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Two corn tortillas sit on a bamboo plate, topped with cilantro, cabbage, and fish.
Rockfish tacos at Flying Fish Company.
Flying Fish Co.

Where to Find Fantastic Fish Tacos in Portland and Beyond

Crispy-fried filets, juicy marinated shrimp, and more

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Rockfish tacos at Flying Fish Company.
| Flying Fish Co.

One reason Portlanders specifically love tacos is because of their versatility. They can be meat-heavy or vegan, dairy-free or layered with melty cheese, gluten-free with house-nixtamalized corn tortillas or barbecue-stuffed with lard-bolstered flour ones. The city’s fish tacos, similarly, are varied and adaptable: tacos arrive filled with shrimp or rockfish, local or flown in fresh, grilled or fried. Many local restaurants and food carts let the quality of the fish or their dutiful preparation shine through, opting for simple accompaniments — pico de gallo, cabbage slaw, avocado — while others add extra flare with fun cremas, house-made tortillas, or out-of-the-box salsas. However they’re prepared, they are often a vehicle to showcase the West Coast’s love affair with seafood. Behold: A list of places in Portland that are worth a visit during your next fish taco craving. For a wider swath of tacos, try this map.

Note: Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

A Fish Named Taco

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If it isn’t clear from the name, A Fish Named Taco specializes in Baja-style seafood, with a variety of fish and shrimp tacos. The Baja fish taco tops a piece of beer-battered halibut with cabbage, cilantro, cotija, and crema, with a lively salsa verde on the side, while the cameron pairs chipotle-marinated and grilled shrimp with pico, guacamole, and chipotle aioli. For something different and objectively cheesier, Las Camas combines that grilled chipotle shrimp with queso Oaxaca and ranchero sauce.

Mahi Taco

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Serving Hawaiian comfort food from a teal-and-yellow trailer inside Killingsworth’s Piedmont Station pod, Mahi Taco has been at it for roughly six years. While the cart also sells grilled chicken, kalua pork, and fried avocado tacos, the namesake grilled mahi taco, rubbed in blackening seasoning, is particularly awesome. Held together by a crispy grilled flour tortilla, all tacos come with cabbage, pico, bright lime sauce, Colby cheese, and either salsa verde or mango habanero on the side. It’s particularly fun as a plate, with a side of mac salad and cilantro-lime rice.

Santo Domingo Taqueria

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If the wait at neighboring spot Taco Pedaler is too much, walk the 30 seconds to try the tacos here, which uses fried pollack and a tartar-like sauce. All of Santo Domingo Taqueria’s tacos are going for less than $3 a pop — which, let’s be honest here — isn’t something many of Portland’s taquerias can say, especially now. The spot also pours cups of house-made horchata and fruit drinks, and has a sizable covered patio with large picnic tables.

Taco Pedaler

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At two different restaurant locales in Northeast Portland, the former trike-based food cart Taco Pedaler is still hand-pressing tortillas for its Mexican street-style tacos, which regulars often order with a margarita. The small, colorfully painted taquerias serve Baja-style fish tacos, filled with local and line-caught Pacific Northwest fish that changes seasonally. The fish comes coated and fried in a gluten-free batter, topped with cabbage, cilantro, fresh pineapple pico, and spicy crema. On occasion, Taco Pedaler will throw a shrimp taco on special; it’s worth getting when available.

Tropicale

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Piña colada mainstay Tropicale has a slew of fresh, quality plates that include brunch-time eats, and a plate of two tasty fish tacos for $10. Served on handmade blue organic corn tortillas, these feature egg-battered Alaskan cod that’s fried with a crispy cornmeal crust, topped with pickled cabbage slaw, cilantro crema, and fittingly, garnished with grilled pineapple. Of course, it’s particularly well-paired with any of the bar’s frozen drinks.

Flying Fish Company LLC

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This Burnside fish market is a popular spot for those seeking sustainably sourced seafood, but its small kitchen also shows off the market’s goods with dishes like Ora King salmon crudo and wild Oregon tuna poke. The same can be said for Flying Fish’s tacos, wild Pacific Northwestern rockfish topped with cabbage, tangy pickled onions, and Fresno chile, as well as a dusting of cotija and a touch of crema. The tacos are gluten-free, but the restaurant isn’t 100 percent gluten-free, which can be tricky for Celiac diners.

La Tía Juana Taqueria

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This Gresham Mexican restaurant serves everything from vampiros to pozole, but it’s also a regular stop for those craving fish tacos. Battered fish or shrimp arrives on a corn tortilla with cabbage, cilantro, onion, and a squiggle of chipotle sauce, with optional add-ons like avocado, pico de gallo, and Monterey jack. They’re available on their own, or in a set of three.

