Bandit Taco vs. District Taco 

Which is better: Bandit Taco or District Taco? On a Friday evening, we set out to determine which was the better of these two restaurants. For consistency, we decided to order the same set of three tacos at each restaurant: chicken, carnitas and a vegan protein option—tofu or Beyond Meat. In addition to the tacos, we also rated the ambiance, seating options, price, proximity to GDS and wait time at each restaurant. 

Bandit Taco

4629 41st St. NW, Washington, D.C., 20016

Photo by Callie Solomon.

Ambiance: 9/10

Seating/Space: 5/10

Carnitas Taco: 8.5/10

Chicken Tinga Taco: 7/10

Tofu Taco: 8/10

Price: $12.93 (5/10)

Proximity to GDS: 0.2 miles (10/10)

Wait Time: 4:53 (8/10)

TOTAL: 7.6/10

Overall, we were very pleased with Bandit Taco. The ambiance was welcoming and cozy, with warm, wooden walls, a handwritten menu on a blackboard and colorful seating arrangements. We received our food in less than five minutes after ordering and were happy to find the tacos beautifully presented on a silver tray with colorful garnishes. On the whole, we liked their flavor and thought the sauces and toppings complemented the well-seasoned proteins. The tacos tasted fresh and had a satisfying crunch from the vegetable garnishes, which included sliced radish, corn, scallions and cilantro. They were accompanied by two tasty free salsas—a mild green tomatillo salsa and a spicy, smoky red salsa. However, the store was crowded and had limited indoor seating. When we left our seats to order, another group sat down at the table, and we only found a new spot after more people left. Despite the seating complications, we found our experience at Bandit Taco very enjoyable. 

District Taco

4600 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., 20016

Photos by Nora Sachse.

Ambiance: 5.5/10

Seating/Space: 9/10

Carnitas Taco: 4/10

Pollo Asado Taco: 6/10

Itza (Beyond Meat) Taco: 5/10

Price: $12.79 (5/10)

Proximity to GDS: 0.3 miles (9/10)

Wait Time: 11:59 (3/10)

TOTAL: 4.7/10

District Taco, on the other hand, was a disappointment. Even though it had plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, the ambiance felt uncomfortable. The lights were fluorescent and made the restaurant feel like an industrial fast-food chain—unlike Bandit Taco, which felt local and cozy. The kiosk system for ordering was modern but confusing. After finally placing our order, it took twelve minutes before our food was ready. Even though we ordered “for here,” the food came in a paper bag. Inside, the individually wrapped tacos were misshapen and appeared to be hastily made, with ingredients irregularly distributed throughout the taco. The tacos were especially disappointing compared to Bandit’s neat ones with intentional toppings. We were also unimpressed by the ingredients: the tomatoes were mushy, the cheese unmelted and the cilantro wilted. Worst of all, the protein and tortillas tasted processed and unfresh. However, we noticed that District’s tacos were slightly larger than Bandit’s, so we got more food for approximately the same price. Overall, we found the tacos unappealing and did not finish them. 

In the end, there was a clear winner: Bandit Taco. It was superior to District Taco in all categories other than price—which was about the same between the two—and seating availability. Bandit Taco is the perfect spot for going out during lunch, and we highly recommend it to any GDS student looking for delicious, fresh tacos.