Tacombi arrived in the Miami Design District in December 2021 after spreading out around New York City like a hipster with a trust fund. But this is no Chipotle—Tacombi’s vibe feels somewhere between bustling Bronx bodega and a Little Havana house party. It’s also got a quaint backstory: The concept began as a converted VW bus in Playa del Carmen in 2006 and landed in a converted Manhattan garage three years later. It grew to 11 locations across the city before venturing south to Miami.
The Design District location is like nothing else in the neighborhood, far more casual and thrift-store-find charming, with a green and yellow tile floor that looks pulled from a laundromat, a tight little bar in the back, a low line of knee-crushing stools at a counter that faces into the kitchen, and a dining room of cute card tables with church-basement folding chairs. They’re going for legit Mexican street food, which is obvious by the rotating spit of al pastor pork spinning in the kitchen, topped by a pineapple that gets sliced atop the tacos. That pork is drier than the killer version served over at Miami-bred Coyo Taco. So skip the al pastor and instead order the Cali-style fish taco, a Twinkie-sized hunk of beer-battered cod with roasted poblano mayo and fat-cutting slaw.
The tostadas come topped with tuna in a lovely shade of cotton candy pink and also black beans with an excellent chunky guac. The veggie quesadilla is open-faced, almost crepe-like, dotted with mushrooms and chile salsa. The drinks include a tangy-smoky mezcal mule served in what looks like a dollar store tin cup and a margarita that’s just the right balance of not too sweet. But your favorite thing here will probably be the esquites, off-the-cob corn served in a paper cup (as if somebody forgot to do dishes), so sweet and salty it’s somewhere between side and dessert. By the end, we think you’ll agree that the food is good and the vibe is downright fun, so much so you just might forget about all those other locations and declare Tacombi a local.