Best Tortas In The DC Area

August 29, 2012 6:00 AM

(credit: Thinkstock)

Washington, DC is known for a wide range of ethnically-diverse places to eat. With a large Hispanic population, you’re sure to find the best tortas in the nation. A torta is a type of sandwich that is prevalent in many Spanish-influenced cultures ranging from Mexican—for which it’s most well known—to the Philippines, a Spanish colony. The torta always starts with an oblong loaf of bread that can be served cold, grilled or pressed and offers a variety of ingredients. The top five best tortas in DC range from the traditional to Californian served in sit-down restaurants, at quick-service establishments and even from a food truck.
tortas supertacosdc Best Tortas In The DC Area


Super Tacos & Bakery
1762 Columbia Road NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 232-7121

When a restaurant is also a bakery, you know the bread for your torta is going to be fresh. Not only is the bread fresh, but it’s toasted as well to a crispy perfection and filled with a variety of ingredients that are then topped with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, avocado, refried beans, mayonnaise and sour cream. While there are 15 tortas to choose from, the highlights include the Michoacana, which is stuffed with roasted, seasoned pork, sausage and white cheese, the Espanola with ham and eggs with yellow cheese, the Oaxaquena with carne asada, ham and white cheese and the more traditional Torta De Lengua, which offers beef tongue. A medium is enough for one, but if you’re really hungry, go for the large.

lamexicanabakery Best Tortas In The DC Area


La Mexicana Bakery & Taqueria
2907 Arlington Drive
Alexandria, VA 22306
(703) 717-0807

One of the few really authentic Mexican restaurants around town, La Mexicana offers two types of tortas: Torta Mexicanas and Torta Ahogada. The Tortas Mexicanas come with either carne asada, chicken, carnitas pork, chorizo, barbacoa, beef tongue or shrimp, all topped with cilantro, onions, radishes, lemon and hot sauce. There’s also the Torta Ahogada with your choice of carnitas, chicken, grilled beef or beef tongue, which is then dipped in two types of sauces for a wet, messy bite of heaven.

Related: Best Fajitas in Washington, DC

tortacos Best Tortas In The DC Area


9629 Lost Knife Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
(240) 632-9423

The tortas at Tortacos are the west coast, California-Mexican type. This family-run business believes in a soft-roll torta with the choice of chicken, roasted pork, carnitas, beef tongue or vegetarian ingredients topped with beans, onions, avocado, lettuce, tomatoes and mayonnaise. But the toppings don’t stop there. There is a toppings bar where you can load up on your favorites like salsa, radishes, cilantro, lime and other relishes. The salsas are made fresh daily.

tortillacoast Best Tortas In The DC Area

(credit: Tortilla Coast/Facebook)

Tortilla Coast
1460 P St NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 629-3280

Tortilla Coast offers three types of tortas on its lunch menu exclusively at the Logan Circle location. There’s the Torta de Pollo with adobo-spiced chicken, black beans, lettuce, onions and avocado with a chipotle mayonnaise and Chihuahua cheese. Not to be outdone, the Torta Ahogada is a braised pork with chile de arbol and tomato sauce that is then topped with a pickled onion and finished with black-bean mayo. And let’s not forget an option for the vegetarians. The Torta de Vegatales starts with the roasted poblano pepper, mushrooms and grilled zucchini topped with caramelized onions, Chihuahua cheese and avocado.

burritosandtortas Best Tortas In The DC Area

(credit: Burritos and Tortas/Twitter)

Best Mexican Burritos and Tortas
Food truck locations vary

With a name like Best Mexican Burritos and Tortas, how can you go wrong? Offering four different types of tortas, this truck has something for everyone. The La Cubana torta is a traditional Cuban sandwich with ham, chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, beans, mayo, fresh cheese, avocado, egg and jalapeno. La Mexicana features beef, beans, mayo, avocado, tomatoes, lettuce and salsa. Torta de Jamon comes with ham, lettuce, mayo, mustard, black pepper, tomatoes and onions. Lastly, the Torta Tuna is a spiced tuna salad, mayo, lettuce, tomato and onion pile up. Follow the truck on Twitter for constant updates and locations.

Related: Best Margaritas in DC

Jamie Hardin is the counter-culture Washingtonian in the know. Inspired by food, sustainability issues, and public health, she prides herself on finding DCs off-the-beaten path treasures. When she isn’t enjoying organic food or reducing her carbon footprint, Jamies traveling on her scooter or walking her two pit bulls. Her work can be found at

Listen Live