The Twin Cities’ taco scene is more dynamic today than ever: From long-established spots like Boca Chica and El Burrito Mercado on Cesar Chavez Avenue, to pillars of East Lake Street like Las Cuatros Milpas, to pop-up and food truck transformations like Yeah Yeah Tacos and Habanero Tacos, Minneapolis and St. Paul have no shortage of stellar options. Stop by one of the essential taco spots on this list to get your fill of savory carne asada, carnitas, or al pastor tacos — or try something unique, like charred cauliflower, grilled cactus and onion, or lamb tacos dorados.Read More
Where to Eat Tacos in Minneapolis and St. Paul
Try tender lengua, smoky chicken tinga, or quesabirria tacos at these Twin Cities restaurants
Located next door to Five Watt Coffee, chef Kristen Martinez of Minneapolis-based noise rap group Moodie Black serves Tex-Mex twist tacos like the macha chicken, tossed in macha barbecue sauce and topped with pico, or the “death veggie” tacos, made with charred cauliflower. Go early for the breakfast tacos and bowls.
Yeah Yeah Taco
During the pandemic, the owners of Zetta’s, a flatbread sandwich restaurant, opened Yeah Yeah Tacos as a pop-up. It became so popular that the owners shut down Zetta’s in order to fully devote themselves to taco slinging. Yeah Yeah’s menu is simple, but quality: try the carnitas with shagbark bacon glaze, or the veggie, made with elote, sweet potato, and radish.
Valerie's Taqueria Inc
Valerie’s Taqueria’s wide range of meat options — from lengua to carnitas to milanesa — are served street-style or norteno. Try the cecina: thinly sliced, salt-cured skirt steak that’s lightly grilled.
Pineda Tacos Plus
A gem among the taco restaurants on Lake Street, Pineda Tacos’ location is no bigger than a living room. This is a great spot for hard shell tacos, if you swing that way — otherwise, try the bistec a la Mexicana served acorazado-style with jalapenos and onions.
Tacos El Kevin
Recognized by critics and patrons alike as one of the best taco spots in Minneapolis, Tacos El Kevin is Portland Avenue’s pre-eminent taco restaurant. Try a plate of the carne asada, served with whole grilled green onions, and pair it with two-dollar elotes and slice mangoes.
Nixta Tortilleria & Mexican takeout
Chef Gustavo Romero takes pride in the hearty, densely flavorful heirloom tortillas he makes from scratch — they’re a true labor of love. His tacos, along with the weekly meal kits to make your own tacos, are a Northeast staple.
Taqueria Los Ocampo
A Lake Street staple and next-door neighbor to Chicago Lake Liquors, Los Ocampo has been serving late-night tacos with any choice of meat and toppings for a long time. Save room for esquites and churros.
Located just next door to Mercado Central, Taco Taxi serves an excellent birria de chivo, with a spicy and flavorful consomé — pair a cup with carnitas or tripa tacos.
With over five locations in metro area, Rusty Taco has found its footing in the Twin Cities with a bevy of taco options for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Try the fish tacos, made with battered cod and baja sauce, or the spicy fried chicken taco (add even more habanero sauce if you like).
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Taqueria y birrieria las cuatro milpas
Tucked under an emerald green awning on East Lake Street, Taqueria y Birrieria Las Cuatro Milpas is reputed to be the first restaurant to introduce birria to the Twin Cities. Many years later, they remain the Cities’ go-to for messy, indulgent birria tacos — try the lamb, goat, or beef tacos dorados.
Chef Jose Alarcon’s restaurant, stationed on a cobblestone street corner in Northeast Minneapolis, serves quick and tasty tacos. The restaurant’s full bar is known for its margarita pitchers — on warm days, sit outside and take in the views of this art-meets-industrial mixed neighborhood.
El Taco Riendo
Another institution along the Central Avenue corridor in Northeast, El Taco Riendo rose from the ashes after a fire almost burned it down during the pandemic. Try the chicharron tacos, made with pork skin, or the smoky tinga de pollo tacos.
Taqueria Las Cañadas
Hidden inside of Winner Gas Station on Cedar Avenue, Taqueria Las Cañadas serves a full menu of tacos, tortas, and more. Pair carne asada tacos with a bowl of birria de borrego, or lamb stew.
Habanero Tacos Grill
Habanero Tacos started as a food truck and has since found a permanent location a few blocks away from Hymie’s Records on Lake Street. Try the street tacos trio, or grab a quesabirria plate, served with consomé for dipping.
El Norteño Authentic Mexican
A popular, woman-owned Mexican restaurant in Minneapolis’s Longfellow neighborhood, El Norteño serves classic tacos on corn or flour tortillas — try the savory asada, the shrimp tacos, or the norteño: beef, bacon, and pork with onions and cheese.
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Tacos El Primo Restaurant
Tucked into a bright yellow and orange storefront on Minnehaha Avenue, Tacos El Primo is a marvelous spot for all kinds of Mexican dishes — from its namesake al pastor, chicharron, and carnitas tacos to calda de camaron, picaditas, flautas, and gorditas. Try the pambazo, made with bread that’s dunked in red guajillo pepper sauce and fried, then stuffed with potatoes and a choice of meat.
Brothers Victor and Tanis Alquicira have been serving tacos on West 7th and Lexington in Saint Paul for years. Try the tinga, pescado, or buche (pork stomach) tacos — or the alambres or the tamales, which are equally notable.
Boca Chica | Restaurante Mexicano & Cantina
Serving West Saint Paul since 1964, Boca Chica is a mainstay of Cesar Chavez Avenue. Among the restaurant’s most notable menu items are the nopalitos con cebolla (grilled cactus and onion) tacos — or for meat lovers, swap in the shredded beef or tinga de pollo tacos.
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Another West Saint Paul institution, Taco Libre has been serving both classic street tacos and vegetarian options on Robert Street since 2015. Try the mushroom tacos, served with queso fresco, or the picadillo: ground beef with potato.
El Burrito Mercado
Equal parts market and restaurant, this Saint Paul staple run has been serving the westside since 1979. El Burrito Mercado has a stellar taco Tuesdays deal: Get three tacos for five dollars, and grab a margarita off the happy hour menu.
Taqueria Los Paisanos
Located in east St. Paul, Taqueria Los Paisanos serves noteworthy tacos, enchiladas, and quesadillas in its East 7th Street storefront. The restaurant has been ranked in local publications as one of the Cities’ best taco spots — stop in for birria, chorizo tacos, or al pastor tacos, or for savory consomé con carne.
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