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.
Know Before You Go
To slow the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant, effective Aug. 27, a statewide mask mandate is in place. Oregonians and visitors ages 5 and up are required to wear face coverings in all public indoor settings, as well as crowded outdoor public spaces where physical distancing is not possible, regardless of vaccination status. This rule does not apply to individuals actively eating or drinking in food establishments.
Additionally, some restaurants may require proof of vaccination and/or a negative COVID test for entry. Please check with individual businesses on their policies and hours of operation before visiting, and continue to be patient, flexible and kind, especially if asked to mask up or share your vaccination status. These measures are in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
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.
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.
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 oysters, garlic mushrooms and cheese-stuffed chili relleno are available until 3:30 a.m. on weekends.
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