Ten Best Tacos in Miami

Tacos are the perfect food. No utensil or plate is necessary, and they are small enough that you can easily eat more to sate your hunger level. As we said in our best taco award post: "One is a snack, two make a satisfying lunch, and three or four are a substantial supper."

Though Miami's streets may not be lined with taco trucks and dollar tacos, the city's pricier tacos make up for it with flavor, creativity, exciting ingredients, and some solid abuela-style cooking techniques.

It seems a new taqueria opens every month. So we sorted through the new batch and took stock of the tried-and-true to present you with the ten best tacos in Miami.

10. Lengua Taco at El Jacalito Taqueria Mexicano

Carne asada is for amateurs. For more adventurous beef tacos, head to El Jacalito Taqueria Mexicana. This place offers affordable eats — tacos cost only $6 for three. And the owners let you mix and match.The best taco? The lengua. Tender slivers of beef tongue come topped with diced onion and chopped cilantro on soft corn tortillas. The meat is juicy, the taco is tasty, and for some tongue-on-tongue action, it's right on. Each bite melts in your mouth.

9. Raw Tuna Taco at My Ceviche

From the people who brought you the octopus burrito and give you popcorn with your ceviche comes the raw tuna taco. Sure, you can get charred octopus or grilled fish, but a raw taco is simply tastier. The mixed tuna is nestled with pickled red onions, queso fresco, thin radish slices, and cilantro in a fresh tortilla for one on-point taco ($3.50 each). Bonus: My Ceviche gives the option of soft corn or flour tortilla or even a lettuce wrap.

8. Duck Confit Taco at Naked Taco

Owners of Naked Taco want you to get pretty wild. They have a General Tso cauliflower taco and many other sexualized varieties. After all, the tagline is "The best taco you ever ate out." But they can actually back up their double-entendres with amazing flavor. A favorite is the duck confit taco ($7), which pairs crisp chicharrones with fatty shredded meat, avocado-cilantro crema, lime, and spicy cucumbers. Plus, Naked Taco lets you choose from soft corn or flour tortilla or lettuce wrap.

7. Pollo Tacos at Mi Rinconcito Mexicano

One-dollar tacos may be commonplace in California, but in Miami, we're thrilled to see three for $10. Mi Rinconcito keeps the quantity and quality but cuts the cost in half. You can get three tacos — choose from chicken, beef, pork, lengua, and chorizo — on soft corn tortillas for $5. We don't wanna sound like a chicken, but we really like the pollo here.

6. Barbacoa Taco at Taquiza

Taquiza has all kinds of interesting fillings, from lengua to rajas, but it is the homemade blue masa tortillas that are most impressive. We are big fans of the barbacoa taco ($3) — braised beef cooked with cumin, chilies, coffee, and a splash of Negra Modelo.

5. Camaron Tacos at Coyo Taco

A newcomer to Wynwood and the Miami taco scene is Coyo. However, the shrimp taco ($9 for two) stands out — and up. This vertically placed taco features seared Gulf shrimp, mango slaw, guac, and chipotle aioli on a flour tortilla. The green goodness oozes from the ridge of the shrimp tail, and the slaw has all kinds of delightful and crunchy surprises like cucumber.

4. Fish Taco at Jefe's Original Fish Taco and Burger

Miami can catch Jefe's tacos from a bright-orange truck that roams the streets and caters parties. The signature Ensenada-style fish taco ($2.35) features delicately fried beer-battered fish, cabbage, pico de gallo, and crema on a soft corn tortilla. Live out your surfer dreams with this totally rad taco.

3. Tacos al Pastor at Taqueria Morelia

Homestead has no shortage of good Mexican food, but the one place that's a squeeze of lime above the rest is Taqueria Morelia. There are two locations, and one is connected to a Valero that won New Times' 2014 Best of Miami award for Best Gas Station. Here you can get some killer al pastor tacos ($2.15) and fuel up before entering Everglades National Park. These guys do al pastor-style pork tacos better than anyone.

2. Fried Chicken Taco at Huahua's Taqueria

It may not be authentic, but it's freaking fantastic. The Deep South-inspired taco filling of fried chicken and jalapeño-flecked cornbread is perfection. In Huahua's fried chicken taco ($3.99), served on a soft flour tortilla, the flour-dredged chicken is moist, the cornbread croutons bring the crunch, and the ancho-infused ranch sauce delivers the heat. It is a well-balanced dish that crosses the thin red-hot-sauce line between gringo sports-bar grub and legitimate taco stand.

1. Carnitas Tacos at Viva Mexico

If we had to simmer Miami down to one meat, it would undoubtedly be pork. But when it comes to carnitas, there's only one place where pigs get wings, and that's Viva Mexico. The teeny, cash-only eatery on SW 12th Avenue in Little Havana serves Michoacán-style carnitas. The slogan is "Las únicas y las mejores" — the best and the only ones. No other restaurant in town proffers authentic carnitas like these. There are all sorts of pork parts: leg, stomach, ear, tongue, tripe, skin, or mixed ($1.75 to $2). These tacos are offal-ly delicious.

Follow Carina on Twitter @CarinaOst.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Carina Ost