February 22, 2020

Tortillas and Protein (Best Tacos)

No matter where you are in the Twin Cities, there is a taco shop or Mexican restaurant that claims to be serving "Authentic Mexican Food". Unfortunately, most of what is out there is far too Americanized and hardly worth enjoying. One of our favorite, yet simple dishes found all over Mexico is a perfectly made Street Taco. Warm corn tortillas, flavorful protein of your choice, onions, cilantro and a little salsa. That's it! Nothing more, nothing less!

It's the little hole-in-the-wall spots in Mexico that always caught our attention when traveling, not the chain establishments scattered throughout Mexico and the Caribbean. You know, like Senior Frogs, Margaritaville or some other millionaire who decided to open a restaurant. Thankfully, there are places right here in good ol' Minnesota that are putting in the effort to provide authentic food, especially some downright amazing street tacos. 

We've set out to find some of the best the Twin Cities has to offer and thus far, we would recommend our readers check these 5 places out first and in no particular order;

Head over to Richfield and enjoy not only the street tacos, but all the grub at Andale Taqueria & Mercado. Their carnitas and pollo are some of the most flavorful protein creations we've come across in our travels and cravings for more are always present when traveling through that area. This place is a must try, but just know that the parking lot fills up quickly and you may be parking across the street at Menards. Yes, it does get that busy, because it's that good! 

If you're ever in the Rosemount area, Las Tortillas is yet another place to never drive past. This is the place where you will find the best tasting carnitas in the Twin Cities, period! Their Elote is killer and the burritos can be shared by 2 people or 1 if you're super hungry. Chef Ricardo, one of our favorite chef's is doing things right at Las Tortillas. If tacos and burritos aren't your thing, Chef Ricardo's other creations will certainly satisfy your taste buds. 

With multiple locations to choose from, Taqueria La Hacienda is our next spot worth checking out. Because of this, it's easy to fulfill those taco cravings throughout the week, especially on a taco Tuesday. You simply can't go wrong with any of their protein options, but my favorite tends to be their carnitas.

Spending some time in the west metro? Somewhere around New Hope and surrounding cities? Then you need to stop into AZ (Arizona) Taco Co. I'm a huge fan of perfectly made carnitas, but at AZ, it's the Carne Asada that is to die for. Wow is that some fantastic cow anatomy. Nothing bad to say about their other protein options, it's just that the Carne is that darn good! And the salsa creations? Yes, please!

Next up is El Taco Riendo located in the Nordeast neighborhood and serving up some super tasty authentic tacos and some of the best salsa in the Twin Cities. There isn't a protein on the menu not worth ordering and the the salsa is drinkable. 

If none of those seem to make your mouth water or you're not close to one of them, you could consider these spots as well;
  • Nico's Taco Bar with 2 locations has some outstanding tacos, especially their barbacoa, tynga and fish tacos. However, the salsa needs a little work, the steak was too dry and the margaritas aren't worth the money (according to my wife).  
  • Catrinas has a couple of locations and serving some outstanding tacos and their salsa creations are exceptional as well. 
  • Casa Lupita in White Bear Lake has some pretty tasty tacos.
  • La Palma in St. Paul's Eastside is doing things right. 
  • La Costa Mexican Sports Bar in St. Paul's Westside kills it with their carnitas, but has been inconsistent.  
  • El Super Taco in Burnsville can hold their own, it's their salsa that you will want to go back for the most. 
  • El Tequito Taco House in West St. Paul used to be a top favorite of ours and still producing some decent street tacos.
While we would much rather be in Mexico eating street tacos from the little cart on the corner, these places will have to do. Well, at least until we plan another vacation....

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