clock menu more-arrow no yes
Three tacos sit in a red basket at El Coyote in St. Johns
Tacos from El Coyote in St. Johns
Brooke Jackson-Glidden/EPDX

15 Outstanding Taco Spots in Portland

Eat your way through some jaw-dropping tacos, filled with everything from cochinita pibil to fried fish

View as Map
Tacos from El Coyote in St. Johns
| Brooke Jackson-Glidden/EPDX

Despite the squeeze of the pandemic on Portland restaurants, Mexican food in Portland has only grown and diversified. Carts specializing in birria have parked in lots throughout Gresham and East Portland, while restaurants focused on contemporary Mexican cuisine have opened in the heart of the city. Vegan carts sling soy curls al pastor as pandemic-era pop-up chefs ladle containers of pozole for customers found on Instagram. Meanwhile, the small mercados, panaderias, and taco trucks that have retained customers for decades remain open, packing carnitas and cabeza into small, house-made tortillas.

The pandemic has changed the way we eat a lot of our favorite restaurant foods, but luckily tacos are a dish built for travel and easy eating. So here's a look at some of Portland's finest tacos, from dripping guisados to super-crispy carnitas. This map focuses on spots underrepresented on some of our other taco maps, so for more options in Gresham or birria-specific spots, look for options via their specific maps. Note: The points on this map guide are not ranked; rather, they're organized geographically.

A number of Portland restaurants have resumed outdoor dine-in service. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for onsite dining, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the Oregon Health Authority’s COVID update page. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Tacos El Patron

Copy Link
21070 SW Tualatin Valley Hwy
Beaverton, OR 97006
(503) 372-6229
Visit Website

Found on the TV highway right in the middle of Hillsboro and Beaverton, El Patron has a wide variety of classic street tacos on soft tortillas, dorados in hard-shell tortillas, queso tacos with flour tortillas, and tacos de alambre using crispy cheese. Tacos El Patron is one of the few spots where diners can find cheesy quesabirria alongside a wider selection of meats, from lengua to fish. El Patron is open Tuesday to Sunday for takeout and very limited outdoor seating.

2. El Jefe Mexican Grill

Copy Link
12025 SW Allen Blvd
Beaverton, OR 97005
(503) 583-7710

Operating out of a food truck just south of downtown Beaverton, El Jefe brings a variety of Mexican dishes and smoky chicken to the Westside. The specialty here is obviously the “pollo al carbon” or charcoal-grilled chicken, but there is also a good selection of other meats that can be served as street tacos, as well. Diners should also keep an eye out for specials, like the spit-roasted al pastor on weekends. El Jefe is open for takeout every day and has extended hours on Friday and Saturday.

3. Taqueria Y Panaderia Santa Cruz

Copy Link
8630 N Lombard St
Portland, OR 97203
(503) 286-7302
Visit Website

Everybody who knows anything knows that this tiny St. Johns tienda slings some of Portland’s best tacos. Standouts are the lengua, carnitas, and pastor tacos, given some extra oomph with the restaurant’s garlicky, bright avocado salsa. For more curious diners, Santa Cruz also one of the few places that serve buche, cueritos and cabeza in Portland. Santa Cruz is open for takeout everyday.

4. El Coyote

Copy Link
6965 N Fessenden St
Portland, OR 97203
(503) 839-7093
Visit Website

Don’t let the haphazard sign and makeshift plywood shelter fool you: This food cart makes some of the best carnitas not only in St. Johns, but in Portland. Potato-chip-crispy at its edges and massively flavorful, a single carnitas taco doesn’t go for more than $2.50. The seafood options are also tender and bright, with a squiggle of crema and a handful of slaw. El Coyote is open for takeout.

Three tacos sit in a red basket at El Coyote in St. Johns
Tacos at El Coyote
Brooke Jackson-Glidden/EPDX

5. Tehuana Oaxacan Cuisine

Copy Link
1341 N Killingsworth St
Portland, OR 97217
(360) 721-3457
Visit Website

Tucked in the back of the Killingsworth Station food cart pod, Tehuana serves Oaxacan-style dishes to enjoy at the pod’s many tables or during a game of pool. The chipotle pork tacos on hand-made tortillas are pure heaven with a squirt of the cart’s house-made, broodingly dark morita salsa. Tehuana is open for takeout and outdoor dining from Wednesday to Sunday.

