Portland’s reputation for world-class street eats is well deserved. And it when it comes to the most classic of on-the-go options — tacos — local diners can order up a wealth of delicious variations, from meaty morsels like braised barbacoa and wild boar to vegetarian creations made with mushrooms, cactus and scrambled egg. Follow our taco-lover’s guide to find crave-worthy options in every part of town.
The Pacific Northwest-inspired tacos at ¿Por Qué No? are loaded with local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients. Carefully crafted creations include barbacoa beef braised in banana leaves and crispy calamari with chipotle crema. Don’t miss the made-to-order guacamole and pints of fruity sangria.
Patrons at Mi Mero Mole select their taco fillings from more than a dozen flavorful guisados — traditional stews found on the streets of Mexico City. These slow-smoked specialties run the gamut from savory lamb in earthy black mole to vegan cactus in chipotle tomatillo sauce.
Uno Mas Taquiza boasts nearly two dozen imaginative fillings, from crispy pigskin and blood sausage to spicy octopus and pork-st\uffed jalapeno. Bring your appetite (and an adventurous palate) and order the chef’s choice: a dozen delicious tacos for only $20.
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Vegetarians make a beeline to El Nutri-Taco, where meatless fixings include chipotle soy curls, tempeh, soyrizo, Beyond Meat chicken and even baked potatoes. The accommodating shop also offers dairy-free sour cream and cheese for the vegan crowd, and chicken and pork for determined carnivores.
Run by a pair of Texas expats, bright and airy Stella Taco on Northeast Alberta Street dishes up flavorful organic corn tortillas (served soft or crispy) made by Portland’s Three Sisters Nixtamal. Keep an eye out for ingredients like fried avocado and pistachio hot sauce, and brunch tacos with scrambled eggs and shredded brisket.
Hidden gem Angel Food & Fun serves delicious, affordable Yucatecan fare to in-the-know locals. Their signature cochinita taco centers on juicy stewed pork, seasoned with achiote paste and bitter orange and bursting with rich, tart, tropical flavor.
The crispy wild boar carnitas at Taqueria Nueve have a cult-like following — when the shop closed in 2008, dogged locals waited six years for it to reopen. Thankfully, T9 did return, along with its fresh fish, boar and beef tacos.
The cheesy, chili-topped breakfast tacos at Pepper Box Café elevated this former food cart to brick-and-mortar success. House-made tortillas come piled with cage-free eggs, spicy pastrami and chipotle crema.
At Taqueria Portland, the wall-sized menu touts SoCal-style tacos made with beef’s head, lengua, carne asada and myriad other tasty meats. Top marks go to the shop’s salsa, served fresh and super spicy with a mountain of tortilla chips.
The ultimate midnight snack awaits at Robo Taco, a funky Central Eastside micro-eatery where inventive fillings like fried oyster, garlic mushrooms and cheese-stuffed chili relleno are available until 3:30 a.m. on weekends.