 351-1177
El Charrito Caminante
Some of the best tacos in the greater DC area are coming out of this little hole-in-the-wall

Don’t go to El Charrito Caminante expecting huge, overstuffed burritos with all sorts of random accoutrements. Don’t go expecting fried tortilla shells brimming with ground “beef,” bottled salsa, and guac. Go expecting tasty, cheap, and authentic tacos and pupusas, and you’ll be satisfied.

The joint is totally tucked away, a hidden Arlington gem. In the window, amateur pictures of the featured dishes serve as a forecast of things to come. The counter is lined with five or so stools for the lucky few who get to spread their meals out and enjoy them fresh from the griddle. But most people take their orders to go.

Smells from the open kitchen waft toward the counter as the various cooks fill pupusas, heat tortillas, fry plantains, and assemble tacos. The crowd varies from lingering chatterboxes who share their life stories with the owner to businessmen picking up lunch orders to authentic-taco aficionados who swoop in from all corners of greater DC to get some of the best in the area.

It’s hard to pick favorites here; everything we have sampled has been quite delicious. On the Salvadoran side of things, cheese-and-loroco pupusas are creamy, fragrant, and cheap. Mexican-wise, authentic corn-tortilla tacos are filled with chicken, shredded beef, chorizo, lengua (tongue), or goat (the local favorite), and topped with a cilantro, onion, and radish salad that provides a refreshing contrast to the well-seasoned meat. A squirt of lime and not-too-hot salsa verde seals the deal. Given that they’re $2 each, you have little excuse not to sample a few. Tasty, too, are fried plantains, which sit in a pool of too much grease and are served with refried beans and thinned-out sour cream. $3 gets a huge container, but we recommend that you pace yourself while trying to eat them alongside tacos and pupusas. A huge cup of fresh but very sweet tamarind juice is one of the few drink options that will help cool you down after a satisfying meal.

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