Good Mexican food in the Twin Cities?
May 8, 2016 11:41 AM   Subscribe

So just recently one of my favorite authentic Mexican food places in the greater Minneapolis/Saint Paul metro area closed up shop. I left me with a yearning void in my heart I've yet to fill since then.

In my research, I've found that alternatives are few and far between. Nearby, the only places I can find are either American food thinly disguised to vaguely resemble Mexican (i.e. Chipotle's) or those places that serve "tacos" with foo-foo garnishes like artisanally-pickled cabbage or other things mostly likely not part of your average Mexican person's daily diet. There's Little Tijuana's (which is really good) but parking is a pain and is a touch pricey. So I gotta ask, what places do people go to in the Twin Cities for their authentic Mexican fix at reasonable prices?
posted by surazal to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Maya Cuisine on central if I am in north.
posted by gregglind at 11:44 AM on May 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

That's one thing I missed about living close by Central Avenue. It has literally all the best greasy spoon and hole-in-the-wall restaurants :D
posted by surazal at 11:48 AM on May 8, 2016

It's in Burnsville, but Taqueria La Hacienda is by far the best taco joint I've found in the area. I eat there way too much and haven't really found anything bad - highly recommend the lengua.
posted by lpcxa0 at 12:01 PM on May 8, 2016

Have you tried Homi? It's on University Avenue near Frogtown.
posted by anderjen at 12:30 PM on May 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

Lake Street has many options these days. Some of my go-to places:

Pineda Tacos near Hiawatha and Lake: the tortas here are huge and popular and great.
La Hacienda on 4th and Lake (and other locations, as mentioned previously): weekend pozole, al pastor tacos arabes are my faves.
Taco Taxi on Lake and Bloomington: cheap and open late, small menu but one of the only places I know of locally that serves birria.

For fancier fare I like the A La Salsa restaurants, the one at the Midtown Global Market in particular.
posted by substars at 12:32 PM on May 8, 2016

I second the Homi recommendation.
posted by heurtebise at 2:14 PM on May 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yes to Lake St! First: LA LOMA, LA LOMA, LA LOMA. When I lived in the Twin Cities, they had two locations, at the Mercado Central and the Midtown Global Market. They are (justifiably) famous for their tamales (try the chicken verde) but their other food is good too. Seriously, though, the last time I went to Mpls I came back with three packs of them in my suitcase. So good.

It's been a while, but I used to live near the Midtown market and there were several good places, including Manny's Tortas (which seriously remind me of the tortas I would get in Mexico City) and Taqueria Los Ocampo, which has good huaraches (they also have a full storefront nearby). All of these places are more takeout than sit-down.
posted by lunasol at 2:14 PM on May 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

All good suggestions!

I asked this question on my facebook feed, as well, and here are a few suggestions I received from there:
  • Andale Taqueria Y Mercado: the food looks good but it definitely looks a little foo-foo
  • El Burrito Mercado: It's a bit far from me, but looks decent and they have a market, too
  • Homi: I might try this place next time I visit my friend in Saint Paul :^)
  • El taco riendo: This looks like the closest thing to the restaurant I was talking about in the OP (El Patron)

posted by surazal at 2:49 PM on May 8, 2016

Thirding Homi (the best mole in the state). At the global market, La Loma is fantastic, Taqueria Los Ocampo has awesome gorditas and more, and Taco Cat has surprisingly amazing steak and carnitas tacos despite their hipster-ness.
posted by Maarika at 3:43 PM on May 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

El Burrito Mercado is a favorite in our household, plus -- as noted -- you can pick up some groceries in the same trip. A given meal will run ~ $9 with a soft drink, and they offer both cafeteria-style and sit-down service.

Intrigued by Homi, as it's quite close and looks like it has some nice offerings!
posted by credible hulk at 4:02 PM on May 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Casa Lupita in White Bear Lake.
posted by DaveP at 3:45 AM on May 9, 2016

Taqueria Los ocampo with locations on lake street and in St. Paul has really excellent huaraches and very good tacos. I haven't lived back in the TC in a while but we used to go pretty regularly. Often enough i learned to bring my own cutlery because the masa shells were no match for the plastic knives they supplied (even for dine-in)
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 4:21 AM on May 9, 2016

I can vouch that Maya on Central is excellent, as is the nearby El Taco RiƩndo.
posted by neckro23 at 12:24 PM on May 9, 2016

Sorry I'm kind of late, but wanted to recommend Los Ocampo too--the one at Lake and Chicago vs. the fancier, newer one over in St. Paul. They have menudo and posole (you have to order "pork, red" to get the posole I'm used to from New Mexico) all the time, too, and the gorditas ARE terrific. For some strange reason, you have to pick them up and eat them--if you cut them with a knife and fork, they lose much of their power. I think it is the wonderful contrast of textures...

In fact, everything there is terrific. La Loma is wonderful too.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 7:48 PM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

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