Taco Showdown returns to Detroit

Kaitlyn Luckoff
The Detroit News

You've never experienced a fiesta like this before. 

On Sunday, more than 1,000 taco fanatics will gather under one roof in Shed 5 of the Eastern Market to enjoy all things tacos at the Taco Showdown. Over a dozen of the state's best taquerias will flock to Detroit to share their tacos and salsa at this event, competing to win the title of "Best Taco."

Attendees wait in line to taste tacos.

General admission tickets are $35 and include three tacos from the vendor of your choice, as well as five margarita samples, music, games and more entertainment. VIP admission is $50 and includes the same food and beverages as general admission, with entry to the event two hours earlier. Additional tacos and drinks will be available for purchase.

After hosting the Burger Battle for about seven years, event organizer Scott Rutterbush was inspired to host the Taco Showdown from the success of Burger Battle, coupled with his love for tacos. Similar to the Taco Showdown, Burger Battle Detroit features samples from more than 15 of Metro Detroit restaurant's hamburgers, competing for the title of best burger.

As the Taco Showdown is in its third year, they expect about 2,000 people to attend. 

"Every place that we have, it has phenomenal tacos," Rutterbush said. "That's the biggest compliment that we've gotten in the past is that every place they (attendees) go to, there's a ton of creativity and the quality is super high."

The invitation style event selects 16 local taquerias to bring their tacos to the table, in hopes of having their product voted as the best taco.

"We are really particular about the contestants that we have," Rutterbush  said. "We want it to be a curated list of some of the best places that we know of in Metro Detroit. I have a group of about four people that look over the applications and select based on that."

A pile of tacos ready to be served to attendees at the Taco Showdown.

To accompany the tacos that attendees will nosh on, a margarita mix-off competition will be hosted at the event as well. 

"We'll have either five or six restaurants competing with a margarita and the guests get to try one from each of the places and vote for their favorite margarita," Rutterbush said. "That's always a lot of fun; what goes better with tacos than margaritas."

Returning to defend their title of 2017 best taco, Los Dos Amigos will serve their full menu at this year's Taco Showdown. Serving the city for 20 years, Los Dos Amigos was of the first taco trucks in Detroit and manager Jaime Lara encourages attendees to come hungry for their steak, chicken, and homemade chorizo tacos. 

According to Rutterbush, one of the most important aspects of the event is respecting and honoring Mexican culture. In addition to traditional food, there will be Mexican wrestlers and traditional folk dancers performing for guests.

Taco Showdown

Sunday 2  p.m. - 5  p.m.

VIP entrance begins at 12:00 p.m.

Shed 5, Eastern Market, 2801 Russell St. Detroit, MI 48207

Parking is free at and around Shed 5.

Tickets can be purchased here.