Are we tired of tacos yet? The trend has been holding strong for years now, a craze so unflagging it’s become a classic. You can enjoy a tasty taco at any number of places around town these days—crispy fish tacos, fusion tacos like Korean BBQ or tuna tartare, ancient family recipe tacos. Corn tortillas. Flour tortillas. Taco Tuesday. Tacos so stuffed that half the pleasure is shoveling up the delicious bits that fall out. We knew peak taco had arrived when tacos themselves became a theme for toddler birthday parties.

And yet. I am no more tired of the taco than I am of the omelet, a burger, or dreamy mac and cheese. Iconic dishes like these earn a place in our repertoire (and our hearts) for their perfect balance of flavor and simplicity. They look easy, but the best results come from a little expertise. Men often make it their mission to master such a classic and proudly claim it as their own, but the taco is an equal-opportunity feast.

Spice-rubbed steak tacos are the perfect way to demonstrate your command of tacoland. Charred tortillas make a base for smoky flank steak, avocado, cilantro, sliced radish, and fresh pico de gallo. Simplicity is key here, so each traditional element can shine through. Light your grill, grab your tongs, gather a few friends. No one can turn down good tacos.

Photography by Jivan Davé

Spice-Rubbed Steak Tacos

Serves 4


1 ½ lbs. flank steak
1 tsp. chile powder
½ tsp. smoked paprika
1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cumin
Olive oil

For Serving:
Flour or corn tortillas, warmed
Sliced radishes
Sliced avocado
Pico de gallo
Sliced limes


1. Stir chile powder, smoked paprika, salt, and cumin together in a small bowl. Pat steak very dry on both sides with a paper towel. Sprinkle spice blend over steak generously, rubbing it on both sides. Let spice-rubbed steak come to room temperature.

2. Meanwhile, prepare a grill for medium-high heat or get a large cast-iron skillet very hot. Oil grill grates or swirl about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the hot skillet until it shimmers. Sear flank steak without disturbing it for 3–4 minutes on each side. Meat should be medium rare. (If you are searing your steak in a skillet, you may need to cut your flank steak in half and cook in two batches.)

3. Remove steak to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes while you warm the tortillas and set out the rest of the toppings. Slice steak against the grain and serve on platters for easy assembly.