Authentic Mexican Cuisine in Minnesota

Jason and Joy share their top places for old-school Mexican cuisine

Restaurant recommendations from MnMo food critics Jason DeRusha and Joy Summers

Joy’s Picks:

There’s a new trend of fancy “fork-and-knife” tacos at Twin Cities restaurants, but as much as I love a hand-pressed tortilla, sometimes I long for a deep-fried chimichanga.

El Tequila Mexican Restaurant: This lively eatery has intricately carved, brightly painted tables, a full bar stocked with mammoth margaritas, and seemingly endless baskets of chips and salsa. It’s here I rekindled my love of a deep-fried tortilla, stuffed with meat and seasonings and dipped in a cup of fresh pico de gallo. (Brainerd)

Azteca’s: Inside an unassuming strip mall in the shadow of Miller Hill Mall sits a little slice of Mexico. Not exactly what you’d expect in Duluth, but the luscious refried beans and cheese-laden chiles rellenos are happiness on Fiestaware. (Duluth)

Jason’s Picks:

Why wait for Cinco de Mayo when you can celebrate Mexican food all year. I want rich, deep flavors, a giant basket of tortilla chips, and an awesome family running the show.

Food offerings at El Burrito Mercado in St. Paul, Minnesota.
El Burrito Mercado. Photo by Todd Buchanan

El Burrito Mercado: The second generation is now running this St. Paul family run institution, and Milissa Silva-Diaz has big plans to pair a new patio and huge banquet room with the same delicious recipes. The sit-down restaurant next to the deli has live music on Fridays. (West Side, St. Paul)

Acapulco Restaurante Mexicano: The Leon family came from Jalisco, Mexico in the 1990s and their nine kids are involved in the restaurants. They do great chimichangas, taquitos, enchiladas verdes, and have a flight of three tequilas for $15. (Eight locations including Blaine, Woodbury, and Stillwater)

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