It’s Cinco de Mayo, mis amigos! Regardless of your heritage, this vibrant holiday is everyone’s chance to celebrate the Mexican army’s victory over the French in 1862 by kicking back with some cerveza or tasty margaritas and chowing down on some savory Mexican fare… because what goes better with tequila than a tasty taco stuffed with all your favorite trimmings? We’ve compiled our list of Miami’s best tacos, so grab some friends, your sombrero, your appetite, and let the fiesta begin!
Mercadito, located in Midtown, has their tempting dishes drawing both local gastronomes and celebs alike, such as Shakira, Jessica Simpson, Ludacris, Mariah Carey, Kate Hudson, and Goldie Hawn, among others. Serving up contemporary, tapas-sized, updated Mexican cuisine, Mercadito is a great place to go with friends and sample it all. Their expansive menu is tempting in its entirety, but their taco list will have you reeling. With fillings galore, choosing may prove difficult, but with delicious choices such as the carne tacos with skirt steak, grilled pear, shaved brussel sprouts, chile de árbol vinaigrette, and crispy leeks, you really can’t go wrong. Also, Mercadito has an equally tempting drink menu, with margarita choices seemingly endless, such as the Misty’s Sleeve, made with tequila blanco, ginger, hibiscus, valencia orange, chile serrano, and hibiscus salt. And, especially for Cinco de Mayo, they will be hosting a live mariachi band and a specially arranged family-style menu.
3252 NE First Avenue
2 Rosa Mexicano at Mary Brickell Village
Acclaimed by Zagat as being “the gold standard in upscale modern Mexican cuisine,” Rosa Mexicano offers up some truly delicious dishes, like their famous Guacamole en Mocajete, which is freshly made tableside, and their raved-about chicken, steak, or roasted vegetable tacos, served in a sizzling cast-iron skillet with red bean-chorizo chili, corn esquites, chile de árbol salsa, and their delicious, freshly-made warm corn tortillas. The fiesta really takes place today outside at 4 p.m. with a Mexican-style street festival. And, as a sign that they don’t hold any grudges from wars past, Rosa Mexicano has concocted a new cocktail joining both Mexican and French cultures – the Multi-Culti Margarita, which is one part tequila and two parts Grand Marnier. How deliciously diplomatic!
900 South Miami Avenue
3 Talavera Cocina Mexicana
This acclaimed Coral Gables spot is under the direction of Mexico City natives Eduardo Durazo, Martin Moreno, and Chef Oscar Del Rivero. Together, the trifecta has been serving up some of the most talked about Mexican fare in Miami. With recipes that are often derived directly from their home country and family, the menu is reminiscent of regional specials from Sonora to Oaxaca, Michoacán to Puebla, and Yucatán to Jalisco. Try their savory Mexico City Beef Tacos with finely chopped beef tenderloin, their freshly handmade tortillas, guacamole, rice and beans, chopped onions, and cilantro. Thirsty? Try their adventurous and refreshing sparkling lemonade made with cilantro. And, especially for Cinco de Mayo, the restaurant will be offering an additional menu of regional specialties to try out, served with a special spicy tamarind, guava, and cilantro margarita which will be made-to-order, and live music starting at 5 p.m.
2299 Ponce de Leon Blvd.
Coral Gables, FL
4 Cafeina Wynwood Lounge
Located in Miami’s hip Wynwood District, Cafeina does not normally harbor a focus on Mexican cuisine. Today, however, they will be holding their fashionable Cinco de Mayo celebration Subterraneo. With live music by the Spam All-Stars, Suenalo, DJ A-Train, and Mia Moretti, this is one chic fiesta. The stylish joint will be adding some Mexican-themed cocktails to their already fabulous drink menus and will be serving up some tasty Mexican treats, such as Jose Cuervo tequila ice cream with pico de gallo, Mexico Lindo (homemade tortilla chips with a tasty mix of refried beans, guacamole, and jalapeno cheese), and All Saints beef taquitos with avocado, sour cream, and cilantro. What we’re most excited about, however, is El Muerto – mini tacos stuffed with succulent, slow-roasted, tender pork.
297 NW 23rd Street
5 El Rancho Grande
With décor spanning from Chihuahua to the Yucatan, this local favorite is nestled just off the beaten path that is Lincoln Road. Despite it being so very close to the hoards of tourists, this has, thankfully, remained one of Miami’s best-kept secrets. Serving up delicious, traditional Mexican favorites, this no-frills gem of a local cantina has drawn in some big names, like Cher and Matt Damon, and for good reason. The food is simply delicious, authentic, and always fresh, with margaritas boasting freshly squeezed lime juice and chips and salsa made fresh daily. Family-owned and operated by the Ortiz family since 1992, this spot has held onto its roots, which shows through their dishes. Their tacos, which can be customized to your liking – hard or soft, overnight-marinated pork or grilled steak, etc. – are served with rice, beans, freshly made pico de gallo, guacamole, and hot sauces.
1626 Pennsylvania Ave
Miami Beach, FL