Latin Food Primer
By: Shayne Benowitz
Check out this guide to the city’s best taquerias.
There was a time not too long ago when Miamians bemoaned the fact that it was hard to find good Mexican food or a solid taco in the city. We’re happy to report that those days are officially over. In the last few years, an influx of tasty taquerias—serving both traditional and creative tacos—have opened across Miami. Today, it’s no sweat stumbling upon a hip Mexican restaurant serving up a crave-worthy menu of tacos and other favorites. To sate your taco cravings while in Miami, look no further than this handy guide.
Wood Tavern in Wynwood
Wynwood’s most popular bar is also a secret haven for killer tacos and quesadillas. Tucked away in Wood Tavern’s spacious backyard, you’ll find a permanent food truck slinging cheap and delicious tacos that pair perfectly with Wood’s extensive beer list. Order up a few and grab a spot on the backyard’s stadium-style wooden benches to enjoy in the mural-splashed setting to the beat of a live DJ. If you’re really hungry, opt for the mushroom quesadilla, a surprisingly hearty, ooey-gooey delight. And if you’ve got a sweet tooth, fried oreos are on the menu. 2531 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL 33127
Coyo Taco in Wynwood and Brickell
Coyo Taco opened in Wynwood to immediate success and soon after expanded to Brickell. Their reimagined Mexican street food is made with traditional handmade corn tortillas and fresh, locally sourced ingredients. From the classic char-grilled carne asada made with angus steak to the al pastor made with pork and roasted pineapple, more creative tacos include the pulpo charred octopus with pickled jalapenos and the quinoa and queso “falafel” with cilantro yogurt and cucumber pico. Tacos come in an order of two and pair perfectly with a side of guacamole. Burritos and salads are also on the menu. Pro Tip: For a late night party, there’s also a secret nightclub found through a door in the rear of the casual taqueria. 2300 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL 33127 and 1111 SW 1st Ave, Miami, FL 33131
HuaHua’s in South Beach
It’s safe to say that HuaHua’s spurred on Miami’s modern day taqueria craze when they opened on Lincoln Road in 2013. Sister restaurant to neighboring ultra-lounge HaVen, Chef Todd Erickson is at the helm of this laid back joint for creative tacos. One of their most popular items is the fried chicken taco, made with jalapeño cornbread, ancho ranch and cilantro. With over 10 tacos to choose from, it’s easy to mix-and-match, from chili-rubbed shrimp to the vegetarian “guaco” tacos. You can also create taco salads and burritos here. Favorite Mexican street food, elote—grilled sweet corn on the cob covered in spicy mayo and cotija cheese—is also on the menu, as well as a variety of paletas (popsicles) for a sweet, frozen dessert. 1211 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139
My Ceviche in South Beach and Multiple Locations
With locations now in Brickell, Midtown, Coral Gables, Miami Beach, South Miami and more, My Ceviche started as a humble take-out window in South Beach in 2012 serving up hyper-fresh seafood with a Peruvian twist. With a wide variety of ceviches (raw fish marinated in lime juice and tossed with red onions, cilantro, jalapeño and tomatoes), the menu also includes a creative variety of tacos, burritos and bowls. For those not tempted by seafood, chicken is also on the menu. Their tuna tacos are a little bite of heaven. Made with sushi-grade tuna on fresh corn tortillas, they’re topped with pickled red onion, queso fresco, radishes and cilantro for a clean, fresh meal. My Ceviche is also your source for stone crabs to go during season. 235 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139 and various locations
The Sand Box in Miami Beach
Helmed by Top Chef host Tom Colicchio, 1 Hotel’s poolside Sand Box restaurant is a tranquil oceanfront haven for mouthwatering, cantina-style tacos. The pared down menu includes fresh salads, tacos and sandwiches. The star of the menu is in the pescado taco especial made with lionfish in an order of three. They pair perfectly with the silky smooth guacamole and a pear margarita. 2341 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Lost & Found Saloon in Midtown
A midtown standby, Lost & Found is a down-to-earth, saloon-style restaurant with an eclectic menu that includes plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. With tacos, burritos, quesadillas, burgers and breakfast on the menu, many of the entrees are made to order. For instance, build your own tacos or burritos from a list of ingredients. You can’t go wrong with their shrimp, ground beef or tofu tacos. 185 NW 36th Street, Miami, FL 33127
Bodega in South Beach
A hot spot in South Beach as both a casual taco stand and a speakeasy-style ultra-lounge, Bodega became an over night hit. Located on Alton Road in an airy, industrial space, the taco menu is a mile long and a line often forms late night to place an order. They also have a variety of burritos and tortas (sandwiches) to choose from. The selections are creative, ranging from the shrimp po’ boy taco to the fish & chips taco, but you’ll find the classics on the menu too. The club is accessed through a door masquerading as a port-o-potty where you’ll find a bar specializing in tequila cocktails and a crowd looking to party. 1220 16th Street, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Taquiza in Miami Beach
Taquiza stands out for their handmade blue masa tortillas and chips, made to be wrapped around a variety of delicious taco fillings or dipped in fresh guacamole. All the classics are on the menu, from the barbacoa beef with cumin and chile to the pork carnitas marinated in orange, cinnamon and clove. The laidback spot is located in the heart of South Beach on Collins Avenue, just a block from Lincoln Road. 1506 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Naked Taco in South Beach
Helmed by flamboyant chef Ralph Pagano inside South Beach’s Dream Hotel, Naked Taco dishes up some seriously crave-worthy Mexican food and an extensive menu of margaritas. Start with an order of queso fundido, fire baked in a skillet with creamy jack and cheddar cheeses, roasted poblano and topped with chorizo. Then, move onto the extensive taco menu. It’s hard to resist the spiny lobster taco or the Key West shrimp. The Genreral Tso cauliflower taco is also worth a try.
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