Where to find the best tacos in Portland




What goes into a great taco? Every component should be fine. The filling, from the slow-cooked cochinita pepil to the roasted carne asada to the vegetable guaisados, should be flavor-packed and sound in texture, the tortilla chips perfectly grilled (many of them handcrafted), and the salsa tangy and lively. Together, they add something more special than the sum of their parts. From Southeast Portland to Beaverton to Gresham and Vancouver, these are our best tacos.

Periya La Plaza

Glenfair

A few years after the beer boom, the chubby Prairia La Plaza tacos are still Portland. In other pyrerias, a bomb of grease and cheese often hides the flavor of tacos. That’s not the case here, where long-cooked beef marinated in Guajillo and pasilla chiles is the star of the show, and cheese and crunchy tortillas are present as supporting characters. Be sure to order the hot sauce on the side, as well as a cup of consomme for dipping (although this one is a little oily, so you won’t want to drink the whole thing). 600 SE 146th Ave

Don’t get lost

look up

Come for a straightforward selection of tacos on thick, handcrafted tortillas, from juicy carnitas to charred carne asada to tingling spicy pork. Decorate them with a stoplight-like array of red, yellow, orange, and green salsa, and today’s agua fresca made with fresh fruit is a must. 1341 N Killingsworth St

No Tia Joanna

Rookwood

This former fast food joint is now home to an array of Tijuana-style desserts. Our dishes are grilled tacos garnished with pineapple and avocado salsa on thick, fresh, handcrafted tortillas using masa from La Melba at Sandy’s, or super juicy tacos that swap crunchy meats for fat, and steamed meats like lingua or cabeza. 18488 E Burnside Street

Little Conejo

Esther Short, Vancouver

This taqueria is one of our favorite restaurants in Vancouver, especially the oyster mushroom tacos. Roasted garlic mushrooms are juicy and tender, mixed with a touch of melted cheese that helps bring out their flavor. Look for other vegetarian tacos like brussels sprouts and nopales, too. On the meaty side, this place is one of the best tacos in the area, as the meat is actually roasted on a trombo (spit); The suadero is also a must-try, and the fried and whipped mahi mahi tacos are among the best fish tacos too. Everything comes as a fun Nixtamal Three Sisters Tortilla. 114 W Sixth Street, Vancouver, Washington

Luncheria Los Mayas

Beaumont Wilshire / Cole




Thick and golden yellow, it doesn’t get better than this handcrafted tortilla that’s extra-thin with crisp brown edges and leopard spots, and with a little extra salt to bring out the delicious cornflake flavour. The cochinita dish is a must – Yucatan-style braised pork cooked to almost buttery in a velvety orange sauce, topped with pickled onions and crunchy cabbage. Carnitas are on the other end of the spectrum, very brittle like pig potato chips. 4212 NE Prescott St, 503-754-3059

Los Francos

Hazlewood / Mill Park

Carne asada lovers, look no further: Los Francos carne asada tacos are top-notch. How they manage to make the edges crunchy and caramelized and the very inside is a culinary mystery; Add plenty of fresh green sauce for best results. Complete your order with chorizo, which combines crisp force field, ham, and juicy carnitas. 12051 SE Stark St, 503-473-7066

Mats BBQ Tacos

Richmond

I’ve never been to Texas before, but if that’s what Texas BBQ-meets-Tex-Mex tastes like, it sounds like a delicious place. The same slow-smoked meat served in N Mississippi Matt’s BBQ sister cart, from pork belly to brisket, appears atop delicate, handcrafted tortillas. Each taco gets its own ingredients, from pickled onions and guacamole to lettuce, shredded cheese, and tomatoes. Plus, tacos are served all day, from tortilla scrambled egg megas to Hot Mess with sausage, eggs, queso and smoked jalapenos. 2216 SE 50th Ave

taco jang

Buckman

Run by mother-and-son team Anna and Leo Mendoza, this cart serves up classic tacos right, with a home spin of handmade tortillas and an adjacent beer cart that makes visiting this pod feel like a backyard taco party. Favorites include spicy smoked chorizo ​​and tender carnitas, and the pasteur is delicious (and complete with pineapple) albeit a little tougher than most versions we’re used to. Keep an eye on Taco Gang’s Instagram page for specials like chicken tinga or birria. 2623 SE Belmont St

taco albatron

Copper Mountain-North Aloha, Beaverton




Just blocks from car dealerships on TV Highway, this gem lives in a wagon, which Efrain Abarca opened in 2019 to reinvent the flavors of the tacos he ate while visiting his grandmother in Tijuana. Few other tacos can match the range of styles included here, and they’re all served on a delicious Three Sisters Nextmalle tortilla. Get the Tijuana-style tacos with steak, guacamole, and onions; Grilled shrimp tacos with a blanket of crunchy cheese mixed with tortillas; fatty tacos (brisket); Or the ubiquitous but well-made quesabirria tacos complete with a hearty, delicious texture. Also not to be missed: creative aguas plates, from strawberry horchata to celery, pineapple and lime. 21460 southwest of Tualatin Valley Express

Taqueria Los Bonales

bright side

Tacos guisados ​​— tacos full of stews and appetizers — are the name of the game here, with dozens of varieties to choose from, all served on hand-made corn tortillas. We choose the signature Tinga chicken with smoky chipotle sauce, spicy salty ham, and flavored lingua en salsa verde, juicy Jalisco-style barbacoa served in a crunchy tortilla, melt-in-your-mouth carnitas, or bistik con papas (steak and potatoes) in a delicious tomato broth. But the vegetarian and vegan options here are not to be overlooked, from grilled panela cheese with sour cream to calabacitas with corn and onions to soybeans. Wash it down with a half-liter textbook-size margherita, topped with habanero or mezcal cheese, aguas frescas like strawberry or mango if you choose, or a tangy michelada. 3312 SE Belmont St

Tienda y Taqueria Santa Cruz

St. John’s

At the back of St. Mark’s Market. 8630 Lombard Street, 503-286-7302

Tortilleria y Tienda De Leon

Gresham

This self-described Mexican and tortilla maker serves up some of Portland’s best carnitas tacos, which are juicy cuts of meat with crunchy bits, with one of three homemade sauces on top (smoked, mild red, herb green, or creamy orange habanero) . They also excel on the lighter side of things with their guisados—try a light, melt-in-your-mouth steak in bistec a la Mexicana or a spicy puerco y nopales stew, either in a taco or as part of a combo dish. 16223 North East Gleesan Street

Sahuayo Taqueria

Laurelhurst / North Tabor

The Glissan Street corner shop is also home to a counter service crew with a huge menu that goes far beyond enchiladas, pozolls, menaudo’s, and much more. The star taco here is the birria de chivo — slow-cooked goat scented in a garnished broth with chile — and it’s enhanced even more by choosing to serve your tacos on one of the huge, homemade tortillas. Carnitas is also great here, topped with avocado salsa and pico de gallo. 4438 North East Gleesan Street, 503-719-5374

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