October 23, 2018

Mas Tequila, Por Favor! (Twin Cities Best Tacos)

Sing it with me - I say (One shot... Hey!) Mas tequila, Two shots... Okay I won't make you sing the entire song, but I will say this, it would take a couple more in order to enjoy some of the Mexican food being prepared in this state. Question - is anyone else getting sick of the Americanization of cultural food? I sure am!

At every corner, it seems you can find a restaurant that claims to be "Authentic Mexican Food", but is it really? My wife and I have traveled to Mexico several times and walked the streets of some of the smallest and poorest villages and towns in the world. Most people wouldn't even come close to considering eating the food at some of the little hole-in-the-walls that we have been to, but that's exactly what I'm looking for when we travel. I don't want Senior Frogs, Margaritaville or some other restaurant owned by a millionaire American when I'm traveling!

Unfortunately, most Mexican Restaurants around the Twin Cities are just that, Americanized renditions of Mexican food. Places like; Teresa's Mexican Restaurant, El Loro/El Toro, Acapulco Restaurante Mexicano and many others - but what for? You're making it taste terrible, not better! So, the search is on for the best and AUTHENTIC Mexican Restaurants in the Twin Cities. We'll keep this list to a top 10 places that you should check out. The list may change as recommendations come our way, so stay alert...

1. Andale Taqueria & Mercado
I want to continue to seek out places that are truly authentic, but if I'm ever in the Richfield/Bloomington area, this will most definitely be the place that I'm stopping at. The carnitas is spot on perfection and the pollo Mexicana was easily one of the best, if not the best pollo I've had. Too many places over-cook their chicken and dry it out or forget to put some seasoning into their meat. Not here! Do not pass this place without stopping if you're hungry or in the mood for some authentic cuisine. Can't wait to go back and try some other items off the menu!

2. Las Tortillas
If you're looking for one of the most authentic street tacos typically found in little hole-in-the-walls or a little cart on the streets of Mexico, look no further than Las Tortillas. Their taco's are insane and this place could be teaching some of the other restaurants around town how to cook a taco worth eating! Their burritos are just as amazing (yes, just a tad Americanized), but 10 times better than any burrito even at Chipotle!

3. El Taco Riendo
Decided to check this place out by doing a little searching on the old Google map and being in the area. Read a few reviews and decided to stop in and I'm glad I did! So I could get a good grasp of what they had to offer and explore some flavors, I ordered their Tinga, Asada and of course, some Carnitas. Some of the best Tinga I've had in the Cities - most places dry it out. The Asada was flavorful and tender - often times it's tough. And, the Carnitas was awesome! Salsas are very good and spot on. Mild provides just a tiny amount of heat while their hot can bring it for the faint of heart. If you're ever in the Nordeast neighborhood, this is the place you should be stopping by.

4. Taqueria La Hacienda
With three locations to choose from, this place should be on your list of places to try. Sure they may not be int he top spot, but the food is authentic and delicious. I went with my typical carnitas and their meat is cooked really nicely. Some really good flavor and the salsa is definitely a must add toy our tacos. I'm thinking my next trip with my brother in Christ, I'll try some of their other meaty offerings.

5. Catrinas Grill
With three locations to choose from throughout the Twin Cities, there's definitely a Catrinas near by and should be on your list to check out. Delicious street tacos, great tasting burritos and the salsas are excellent. I'm a big carnitas guy (as my blog probably reflects), but you can't go wrong with any of their meat options.If you see a Catrinas, don't pass it by for the next guy...

6. Taco Loco
This one is a bit of a drive for most people I know, but if you're in the area, you should check it out for sure. I love the carnitas and steak tacos and the salsa is a great addition. Not too spicy for the mild, while the hot can bring it! So, if you're heading through Shakopee and you're starting to feel hungry, stop by Taco Loco for a quick fix!

7. Casa Lupita
A small little hole-in-the-wall serving up some half way decent tacos and Mexican food. Went for the carnitas, pollo and asada and enjoyed each of them. While certainly not my favorite pick, decent spot for the north metro. Not a whole lot of other options worth stopping at in White Bear Lake and nearby communities besides Casa.

8. La Palma
This was one of my first places to visit when I wanted to start this whole top 10 list based on a recommendation. I went with some carnitas and tinga tacos and they were absolutely delicious. I still by from time-to-time and also get some delicious fried plantains while I'm there. Easily one of my favorite things to eat!

9. La Costa Mexican Sports Bar + Grill
Situated in the heart of the West Side food scene sits this sports bar themed spot. Their tacos and fajitas are tasty. We tried the Tinga, Carnitas and Asada tacos and all were a hit with my tummy and the fajitas won't be found anywhere else. Try a Tacos La Costa (Tacos De Discada), tacos that you won't find anywhere else in the state (well maybe in a home) and a traditional meal found throughout the northern state of Chihuahua. However, this once top spot location has been struggling with consistency as of late and nacho cheese sauce out of the can isn't what I crave when I'm at a Mexican restaurant.

10. El Super Taco
Taking over an old Jimmy John's location sits this new favorite of mine! This place is serving up some tasty authentic street tacos. While the meat was pretty tender, it was the salsa that was amazing and I could have just sat there and drank it. This is a must try place for anyone who loves a decent street taco, but they took the carnitas off the menu so I probably won't be making too many returning trips...

Places that couldn't make the cut that we've visited:

- El Tequito Taco House
- Los Ocampo's
- Machete Cocina Mexicana
- Pinada Tacos

I would much rather be enjoying my Mexican food way down south where the big blue agave grows, but unlike Sammy, I'm just a blue collard worker and can't afford to go whenever I want to. If you know of a place that is serving up some amazing authentic Mexican - truly authentic, please let us know, we would love to check them out!


Melissa Goers said...

If anyone has some great places for Mexican food...I would LOVE to know! Me likey my Mexican and can't afford to travel to Mexico every month to get my fix! (PS - and if it doesn't cost an arm and leg, that would be best!

cmath72 said...

Have you tried Don Julios? There is a new one in White Bear Lake, one in Forest Lake and one in North Branch. The wait staff hardly speak English and we have found it to be very good and authentic.

Nicholas said...

here are some places that were recommended to try - El Burrito Mercade and Pepitos.

Paula said...

Nick & Melissa-
This place is really good too. Check it out.

Anonymous said...

Yes by all means try El Burrito Mercado on Concord not too far from Boca Chica - and pick up a pinata and some fresh sugar cane while you're there

kathy said...

Puerta Del Sol,
3800 Central Ave NE
Columbia Heights, MN 55421

kathy said...

Not Mexican, but pretty authentic Salvadorian:
MaƱana Restaurant y Pupuseria
828 E 7th St
St Paul, MN 55106
Neighborhood: Dayton's Bluff
(651) 793-8482

kathy said...

And my favorite 'Americanized' Salvadorian:
Pollo Campero
1570 South Robert Street
Saint Paul, MN 55118

Anonymous said...

Have you tried Los Paisanos Taqueria on 825 7th St E St Paul, MN 55106?

Nicholas said...

Lots of great ideas and it looks like we have some new places we can try while finding something more authentic. :)

Thank you for the recommendations!

Melissa Goers said...

Where to next?

Nicholas said...

Don's would be in the category "The Rest", nothing close to authentic...

fararsand said...

I found some great deals on a Don julio on this website