A family-owned business since 1954, Jimboy’s Tacos debuted in a small trailer on Kings Beach in Lake Tahoe, California. Founded by Jim “Jimboy” Knudson, it started with Jim’s recipe for his signature fragrantly spiced ground beef taco, encased inside a grilled stone-ground corn tortilla with some crisp lettuce and freshly shredded cheese, and dusted with a liberal coating of grated parmesan cheese.
Knudson was a pioneer in many respects – it’s hard to believe now, but when Jim first began selling his tacos from a trailer in the mid-50’s, not many had ever heard of the “taco.” In fact, Jim had to spell it out phonetically on the trailer so people could pronounce it. In addition, there weren’t many people using food trucks at that time to sell food, and that proved to be a novelty for customers as well.
After a few years, traffic began to pick up, fueled in large part by positive word of mouth from locals in the area. In the spring of 1958, Joe King, owner of King’s Beach and a huge fan of Jimboy’s Tacos, built a small building on North Tahoe Boulevard for the sole purpose of giving Jimboy’s a more permanent home.
Celebrities performing in the famous Cal Neva Lodge in Tahoe, including members of the famous “Rat Pack,” Dean Martin, Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford, began hearing about Jimboy’s Tacos and making trips to the storefront. All three stars from “Bonanza” – Lorne Greene, Dan Blocker and Michael Landon, were also fans of Jimboy’s Tacos. In fact, they would often send someone to order tacos for the cast and crew when they were filming in the area. Countless other stars of the 60’s and 70’s began discovering Jimboy’s Tacos at the same time.
In 1969, Knudson’s pioneering spirit kicked in again. At a time when restaurants had not yet considered franchising, Knudson franchised Jimboy’s Tacos in the Sacramento area. The Jimboy’s Tacos phenomenon has since grown to over 40 locations throughout California, Nevada and Texas. For information on franchising, please click here.
While Jimboy’s Tacos is perhaps most famous for its signature original tacos, the grilled burritos have also earned a loyal following. Stuffed with fresh, good quality, homemade ingredients, our classic burritos are then finished on the grill to seal them shut and give them a nice crisp exterior. Enchiladas, tacos salads, burrito bowls, breakfast wraps, and our signature, gluten friendly “Jimboy’s Tacoburger” are also inspired by Jim and his commitment to focus on “fresh, quality ingredients with the best taste at an affordable price.” To take a look at our full menu, please click here.
Jim and his wife Margaret would go out of their way to help others, even in a moment’s notice. They believed in giving back to the community that welcomed and supported each new restaurant to their neighborhood. It was this philosophy that prompted Jimboy’s Tacos “Dine and Donate” fundraising program, offering a charitable donation to non-profit organizations that host a dining event at a Jimboy’s restaurant. Charities receive 20 percent of sales from guests who bring in a “Dine and Donate” flyer or show it on their smartphone. Since the fundraising takes place at the local Jimboy’s Taco restaurant, the money raised benefits the communities in which we love, work and play. For more information on the Dine and Donate program, please click here.
Jimboy’s Tacos has built a large and loyal following of fans because the commitment to using fresh, quality ingredients has never changed. From the very beginning, Jimboy’s Tacos focused on freshness and quality, using only fresh, premium ingredients, preparing food from scratch daily, and cooking in small batches to ensure freshness.