It's hard to believe that before the 1950s, tacos didn't really exist in the U.S. How did this Mexican street food become so popular stateside? But Taco Bell Popularized Them in the U.S.¿Yo quiero Taco Bell? The hard-shell tacos that Americans used to think represented all tacos are a specific kind called taco dorado. You Can't Get Tacos at Lunchtime in MexicoAlthough Americans eat tacos at any time of day, in Mexico they don't. Other popular Mexican tacos include barbacoa (usually barbecued beef), camarones (shrimp) and lengua (beef tongue), but more exotic types feature organ meats (like tripe) or fried grasshoppers.