The Mad Taco

Bar, Eatery

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

(802) 496-3832 | map

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Ratings by bostonbeans:
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Rated by bostonbeans from Massachusetts

4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Aug 17, 2015
More User Ratings:
Photo of stevoj
Reviewed by stevoj from Idaho

4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4
Buried in a shopping center, it's quite the hangout for locals. Boisterous and noisy . Heavy metal soundtrack, Kung Fu movies. Rag tag interior. Hill Farmstead on tap. Not for everyone. Good tacos!
Dec 01, 2022
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Reviewed by brewme from Massachusetts

3.25/5  rDev -23.3%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.25
Don't get the love for this place. Located in a strip mall, very cramped dark space. Extremely long wait for food, which was not well communicated. Didn't love the food. Beer list was excellent. Not kid friendly.
Feb 25, 2022
Photo of bobv
Reviewed by bobv from Vermont

3.91/5  rDev -7.8%
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.
Jul 09, 2019
Rated: 4.24 by Gkruszewski from New York

Sep 24, 2018
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Reviewed by Abbbp from Texas

4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
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.
Aug 09, 2016
Rated: 4.15 by smanson56 from New Hampshire

Apr 30, 2016
Rated: 4.19 by TedStrosser from Pennsylvania

Apr 17, 2016
Photo of fjoe
Rated by fjoe from Maryland

5/5  rDev +17.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5
Insane food!
Insane Beer!

Pork belly tacos!
Nov 28, 2015
Rated: 4.41 by dgentile10 from New Jersey

Nov 12, 2015
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
Reviewed by TheSevenDuffs from Canada (ON)

4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
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.
Nov 02, 2015
Rated: 4.69 by Phigg1102 from New York

Oct 02, 2015
Photo of Smakawhat
Reviewed by Smakawhat from Maryland

4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
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
Aug 18, 2015
Rated: 3.98 by Kegatron from Pennsylvania

Jul 17, 2015
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Reviewed by PhineasMcClintock from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
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.
Jul 14, 2015
Rated: 4.33 by Tsar_Riga from Indiana

Jul 08, 2015
Photo of rodmanfor3
Reviewed by rodmanfor3 from Vermont

3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
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.
Jun 27, 2015
Photo of mynie
Reviewed by mynie from Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
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.
Apr 20, 2015
Rated: 4.05 by benzalman from California

Mar 02, 2015
Rated: 4.45 by youbrewidrink from Vermont

Feb 15, 2015
Photo of pjt34122
Reviewed by pjt34122 from New Jersey

5/5  rDev +17.9%
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!
Jan 31, 2015
Rated: 4 by DCLAguy11 from California

Nov 14, 2014
Photo of mr-jj
Reviewed by mr-jj from Washington

3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
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.
Nov 01, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by acurtis from New Jersey

Oct 12, 2014
Rated: 4 by deleted_user_722966 from New Hampshire

Oct 12, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by richobrien from California

Oct 11, 2014
Rated: 5 by MRVermont from New Hampshire

Oct 04, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by Slatetank from Pennsylvania

Aug 22, 2014
Rated: 4.75 by iwantmorehops from Vermont

Aug 11, 2014
Photo of amano_h
Reviewed by amano_h from Oregon

4.61/5  rDev +8.7%
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.
Jul 15, 2014
Rated: 4 by SkiBum22 from New York

Jun 27, 2014
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Reviewed by Tuckersmth from California

4.91/5  rDev +15.8%
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.
Jun 24, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by SweetChicken from Massachusetts

Jun 20, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by Mikeypnh from New Hampshire

Jun 10, 2014
Rated: 2 by Mikeluzzjr from Massachusetts

May 27, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by judkinst from Vermont

May 25, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by yourefragile from District of Columbia

Mar 19, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by Gatch from Massachusetts

Mar 17, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by InspectorBob from New Jersey

Feb 26, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by vonnegut21 from New York

Jan 09, 2014
The Mad Taco in Waitsfield, VT
Place rating: 4.24 out of 5 with 45 ratings