The Mad Taco

Your Rating: None

Type: Bar, Eatery

5101 Main St
Waitsfield, Vermont, 05673-7110
United States

(802) 496-3832 | map

None provided.

View: Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 43
Photo of bobv
3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

It has a taco vibe, quality was real good, service was good, selection was real good, food was good. Went there with a couple friends at noon on a Monday for a couple taco platters to go and it took 35 minutes from ordering to checkout. Why? There was only one person eating outside and two others inside.

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Photo of Abbbp
4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

The thing is Waitsfield is the connection point from Warren to Waterbury, and this place is a must stop to eat, drink and be merry. And as a Texan, I can proudly say that I approve this taco.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

After one visit, this place has become a must-stop on any future VT trips. The tap list is incredible and rivals what can be found at the best beer bars in Waterbury. The tacos are absolutely amazing, as is the service.

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Photo of Smakawhat
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Staying in the Waitsfield area, I found myself living here practically most evenings.

No nonsense food, just the way it should be. Fresh ingredients, simple preparation but also done with care and attention. The beer list on tap here is a flat out 5 stars across the board alone. You're basically having either Lawson's, Alchemist, Hill Farmstead as choices... it's a rough life I know..

The place gets busy, but your items are provided without much waiting once you order.

Chicken Avo Verde tacos are ok, soupy and flavorful at least, but the real winner here I am discovering in Vermont is the pork.

The Cubano sandwich is a winner, rich and warm over classic flattened press bread. Has a bit too much big pickle for my tastes but the shoulder is rich and warm and juiced.

The real winner... the pork belly tacos. These are decadant, have a fantastic crackle to them, and paired with just some simple cilantro and pico, you will devour them instantly.

Tortillas are not home made, but no big deal. There are also lots of neat homemade salsas to try in the restaurant which are a big added plus.

There's other places to eat in town but this place offers such good quality food, a phenomenal beer tap list, and it is HUGE VALUE, very inexpensive. It's hard to go somewhere else..just... why bother?? unless you need a salad or a burger

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Photo of PhineasMcClintock
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I have stopped here a good dozen times or so, when heading up to VT from PA. Always a great tap list, typically heavy on the Lawson's Finest/Hill Farmstead. Food is top notch as well. If you are out on the Heady/Lawson's hunt during the week, this is the place to hit for that noon burrito/beer while you are waiting for the next delivery. Always a pleasant experience, and I visit every time I am in the area.

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Photo of rodmanfor3
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Authentic Mexican food is way better.

The best of what Vermont has to offer in this category, I suppose, but still very bland and lacking in spices/flavor.

When Lawson's is on tap, this place become the go-to spot in the area.

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Photo of mynie
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

Waitsfield is small, but an easy ride from Montpellier. There's a centralized downtown surrounded by quaint New Englandy houses and then, umm, that's it. That's all there is.

Mad Taco is downtown, in a freestanding building adjacent to a strip mall and grocery store. There's ample parking, a large patio, a to-go window, a traditional bar, and then a full-sized dining area. It's very sectioned off, is what I'm getting at. That was nice, because it allowed me to slink away from the asburdly loud Rasta music being played by a white, b'dreadlocked DJ at 3 PM on a Saturday. But it also made ordering a bit of a chore, because you had to catch staff when they were in the right spot.

The staff was friendly. So were the patrons. I do not remember a single thing about the decor, so I guess that wasn't really impressive.

And the beer list is, of course, awesome. They regularly have Lawson's selections on tap above and beyond SoS, along with Hill Farmstead, other locals, and Alchemist cans.

The food was super delicious, too. This is a bugaboo of mine, but good gracious am I tired of people ruining tacos with "fusion" bullshit. It's a fucking taco. Don't put soy sauce or potato salad on it.

Mad Taco is straight-up Mexican American fare only made from high quality meats and seasoned expertly. How's that for a gimmick: good food that's well-prepared.

Anyhow, if you're in the area this is a must-visit. Well worth swinging buy after you've gone to the Warren Store.

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Photo of pjt34122
5/5  rDev +17.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

How can you not love this place? The beer is great, the tacos are amazing, especially the Pork Bellies, and the service is great! My favorite place in the Valley!

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Photo of mr-jj
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Beer selection is out of this world. Lawson's, Alchemist, Hill Farmstead. The place is a bit of a hole in the wall that seems popular with locals. It's a order from the big board type of place. Taco's were very unique combinations - sweet potatoes and such. They were pretty bland but there was a good selection of sauces. The "enchilada" sauce on my wife's enchilada was more BBQ sauce than anything else. Overall, food was so-so but beer was awesome.

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Photo of amano_h
4.61/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Great food, great beer, great people -- what more can you ask for?

