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