Top 10 taquerias in the Twin Cities

Categories: Top 10

5. Taqueria La Hacienda
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Lebanese immigrants settled in Mexico back in the mists of time, and as cultures fused, a new sort of gyros cone was born, this one made with pork and chilies and topped with a roasting pineapple, which bastes the turning meat as it spins. Taqueria La Hacienda opened a beguilingly scented cone of said al pastor in the Mercado Central in 1999, and it has been capturing Best Tacos in the Twin Cities awards ever since. A leader among East Lake Street taquerias, the larger Hacienda Plaza is a high-ceilinged, light-filled, tangerine-tinted treasure by I-35, and suburbanites have their own location south of the metro in Burnsville. Order the famous al pastor any which way and you'll be bowled over by the sweet, rich, spicy magnificence of super-concentrated pork goodness. La Hacienda is not only one of the best Mexican joints in town, it's also one of the best things to happen to the after-bar experience since the invention of the remote control. (334 E. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612.822.2715. 1515 E. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612.728.5424. 2000 Williams Drive, Burnsville; 952.808.6895)


4. Taqueria Los Ocampo

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Think of a tortilla as a hand, and all the meat and onion and cilantro and salsa held inside it as a bouquet of protein, flavor, and spice. See, eating tacos is sort of like getting flowers, and it's spring every day at Los Ocampo. Don't worry, you can work your way up to tongue and tripe. For perfection, there's no need to even venture beyond the basics. The asada, ordered "Mexican-style," comes with a tight little pile of grilled steak, diced onion, and a bunch of bright-green cilantro resting cutely atop two soft, warm corn tortillas, flanked by lime wedges and a little spray of thinly sliced radishes. Don't forget the salsa. Tacos come with a bright, acidic, red chile salsa and a deceptively hot green tomatillo salsa that looks as unthreatening as a Shamrock Shake, but watch out! Arrange them with some onions and, look, it's a Mexican flag! (417 E. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612.823.5398. 895 Arcade St., St. Paul; 651.774.7623. 920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612.825.4978. 1751 Suburban Ave., St. Paul; 651.256.2932)


3. Las Teresitas

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There's nothing fancy about Las Teresitas, a cheap dive neighbored by a laundromat and gas station in south Minneapolis. The restaurant offers a range of delights (the enchiladas are amazing), but nothing beats chorizo, onion, and cilantro tucked into a four-inch tortilla. Chorizo, Mexican sausage, is modestly spicy and somewhat oily, but it's authentic Mexican fare that's hard to find done right in the Twin Cities. Lucky for Minnesotans, the owners of Las Teresitas have a long history of pleasing local diners, having once run Taco Moreles. Teresitas offers more conventional beef and chicken tacos to go along with exotic fare like chorizo and cabeza (head), and we'd be remiss if we didn't mention the restaurant's famous salsa bar -- the best appetizer option in town. (5748 34th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.727.1783)


2. Maya Cuisine

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Maya Cuisine has been open for less than six months, and already we feel confident placing them among the top five taquerias in town. The qualifications are many: the clean, bright, cozy, and welcoming space, the unbelievably friendly service, the ever-shifting array of taco filling choices, each more delicious than the last, and finally, but most importantly, the homemade corn tortillas--a rare treat indeed in the Twin Cities. All it takes is one look at the plump, randomly browned, pillowy discs to know that these aren't your average supermarket tortillas. And yes, they taste even better than they look. The chicken tinga tacos are vivacious and zingy, with real kick, and the various pork options couldn't be more succulent, tender, juicy, and satisfying. The salsa bar is fully stocked with a wide variety of toppings, including jalapenos, poblanos, salsas of varying heat, rich and creamy chipotle sauce, cilantro, onions, and lime wedges. (1840 Central Ave, Minneapolis; 612.789.0775)


1. El Taco Riendo

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When Twin Citians need their taco fix, they tend to think of Lake Street. But you'll actually find the Cities' best tacos in that other bastion of ethnic eating, Central Avenue in Northeast. El Taco Riendo (The Laughing Taco) has been around for only a couple of years, but the unassuming little storefront has one of the largest selections of taco fillings anywhere. You can choose from a dozen types of meats--from popular carne asada, pastor, and carnitas to more exotic tongue and tripe --and top it with an array of salsas, guacamole, onion, and cilantro. But the star of the taco show is the tinga del pollo--succulent shredded chicken saturated in a smoky chipotle sauce with tomato and onions. The savory tinga carries a genuine spicy kick that adds a whole other layer of complexity to the dish. At just $2.15 each, this taco may not leave you laughing, but it will definitely make you smile. (2416 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612.781.3000)