La Piñata Takos

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There’s something to be said for keeping it simple, as this family-owned Mexican food cart has demonstrated for years with its reasonably priced, ultra flavorful tacos and burritos. The fish taco at this downtown cart is a generous helping of nicely seasoned grilled tilapia that comes with cheese and sour cream, tucked inside two white corn tortillas. However, the cart easily accommodates dairy-free diners — just nix the dairy and sub avocado. Any order should include some of the cart’s superb salsa verde and salsa roja.

Taqueria Portland

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The funky Taqueria Portland in Buckman does tacos well, period, but its fish tacos are the clear standout: a heaping taco of fried fish, lettuce, cilantro, pico, radishes, and avocado on a corn or flour tortilla. Taqueria Portland also hawks shrimp tacos, similarly adorned. Order delivery or pick-up via Grubhub, DoorDash, Uber Eats, or Postmates.

¿Por Qué No?

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While some Portlanders might roll their eyes at the often-lengthy wait times at Por Que No’s two locations, it’s also worth noting that the shops’ menu includes two tasty fish tacos for different moods. Both tacos, the pescado and the fish #2, feature fried Newman’s line-caught Alaskan cod in a crispy cornmeal crust. The fish #2 comes with some simple, agreeable fixings, namely tangy escabeche crema and serrano-cabbage slaw; the Pescado is smothered in a heavy pile of pineapple and salsa verde — just one can fill you up. If cod doesn’t appeal, the restaurants’ shrimp tacos are also lovely, with serrano salsa, pineapple, and plenty of cabbage.

Mestizo

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This red-meat-free Mexican restaurant on Southeast Division is known for its fried banana flower tacos — a vegan play on a fish taco — but the restaurant also offers a knockout version of the real deal. Pieces of tender rockfish come tucked in Three Sisters Nixtamal corn tortillas, topped with a cabbage slaw, chipotle aioli, and a bright, piquant orange-habanero salsa. The tacos are completely gluten-free, and come in a serving of three.

Nayar Taqueria

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This Foster-Powell taqueria offers a daunting array of tacos, including four different ones featuring seafood. Unlike many other versions in town, most of Nayar’s fish tacos include fish grilled in garlic butter, topped with a pineapple slaw and bell pepper — that includes a salmon taco, a relative rarity among Portland’s taco scene. Nayar also slings a traditional fried fish taco, cod topped with shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, and cilantro.

Salvador Molly's

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Known for its eclectic menu of dishes from around the world, Salvador Molly’s fish tacos come as a plate as opposed to a la carte: the two tacos come filled with beer-battered saba, drizzled with crema and garlic-lime aioli, sprinkled with cotija cheese, and served with sides of yellow rice and spiced black beans. You can grab one for $5 during happy hour.

Cha Cha Cha Mexican Taqueria

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This longstanding local chain of taquerias sells three different fish tacos, often showing off the restaurant’s fun salsas. The wild tilapia taco comes with a cabbage and jalapeño salsa, while the wild salmon is paired with an earthier chipotle salsa, as well as a fresh fruit salsa. The shrimp tacos arrive with a rich salsa rojo. For those concerned with sourcing, all of the fish served here is Monterrey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch certified.

A Fish Named Taco

If it isn’t clear from the name, A Fish Named Taco specializes in Baja-style seafood, with a variety of fish and shrimp tacos. The Baja fish taco tops a piece of beer-battered halibut with cabbage, cilantro, cotija, and crema, with a lively salsa verde on the side, while the cameron pairs chipotle-marinated and grilled shrimp with pico, guacamole, and chipotle aioli. For something different and objectively cheesier, Las Camas combines that grilled chipotle shrimp with queso Oaxaca and ranchero sauce.

Mahi Taco

Serving Hawaiian comfort food from a teal-and-yellow trailer inside Killingsworth’s Piedmont Station pod, Mahi Taco has been at it for roughly six years. While the cart also sells grilled chicken, kalua pork, and fried avocado tacos, the namesake grilled mahi taco, rubbed in blackening seasoning, is particularly awesome. Held together by a crispy grilled flour tortilla, all tacos come with cabbage, pico, bright lime sauce, Colby cheese, and either salsa verde or mango habanero on the side. It’s particularly fun as a plate, with a side of mac salad and cilantro-lime rice.

Santo Domingo Taqueria

If the wait at neighboring spot Taco Pedaler is too much, walk the 30 seconds to try the tacos here, which uses fried pollack and a tartar-like sauce. All of Santo Domingo Taqueria’s tacos are going for less than $3 a pop — which, let’s be honest here — isn’t something many of Portland’s taquerias can say, especially now. The spot also pours cups of house-made horchata and fruit drinks, and has a sizable covered patio with large picnic tables.

