Finding a great taco in Miami might not be as easy as finding a great Cuban sandwich or ceviche or someone’s escaped pet python that has grown to 20-feet long on a diet of slow iguanas. But those great tacos are out there, and it’s much more fun to find one of them than it is to discover that python. These are our favorite taco spots in Miami right now and—before you yell at us—we want to clarify that we’re not including Homestead spots on this guide. We’re fully aware that Homestead is South Florida’s epicenter of amazing Mexican food, which is why we’re slowly working on a dedicated Homestead guide. In the meantime, these delicious spots should give you plenty of tacos to occupy your stomach.
Taqueria Viva Mexico is a casual Mexican spot on Calle Ocho with a blue exterior and colorful papel picado hanging from the ceiling. The key here is to stay away from the more common taco variations like carne asada or al pastor (which are just alright) and instead go for the less common (at least in Miami) versions like oreja, lengua, and tripe, which this place excels at. The oreja and tripe in particular are incredibly tender and delicious. Plus, they give you generous sides of salsa and taco toppings so you can customize to your liking.
photo credit: Cleveland Jennings
Tacos El Porky is basically a fast food taco spot—in the best possible way. This downtown taqueria specializes in al pastor tacos shaved right off a trompo and served with pineapple, onions, a spicy red chili sauce, and their “porkie sauce” (cilantro and mayo). Those are good, but our favorite taco here is the cochi taco. It has chunks of chicharrones that are salty, fatty, crunchy, and served with pickled onions and a green chili sauce. The third taco on their small menu is the cheesy and delicious gringa taco, which is actually more like an al pastor quesadilla than a taco. They combine the same al pastor ingredients together, add cheese, and let it all melt together between two flour tortillas on a hot flat top. That’s it—just three tacos on the menu—all pork and all fast.
The Wolf of Tacos is not a taco hedge fund, but rather an al pastor pop-up making some of Miami’s finest tacos at various locations around town. The Wolf’s al pastor is one of the best versions in town and comes freshly carved from a vertical spit, just how the taco gods intended. Being a pop-up, they bounce around a lot, so give their Instagram page a follow to stay informed about where you can find them next. The menu usually includes options like pork, chicken, and steak, all dressed simply with a perfect amount of cilantro, diced white onions, and salsa.
Tacos El Machine Gon is a taco truck that sets up next to a gas station on the border of North Miami Beach and Aventura—and we love everything on the small menu. Their self-titled “tacos El Machine Gon” features a triple meat combination: sliced steak, rich Mexican chorizo, and crisp yet puffy pieces of pork rind. But please don’t come here without getting a costa. These tacos feature blue corn tortillas wrapped around crispy logs of griddled cheese filled with your choice of steak, chicken, mushroom, or shrimp.
Ever had a taco so good you forgot to add lime or sauce to it? That’s what happened to us when we tried the tacos at No Manches! Que Rico. It’s a small Mexican restaurant in West Miami with a few tables in the back and a mural of Frida Kahlo reimagined as a hip high schooler who looks like she could be the president of the slam poetry club at Dash Academy. We come here for the traditional tacos like a barbacoa version so soft and tender you’ll open the taco a few times to remind yourself it’s shredded beef. They’re really generous with the meat, which is so juicy, you actually might forget to add anything to them. But don’t—the sauces are deep, smoky, and really spice up these already delicious tacos.
Just about everything at this colorful Calle Ocho Mexican restaurant is fantastic. And while we don’t really come to Rinconcito only for tacos—they have gorditas, sopes, burritos, and even a little bakery in the back of the restaurant—the tacos always end up on the table. They’re simple in the best way possible: a soft warm tortilla, some raw diced white onions, a little chopped cilantro, and classic fillings that range from lengua to al pastor.
