When in Mexico we rarely eat in restaurants. Instead we enjoy “real” Mexican food made by family; pazole with tostadas, green salsa sopes, and chiles rellenos are some favorites. When in Minnesota, we are on an endless mission, either in restaurants or in our own kitchen, to find that same flavor and flair (radish slice garnish, anyone?) that WE would call “authentic” Mexican or Latin American cuisine. We’ve gone from Grand Rapids to Red Wing and all over the Twin Cities.
Although, not always possible, we try to go to each restaurant at least twice before we write a review because, both from food service backgrounds, we know every server and cook has good and bad days. Chain-type restaurants are not our style of Mexican dining and we don’t usually eat at them. Chipotle is the exception to this rule, luring us with it’s flavorful meat and shiny silver foil. Typically, we prefer small, family-owned places, and have found the best places have at least a handful of Mexican staff. I believe this is true of many quality ethnic restaurants, which typically are owned by or employ some people from the cuisine’s country of origin.
Here is a combination of recipes and restaurants that will bring Latin flavor to everyone’s taste buds. Of course, there are a few “Minnesotan” family recipes and our “can’t miss” Minnesota restaurants thrown in to balance things out. Our blog is about Mexico and Minnesota, after all.
(Reviews and Recipes, more coming soon. To help show that we have indeed sampled a LOT of different Mexican and Latin-inspired cuisine, most of the restaurants we have eaten at in the past nine years are listed. However, only ones dined at during the “blog years” have reviews.)
Restaurants listed alphabetically by main part of name (ignoring the Spanish articles “El” and “La” which mean “The”)
In MinnesotaAcapulco, Blaine, Coon Rapids (multiple locations) Amanacer, St. Paul El Azteca, Anoka – Plymouth Bar Abilene, Minneapolis Barrio, Minneapolis (also, in St. Paul, Edina) Boca Chica, St. Paul La Bodega, Lake Street in Minneapolis (CLOSED) Burrito Mercado, St. Paul Cafe Havana, Minneapolis (CLOSED) La Casita Mexican Grill and Cantina, Roseville, Colombia Hights, Waite Park Casita Lupita, White Bear Lake Castellano’s – Shoreview (CLOSED) Chino Latino, Minneapolis Chula Vista, St. Paul La Cocina de Ana, Plymouth Conga Latin Bistro, Hennepin Ave in Minneapolis La Cucaracha, St. Paul Dominguez Family Restaurant, Minneapolis Fiesta Americana, Red Wing Fogo de Chao, Minneapolis Gorditas el Gordo, Minneapolis Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant, Rogers Herradura, Spring Lake Park (CLOSED) Hola Arepa, Food Truck, ate in Minneapolis Little Angie’s Cantina, Duluth La Loma Tamales, Lake St in Minneapolis El Loro, Coon Rapids – (Multiple locations) Madre Loca, Princeton Manny’s Tortas, Minneapolis El Mariachi, Nicollet in Minneapolis Masa, Nicollet in downtown Minneapolis Maya Cuisine, NE Minneapolis Las Mojarres, Lake Street in Minneapolis Nacho Mama’s, Stillwater Pancho Villa, Nicollet in Minneapolis El Paraiso, Nicollet in Minneapols Pineda Tacos, Lake St in Minneapolis (multiple locations) Poncho Lefty’s, Baxter El Potro, Grand Rapids Pupuseria El Rincon Salvadoreno, Mercado Central in Minneapolis Rojo Mexican Grill, West End Shops in St. Louis Park Solera, Hennepin Ave in Minneapolis El Taco Loco, Food Truck, tasted in Twin Cities Tacos Ocampo, Lake Street in Minneapolis Taqueria La Hacienda, Mercado Central in Minneapolis El Tequila, Northfield
In MexicoLas Mañanitas, Cuernavaca, Morelos El Companario, Pátzcuaro, Michoacan La Perla, Acapulco, Guererro Los Dorados de Villa, Zacatecas City, Zacatecas
Somewhere ElseSan Angel Inn, Mexican Pavillion, Disney World’s Epcot Center, Florida Guapo Shore Shack, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Non-Latin Restaurants We MUST mention
Angry Trout, Grand Marais, MN