National Taco Day – October 4, 2020

Sun Oct 4

Consider National Taco Day, October 4 every year, a concentrated and intensified version of the “Taco Tuesdays” many restaurants offer in a bid to bring in Happy Hour-like crowds. Come to think of it, to further whet your appetite for the subject, get this: the phrase “Taco Tuesday” was actually trademarked across the country in 1989 by a Wyoming-based fast-food chain called Taco John’s, except in New Jersey, where the trademark had already been claimed by Gregory’s Restaurant & Bar back in ‘82.

However, nobody needs to worry about the legality of what their dinner is called. On National Taco Day, we only need to grab some tortillas and stuff them with savory fillings, from the traditional carne asada, cheese, tomato, lettuce and sour cream, to more exotic gustatory delights like fish, chorizo, even tongue, to name only a few of the “meat component” alternatives. Even the word “stuff” is no accident; many believe that the word taco derives from the Spanish “ataco,” meaning “to stuff.”

History of National Taco Day

The anthropologist and historian Arturo Warman (1937 — 2003) specialized in prehistoric Mexican culture for much of his career, and was cited as saying that it was the Aztecs and Mayans who hybridized wild grasses beginning around 3,000 BC to produce the large, nutritious kernels we now know as corn. At National Today, we feel fine marking that time as the true beginning of the taco as a foodstuff, because the corn tortilla became such a versatile part of Mexican cuisine so quickly, spreading far and wide and only increasing in the number of its aficionados, some of whose descendants are of course the taco-loving foodies of today.

We’re not sure if the calendar day was October 4 that conquistador Hernando Cortez mentioned the native flatbread “tlaxcalli” in a letter to Spain’s King Charles V, but the year was 1520 and it was then that Cortez and his fellows dubbed the food “tortilla.”

From that point forward, it was inevitable that advances in both culinary science and communications would bring the taco exploding onto dining-room tables across the globe. By 1914, Californian cookbooks had begun to include taco recipes. In the following decades, the taco has fully lived up to its definition (akin to the generic term “sandwich”) and became nearly ubiquitous. We don’t have a single complaint. 

National Taco Day timeline

2019

Appropriately, through a “shell” company

NBA star LeBron James attempts to trademark the use of the term “Taco Tuesday,” which is a tradition in his family, as used in electronic communications like podcasts and social media, but his application is denied by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, who call “Taco Tuesday” a “commonplace term.”

1983

An affair that lives on today

Ralph Rubio of San Diego, CA, opens Rubio’s, specializing in fish tacos made from a recipe he borrowed from a Baja native named Carlos, and California falls in love with “Ensenada.”

1962

Usted quiere?

Taco Bell is founded, leading to the availability of tacos and other Mexican-American meals in American regions that otherwise may have had to wait much longer.

1929

In time for the Roaring Twenties?

The popular cookbook “Ramona’s Spanish-Mexican Cookery” is published and contains six taco-related recipes, including one for pork tacos and one for gorditas from Santa Nita.

National Taco Day - Survey Results

According to one of the top San Diego PR Firms:

National Taco Day FAQs

Does Taco Bell give away free tacos during National Taco Day?

Historically, the fast-food chain has done special holiday deals such as the “National Taco Day gift set,” where a customer can get four tacos for only $5.

What is National Taco Day

National Taco Day, observed annually on October 4, celebrates all things taco. From the tortilla (corn or flour) to the filling, to your preferred choice in salsa and toppings. 

What restaurants are celebrating National Taco Day?

Chain celebrating the day include Chuy’s, Rubio’s, Taco Bell, Chronic Tacos, and more. Check your favorite taco chain’s website to see if they’re celebrating with special taco deals. 

National Taco Day Activities

  1. Go out to your local taqueria, Mexican restaurant, or Taco Bell

    You’ll be amazed at the various locations you’ll find nearby. Walk in and enjoy a finely crafted taco at your fingertips.

  2. Create your own taco

    Choose from one of the many taco recipes to be found online, go to your grocery store to buy the ingredients, and get down to business! Most importantly, make those tacos with love. A taco press and a deep fryer go a long way in making your National Taco Day efficient, as well.

  3. Give the gift of tacos

    Yes, we said it. Give a taco (or three) to a loved one, friend, or even a complete stranger you pass on the street. Together we’ll make the world a better place, one taco at a time. Vive la revolucion!

5 AMAZING FACTS ABOUT CORN TORTILLAS

  1. Caribbean corn?

    The word “maize” was first used by the Taino peoples indigenous to the Antilles and the Bahamas, though technically their word was “mahiz” and only changed to “maize” when adopted by Spanish explorers.

  2. “Get your motor running …”

    A popular use of the earlier gas-powered engines and electric motors was to grind grain for “masa,” the dough or paste that was then flattened into tortillas.

  3. Even if you’re skeptical of the popular

    Though there are fluctuations in the market involving more variables than we can list here, it’s Mission that is the top-selling tortilla brand in the U.S., out of about 450 distinct vendors.

  4. Uno mas, por favor…

    In terms of tortilla consumption, the typical Mexican family of four eats more than two pounds of tortillas per day (imagine holding a single tortilla in one hand, and eight sticks [two pounds] of butter or margarine in the other, and compare).

  5. The market is anything but “flat”

    As of August, 2019, the tortilla-production industry employed over 21,000 people in the United States alone.

Why We Love National Taco Day

  1. Tacos are a taste like no other

    Looking to have your mind blown? The possibilities are endless when you create your own combination of meats, cheese, vegetables, seasonings and sauces and have your taco your own way. Yes, please!

  2. Carnivore, omnivore, or herbivore, you’re covered

    While some people love sitting down and taking their time to enjoy a great taco, others simply have a fast-paced lifestyle. For those who are always on the go, tacos are always a great idea.

  3. Tacos are the ultimate comfort food

    It's hard not to get excited for those crisp shells or soft, warm wraps filled with goodness. Tacos can be big or small, spicy or sweet, plus they can be crafted to fit any taste. Vegetarian, vegan, kosher, lactose-intolerant, gluten free — there’s a taco made for you.

National Taco Day dates

YearDateDay
2020October 4Sunday
2021October 4Monday
2022October 4Tuesday
2023October 4Wednesday
2024October 4Friday

National Taco Day Featured Video

Celebrate National Taco Day!