Food & Drink

The 9 best tacos along MSP's East Lake Street

Published On 07/30/2014 Published On 07/30/2014

If you want a great craft beer, some mac 'n cheese, or even hot dish, you've got plenty of choices. But if you're looking for the sweetest tacos in the Twin Cities, there's really only one place to go: Minneapolis’ stretch of East Lake Street, where there's seemingly no end to the tortilla-based eats. Here are the nine best:

Flickr/jeffreyw

El Norteño

Longfellow
This small family-owned spot in Longfellow boasts tacos made with charred, succulent veggies that you can feast upon out on their private patio that is sheltered from the street. It's one of the best kept secrets in the city.  

Taqueria la Hacienda 

Taqueria La Hacienda

Powderhorn
The vibrant Al Pastor is spit roasted like a gyro with pineapple that blasts the pork with juices like tart honey. Order up these tacos at their storefront or from the stall inside Mercado Central.

Union Taco

Piñeda Tacos

Phillips
Sure, the burritos are the size of a small baby, but the tacos are a sweet choice 'cause you can get a variety of fillings. Our choice: fiery chicken in chipotle sauce with juicy tomatoes and soft onions.

Union Taco

Taco Taxi

Powderhorn
If you miss one taxi, another one will be along in a few minutes... 'cause they’ve got two storefronts and a truck along East Lake St, and all the traditional tacos (from cow tongue, to cow trip, to just cow...) you can handle.

Joy Summers

Sonora Grill

Powderhorn
These tacos come with a fine dining pedigree... and tempura battered shrimp cloaked in a blazing hot buffalo sauce and topped with slices of raw jalapeños that're tempered with shredded cabbage. Check them out in their new digs with the patio and full bar or inside a stall at Midtown Global Market.

Flickr/Steve Dunham

A La Salsa

North Loop
Their Midtown Global Market location has a full bar and sit down service that comes with free chips for snacking before your tacos arrive. Order the camarones chiltepin -- shrimp sautéed in a buttery, wine-spiked sauce with no-joke, spicy chiltepin peppers.

Flickr/Mike McCune

La Loma

Phillips
They’re known for their tamales, but they’ve got tacos that're also made with that slow-roasted carnitas and topped with their famous nuclear green salsa. Find them inside of Mercado Central or Midtown Global Market.

Thrillist

El Burrito Mercado

Phillips
St. Paul’s premier family-owned Mexican grocery store/deli/restaurant moved over the river and brought their tastiest bites with them. Check out their specials board for the freshest tortilla-wrapped goodies of the day. 

Amanda Paa

Los Ocampo

Powderhorn
It’s hard to choose between their chorizo con papas, the res de tinga, or their chicharron prensado -- which boasts crispy, spicy pork topped w/ a little white onion and some leaves of cilantro. So don't. Find them in their location at Chicago and Lake or inside Midtown Global Market.

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1. El Norteño 4000 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406 (Longfellow)

Although it's well-hidden on the never ending Lake St, El Norteno is worth keeping an eye out for. With a cozy patio seating section, this place is intimate and serving up straightforward, tasty Mexican grub.

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2. Taqueria La Hacienda 334 E. Lake Street # 101, Minneapolis, MN 55408 (Powderhorn)

Order up some tacos at their storefront or from the stall inside Mercado Central. Try he Al Pastor with pineapple and pork -- a strange combination, but surprisingly delicous

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3. Piñeda Tacos 2150 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407 (Phillips)

A hidden Lake Street gem, Pineda keep things simple with their menu. You needn't be asking yourself anything but, "do I want a burrito, or do I have a large burrito?" It all depends on how much cheese you can handle with you two meat fillings. If you fear the post-burrito regret, you can always opt for the less intimidatingly sized chimichangas or a taco combo to get more than your stomach's worth of carnitas, onions, and cilantro.

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4. Taco Taxi 1511 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407 (Powderhorn)

If you miss one taxi, just wait a few minutes and another one will stop by soon. These tacos are perfect for banishing any problems you might have and they have two store fronts on East Lake St.

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5. Sonora Grill 920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407 (Powderhorn)

With new digs and a full bar at Midtown Global Market, Sonora Grill is a great place to grab a taco before venturing onto other foods at the Global Market.

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6. A La Salsa 920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407 (North Loop)

This family run spot is simply a counter inside Midtown Global Market, but they do have free chips for snacking before your tacos arrive. Order the camarones chiltepin -- shrimp sautéed in a buttery, wine-spiked sauce with no-joke spicy chiltepin peppers.

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7. La Loma Tamales 920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407 (Phillips)

They’re known for their tamales, but they’ve got tacos, too. Don't miss out on their nuclear green salsa either. Check out their Midtown Global Market location or find 'em at Mercado Central.

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8. El Burrito Mercado 920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407 (Phillips)

Mpls's El Burrito is set up similarly to the 30yr StP stalwart: half south-of-the-border craft cafeteria, half pinata-laden grocery/ gift shop, so take a crack at finding something good.

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9. Taqueria Los Ocampo 809 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407 (Powderhorn)

This place has so many options when it comes to toppings, but we suggest trying the chicharron prensado -- crispy pork with white onion and cilantro. Find them in their location at Chicago and Lake or inside Midtown Global Market.

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