6. Republica

Copy Link
721 NW 9th Ave #175
Portland, OR 97209
(541) 900-5836
Visit Website

Located within the Ecotrust building in the Pearl, Republica is a vigorous new addition to the city’s Mexican food scene. While tacos are not the main dish at Republica, the ones here are a great representation of the wonderful things that can happen when people pay attention to the quality of ingredients that go into a taco. Los Tacos Yucatecos are an homage to the food of the Yucatan peninsula and come on a handmade tortilla topped with black beans, juicy cochinita pibil, avocados and pickled onions. Republica is open for lunch and dinner takeout every day and has limited outdoor seating on the patio.

7. Little Conejo

Copy Link
114 W 6th St
Vancouver, WA 98660
(360) 718-2633
Visit Website

This cheerful counter-service taqueria in Vancouver grinds its own masa every day for its tortillas, which end up loaded with wild-tasting lamb barbacoa, juicy and flavorful suadero, and wicked-crispy logs of chorizo filled with gooey cheese. Any combination works well with the restaurant’s extensive mezcal collection. Little Conejo is open for takeout Tuesday through Sunday and also has outdoor seating.

8. Taco Gang PDX

Copy Link
2623 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 333-3960
Visit Website

Located in the heart of Belmont, Taco Gang is a bit of a newer resident in the taco community. While the menu here is a bit simplified compared to others on the list, the tacos have the option of flour or handmade corn tortillas. For those wondering what protein to get, the perfectly crispy carnitas or the spicy chorizo is the move here. Taco Gang is open Tuesday through Saturday for takeout and limited outdoor dining.

9. Tight Tacos

Copy Link
2707 NE Sandy Blvd
Portland, OR 97232

Located inside the Zipper on Sandy Boulevard, Tight Tacos has a cult following for its no-joke carnitas and al pastor on house-made tortillas. Vegetarians will likely prefer the “impastor” cauliflower tacos, pastor-style in an adobo marinade. Tight Tacos is open till 8 p.m. every day for takeout and outdoor dining.

10. Nightingale

Copy Link
18 NE 28th Ave
Portland, OR 97232
(971) 254-9017
Visit Website

This new Mexican restaurant, located on the knockout stretch of restaurants along 28th Avenue, always has a few tacos on the menu, and they often boggle the mind with their complexity and depth of flavor. For instance, a recent Painted Hills rib-eye taco came with a gently spicy adobo packed with guajillos, cooled with a touch of avocado puree; lamb tacos on past menus came with a rich consome on the side, and duck confit tacos mimic the fall-apart nature of carnitas with a summery guava chutney. Nightingale is open for outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

11. Taquería Los Puñales

Copy Link
3312 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 206-7233
Visit Website

After opening on Belmont during the pandemic last year, Los Puñales has easily become a staple taqueria in Portland. Los Puñales serves up a huge variety of guisados on handmade tortillas, alongside a range of aguas frescas occasionally spiked with tequila. While the classic guisados here are great, the beauty of Los Puñales lies in the more unconventional fillings like the garlicky steak al pesto and fried chile relleno. Los Puñales is open for takeout daily with some outdoor dining on the patio.

12. Panaderia Mexicana Cinco de Mayo

Copy Link
8416 SE 32nd Ave
Portland, OR 97222
(971) 206-1200

This Reed-area market serves some of the finest carnitas, asada, and cabeza tacos in Portland. All three are lusciously marbled with fat, with crispy edges on the asada and carnitas. The pastor is a sleeper hit; no, it’s not roasted on a trompo, but the marinade’s pairing of pineapple and guajillo is unforgettable. Cinco De Mayo is open for takeout every day until 9 p.m.

13. Loncheria Los Mayas

Copy Link
4212 NE Prescott St
Portland, OR 97218
(503) 754-3059

This Northeast Portland food cart serves a stunning cochinita pibil taco on handmade tortillas, dotted with pickled onions and radishes. The lengua is no slouch, either — super flavorful with balanced texture — and those seeking something outside the scope of a taco can grab the panuchos, a Yucatecan fried-and-bean-stuffed tortilla topped with pickled onions and other fixings. Loncheria Los Mayas is open for walk-up orders.

14. Tierra del Sol at Portland Mercado

Copy Link
7238 SE Foster Rd
Portland, OR 97206

The great thing about Portland Mercado’s cluster of Latin American food carts is that diners can mix and match cuisines from all over Central and South America. But no visit is complete without Tierra del Sol’s tacos, all served on organic blue corn tortillas. Owner Amalia Sierra serves three of her deeply complex moles — a dark and robust coloradito, a vegetal pipian, and a bright and lively amarillo in tacos, an ideal solution for those wanting to try all three. Tienda del Sol is open for takeout every day until 7 p.m. and has some shared outdoor seating options with the other Portland Mercado carts.

