Images by Austin Smith

5 Reasons Why Nixtaco is Worth the Drive

  1. The Foundation  

Good food starts with a good foundation, and the foundation of Nixtaco was built years ago in Monterrey, the capital city of Nuevo Leon, Mexico. With a love of food as their fuel, Patricio Wise and his wife Cinthia Martinez started a supper club to celebrate and elevate the culinary offerings in the Roseville area.

Patricio is a self-taught chef with a passion for doing things the best way, even if it may not be the easiest way. Their initial supper club menu was based off recipes from The French Laundry Cookbook, which isn’t an easy task for any chef, let alone one who’s putting together a multi-course meal for the first time. Nevertheless, he made it through, and the supper club grew to be a weekly fixture of the area (with a waiting list several months long, we might add).

  1. The Breakfast

If you make an early-morning drive out to the Rosevillian strip mall that houses the restaurant, you’ll quickly realize that Nixtaco is much more than just tacos. If you’re coming from Midtown, you’ll also notice paved areas with white lines around the restaurant. Don’t be alarmed—these are rare phenomena known as “free parking spaces.”

Once inside, you’ll find a breakfast menu that offers a variety of Mexican and Mexican-American dishes. This includes their take on chicken and waffles, which is made with a savory cornbread waffle and topped with well-seasoned, fried chicken strips. But what brings it all together? The serrano maple syrup.  

Another must-try breakfast dish is the Torta. If you’ve ever had a dry, bready torta and swore that you’d never try them again, make an exception with this one. The Nixtaco Torta is a perfectly sized house-baked bread roll layered with porky refried beans, melted Oaxaca cheese, fresh avocado, pickled onions, and bright micro greens, which is then rounded out with a healthy portion of scrambled eggs and chorizo. Each bite is better than the last, and you’ll be left with a palpable longing for more when it’s

  1. The Tortillas

It’s a treat when a Mexican restaurant makes their tortillas fresh from masa dough. Nixtaco goes the extra mile by grinding the soaked corn kernels on-site to make their own masa. They use a machine that turns the dough into an army of fresh, 4.5-inch tortillas that serve as the base for over a dozen taco creations. A fresh tortilla transforms a good taco into a great one, and the texture of these freshly made tortillas alone make a visit to Nixtaco worth the drive.

  1. The Tacos

You typically go to a taqueria for the tacos, and on that front, Nixtaco does not disappoint. Each taco is made to order. Their Pork Belly Taco is served on a corn tortilla, and boasts a generous slab of slow-roasted, honey glazed pork on a bed of refried beans and grilled cheese. Their Combination Taco, on the other hand, combines well-seasoned shrimp, chicharrónes, and rajas con queso into a three-bite sensation that leaves you craving another.

You’ll also find vegetarian and vegan-friendly options, as well as a few unique signature tacos for the more adventurous eater. The Octopus Taco, for example, offers tender bites of sauteed octopus with a peanut chipotle sauce and peppery bites of arugula.

  1. The Extras

Other highlights of the Nixtaco menu are starters and desserts. Their Queso Fundido is topped with house-made chorizo and served with a side of corn tortillas. It also happens to pair perfectly with their selection of local craft beers on tap. If corn is in season, we recommend ordering the Elote and washing down each juicy, smoky, and spicy bite with a zesty michelada.

All good meals should end (or start) with dessert, and the churros at Nixtaco are among the best I’ve tried in the Sacramento area. Served with a rich, salted-caramel sauce, these are something that you’re not going to want to share. Tip: If you’re too full, place an order to-go, and by the time you get home, you’ll be ready to enjoy these perfectly crispy yet chewy treats.

Although you may pass other Mexican restaurants on the way to Roseville, Nixtaco is the best place to order authentic Mexican food inspired by Nuevo Leon. So go ahead—up your taco game any day of the week.