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Tacos from Amancer in Gresham
Krista Garcia/EPDX

Where to Find Next-Level Tacos in Gresham

Head east for real-deal taquerias and trucks

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Tacos from Amancer in Gresham
| Krista Garcia/EPDX

In 2019, it seems like everyone’s finally past the ‘Portland doesn’t have any good Mexican food’ trope. Anyone in the know realizes that’s not true, and it’s even less accurate in nearby Gresham. The suburb is home to double the hispanic population of Portland, with countless mercados and taquerias sprinkled throughout the city.

It’s not unheard of for residents to refer to anywhere east of the 205 as Gresham. While there are quite a few under-appreciated tacos scattered throughout the no man’s land of East Portland, this map only focuses on tacos — from trucks, taquerias, and restaurants — truly inside of Gresham’s city limits, which starts technically at 162nd street. For tacos closer to the city center, Eater Portland’s taco map will suffice.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Tortilleria Y Tienda De Leon

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Straddling the Gresham-Portland border, Tortilleria Y Tienda De Leon isn’t exactly a secret. Amid the hanging poop emoji and Donald Trump piñatas, this market’s deli counter is the place for no-joke guisados, including stewed pork in chile verde and chicken mole. Plus, its nopales, zucchini, and lard-free beans make it one of the most vegan-friendly Mexican businesses around these parts.

Krista Garcia

Mi Pueblo Taqueria

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This tiny, mostly drive-thru-and-takeout operation next to Supermercados Mexico has menu photos plastered on the wall, featuring curiosities like a shrimp hamburger and the usual array of tacos. Tripas — which isn’t tripe, but intestines — is the low-key standout, though: Mi Pueblo is clearly serious, with servers asking about preferred degree of doneness.

Krista Garcia

El Brasero

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In a reverse-commuting situation, this SE Division restaurant with fast food vibes is a reincarnation of a business formerly at Hawthorne’s Cartopia. The barbacoa de borrego taco comes with a small bowl of consommé on the side; though it may seem simple on the surface, the liquid in which the lamb was stewed, fortified with rice and chickpeas, tastes powerful enough to nourish an invalid back to health. 

Krista Garcia

Taqueria el Capullo

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Set up in a corner of a pawn shop parking lot, El Capullo, a truck and tented area housing a generous salsa bar and aguas frescas station, has a rambling menu, including the french fry-stuffed ‘Oregon burrito’ that could give Taco Bell a run for its money. The tacos are also solid, of course, and chivo is a standout: The shredded goat meat tacos, which come topped with raggedly chopped onions and cilantro, arrives on hand-made tortillas.

La Tía Juana Taqueria

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In a repurposed Wendy’s that still has KFC signage in the drive-thru, La Tía Juana Taqueria proves that some of the best tacos can be found in former fast food joints. The taqueria claims to serve Tijuana-style tacos, an approach characterized by mesquite-grilled meat and generous globs of guacamole that have taken LA by storm. The grill appeared to be gas-fired; still, the carne asada still has a nice char, and the tacos get bonus points for being served on hand-made tortillas. Friday through Sunday, the restaurant makes tacos de cabeza al vapor, steamed tacos filled with tender beef from a cow’s head and cheeks.

Krista Garcia

El Cazador

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A few blocks off Rockwood’s taco-filled epicenter, El Cazador is a hybrid truck-restaurant with outdoor, covered seating on a deck. Tacos here are a bargain at just one dollar each, with lengua or tripas for a whopping $1.25. The carne asada or al pastor tacos come with grilled onions and jalapeños, a unique touch in the area.

Birrieria Los 7 Hermanos

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Birrieria Los 7 Hermanos should be any goat newbie’s first stop for weekends-only birria. The guajillo-spiked braise renders the meat shreddable like lean brisket, which could likely convert anyone saddled with the assumption that goat is gamey. The birria arrives as a standalone stew or in chewy corn tortillas, so soft they almost seem like flour. The bare-bones, counter-service restaurant in a Rockwood strip mall fills up with families by lunchtime, so visitors set on dining in might have to scout an empty seat at one of the long tables.

Krista Garcia

Taqueria Amanecer

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Adjacent to the same rambling strip mall that houses Los 7 Hermanos, Amancer sets up a full weekends-only operation with a roving order-taker on the outskirts of a gravel lot. Diners lounge at the handful of picnic tables, some under awnings, sipping consommé out of paper cups — signaling this is birria territory; however, Amanecer is also slinging Michocan-style carnitas, fried pork chunks served in tacos with a nice spectrum of textures, including soft confit and crunchy skin. The cart is located at the corner of 193rd Avenue and East Burnside Street.

Krista Garcia

Don Ladis Taco Shop

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The generic storefront, staffed by suburban teens, doesn’t transmit immediate deliciousness. The diners who make it past the entryway into the always-bustling counter-service restaurant, however, discover it’s the real deal. Sure, anyone can get crisp-shell tacos or taco salads served in deep-fried tortillas called “flying saucers,” but there are also classic tacos filled with cabeza or carne asada, and a well-stocked salsa bar to load up on pickled jalapeños and carrots. 