15. Tortilleria Y Tienda De Leon

Copy Link
16223 NE Glisan St
Portland, OR 97230
(503) 255-4356
Visit Website

This wonderland of a supermarket has some serious guisados at its deli counter, from chicken in mole to cochinita pibil. But the mercado’s carnitas, boosted with a dose of perky nopales, is the clear front-runner for top taco. The deli counter here is also ideal for grabbing some take-home items to eat later or incorporate into a meal. Tienda De Leon is open for takeout every day until 5 p.m.

View this post on Instagram

lunch and then more @feastportland ✌

A post shared by Ashley Marti (@localhaven) on

Loading comments...

1. Tacos El Patron

21070 SW Tualatin Valley Hwy, Beaverton, OR 97006

Found on the TV highway right in the middle of Hillsboro and Beaverton, El Patron has a wide variety of classic street tacos on soft tortillas, dorados in hard-shell tortillas, queso tacos with flour tortillas, and tacos de alambre using crispy cheese. Tacos El Patron is one of the few spots where diners can find cheesy quesabirria alongside a wider selection of meats, from lengua to fish. El Patron is open Tuesday to Sunday for takeout and very limited outdoor seating.

21070 SW Tualatin Valley Hwy
Beaverton, OR 97006

2. El Jefe Mexican Grill

12025 SW Allen Blvd, Beaverton, OR 97005

Operating out of a food truck just south of downtown Beaverton, El Jefe brings a variety of Mexican dishes and smoky chicken to the Westside. The specialty here is obviously the “pollo al carbon” or charcoal-grilled chicken, but there is also a good selection of other meats that can be served as street tacos, as well. Diners should also keep an eye out for specials, like the spit-roasted al pastor on weekends. El Jefe is open for takeout every day and has extended hours on Friday and Saturday.

12025 SW Allen Blvd
Beaverton, OR 97005

3. Taqueria Y Panaderia Santa Cruz

8630 N Lombard St, Portland, OR 97203

Everybody who knows anything knows that this tiny St. Johns tienda slings some of Portland’s best tacos. Standouts are the lengua, carnitas, and pastor tacos, given some extra oomph with the restaurant’s garlicky, bright avocado salsa. For more curious diners, Santa Cruz also one of the few places that serve buche, cueritos and cabeza in Portland. Santa Cruz is open for takeout everyday.

8630 N Lombard St
Portland, OR 97203

4. El Coyote

6965 N Fessenden St, Portland, OR 97203
Three tacos sit in a red basket at El Coyote in St. Johns
Tacos at El Coyote
Brooke Jackson-Glidden/EPDX

Don’t let the haphazard sign and makeshift plywood shelter fool you: This food cart makes some of the best carnitas not only in St. Johns, but in Portland. Potato-chip-crispy at its edges and massively flavorful, a single carnitas taco doesn’t go for more than $2.50. The seafood options are also tender and bright, with a squiggle of crema and a handful of slaw. El Coyote is open for takeout.

6965 N Fessenden St
Portland, OR 97203

5. Tehuana Oaxacan Cuisine

1341 N Killingsworth St, Portland, OR 97217

Tucked in the back of the Killingsworth Station food cart pod, Tehuana serves Oaxacan-style dishes to enjoy at the pod’s many tables or during a game of pool. The chipotle pork tacos on hand-made tortillas are pure heaven with a squirt of the cart’s house-made, broodingly dark morita salsa. Tehuana is open for takeout and outdoor dining from Wednesday to Sunday.

1341 N Killingsworth St
Portland, OR 97217

6. Republica

721 NW 9th Ave #175, Portland, OR 97209

Located within the Ecotrust building in the Pearl, Republica is a vigorous new addition to the city’s Mexican food scene. While tacos are not the main dish at Republica, the ones here are a great representation of the wonderful things that can happen when people pay attention to the quality of ingredients that go into a taco. Los Tacos Yucatecos are an homage to the food of the Yucatan peninsula and come on a handmade tortilla topped with black beans, juicy cochinita pibil, avocados and pickled onions. Republica is open for lunch and dinner takeout every day and has limited outdoor seating on the patio.

