The Absolute Best Tacos in Miami
Not just the restaurants in front of those backroom speakeasies.
If you had a taco in Miami and didn’t immediately go for drinks in its hidden, backroom speakeasy, did you even have a taco in Miami? Sometimes, the answer is yes, as our city is loaded with stand alone taquerias that do just fine without booze in the back. So, whether you’re up for a big night out, or just want flavorful meats stuffed into warm tortillas, nearly every part of our city has you covered. From South Beach sidewalks to gritty Little Havana holes in the wall, here are the best places to get a taco in Miami.
This Design District taqueria began as a bus-bound operation in the Yucatan, before spreading to nearly a dozen locations in NYC and ultimately Miami. Inside you’ll find crispy, greasy hard shell tortillas, best filled with marinated pollo yucateco or the specialty black bean and sweet potato. Tacombi also offers aguas frescas that taste just like what you’d find on the beach in Cancun, and a pretty solid daily happy hour with $5 beers.
Late night taco cravings in Brickell and Wynwood are quickly satiated at Talkin’ Tacos, which stays open until 6 am. Since you’re probably not rolling in here for a pre-dawn breakfast, opt for any of the simple, single-meat tacos, served in lightly fried shells that strike the perfect balance between dry soft tacos and over-fried hard shells. If shellfish is your game, the Bang Bang Shrimp tacos are served with a spicy mayo that feels especially soothing after a long night out.
Taquerias El Mexicano
For years, the iconic neon "taqueria" sign on Calle Ocho stood in front of the classic hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint that sat here. But a few years back, the Ball & Chain people took it over, transforming it into a contemporary restaurant that holds true to its roots, cranking out some of Miami’s best street tacos in a vintage taco bar setting. The tacos play the hits, with classic selections of carne asada, pollo, pescado, and other menu staples. And if you just want to post up somewhere with a taco and a beer after a long walk down Eighth Street, this a perfect spot.
Los Felix Taquería
Typically, searching for a city’s best tacos doesn’t bring you across places with a Michelin star. But Los Felix didn’t get its Bibendum seal of approval by putting out a pedestrian product, and while the curated music and regionally specific ingredients are a big part of the place’s popularity, the tacos are downright delicious. Don’t go in expecting a long list of carne asadas and pollos. Los Felix’s lone taco offering is an al pastor, marinated in chiles and apple cider vinegar and served with pineapple and cilantro.
If you’re coming in off the sand South of Fifth and hankering for tacos al fresco, might we suggest the ground floor of the Life House Hotel. Its lobby bar Pretty Swell might look like an unassuming boutique boozer, but order up the BBQ jackfruit or Wagyu barbacoa tacos and you’ll realize why the place is such a hidden gem. The blue corn-wrapped tacos come with a trio of house salsas that taste straight out of an upscale Mexican restaurant, and as you enjoy them all on the hotel’s sunny front patio you’ll feel like you’re in on a secret not even SoFi locals know about.
Food halls have certainly changed the way fast casual restaurants reach hungry customers, and Hot Lime is Miami’s starring example of a taqueria thriving with the concept. The taco and ceviche spot started in the Design District’s MIA Market, and expanded into Sistrunk Marketplace in Ft. Lauderdale and Chela’s Beer Garden in Miami Lakes. Location is important, but Hot Lime has proven so popular because of stuff like the chipotle chicken and garlic shrimp tacos, offering more intricate flavors than most meats stuck between tortillas.
The majority of our picks for Miami’s best tacos stick with the traditional. The lone spot to make the list with some off-the-wall offerings is Bartaco, which dishes up falafel tacos, crispy oyster tacos, and tuna tatakos that’ll have you forgetting all about carne asada. The fresh juice margaritas certainly don’t hurt the experience either, and while Bartaco isn’t trying to be anything authentically Mexican, if you’re looking to broaden your taco palate this is the place to do it.
