Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

1. Tacos Tequilas’ Papa y Epazote

For their take on the classic tacos dorados, Jorge Pizana and Jorge Manzano mix potato purée with epazote (an oregano-like Mexican herb), tuck it into a corn tortilla, roll it into a flute shape, and dunk it in the deep fryer. Once golden, it’s decked out with a bright salsa verde, sour cream, and a sprinkle of Cotija cheese. They nail the flavors, but it’s the interplay of crispy and creamy textures that takes this one over-the-top. Order as many as you think you can eat, then one more. $3.75. 2919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Logan Square

2. L/A Mex’s El Rey Birria

Shredded jackfruit substitutes for beef in this clever vegan version of birria de res, but you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference — this version is surprisingly meaty and every bit as juicy as the real deal. The jackfruit is tucked into tender corn tortillas made onsite. It’s served alongside a cup of vegetable-based birria de caldo for dunking. $6.75. 1303 W. Wilson Ave., Uptown

3. Taqueria Chingón’s Vegetarian Al Pastor

The chefs at this taqueria think outside the box. Case in point: the vegetarian al pastor, which starts with a full-blown trompo stacked with marinated mushrooms and celery root. The “meat” is sliced to order and delivers the smoky and spicy flavors you’d expect from an al pastor taco. It’s finished with cilantro, onion, and a sliver of pineapple for sweetness. $5. 2234 N. Western Ave., Logan Square

4. Penelope’s Vegan Taqueria’s Baja

This new spot serves a fun, colorful riff on the California classic, with beer-battered avocado replacing the traditional fish. The toppings load this up with textures, as red cabbage, pickled onions, roasted corn, two salsas (mango-habanero and a clas-sic red), and spicy mayo add some heat and tang. $5. 230 W. Chicago Ave., Near North Side

5. Majani’s Oyster Mushroom

Crispy, meaty oyster shrooms nearly mimic the flavor and texture of chicken in this vegan number. They’re tucked into corn tortillas with avocado, lettuce, and tomato and drizzled with garlic sauce for a Mexican and soul food mash-up. $12.50. 7167 S. Exchange Ave., South Shore