Portland Taquerias' Top Tacos

Three cantinas stoking our hand-held cravings this summer (plus plenty of drinks to wash down the spice)

By Benjamin Tepler August 1, 2014 Published in the August 2014 issue of Portland Monthly

Taqueria Portland’s Taco Super

Image: Nomad

Uno Mas West

Top Taco: Oswaldo Bibiano already has a reputation for Mexican brunch at his higher-end spots, Autentica and Mextiza. Now, at the new west-side satellite of his addictive Uno Mas taqueria, Bibiano is crafting the best breakfast tacos in the city. The chile capeado is hard to beat: shredded pork, cooked with chipotle and guajillo peppers, stuffed into an egg-battered jalapeño, deep-fried, and drizzled with crema.

Drinking Buddy: The Uno Mas spin on a classic Bloody Mary, the Bloody Maria, mixes a fiery house tequila infused with orange, mango, habanero, and cilantro, with a super-spicy bloody mix
that marries hot salsa with beer and Clamato. 1914 W Burnside St, 503-719-4768

Mi Mero Mole Chinatown

Top Taco: At the new Chinatown location of this guisado-fueled cantina, the stalwart stew is still unrivaled. Our favorite, borrego ahumado en mole negro (smoked lamb in black mole) features whole lamb shoulder, oak-smoked for 12 hours before getting soused in a sweet, nutty sauce of roasted chile, Mexican chocolate, and plantains. 

Drinking Buddy: Bartender and co-owner Pablo Portilla dreamed up the perfect taco companion by fusing the creamy texture of a piña colada with a caipirinha. His fruity umbrella-drink version of Brazil’s national cocktail blends pineapple juice, cachaca (a sugarcane spirit), avocado, and mint for a velvety, refreshing finish. 32 NW Fifth Ave, 971-266-8575

Taqueria Portland

Top Taco: The St. Johns standby, which relocated to the SE Morrison Street corridor earlier this year, is the real deal: $1.95 tacos, a room-length menu from chimichangas to posole, and Telemundo playing all day. The chile verde and beef head tacos are excellent; each cradled in a pair of tortillas and showered with cilantro and onion. But top marks go to the juicy, caramelized, perfectly grilled carne asada taco. Throw down a few more quarters for the “Taco Super,” brimming with guacamole, sour cream, radishes, and Monterey Jack cheese. 

Drinking Buddy: A gargantuan, thirst-slaying michelada (see our roundup for more on Mexican beer cocktails). 820 SE Eighth Ave, 503-232-7000

Filed under
Show Comments