Somehow, the hidden-down-an-office-building-hallway taqueria trend didn’t catch on quite like the taco shop speakeasy. But this Mexico City-style taqueria is making it a thing, plating up tacos unlike any we’ve seen in the city. Hoja’s expertly-crafted taco selection is a simple sampling of complex flavors, whether you’re nibbling on the koji sweet potato, peanut, and almond tacos. Or trying the shrimp and potato flautas with salsa campechana. All are served on fresh-made tortillas made from blue, white, and yellow corn.
Bodega Taqueria y Tequila
Though Bodega may be better known for its Insta-famous neon sign in the back lounge, the tacos here are every bit as good as the suggestive artwork. Before heading back through the not-so-secret outhouse door for tequila shots, fill up on coconut or tequila-marinated shrimp tacos in Bodega’s front section. The Coconut Grove and South Beach locations are also great places to kick back with tacos and watch a game, as they boast copious big screen TVs and plenty of ice cold margaritas.
Some things in Miami are worth waiting in line for. Admission to a club? Absolutely not. Literally anything from Coyo? Absolutely, which is why you’ll find a queue snaking its way around the original Wynwood location at pretty much all hours. If you’d like to try the best chef Scott Linquist has to offer, head to the South Miami, Brickell, or Coral Gables locations, which all typically have less of a wait. Or, if you happen to find yourself in Lisbon, Portugal, there’s a Coyo there too.
The quintessential hole-in-the-wall taco spot, El Taquito serves tortillas bursting with meat, ideal for late night indulgences in The Grove or mid-day snacks while cruising Calle Ocho. The tacos here are simple. It’s just meat, cilantro, onions, and a tortilla, though topping them with smoky salsa roja makes the most of the experience. You’ll also find reasonably priced beers to pair with your tacos too, making El Taquito a phenomenal dinner value.
Tacos and Tattoos El Punto
First off: No, you cannot get a tattoo at any of Tacos & Tattoos four locations, though the combination of hot needles and habanero salsa does sound strangely inviting. What started as a Kendall taqueria tucked away in a tiny strip mall has grown into a Miami taco all-star, thanks mostly to its uniquely seasoned meats, and wide selection of French fries covered in everything from jerk chicken to slow-roasted carnitas.
Though the cinnamon-and-orange-braised carnitas here can hold their own with any in Miami, what sets this spot aside are the tortillas. Blue corn is nothing new, but these hand-ground ones offer a warm, comfortable pillow for any of Taquiza’s delicious proteins. That includes its trademark chapulines tacos, dried and sauteed grasshoppers that’ll have you rethinking your stance on eating bugs.
Tequiztlan Mexican Restaurant And Tequila Bar
For years, Rancho Grande on Lincoln Rd was the only place in Miami to get a decent taco. Even though they closed and re-opened as this Sunset Harbour Mexican spot, the tacos are still just as great. Everything on the menu is fantastic, but the intricate seasoning on the meats shines the most against the white meat chicken in this taco. Topped simply with cilantro, onion, and lime, it’s a light bite that leaves plenty of room for the signature margaritas.
For the adventurous eater, hit this taco counter in the heart of Little Havana where diners are greeted with a menu board boasting ear, head, and tongue tacos. The last one on that list is its signature item, a tortilla filled with diced lengua—beef tongue for you gringos—that tastes just like beef, but a little more tongue-y. If you’re intimidated, Viva Mexico serves it with a tray of about eight house-made hot sauces that can cover it up. But if you want to live on the edge of the glorious taco world, this is the place to do it.
Taquerias El Carnal
You want authentic? How about instead of a cool speakeasy behind your taco shop, you have a single stall bathroom that looks like it hasn’t been cleaned since the Reagan administration? But that’s just part of the ambiance at El Carnal, the closest to a real Mexican taco shop you’re getting in the 305. The slow-braised pulled chicken taco is made up of salty, juicy white meat that melts in your mouth with an explosion of adobo spice. Top it with the spicy red salsa served alongside for a savory/spicy mix that’s so addictive it’ll be hard to eat less than three.