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Location Info

El Taco Riendo

2416 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

Las Teresitas Mexican Restaurant

5748 34th Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

Taqueria Los Ocampo

417 E. Lake St., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

Taqueria Los Ocampo

895 Arcade St., St. Paul, MN

Category: Restaurant

Taqueria Los Ocampo

920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

Taqueria La Hacienda

2000 Williams Drive, Burnsville, MN

Category: Restaurant

Taqueria La Hacienda Taco

1515 E. Lake St., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

Taqueria La Hacienda

334 E. Lake St., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

Sonora Grill

920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

Pineda Tacos

1304 Robert St. S., West St. Paul, MN

Category: Restaurant

Pineda Tacos

311 E. Lake St., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

Masa

1070 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

Andale Taqueria y Mercado

7700 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant


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26 comments
Larry Saenz
Larry Saenz

Who would of thought... there are at least 10 Taquerias in the Twin Cities. Here, in San Antonio, there are nearly 10 on every block! Problem is...they are ALL pretty good! Honestly, I'd take the elk burger any day. Tired of tacos. ;-)

RaÚl Tornel
RaÚl Tornel

Now this made me crave tacos from Andale restaurant.

Sarah Mulfinger
Sarah Mulfinger

And no lettuce available, just shredded cabbage and cilantro were the greens. Pineda is known for chimichangas deep fried and served with shredded iceberg lettuce and loaded with cheese. Not americanized?

Sarah Mulfinger
Sarah Mulfinger

Boca Chica had the best beef tongue tacos and queso fresca that night, no ground beef even available- not my idea of Americanized and you picked Pineda which is like a fast food version compared to that?! I like Pineda, but not sure I agree Krista Schnelle.

Krista Schnelle
Krista Schnelle

The tongue tacos at Pineda-West St Paul are the best! I will have to take a walk over to Taqueria Paisanos before the weather gets nasty.

Krista Schnelle
Krista Schnelle

Boca Chica is Americanized Mexican food. *see tacos loaded with cheese and lettuce.

Sarah Mulfinger
Sarah Mulfinger

Had the best taco Tuesday at Boca Chica in West St. Paul this week- this is really not mentioned? Nor El Burrito Mercado? Huh. The West Side is home to the largest Hispanic community in the Twin Cities so that is odd.

Keith Morioka
Keith Morioka

The Buche tacos at Andale Taqueria & Mercado are some of my favorite things ever! I just had them on Wednesday, and now I want more!

Idalia Robles De León
Idalia Robles De León

Y'all need to add El Taquito Taco Shop Inc to this list. Some of the best tacos around!

Barry131
Barry131

had lunch at Riendo today, hard to beat this place. Best burritos ever also.

 

bkmn
bkmn

The 311 Lake St. location of Pineda has been closed for over a year (the location in the photo you used)...FYI.

fivesixzero
fivesixzero

@astronautalis @citypages Spoiler alert: Riendo is #1! I think I'ma go there for lunch today, in honor of their 'victory'.

fivesixzero
fivesixzero

@astronautalis Looks like all of @citypages and @VoiceMediaGroup's blogs are offline. This is complicating my taco search.

Keith Morioka
Keith Morioka

Andale has easily become one of my favorite places to go... a little secret, on Sundays, ask if they have the Barbacoa De Chievo tacos (braised Goat), they are amazing! They only serve them on weekends, mostly just sundays, and only if you ask...

erinmgibson
erinmgibson

@dbrekke @citypages I'm going to hit up Andale tonight... barely a mile from my house and I've never actually been there.

Vruno
Vruno

@citypages Apropos, because it is Taco Tuesday!

DavidFoureyes
DavidFoureyes topcommenter

Glad to see two NE places at the top of the list...but Maya is better than Reindo, and (come on) neither is even close to as good as Sonora.

Charles Awad
Charles Awad

Now this list totally nailed it, though I may have placed Sonora a bit higher. MAYA Cuisine is fantastic. Central Ave NE is just loaded with great ethnic food options these days.

Daniel Loftus
Daniel Loftus

Los Oscampo, Lake Street. Huarachazo's and other Masa delights FTW!!

Erins_Voice
Erins_Voice

@fivesixzero @astronautalis The only appropriate way to celebrate. Or, you could review 'em on City Pages' directory: http://t.co/z7rSOXES

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