This Salt Lake City shop is breaking all the taco rules

ROCTACO, on Edison Street, fills its handmade tortillas with flavors from around the globe.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Chancho, Tikka, and The Royal at ROCTACO in Salt Lake City on Monday, April 26, 2021.

ROCTACO takes a global, “anything goes” approach to filling its handmade corn and flour tortillas.

The K-pop taco, for example, overflows with Korean short ribs, gochujang sauce and a fried egg, while the chicken tikka tacos have the spices of India with pickled vegetables and crispy onions.

Brothers Rick and Ryan Timmons are the owners of the new Salt Lake City shop and have decades of restaurant experience. They got their start in the business operating Sonic Drive-ins. Then in 2017, they brought the CoreLife Eatery brand to Utah. And, in 2020, they opened Flake Pie Co. in South Jordan.

Having traveled the globe, the Timmons’ wanted their new taco business to be “creative and out of the box,” explained John Mercier, the director of operations. “They wanted to showcase food from different parts of the world, and the taco is the perfect vessel for that.”

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Among the shop’s other “freestyle” offerings are the Uncle Al (pork with pineapple mango salsa), the Jimmy Churri (beef with chimichurri sauce) and Amy Hates Fish (mahi-mahi inside a handmade hibiscus tortilla).

Chips and guacamole (topped with pomegranate seeds) and grilled corn with queso fresco are among the sides. Sodas, frozen horchata and non-alcoholic fruit batidas made with sweetened condensed milk round out the menu.

All items are $3.50 to $4.50 each.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) ROCTACO in Salt Lake City on Monday, April 26, 2021.

ROCTACO is located in an updated building in the middle of Edison Street, between Campos Roastery and Kitchen to the north and Copper Common bar to the south. It maintains the area’s industrial vibe with brick walls and a metal ordering station made from a shipping container.

The long and narrow space has about 35 seats and is accented with urban artwork, including a mural of a giant octopus and a mosaic made with bottle caps.

All combined, the eatery lives up to its name, “rocking” the city’s taco scene with creative, untraditional offerings.

ROCTACO • 248 S. Edison Street, Salt Lake City; 801-905-8016 or roctaco.com. Open Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. and 9 p.m.; and Friday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.