Food & Restaurants

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 Minnesota

Acapulco, 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 Mexico

Las Mañanitas, Cuernavaca, Morelos
El Companario, Pátzcuaro, Michoacan
La Perla, Acapulco, Guererro
Los Dorados de Villa, Zacatecas City, Zacatecas

Somewhere Else

San 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


Chocolate Zucchini Cake  – (dessert)
Goat Cheese Arepas with Black Bean Salsa – (appetizer or main dish)
Rice Pudding – (dessert)
Red Chicken Tostadas – (main dish)
Shrimp Ceviche – (appetizer)
Slow-cooked Mexican Chicken – (large crowd recipe)

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