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Cantina Beach Ritz-Carlton
Photograph: Ricardo Mejia

The best tacos in Miami we can’t stop eating

Craving tacos? Miami has plenty of top-notch Mexican spots to try, from Wynwood to Homestead to South Beach.

Written by
Virginia Gil
,
Ryan Pfeffer
&
Jennifer Agress
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On a hunt for the best tacos in Miami? We feel you. We pretty much crave tacos 24/7 and you’d be surprised how tough it can be to find really yummy ones in Miami. They’re not as visible as the best Cuban restaurants in Miami and not quite as obvious as the best pizza in Miami either. No, tacos are trickier—but, thankfully, not impossible. Whether you want trendy modern takes or no-fuss classic Mexican al pastor, our favorite places have you covered. Check them out below and start making a taco calendar (the best kind of calendar) so you can try them all. 

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A restaurant we love so much that we welcomed them into Time Out Market

  • Restaurants
  • South Beach
  • price 2 of 4

Don’t come here looking for sour cream and cheddar cheese. Chef Omar Montero doesn’t serve it and he’ll take offense if you ask, and we don’t blame him. Growing up in Mexico City, he gleaned from the city’s myriad carts and its diverse neighborhoods to put his spin on the taco holy trinity: double tortillas topped with a single, well-executed protein and a dollop of the freshest house-made salsa. At La Santa, you’ll find authentic classics, like the barbacoa and al pastor, and discover new favorites like the villamelón, a CDMX staple sold only at the Plaza de Toros—the world’s largest bullring.

Best tacos in Miami

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • North Beach
  • price 2 of 4

This delightful taco shack with two convenient locations (we’re partial to the North Beach spot for its proximity to parking and the sand) serves street-style tacos in homemade blue masa corn tortillas. The tortillas are purple and though fillings can be a tad pared-down, the quality never disappoints. Oh, and your order is not complete without a side of hot, fluffy totopos and guac. We could stuff a mattress full of them and sleep peacefully forever.

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Wynwood

No taco list would be complete without Coyo Taco, the mighty Wynwood spot that spawned a global chain of beloved Mexican restaurants. Its first location continues to be its most popular with its outdoor picnic benches crammed with people tearing into tacos, burritos and other Mexican plates daily. The menu is filled mostly with stuff you’d recognize (and happily scarf down), like al pastor and carne asada. But don’t be afraid to branch out—for instance, try the carnitas de pato with extra (like, a lot) of Coyo’s house-made hot sauce. You’ll never crave regular carnitas ever again. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • East Little Havana
  • price 1 of 4

Find this Mexican gem hiding among the many Cuban concepts along Little Havan’s Calle Ocho. Don’t expect any flair or Miami pizzaz here—just a simple neighborhood spot that slings affordable, addictive tacos. Case in point: $6.50 will get you a triplet of classic tacos, such as carnitas or chorizo. No-nonsense grub this tasty is a dying breed in Miami. Eat up while it lasts. 

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • East Little Havana
  • price 2 of 4

This old-school Mexican joint got a much-needed facelift a couple of years ago courtesy of the Ball & Chain team. The food got an update too, including a fresh brunch menu with hangover-curing classics—think chilaquiles and huevos rancheros—served in its sprawling back courtyard. The simple Mexican tacos that made this place famous are still around, and they’re still just four bucks. Also at Taquerias: an upstairs Mexican candy shop that leads into a secret cocktail lounge. Both are worth checking out. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Homestead
  • price 2 of 4

El Rincon is a way-south taco joint in Homestead, a South Florida farming community known for out-of-this-world Mexican food. It’s about an hour's drive from Downtown Miami but an essential stop on any Homestead day-trip. In addition to the meat favorites, El Rincon also offers mouth-watering seafood choices with shrimp and fish tacos.

  • Restaurants
  • Cuban
  • Little Gables

Family-owned Caja Caliente is the proud inventor of “the original Cuban tacos,” a tasty mashup served wrapped in a soft flour tortilla. It turns out that when Cuba meets Mexico, delicious things happen, such as a taco stuffed with lechón, black beans pico de gallo and Caja’s addictive aioli (AKA green sauce). Caja offers a number of locally inspired creations, like the gator taco, as well as lighter options, like the grilled mahi-mahi. Be warned: these tacos are large so one and you might be done.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • South of Fifth
  • price 2 of 4

A more done-up version of the surf shacks you expect to find in Baja or Cabo, Lolo’s brings the age-old tradition of enjoying tacos on the beach to SoBe. Pick from a dozen different types of fillings, from carnitas and Baja fish to spicy shrimp and veggie, each one served in a white corn tortilla. Tacos are sold individually so go nuts mixing and matching, specifically on Tuesdays when they’re sold half-price.

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Brickell
  • price 1 of 4

This blink-and-you’ll-miss-it casual spot in Brickell serves tacos that honor owner Derek Gonzalez’s late Aunt Pilo. Grab a lunch to-go or sit outside and people-watch over dinner and a beer. When you’re in the mood for something a little different, Pilo’s can deliver on that with tacos featuring slow-cooked rib eye, brisket and cactus. The guac even sneaks in fresh cucumber for an extra dose of brightness in an already perfect dip. Pilo’s recently opened a second, larger location in Wynwood should you need to spread out a little more with your taco feast.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Brickell
  • price 2 of 4

From the folks who brought you Cantina La Veinte comes this modern Mexican restaurant in the shiny, upscale Brickell City Centre. The tacos are tasty and make for a perfect lunch break in between perusing the sprawling outdoor mall. There’s some showmanship to the food but the performative factor doesn’t detract from the flavors. Doing it for the ’gram? Order the asada steak and your tacos will come propped up in a shot glass of dipping sauce. Or how about a giant chicharrón hanging on clothespins? Both are tasty.

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • South Beach
  • price 1 of 4

Bodega is a double-threat—tacos in the front, a trendy lounge in the back. But unlike most duel nightlife/food concepts, it actually serves damn tasty food. A margarita and a couple of tacos are never a bad idea at the open-air Mexican joint—especially if it’s a nice day. A rotating list of special tacos keeps things interesting, but ain’t nothing wrong with sticking to their delightful al pastor. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Florida City
  • price 2 of 4

Find this fantastic Mexican spot hiding inside a gas station. Yes. Seriously. A gas station. We love it for its convenience: enjoy carne asada, shredded pork, chicken, shredded beef, Mexican-style pork, tongue and tripe tacos—and fill up your tank. Two birds, one stone. Everyone’s satisfied.

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Key Biscayne
  • price 3 of 4

Don’t rule out the swanky Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne as a place to get solid tacos. The hotel’s waterfront restaurant, Cantina Beach, is one we’ll venture to even if we’re not staying on property. It’s the perfect setting to enjoy the cool ocean breeze while digging into fresh fish tacos topped with chili mango salsa, among other favorites. Cantina serves 110 different premium tequilas, so you’ll never go thirsty in these parts.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Homestead
  • price 2 of 4

Here’s another worthy entry from our delicious friends down in Homestead, where you can order up a huge pile of tacos for shockingly little money. Can’t decide between the shredded beef, chicharron with salsa verde, marinated pork, chicken, tripe, chorizo and other fillings? Get the $12 Taquiza La Cruzada, a sampler plate with five different types of tacos.

Ready for some margaritas?

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