FAST FOOD AND HEALTHY CUISINE typically don’t share space on the same menu. But five years ago, Fusion Tacos decided to serve out-of-this-world tacos—the kind where the juice runs down your chin—alongside keto bowls, protein shakes, and fruit smoothies. That was 2019, when the husband-and-wife duo of Pedro Lopez and Perla Ramón opened their first food truck in Santa Fe.

Now, with more than a dozen locations in four cities across northern New Mexico and others opening soon, Fusion Tacos has won the hearts of taco-loving norteños—and has also, perhaps, upgraded some not-so-great eating habits. “Many of our customers enjoy pairing our tacos with our healthy options, like protein shakes and keto bowls,” Ramón says. “The freshness and balance of flavors in our tacos complement the nutritious elements of our other menu items.”

Aficionados line up for Fusion Tacos’s quesabirria, a type of taco that originated in Tijuana, Mexico, and began to enchant a wider swath of Americans back in 2016 thanks to a viral storm on Instagram. The luscious combination of birria—meat simmered for hours with spices and chiles—and Oaxaca cheese, folded into a crunchy corn tortilla, then grilled and served with a silky consommé—the broth Fusion’s beef birria is stewed in—for dipping, is irresistible.

Aficionados line up for Fusion Tacos’s quesabirria, a type of taco that originated in Tijuana, Mexico.

Fusion Tacos has taken the dish to the next level with a keto taco, which features a shell made of burnt cheese. The tang of the cheese mingled with the flavors of the marinated meat, all dunked in the saucy jus, makes for a phenomenal experience.

That kind of creativity endears Fusion Tacos to its fans at locations in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Pojoaque, Española, Las Vegas, and Eldorado. “Fusion Tacos has struck a chord with people by combining taco elements with unexpected twists and different cuisines,” says Ramón. “We source high-quality ingredients and experiment with innovative flavor combos to create tacos that are both delicious and memorable.”

Customers can combine soft or crunchy tacos with fillings such as chorizo, carne asada, al pastor, and tripas, or tripe. Bestsellers include carnitas and vegetarian tacos filled with calabacitas and bell peppers. Ramón’s favorite is the relatively basic chicken taco. “The combo of tender chicken and spicy chile sauce is simply irresistible,” she says.

Fusion Tacos has also forged close bonds within communities—Ramón has delivered free tacos, for instance, to police departments and to teachers. She also creates franchise-owning opportunities for employees. Community plays a large role in what she loves about Fusion Tacos. “Creating food that brings people together and leaves them smiling is what motivates us every day,” she says. 

Read more: In his gambit to popularize the breakfast taco in New Mexico, chef Nathan Mayes leans on his roots.