Village Taco Is Serving Up An Insanely Good 100% Vegan Menu In Merion Village

Let’s taco bout’ a brand new restaurant in Merion Village.

Okay, I apologize for the pun, but for real, let’s talk about Village Taco- The Joint. The original Village Taco started out as a pop-up vendor with the goal of opening a tiny taco shop in Alexandria, OH where owners Heidi and Jonny Stone live. That space has been open for over a year now, and Village Taco has gained quite the following of fans.

At their taco shop in Alexandria, the Stones were able to source nearly all of their ingredients within five miles of the shop. The new iteration of Village Taco, subtitled The Joint, is planning on continuing to locally source their food and beverages.

The new restaurant, located at 1297 Parsons Ave. in Merion Village expands on those tiny taco shop days with a full bar full of products from local breweries and distilleries, indoor and outdoor seating (when the weather cooperates) and a stage where there will frequently be live performers.

The building formerly housed Columbus vegan favorite Hal & Al’s, so Heidi was excited to pay homage to that. “We really appreciate the history of what Hal & Al’s were doing, and we’re excited to be continuing,” said Heidi.

Heidi and Jonny started the journey to Village Taco 20 years ago. Back then, they were just two hippies selling food out of their Volkswagen van at concerts. Two decades later, they’re parents to six children, who they’ve raised to value compassion towards humans and animals alike.

“We’re a family business, and we’ve been making this food in our family for a long time. We’re just happy to share it with everyone,” she explained. “Our oldest is 21, he actually works back in the kitchen.”

The Stone’s have fully embraced the spirit of sustainability throughout the restaurant. From the maps and skateboards that adorn the walls to the building materials used, most of the details in the space were sources through low-impact thrifting, salvage, and reusing.

All of those factors create the perfect recipe for a fantastic, family-owned restaurant to succeed, but there’s just one more thing to consider: how good is the food?

Let me tell you!

The food is out of this world. Every single dish (and I’ve had a fair few now) has been flavorful, filling, and perfectly made. I was completely unprepared for how delicious our chosen menu items would be. At no point did I find myself missing meat.

The menu has some variety, so each time you go, it may be a little different. But one thing you can always find at Village Taco are tacos. (I mean, duh.) There are two styles of tacos available, the Village Taco style and the Gringo style. We went for the Gringo Style, which came with our choice of protein, cheez & greens, house salsa, fresh pico de gallo, and Village Taco’s signature sauce, OG Krack.

For the protein options, you can choose seasoned chickun, spicy chipotle porq, seasoned ground beaf, or seasoned potatoes. I promise you, none of those are spelling errors. At Village Taco, the vegan ingredients are cleverly misspelled to help restaurant-goers have an idea of what the ingredients would be if they were actual meat.

If hard tacos are more your style, you can order the Tacotizer. That comes with 3 crunchy tacos packed full with Village Taco beaf, cheez, taco sauce, local lettuce, house pico de gallo and the OG Krack sauce.

Of course, I couldn’t go to the restaurant that used to house Hal & Al’s and not order some vegan nachos. I have extremely fond memories of munching on those nachos, listening to live music, and just hanging out, so needless to say, I had very high expectations.

Village Taco did not disappoint. The nachos were so flavorful. They were absolutely piled with ground beaf, mexicali rice, fresh guacamole, pico de gallo, house salsa, shredded cabbage, and two house sauces. The nachos were on the menu as Mini Nachos but they were the perfect appetizer to split with my husband.

The menu at Village Taco is fluid right now. Not all items will be available every time you go, but if you ask me, that just makes it all the more exciting. I could keep talking about the food for hours, but I’ll leave you with this. If you see a burger on the menu, do yourself a giant favor and order it.

I’m pretty picky when it comes to burgers, and I have never been happier than when I bit into this thing. Plus, the burger came with amazing fries that reminded me of fair food.

For now, Village Taco will be open on Tuesdays from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 3 p.m. to midnight, and Sundays from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. To stay up to date on what’s on the menu, you can follow Village Taco on Instagram.

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