There’s nothing very fancy about Tinga Taqueria, but sometimes I just want some tasty, inexpensive food without all the fuss. Tinga in Uppper Montclair is my go-to eatery on just such days.
Mexican food might seem like a safe bet when eating meatless, as rice and bean dishes usually abound in Tex-Mex restaurants, but I’ve had problems with wait staff and chefs not understanding that both cheese and sour cream fall into the dairy category when ordering, and there’s always the worry that the food might have been cooked in lard or bacon fat. (It happens!)
Ordering problems and ingredient concerns are never an issue for me at Tinga, however. Their menu contains an extensive array of vegetarian items that can easily be veganized by omitting the cheese and swapping dairy sour cream for tofu sour cream. (Yes, they make their own tofu sour cream!) Choices range from burritos so large that the entire thing won’t fit on one plate to tacos completely overflowing with rice, beans and veggies. Vegetarian chili, grilled vegetables, nachos, wraps and salads are also available. And their creamy guacamole is always a must-have to accompany any dish. All meals come with endless baskets of fresh salsa and tortilla chips.
At first glance, Tinga might seem a bit fast-foodish because of the cheap prices and speedy service, but look a little closer and you’ll see that the similarities end at price and promptness. The ingredients at Tinga are all fresh, and nothing ever tastes frozen or processed. Even the tortilla chips taste as if they just came out of the oven! Burritos can be made with whole wheat tortillas making them healthier than the average wrap, or you can even omit the tortilla all together if you’re avoiding processed carbs. The wait staff is extremely friendly and accommodating, and they are super quick at refilling beverages and tortilla baskets. Tinga always gets two thumbs up from me!
Tinga Taqueria is located at 215 Bellevue Avenue in Upper Montclair, and they are open for lunch through dinner seven days a week. There are also locations in Millburn and Westfield.