Although the West Coast reigns supreme when it comes to infinite variations and regional styles of Mexico’s beloved street food, Miami’s taco scene continues to soar with an ambitious mix of modern Mexican spots and under-the-radar mom-and-pop taquerias serving serious corn-based tortillas stuffed with meticulously prepared fillings.
So grab an ice-cold cerveza or a refreshing margarita, and let’s taco 'bout ten of the best tacos in the 305, where taco time is all the time.
1624 79th St. Cswy., North Bay Village
Taco and tequila veteran Anna Robbins' 222 Taco in North Bay Village is a Miami Vice-colored palace of tortillas and margaritas. Tacos are categorized by "Land," "Sea," and "Jardin." The cauliflower al pastor taco has a sweet and acidic flavor without the guilt, and hongo alambre possesses a lovely earthiness ($3 to $4 each). Wash everything down with a 222 slushy margarita, a delightful frozen drink that's best described as a passionfruit piña colada with a liberal dose of tequila.
Bodega Taqueria y Tequila
1220 16th St., Miami Beach
Inside Bodega Taqueria y Tequila, casual lunch guests or late-night partiers will find a tricked-out taco truck dishing out over-the-top tacos. Think crisp calamari, a shrimp BLT variety, fish 'n' chips, and spit-broiled chicken. Savory smells waft from fresh tortillas as your tacos are brought to the table. When in doubt, spice things up with the barbacoa ($4.50): guajillo-braised short rib topped with cotija cheese, beautifully charred onions, salsa rosada, cilantro, and potato sticks.
Charly's Vegan Tacos
172 NW 24th St., Miami
Chef Charly Garcia's Tulum restaurant opened a Wynwood outpost offering a menu full of plant-based Mexican favorites. There are nine taco options priced at $16 for three. The chorizo taco trades pork for crumbled soy marinated in guajillo pepper, ancho pepper, cumin, and oregano, and the yuba carnitas variety takes tofu skin and stews it in chipotle garlic adobo. However, not everything is meant to replace meat: The rajas poblano, smoked portobello, and al pastor all let the vegetables shine.
2300 NW Second Ave., Miami
1111 SW First Ave., Miami
In a neighborhood with an abundance of impeccable food options, Coyo Taco stands among the best in Wynwood. The menu is full of taco choices (two per order), from charred octopus and grilled cactus to seared Angus steak, which you can convert into a burrito, salad, or burrito bowl. After a night of drinking and dancing, treat yourself to hand-pressed tortillas filled with crisp duck and serrano salsa ($10); then finish off your meal with a homemade Mexican ice pop ($4) from La Michoacana.
1211 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach
This South Beach taqueria has been the go-to place for late-night eats since it opened in 2013. Order the fried chicken tacos, which merge two of America’s favorite foods — fried chicken and tacos — and prepare to be mind-blown. Warm tortillas hug perfectly cooked flour-dredged chicken, jalapeño-flecked cornbread, ancho ranch, cabbage, cilantro, and Mexican spices for $3.99 each or $11 for three of the same taco.
Lolo's Surf Cantina
Parkside at Stanton
161 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach
This beachside cantina in Miami Beach’s South of Fifth neighborhood has a quaint terrace that offers prime people-watching and laid-back alfresco dining. New to the taco scene, Lolo's Surf Cantina spices up the lush area with its Baja-inspired traditional Mexican eats, including rib eye, carnitas, mushroom, and fish tacos. Try the last variety, a gussied-up version that contains pan-fried mahi-mahi, serrano chili aioli, coleslaw, and radishes for $12. All tacos are served on warm house-made tortillas and accompanied by fresh salsas and sauces, made in-house too.
Mi Rinconcito Mexicano
1961 SW Eighth St, Miami
A Little Havana mainstay since 2005, Mi Rinconcito Mexicano boasts a real south-of-the-border cantina ambiance with simple decor and no-frills Mexican fare. Take it easy on the complimentary tortilla chips and red salsa or you won't have room for the menu’s stars: the tacos. Soft corn tortillas come with your choice of pork, lamb, tongue, chicken, or chorizo and packed with onions and cilantro. The carne asada tacos, priced at three for $5, contain marinated ground beef that's tender enough to fill the taco but substantial enough to fill your belly. Request a fiery hit of hot sauce for extra kick.
Tacos & Tattoos
11790 SW 104th St., Miami
The bumping music, graffiti-splashed walls, and welcoming neighborhood vibe are enough to draw you into this hip West Kendall taco joint, but the tacos are so tempting you’ll want to become a regular. At Tacos & Tattoos, choose from three kinds of made-to-order taco shells — corn, flour, and crispy — as well as a protein, including shrimp, pork, portobello mushrooms, and tofu. Owner Jonathan Cruz recommends the traditional soft corn tortilla because it holds more flavor. Fill it with churrasco ($3.75) and top it with melted cheese, dollops of pico de gallo, pineapple coleslaw, and homemade sauces. Wash it down with a tall glass of craft beer, but be sure to leave room for dessert. The deep-fried Oreos and T&T Nutella doughnuts are not to be missed.
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Taqueria Viva Mexico
502 SW 12th Ave., Miami
When the original Viva Mexico closed in Little Havana, Andres Tovar’s second concept, Viva Mexico y Algo Mas, picked up the torch as Miami’s best taqueria. The menu is short and sweet: tacos filled with a variety of pig parts that are braised in their own fat, giving you more time to eat and less time spent on trying to figure out what to order. The campechano, priced at $3 each, uses tender pork leg and crackling pork skin for a delicious combination of flavors and textures.
7450 Ocean Ter., Miami Beach
1351 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
8300 NE Second Ave., Miami
There’s only one way to eat Taquiza’s fatty, delicately braised beef tongue piled on homemade nixtamalized heirloom blue corn tortillas: Pick up the taco, fold it, and bite into it entirely, making sure you don’t miss a chunk of meat, toasted bay leaf, or a taste of Cerveza Victoria. Savor every mouthful or order more tacos, including succulent shrimp, corn truffle, chorizo, and spicy charred poblano, which range in price from $3.50 to $5. Go on — taste them. You’ll see why Steve Santana’s taquerias remain at the forefront of Miami’s taco revolution.