I've actually had Mad Taco at the Blackback Pub (back when they still had it there), at Montpelier and at the Waitsfield location, but I'm going to consolidate my experiences to this one review, because one of the locals told me that a lion's share of the food is cooked at Waitsfield and then delivered to Montpelier (and Blackback Pub, in days of yore)

My favorite is the Smoked Pork Kimchi Cilantro Taco, with the Smoked Pork Belly, Smoked Jalapeno, and Cilantro being a close second. I also love their "???" sauce (hotness rating "???") which is purportedly a cocktail mix of all their different hot sauce offerings, which is pretty much like playing Russian Roulette with your taste buds.

I'm starting to think that the establishment's proximity to the Mad River is driving the guys that work here mad, because they're stark raving mad! They're always mad happy, mad funny, mad enthusiastic. I really dig their vibe and energy, it really puts a pep in my step every time I hear them randomly yelling in the kitchen or making very "persuasive" recommendations.

Oh, and did I mention they almost always have Lawson's on tap?

The only downfall is that Mad Taco seems to be pretty inconsistent -- I've had a different variety of experiences here from having a perfectly cooked taco, to a breakfast plate where the sausage was still half-cooked and the potatoes were still somewhat hard (or are they meant to be that way?)

Either way, Mad Taco does tacos and beer, and does tacos and beer right.

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Photo of Tuckersmth
4.91/5  rDev +15.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5

The best taco beer combo place I have ever visited. Only 5 taps but all the choices were solid hard to find beers. The service was super friendly. Park Belly taco was my favorite . Many homemade hot sauces available on site . Spice ratings for hot sauce not always accurate.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Quaint little place withing a strip mall, Serves up some nice Mexican style foods and some really nice local VT beers. They had several Lawson's beers on tap the day I stopped in which was awesome.

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Photo of sirsteve42
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

I'm renting an old farmhouse here in town for the week because I love this area. I hit the mass taco everytime I'm in waitsfield for the great Mexican and even greater beer selection. Granted there are only five taps but when three are Lawson and the other two are hill farmstead you are looking at some great choices. The dude john that works here is aces... couldn't be friendlier and more passionate about the place. Always great to see workers taking pride in their establishments.
If you like mexican or just the beer you have to stop in and say hello. Also, the carnitas rock!

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Photo of BTPete
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I am renting a cabin not far from here for the summer so I have been exploring local places. This place is a dream for me. I love easy going taco/burrito places and good beer. Although it is a little odd to be in a strip mall it works fine and there is ample parking etc. The food was great. I had some of the smoked pork burrito as well as the fish tacos. I met the guy who sells the fish fresh to the Mad Taco and the smoked pork burrito was great (smoked on site). The owner was friendly and talkative and the staff was polite and quick. I gave the selection a 4.5, not because of quantity but pure quality. Expect multiple Lawson's on tap and/or Hill Farmstead. They also had a Sixpoint Saison and Green Flash "Le Freak". Great draft lines for a little taco joint. I will certainly return and look forward to it. **Note** You are not supposed to bring your beer out to the picnic table!

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Photo of ElGallo
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

The Mad Taco is owned by the same guys who own Three Penny Taproom in Montpelier, which is my favorite beer bar anywhere, so I had to check this place out after a successful visit to The Warren Store for Lawson's Finest. The smoker out front is a hoot, and while the place has a weird hippie/dive feel to it, the food is excellent as is the small draft list. I had smoked pork tacos with kimcha and fresh cilantro, with a Hill Farmstead Twlight of the Idols on draft. Almost fainted when I saw this on the chalkboard - just a flat out amazing beer that paired really well with the smoked pork. Service was quick and friendly. Seating is limited and kind of communal, but that works well here, as Waitsfield folk are very cool. A must see if you're in the area.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 5

I stopped at Mad Taco a couple of times while I was in the Mad River Valley, and it is simply awesome.

The Mad Taco is a storefront in a strip mall in Waitsfield. It's pretty awesome to pull up and see a giant smoker in the parking lot, right out front.

As far as beer, there were only 4 or 5 on-tap. The selection is small, but every beer is world class and fresh. I remember Lawson's Double Sunshine and Chinooker'd, as well as Hill Farmstead Jim and Motueka.

When you walk in you are facing the kitchen and some bar-type seating. You order at the counter that is immediately in front of you when you walk in, and then you will be called to pick up your food when it is ready. To the right is a bigger room with more seating and some board games to entertain you while you wait.

Service was great, and I had a good chat about beer and food when I went in there.

The food is awesome. Best burrito I've ever had. Almost everything is locally sourced and made fresh. They have between 15 and 30 fresh made salsas that change every single day. I noticed that every time someone ordered an item with guacamole, an individual batch was made.

Check out Mad Taco.

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The Mad Taco in Waitsfield, VT
Place rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 43 ratings