Food & Drink

Portland’s 13 Best Taco Joints

Published On 02/12/2015 Published On 02/12/2015
Drew Tyson/Thrillist
Drew Tyson/Thrillist
¿Por Qué No? Taqueria
Drew Tyson/Thrillist
Stella Taco PDX
Drew Tyson/Thrillist
ROBO TACO
DREW TYSON/THRILLIST
Thrillist
Tamale Boy
Drew Tyson/Thrillist
DREW TYSON/THRILLIST
Drew Tyson/Thrillist
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1. Taqueria Nueve (T9) 727 SE Washington St, Portland, OR 97214 (East Portland)

A successful Kickstarter campaign funded this little taco joint. Located in the rapidly evolving area tentatively called “south eastside industrial” this spot can credit itself for inspiring Portland’s taco craze.

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2. Stella Taco 2940 NE Alberta, Portland, OR 97211 (Alberta Arts Dist)

Stella Taco has quietly given the hipster neighborhood a legit Tex Mex joint, thanks to super garlicky salsa and posole and an assortment of quality tacos, plus there's a giant margarita machine!

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3. Angel Food and Fun Mexican Restaurant 5135 NE 60th Ave, Portland, OR 97218

A hole-in-the-wall just South of Killingsworth, it would be easy to overlook this spot on your drive to a more popular street. You’d be remiss, however, as an old Bluehour chef has recently taken over the lease and is putting out some truly incredibly Yucatecan food. Including made-to-order tacos for a steal at $1.50.

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4. Robo Taco 607 se Morrison, Portland, OR 97214 (Se Portland)

Just opened on SE Morrison, Robo's the soft-shelled brainchild of some Mex-loving dudes with fine-dining chops, who've popped out a low-key joint with a '70s vibe, striking bright-tiled bar, and robot art that references the rotating, gyro-type broiler that puts the Robo in the name, which awesomely and unintentionally translates in Spanish to "I steal taco", also the catchphrase of the post-NAFTA Hamburglar.

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5. Nayar Taqueria 5919 SE Foster Rd, Portland, OR 97206

A friendly staff and formidable menu make this spot one of the best options in the Southeast. Choose one of about a million toppings at the counter before having a seat in an eclectically decorated dining room.

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6. Nuestra Cocina 2135 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202 (Se Portland)

Owned by a husband and wife team, Nuestra Cocina isn't your average Mexican restaurant. The couple behind it take a high-end approach to the cuisine and succeed wildly, offering up authentic, delicious dishes like stuffed chilis, barbecued lamb, and grilled Mexican prawns. If your preferences still lie with a certain 'Mexican Grill,' at least do yourself the favor and check out the Mole Room at Nuestra, where you can take private cooking classes from head chef and co-owner Benjamin Gonzales.

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7. La Taq 1625 NE Killingsworth St, Portland, OR 97211 (Ne Portland)

The guys from Podnah’s put a tequila-soaked Tex Mex joint next to their absurdly popular barbecue restaurant and everyone immediately wanted to know if their brisket tacos would be the best in town. Duh! Another bonus is that their puffy tortillas outta San Antonio make for a lighter, crispier, and crunchier taco.

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8. Tamale Boy 1764 Northeast Dekum Street, Portland, OR 97211

With colorful murals and an outdoor patio, this food truck-turned-brick-and-mortar spot is slinging some sweet tamales in NE.

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9. Taqueria Portland 820 SE 8th Ave, Portland, OR 97214 (Se Portland)

Taqueria Portland has set up shop in a small strip mall, but vaulted ceilings and large front windows make the space seem larger than it is. The tacos are only $1.25 and come with a never ending order of chips and a house-made salsa they could bottle and make millions.

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10. Uno Mas 2337 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97232 (Ne Portland)

Offering tiny tacos -- and nothing else -- Uno Mas's deceptively simple menu's the baby of a chef who's cooked at some of the best Mexi spots in PDX (Authentica, Mextiza). Here he's got 20+ tacos the size of drink coasters rocking everything from carnitas, to chicharron, to octopus.

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