Taquiza makes our favorite tacos in Miami Beach, and they have locations in both South and North Beach. It’s the attention to detail that makes us love Taquiza, from the homemade blue corn tortillas to the perfectly charred and juicy shrimp in the camaron tacos. Sliced radish, onion, and limes come on the side so you can customize your own taco, but the ingredients are good enough to eat with minimal garnish. Also, get totopos. Always get totopos.
The Taco Stand is from San Diego, a city known for really great Mexican food and stuffing french fries into burritos. They do that at the Miami location too, as well as make some very tasty carne asada and fried fish tacos. It’s also one of the few spots in Wynwood where you can have a great, casual meal for under $10, which is why there’s usually a line out the door.
Los Felix is a great Mexican restaurant that really nails every aspect of the Great Restaurant Formula, from the perfectly-sized dining room to the unanimously excellent menu. There are all kinds of great things on that menu, and most of the dishes (including the tacos) utilize Los Felix’s fresh tortillas, which are thin but never tear in half no matter how much pork cheek carnitas you heap onto them. Just know that this is not a casual option. You will spend money here—and you’re not coming just for tacos either. Definitely order other things on the rotating menu, like the tetela plated with a crown of perfectly grilled oyster mushrooms.
Antojitos Mexicanos Tenorio is a casual Mexican restaurant in a Kendall strip mall. They have a vertical spit to make tacos al pastor the right way, and they are excellent: a deep sunset red color from achiote, just a little smokey, and with a good balance of crunchy charred bits and rich juicy pieces. The carnitas tacos aren’t far behind and feature confit pork that pulls apart with zero resistance. The excellent chorizo taco uses leaner Mexican chorizo crumbled into big chunks, eliminating the trail of red grease that usually flows down our forearms when we eat chorizo tacos. But please don’t leave without also ordering the alambre.
Tacombi is a casual Mexican spot in the Design District. It works great for takeout or inhaling a couple al pastor tacos at the counter in under 15 minutes. But this is also a great dine-in option. They have plenty of tables where you can have a slower meal with a pitcher of very good margaritas before a night out. However you do this place, tacos should be involved—especially the beautifully crispy baja crispy fish tacos. Other options include a classic al pastor, carne asada, seared cod, and black bean and sweet potato.
This small Mexican restaurant in Little Havana not only has very good tacos, but they’re open very late, so you can depend on them for sustenance after a night out. They serve all the hits here: al pastor, carne asada, lengua, barbacoa, and more. They don’t skimp on the filling, and give you a small mountain of cilantro and onions on the side so you can sprinkle to your liking. It’s the kind of simple, classic taco Miami needs more of.
Jacalito is a little Mexican restaurant just a few blocks from Taquerias El Carnal with indoor and outdoor seating. There are a few locations scattered around Miami, but this one on West Flagler is the best. Tacos here come in orders of three, and include adobada, chorizo, cochinita pibil, and more very good varieties you will eat in five minutes and consider whether or not you want to order three more. Also, the horchata game is very strong here. Get a glass.
This taco stand in MiMo has a short menu with a handful of taco varieties and they’re all really good. They’re filled to capacity with your choice of barbacoa, carnitas, pollo, or mushrooms. They have barrels outside so you can stand up and eat while watching cars whiz by on Biscayne Boulevard. But their takeout game is on point. They have taco-specific to-go boxes and serve their nachos in a pizza box to ensure an even distribution of toppings. Pure genius.
Taco Chido is a weird place with good tacos. The restaurant looks like it was decorated by a high school goth with a passion for estate sales. Tinted windows darken a dining room with retro diner chairs, inverted candelabras hanging from the ceiling, and a back wall with more graffiti scribbles than a popular kid’s yearbook. Our favorite tacos here are al pastor and cochinita pibil. The al pastor is juicy, sweet, and slightly smoky. And the conchita pibil tacos are tangy, tender, and savory. Both use housemade tortillas, too. You place your order at the touch screen and then enjoy your tacos under the slowly shifting lava lamp colors of the dining room.