Menu items include cactus tacos and fresh ingredients

Photography / Ellie Sophia Photography 

New business owners might be apprehensive upon first entering into an industry as competitive as the restaurant business. Indy Tacos owner, Francisco Campos, had no such reservations when he opened up his own Mexican eatery in April 2015.

Campos figured he had sufficient knowledge and experience, having worked at various restaurants, including 17 years in the kitchen at Mama Carolla’s. He says he knows what it takes to stand out among competitors.

“That was always my main thing, to open my own place one day,” Campos says. “I worked at a lot of different places and learned a lot, and that was always the idea.”

Through his years in Indy prior to 2015, Campos, who moved here in the early 1990s, found himself less than thrilled at the choices of Mexican fare in the city. As a die-hard taco fan, when it came time to formulate his restaurant concept, it seemed natural to gravitate toward a menu that would include his own take on authentic Mexican tacos, as well as burritos, tortas, flautas, chimichangas and more.

“I’ve tried a lot of tacos since I came here, and they were really not good, and I thought I should offer people my own because I knew what should go into them and make them taste good,” he says.

After Campos officially opened the doors to Indy Tacos in south Broad Ripple, he decided to use only the freshest ingredients he could find to craft the items on his menu.

“Nothing is frozen here,” he says. “I go out every day and buy our meats, vegetables and other products fresh. People can taste the difference between that and something that’s been in a freezer for a long time. I think a lot of restaurants don’t know that people can tell the difference, but they can.”

Campos’ tacos typically come on a soft corn tortilla with onions and fresh cilantro. Patrons can choose from fish, steak, mango chicken, barbacoa, marinated pork and veggie tacos, just to name a few. Sides include refried beans, rice, guacamole and queso. The establishment also offers a small selection of domestic and imported beers.

“We don’t sell margaritas or anything like that, and a lot of people will come here for the food before going somewhere else where they like the drinks,” Campos says. “So, people will come eat here and drink one or two beers, and then go out to party for the night in Broad Ripple.”

A more unique option on the menu and big seller are cactus tacos. It comes with black beans, corn, and cilantro on a corn tortilla.

“It’s a good dish for vegetarians, and even non-vegetarians have started getting that one – it’s really good, and cactus is super healthy,” Campos says. “Sometimes people will ask me if I have it because they maybe don’t believe it and have never heard of it.”

Campos and his staff of 10 now have a growing group of regular customers – some weekly, some twice per week, and some even daily – and he says he’ll keep serving up his fresh food as long as folks continue showing up to try it.

“The city has welcomed us,” he says. “If my tacos weren’t good I guess people would be complaining, but so far everyone has thought they were pretty good, so I guess I’m doing OK.”

Indy Tacos is located at 2196 E. 54th Street. Call 317-929-1424 or go to indytacos.com for more information.