In the 21st century, tacos have emerged as the bellwether food for an entire generation. Minnesota has jumped up and landed squarely on the taco bandwagon. Soft-shell, hard-shell, a la Mexicana, or in a tortilla, here are the best taco places in the North Star State.
There are a few Pineda locations in the Twin Cities, but the Plymouth location stands out because, with this this suburban outpost, they are the best tacos in the West Metro. Try the chipotle pork, or if you’re not feeling like a taco, their tortas are also some of the best in the state.
Another fast-food spot with serious Mexican cred, El Taco Riendo is an unassuming joint in Northeast Minneapolis. With locally-sourced tortillas and house-made ingredients, their tacos are winners. Try the chicken tinga or chorizo for a little kick. For real, down-home flavors, they also offer lengua (tongue), chicharron, and tripe tacos.
With fish tacos that seem to make everybody’s “best of” lists, it would be a crime to omit Duluth Grill from this list. The crispy whitefish, with cilantro lime tartar sauce, pico de gallo, pickled onion, and pickled jalapeño strikes just the right balance between the Scandinavian and Latino (I know, right?!) flavor palettes.
It’s safe to say that when it comes to Mexican food, El Carambas is a beloved Rochester institution. Other entrants have come on the scene, and are well-liked, but El Carambas has a longevity and a consistent quality that means you go back time and again and get the same, delicious food. Try the shrimp tacos, which are made in a simple, Mexican style with nothing but cilantro and onions. You know if they’re served like that, the shrimp has got to be good.
With a couple extra locations and a food truck now, Taqueria La Hacienda is moving up in the world. They are easily the best tacos South of the River. And it’s no surprise: When a Mexico City native drives you from Golden Valley to Burnsville to get tacos, you know they're gonna be good. And they are—especially, the tacos al pastor.
Picking a taco place in St. Paul is a tall order. Home to the original Mexican community in the Twin Cities, there are a lot of good tacos to be had. But here’s the thing: Los Ocampo has a few locations and are universally beloved. So, their St. Paul restaurant wins a spot on the list to represent the capitol city. Their tacos are authentic and delicious, and they also serve up some of the state’s best elote.
This is another Metro spot that takes authenticity back home. With lengua and beef head options, topped with traditional cilantro, lime, and onion, Andale has become a South Metro destination for folks seeking the real deal. They use tilapia for their tasty fish tacos and their tinga is a force to be reckoned with.