Planting, tending and harvesting grapes, hops, fruits, vegetables, berries and flowers demands fuel. Agriculture flourishes in the valley and so do tacos. Today Mexican restaurants, markets and food trucks are scattered throughout the area, including in towns like Woodburn, Oregon, long celebrated as a Mexican cultural center, or Salem, Oregon, where the Hispanic/Latino population is about 20 percent, according to the 2010 census.
Potential taco perfection lies around every bend. Highways and back roads alike lead hungry explorers through fields bright with vineyards, lush with produce and fragrant with flowers. A well-paced trip down the taco trail, punctuated with thirst-quenching pauses at wineries or breweries, delivers a delicious slow-drip of nourishment ensuring a tour that satisfies all the senses. These six stops make a counterclockwise loop through the Mid-Willamette Valley, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg: Put on that “I brake for tacos” sticker and find some more favorites en route.