El Taco Riendo
There are a handful of spots in the Twin Cities that I can rely on for excellent Mexican food, and El Taco Riendo is one of them. Located on Central Avenue in Northeast Minneapolis, the fast casual restaurant has a Chipotle-style ordering system where your meal is made fresh in front of you, but their line up has many more choices and much, much better food filled with the authentic flavors of Mexico City. It’s consistently been some of the best Mexican food in town since it opened in 2009. Fill your tacos, burrito, chimichanga or sopes with spicy barbacoa, traditional al pastor, pollo verde, chipotle-infused tinga, even tripe. For me, a plate of carnitas street tacos is a must—fresh corn tortillas with crisped shredded pork, onion and cilantro. A couple of those and a tamale makes for a great lunch. You could also spring for the Torta Cubana, a hefty sandwich stuffed with nearly all the ingredients they have on hand: a thin steak breaded and fried, griddled split hot dogs, chorizo, ham, lettuce, tomato, jalapeno, beans, onions and cheese. It’s epic. If you don’t have someone to split it with you, expect to take half of that bad boy home. Eat your tacos in house or take them to go and enjoy them with a cold beer at Fair State Brewery just a few doors down.
2412 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
Photograph from El Taco Riendo on Facebook.