Dining With Denise Neil

Favorite Wichita hole-in-the-wall taco restaurant expanding with a second location

Taqueria el Fogon is known for its al pastor tacos, which feature meat shaved right from a rotating spit.
Taqueria el Fogon is known for its al pastor tacos, which feature meat shaved right from a rotating spit. File photo

If you're the type of foodie who likes hole-in-the-wall restaurants — the kind that make up in great food what they lack in curb appeal — you probably have already dined at Taqueria el Fogon.

The little cash-only taco restaurant has operated in an old Taco Tico building with a bright orange paint job near Via Christi Hospital St. Joseph for the past three years. And people who have been there rave about its authentic tacos al pastor with meat shaved straight from the rotisserie. (Here's Wichita Eagle Dining Panelist Brad Seehawer's glowing review from 2016.)

Now, Taqueria el Fogon is expanding. A second location of the restaurant should open later this year at 2604 N. Arkansas. The space, near 25th and Arkansas, once held a laundromat.

Owner Ivan De Lara said he is just starting the permitting process for his remodel, and while he waits to get the restaurant finished, he's opened a food truck just outside the future restaurant site. It's open for lunch and dinner Tuesdays through Sundays and is serving the same menu of tacos, quesadillas, tortas and burritos that the original Taqueria el Fogon at 1555 S. Bluffview is known for.

The new restaurant, when done, will be bigger than the original, he said, and he may add a few more items to the menu there.

De Lara said Wichita has been discovering Taqueria el Fogon through word-of-mouth and because of a commercial that aired locally on Univision.

"There are a lot of customers who come from the north side, and many of them were suggesting that we open another restaurant on the north side," he said.

I'll keep you updated on the new restaurant's progress.

Denise Neil sits down with aspiring food critic Weston Gough, age 7, at Reverie Coffee Roasters.

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