721 NW 9th Ave #175
Portland, OR 97209

7. Little Conejo

114 W 6th St, Vancouver, WA 98660

This cheerful counter-service taqueria in Vancouver grinds its own masa every day for its tortillas, which end up loaded with wild-tasting lamb barbacoa, juicy and flavorful suadero, and wicked-crispy logs of chorizo filled with gooey cheese. Any combination works well with the restaurant’s extensive mezcal collection. Little Conejo is open for takeout Tuesday through Sunday and also has outdoor seating.

114 W 6th St
Vancouver, WA 98660

8. Taco Gang PDX

2623 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214

Located in the heart of Belmont, Taco Gang is a bit of a newer resident in the taco community. While the menu here is a bit simplified compared to others on the list, the tacos have the option of flour or handmade corn tortillas. For those wondering what protein to get, the perfectly crispy carnitas or the spicy chorizo is the move here. Taco Gang is open Tuesday through Saturday for takeout and limited outdoor dining.

2623 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214

9. Tight Tacos

2707 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97232

Located inside the Zipper on Sandy Boulevard, Tight Tacos has a cult following for its no-joke carnitas and al pastor on house-made tortillas. Vegetarians will likely prefer the “impastor” cauliflower tacos, pastor-style in an adobo marinade. Tight Tacos is open till 8 p.m. every day for takeout and outdoor dining.

2707 NE Sandy Blvd
Portland, OR 97232

10. Nightingale

18 NE 28th Ave, Portland, OR 97232

This new Mexican restaurant, located on the knockout stretch of restaurants along 28th Avenue, always has a few tacos on the menu, and they often boggle the mind with their complexity and depth of flavor. For instance, a recent Painted Hills rib-eye taco came with a gently spicy adobo packed with guajillos, cooled with a touch of avocado puree; lamb tacos on past menus came with a rich consome on the side, and duck confit tacos mimic the fall-apart nature of carnitas with a summery guava chutney. Nightingale is open for outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

18 NE 28th Ave
Portland, OR 97232

11. Taquería Los Puñales

3312 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214

After opening on Belmont during the pandemic last year, Los Puñales has easily become a staple taqueria in Portland. Los Puñales serves up a huge variety of guisados on handmade tortillas, alongside a range of aguas frescas occasionally spiked with tequila. While the classic guisados here are great, the beauty of Los Puñales lies in the more unconventional fillings like the garlicky steak al pesto and fried chile relleno. Los Puñales is open for takeout daily with some outdoor dining on the patio.

3312 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214

12. Panaderia Mexicana Cinco de Mayo

8416 SE 32nd Ave, Portland, OR 97222

This Reed-area market serves some of the finest carnitas, asada, and cabeza tacos in Portland. All three are lusciously marbled with fat, with crispy edges on the asada and carnitas. The pastor is a sleeper hit; no, it’s not roasted on a trompo, but the marinade’s pairing of pineapple and guajillo is unforgettable. Cinco De Mayo is open for takeout every day until 9 p.m.

8416 SE 32nd Ave
Portland, OR 97222

13. Loncheria Los Mayas

4212 NE Prescott St, Portland, OR 97218

This Northeast Portland food cart serves a stunning cochinita pibil taco on handmade tortillas, dotted with pickled onions and radishes. The lengua is no slouch, either — super flavorful with balanced texture — and those seeking something outside the scope of a taco can grab the panuchos, a Yucatecan fried-and-bean-stuffed tortilla topped with pickled onions and other fixings. Loncheria Los Mayas is open for walk-up orders.

4212 NE Prescott St
Portland, OR 97218

14. Tierra del Sol at Portland Mercado

7238 SE Foster Rd, Portland, OR 97206

The great thing about Portland Mercado’s cluster of Latin American food carts is that diners can mix and match cuisines from all over Central and South America. But no visit is complete without Tierra del Sol’s tacos, all served on organic blue corn tortillas. Owner Amalia Sierra serves three of her deeply complex moles — a dark and robust coloradito, a vegetal pipian, and a bright and lively amarillo in tacos, an ideal solution for those wanting to try all three. Tienda del Sol is open for takeout every day until 7 p.m. and has some shared outdoor seating options with the other Portland Mercado carts.

7238 SE Foster Rd
Portland, OR 97206

15. Tortilleria Y Tienda De Leon

16223 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97230

This wonderland of a supermarket has some serious guisados at its deli counter, from chicken in mole to cochinita pibil. But the mercado’s carnitas, boosted with a dose of perky nopales, is the clear front-runner for top taco. The deli counter here is also ideal for grabbing some take-home items to eat later or incorporate into a meal. Tienda De Leon is open for takeout every day until 5 p.m.

16223 NE Glisan St
Portland, OR 97230

Related Maps