Krista Garcia

La Herradura

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Marked by a horseshoe logo in a strip mall off Main Street, La Herradura is a double-duty operation: The left-hand side of the restaurant is casual and counter-service, and the right side has table service and full menus. This is the place to be on weekends, when it does barbacoa de borrego with all of the trimmings. The braised lamb is also available in taco form, so stuffed it’s practically like two tacos in one. The corn tortillas are hand-made — a soft, pliable version fresh off the griddle.

Krista Garcia

Tortilleria Y Tienda De Leon

Krista Garcia

Straddling the Gresham-Portland border, Tortilleria Y Tienda De Leon isn’t exactly a secret. Amid the hanging poop emoji and Donald Trump piñatas, this market’s deli counter is the place for no-joke guisados, including stewed pork in chile verde and chicken mole. Plus, its nopales, zucchini, and lard-free beans make it one of the most vegan-friendly Mexican businesses around these parts.

Krista Garcia

Mi Pueblo Taqueria

Krista Garcia

This tiny, mostly drive-thru-and-takeout operation next to Supermercados Mexico has menu photos plastered on the wall, featuring curiosities like a shrimp hamburger and the usual array of tacos. Tripas — which isn’t tripe, but intestines — is the low-key standout, though: Mi Pueblo is clearly serious, with servers asking about preferred degree of doneness.

Krista Garcia

El Brasero

Krista Garcia

In a reverse-commuting situation, this SE Division restaurant with fast food vibes is a reincarnation of a business formerly at Hawthorne’s Cartopia. The barbacoa de borrego taco comes with a small bowl of consommé on the side; though it may seem simple on the surface, the liquid in which the lamb was stewed, fortified with rice and chickpeas, tastes powerful enough to nourish an invalid back to health. 

Krista Garcia

Taqueria el Capullo

Set up in a corner of a pawn shop parking lot, El Capullo, a truck and tented area housing a generous salsa bar and aguas frescas station, has a rambling menu, including the french fry-stuffed ‘Oregon burrito’ that could give Taco Bell a run for its money. The tacos are also solid, of course, and chivo is a standout: The shredded goat meat tacos, which come topped with raggedly chopped onions and cilantro, arrives on hand-made tortillas.

La Tía Juana Taqueria

Krista Garcia

In a repurposed Wendy’s that still has KFC signage in the drive-thru, La Tía Juana Taqueria proves that some of the best tacos can be found in former fast food joints. The taqueria claims to serve Tijuana-style tacos, an approach characterized by mesquite-grilled meat and generous globs of guacamole that have taken LA by storm. The grill appeared to be gas-fired; still, the carne asada still has a nice char, and the tacos get bonus points for being served on hand-made tortillas. Friday through Sunday, the restaurant makes tacos de cabeza al vapor, steamed tacos filled with tender beef from a cow’s head and cheeks.

Krista Garcia

El Cazador

A few blocks off Rockwood’s taco-filled epicenter, El Cazador is a hybrid truck-restaurant with outdoor, covered seating on a deck. Tacos here are a bargain at just one dollar each, with lengua or tripas for a whopping $1.25. The carne asada or al pastor tacos come with grilled onions and jalapeños, a unique touch in the area.

Birrieria Los 7 Hermanos

Krista Garcia

Birrieria Los 7 Hermanos should be any goat newbie’s first stop for weekends-only birria. The guajillo-spiked braise renders the meat shreddable like lean brisket, which could likely convert anyone saddled with the assumption that goat is gamey. The birria arrives as a standalone stew or in chewy corn tortillas, so soft they almost seem like flour. The bare-bones, counter-service restaurant in a Rockwood strip mall fills up with families by lunchtime, so visitors set on dining in might have to scout an empty seat at one of the long tables.

Krista Garcia

Taqueria Amanecer

Krista Garcia

Adjacent to the same rambling strip mall that houses Los 7 Hermanos, Amancer sets up a full weekends-only operation with a roving order-taker on the outskirts of a gravel lot. Diners lounge at the handful of picnic tables, some under awnings, sipping consommé out of paper cups — signaling this is birria territory; however, Amanecer is also slinging Michocan-style carnitas, fried pork chunks served in tacos with a nice spectrum of textures, including soft confit and crunchy skin. The cart is located at the corner of 193rd Avenue and East Burnside Street.

Krista Garcia

Don Ladis Taco Shop

Krista Garcia

The generic storefront, staffed by suburban teens, doesn’t transmit immediate deliciousness. The diners who make it past the entryway into the always-bustling counter-service restaurant, however, discover it’s the real deal. Sure, anyone can get crisp-shell tacos or taco salads served in deep-fried tortillas called “flying saucers,” but there are also classic tacos filled with cabeza or carne asada, and a well-stocked salsa bar to load up on pickled jalapeños and carrots. 

Krista Garcia

La Herradura

Krista Garcia

Marked by a horseshoe logo in a strip mall off Main Street, La Herradura is a double-duty operation: The left-hand side of the restaurant is casual and counter-service, and the right side has table service and full menus. This is the place to be on weekends, when it does barbacoa de borrego with all of the trimmings. The braised lamb is also available in taco form, so stuffed it’s practically like two tacos in one. The corn tortillas are hand-made — a soft, pliable version fresh off the griddle.

Krista Garcia

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