This Surf City taco stand has ‘fresh eats’ and ‘fresh vibes’
FEEDING THE FEARLESS: Each Wednesday for the next two weeks, we will be highlighting a different local restaurant in the Cape Fear Region for a segment called Feeding the Fearless. Corning Credit Union will then buy a $100 gift card from that restaurant and donate it to a different team of medical professionals each week. This week, in honor of National Emergency Medical Services, the gift card will go to the men and women of Pender EMS and Fire.
Shaka Taco, located in the center of Surf City, instantly gained popularity among beachgoers, tourists, locals, and just about anybody else, when they opened in 2017.
They pride themselves on their fresh ingredients but are also known for their outdoor, laid-back atmosphere as well as their fish tacos.
Owners and Surf City natives, Steve Christian and Cody Leutgens decided to open the taco stand after realizing their beach town didn’t have anything like, and never had before.
“We really just kind of looked around the island on which we grew up at and we decided that there’s not really any fresh foods or taco inspired dishes going on here,” Christian said. “So we thought that we’d bring something that Topsail really hasn’t seen yet. And it has been successful.”
They also take pride in their simple menu. Each taco comes with your choice of protein and three toppings.
“Granted people can change things how they want but, you know, Steve with his culinary background, we’ve collaborated and designed foods that we selfishly really love but then also have gotten great responses from people,” Leutgens said.
They get a lot of their seafood right up the road from Surf City Crab Seafood Market and will make their daily specials with whatever has just come off the boat from the seafood market.
Other than tacos, they have taco bowls, nachos, a quesadilla and chicken wings, which both owners admit is a little strange to have on a menu for a taco shack. However, Christian and Leutgens says the chicken wings are often their go-to’s as well as a fan favorite among the customers.
They’re made with their special homemade chili lime rub and served with a side of cilantro lime cream.
Shaka Taco is about the atmosphere just as much as it is the food.
Right now, the owners say it’s hard not to be able to see and talk to their regular customers due to COVID-19 restrictions but they’re optimistic for when they can get back to normal.
On a normal day, the two say the taco shack is a hangout spot for a lot of locals.
“I’ve heard a lot of people say, ‘Oh I can just go to Shaka Taco and I know somebody. I get to see a friend,’” Christian said. “And that’s really cool to us.”
Shaka Taco is currently offering curbside delivery. However, due to the large number of people in Surf City right now, they ask that you order at the window or call to place your order and pay over the phone. Phone orders may also be put on pause at times to ensure they’re kitchen can function properly, and they can deliver food to cars in a timely manner.
For more information, visit their Facebook page here.
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