2016 Taco Tour · Iowa Food · Southeast Iowa

Hecho En Iowa-A Search for the Best Hometown Tacos: Locale 4, Columbus Junction

Just try to hold us back! Team Goodvin takes on an absolute gem of taquerias in one small Louisa County town. We head to Columbus Junction where we found this spread at Las Palmas and so much more!

Columbus Junction, IA: Louisa County (Our 27th County!)

Many times we catch ourselves traveling to an Iowa town to visit one restaurant serving up tacos to the masses. On this day, we visited the community of Columbus Junction with its population of 1,900 people… and a bevy of taquerias to frequent. Wouldn’t you know it, we had time to stop by the majority of them. Taco time in CJ!

Antojitos Carmen (207 Main Street) starts off our CJ tour.

So imagine living in Southern California and saying to yourself…”Let’s move to Columbus Junction, IA and open a taqueria, shall we.” Well, the Salvador family did and we couldn’t be happier that they made the leap to Iowa! We chowed on four great tacos including lengua. That’s the slow cooked beef tongue that Antojitos Carmen perfected. Not only are their tacos great, but their fresh salsas proved to be a reason in itself to road trip to CJ. (Click on the pictures to see the descriptions)

Santa Ana (214 Main Street) Not only has tacos, but you’ll want to make sure you some room for some great pastries.

We headed across the street and introduced ourselves to Santa Ana Panaderia. We ordered their Barbacoa. Oh, man, this slow roasted beef taco from Santa Ana was served as juicy as you can get it. Rich-flavored and they offer 8 different homemade salsas to choose from.

You can have your cake and eat your taco too at Santa Ana Panaderia in Columbus Junction, IA.


On the outskirts of town is Las Palmas (219 High View Drive). Home of a legendary taco!

On this day we experienced the best Carne Asada we’ve had on our tour through Iowa. Las Palmas prides themselves as having some of the most tender and flavorful steak for their Carne Asada and they were 100% on point. A quick squirt of fresh lime and a little green salsa and we made a new best friend.

The age old story of small town Iowa and their proud taquerias. We got through Columbus Junction with plenty of tacos nestled in our bellies. And we didn’t even get to all the establishments serving up our favorite road trip meal. Looks like we’ll need to get back soon. See you again, CJ!

Enjoy the tacos and take a walk across Lovers Leap Swinging Bridge. A Columbus Junction must see. Bridges and tacos are good times.

Be sure to read about our other taco discoveries in the communities of  Albia, BettendorfColumbus JunctionCoralvilleDavenport, Fairfield, Fort Madison, Iowa CityKalona, KnoxvilleLamoni, MuscatineNorth Liberty, OttumwaSolonStorm LakeTamaTipton, Toledo, Wapello, WashingtonWaterloo, West BranchWest Liberty, and Winfield. One of these towns will be awarded Best Hometown Tacos in December of 2016!

Thanks for reading! -Team Goodvin


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