We love fresh tacos, and Portland has some wonderful restaurants that help satisfy the cravings!! In the Northeast quadrant, there are three standouts, and here they are:
Number 3 – Stella Taco
Located on the corner of NE 30th and Alberta, Stella Taco is a great place for Happy Hour – with a great drink menu and their usual assortment of amazing Street Tacos. The sign says “Austin Style” tacos – but exactly what that means is not clear to this taco eater. That said, the taste is totally worth the trip, and we give a hearty recommendation for the Fried Avocado Taco (vegetarian) which has slaw, vegan ranch and cotija cheese, all of which give it a punch of flavor. And if you want an even bigger punch, lots of hot sauce is available. The margaritas are also good (shout out to the strawberry basil marg) but we’d suggest you ask for it without the salted rim. The rita itself has a saltiness to it, and the salted rim is – in this taco eater’s opinion, a bit over the top. Check it out at http://www.stellatacopdx.com/ .
Number 2 – Taco Pedaler
If you’re driving down NE Broadway heading west, just after it becomes a one-way street after passing NE 24th, you have to look carefully on the right hand side to see the store front with the picnic tables outside. Traffic really moves in this area so be ready! Taco Pedaler (yes, that’s actually spelled correctly!!) started life as a “trike based food cart” – get it – that’s where “pedaler” comes from? You gotta love the play on words. Anyway, success and effort combined to allow them to open up a “brick and mortar” location in 2015. With attention toward ecology – sourcing their ingredients locally when available, and using compostable and biodegradable paper products, they also achieve fantastic flavors! Check out the daily specials, because it’s all good. The two standouts to this taco eater are the Baja Fish Taco (mmm, spicy crema…) and for drinks, a huge thumbs up to the non-alcoholic agua frescas, which always are tasty and thirst quenching. Find out more at https://www.tacopedalerpdx.com/ .
Number 1 – Cruz Room
The Cruz Room looks more like a bar than a place for Tacos, but once you go in and try them – WOW! Yes, it’s true, Cruz Room actually has a full bar (unlike the others mentioned in this post), and if that’s what you want, you got it. Lots of beer choices too. But the big surprise is how wonderfully tasty the tacos are. Two standouts to this taco eater are the Phuket Part Deux, with the braised chicken, coconut milk, citrus zest and peanut slaw… it’s the things that dreams are made of. Perhaps it’s the creaminess of the coconut milk that puts it over the top. And for vegans, this taco eater heartily recommends the Can’t Bahn Mi Love, which is so good you certainly don’t have to be a vegan to crave it uncontrollably. Beer battered lemongrass tofu, cabbage slaw and spicy mustard aioli among a few other things… and your eyes may roll back in your head after a couple of bites.
In addition to the food and drink, Cruz Room also has an outdoor patio where you can bring your canine family members, should they want to tag along. That’s certainly and added plus. Find out more at http://cruzroom.com/ .
We hope you enjoy hunting for your own fantastic Portland Taco experience!
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