Taco Pedaler

At two different restaurant locales in Northeast Portland, the former trike-based food cart Taco Pedaler is still hand-pressing tortillas for its Mexican street-style tacos, which regulars often order with a margarita. The small, colorfully painted taquerias serve Baja-style fish tacos, filled with local and line-caught Pacific Northwest fish that changes seasonally. The fish comes coated and fried in a gluten-free batter, topped with cabbage, cilantro, fresh pineapple pico, and spicy crema. On occasion, Taco Pedaler will throw a shrimp taco on special; it’s worth getting when available.

Tropicale

Piña colada mainstay Tropicale has a slew of fresh, quality plates that include brunch-time eats, and a plate of two tasty fish tacos for $10. Served on handmade blue organic corn tortillas, these feature egg-battered Alaskan cod that’s fried with a crispy cornmeal crust, topped with pickled cabbage slaw, cilantro crema, and fittingly, garnished with grilled pineapple. Of course, it’s particularly well-paired with any of the bar’s frozen drinks.

Flying Fish Company LLC

This Burnside fish market is a popular spot for those seeking sustainably sourced seafood, but its small kitchen also shows off the market’s goods with dishes like Ora King salmon crudo and wild Oregon tuna poke. The same can be said for Flying Fish’s tacos, wild Pacific Northwestern rockfish topped with cabbage, tangy pickled onions, and Fresno chile, as well as a dusting of cotija and a touch of crema. The tacos are gluten-free, but the restaurant isn’t 100 percent gluten-free, which can be tricky for Celiac diners.

La Tía Juana Taqueria

This Gresham Mexican restaurant serves everything from vampiros to pozole, but it’s also a regular stop for those craving fish tacos. Battered fish or shrimp arrives on a corn tortilla with cabbage, cilantro, onion, and a squiggle of chipotle sauce, with optional add-ons like avocado, pico de gallo, and Monterey jack. They’re available on their own, or in a set of three.

La Piñata Takos

There’s something to be said for keeping it simple, as this family-owned Mexican food cart has demonstrated for years with its reasonably priced, ultra flavorful tacos and burritos. The fish taco at this downtown cart is a generous helping of nicely seasoned grilled tilapia that comes with cheese and sour cream, tucked inside two white corn tortillas. However, the cart easily accommodates dairy-free diners — just nix the dairy and sub avocado. Any order should include some of the cart’s superb salsa verde and salsa roja.

Taqueria Portland

The funky Taqueria Portland in Buckman does tacos well, period, but its fish tacos are the clear standout: a heaping taco of fried fish, lettuce, cilantro, pico, radishes, and avocado on a corn or flour tortilla. Taqueria Portland also hawks shrimp tacos, similarly adorned. Order delivery or pick-up via Grubhub, DoorDash, Uber Eats, or Postmates.

¿Por Qué No?

While some Portlanders might roll their eyes at the often-lengthy wait times at Por Que No’s two locations, it’s also worth noting that the shops’ menu includes two tasty fish tacos for different moods. Both tacos, the pescado and the fish #2, feature fried Newman’s line-caught Alaskan cod in a crispy cornmeal crust. The fish #2 comes with some simple, agreeable fixings, namely tangy escabeche crema and serrano-cabbage slaw; the Pescado is smothered in a heavy pile of pineapple and salsa verde — just one can fill you up. If cod doesn’t appeal, the restaurants’ shrimp tacos are also lovely, with serrano salsa, pineapple, and plenty of cabbage.

Mestizo

This red-meat-free Mexican restaurant on Southeast Division is known for its fried banana flower tacos — a vegan play on a fish taco — but the restaurant also offers a knockout version of the real deal. Pieces of tender rockfish come tucked in Three Sisters Nixtamal corn tortillas, topped with a cabbage slaw, chipotle aioli, and a bright, piquant orange-habanero salsa. The tacos are completely gluten-free, and come in a serving of three.

Nayar Taqueria

This Foster-Powell taqueria offers a daunting array of tacos, including four different ones featuring seafood. Unlike many other versions in town, most of Nayar’s fish tacos include fish grilled in garlic butter, topped with a pineapple slaw and bell pepper — that includes a salmon taco, a relative rarity among Portland’s taco scene. Nayar also slings a traditional fried fish taco, cod topped with shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, and cilantro.

Salvador Molly's

Known for its eclectic menu of dishes from around the world, Salvador Molly’s fish tacos come as a plate as opposed to a la carte: the two tacos come filled with beer-battered saba, drizzled with crema and garlic-lime aioli, sprinkled with cotija cheese, and served with sides of yellow rice and spiced black beans. You can grab one for $5 during happy hour.

Cha Cha Cha Mexican Taqueria

This longstanding local chain of taquerias sells three different fish tacos, often showing off the restaurant’s fun salsas. The wild tilapia taco comes with a cabbage and jalapeño salsa, while the wild salmon is paired with an earthier chipotle salsa, as well as a fresh fruit salsa. The shrimp tacos arrive with a rich salsa rojo. For those concerned with sourcing, all of the fish served here is Monterrey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch certified.

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