The Latin Tongue Special Late Night Edition: Taco Taxi

Special late night edition you ask? I suppose it was bound to happen. Almost every week I hop on my bicycle and tour around Minneapolis with a few friends, sharing stories from the weeks events, having a few drinks and eating late night fare. All too often when searching for late night eats, you are left feeling stuck with few options. Usually, it is pizza or bar food. Then we discovered the habit of the Mexican restauranteur to keep their doors open until the odd hours of the night. And what a discovery it was.

Instead of consuming questionable greasy burgers and pizza as a night comes to a close, my friends and I now have much more to consider. Tacos, sopes, burritos, quesadillas and the hangover killing bowl of menudo have broadened our horizons. One of these gifts to the late night gut is Taco Taxi on Lake street.

I first heard about the the Lopez brothers and their little eatery from a friend named Jesus, who hailed from Jalisco. We worked together when I was in the construction trades and he always raved about Taco Taxi. So, I wandered in and immediately was treated to well done Mexican fare. It is places like Taco Taxi that I love. It is like you are suddenly transported to some humble street in Guadalajara. The place has a really bright storefront with a painting of a cartoon taxi above it. Inside, it is a simple little eatery with maybe a half dozen tables and a long kitchen and service bar. In this place, you could be anywhere. Back then, I was a novice and ordered burritos and quesadillas, always taking some of the fresh roasted jalapenos with me.

Now, having entered into this adventure to find and review as many of these little Latin joints as possible, I have come a long way in understanding Mexican food and all of its wonderful nuances. It was with these thoughts in mind that I convinced a friend to come along after a night of music, scotch and bike riding to participate in my first late night review. It perhaps seems foolish to take on such a challenge that late into the evening, but it is a perspective that is true and useful.

Strolling in at midnight, there were a few other patrons who were very focused on their food and a few taking packages to-go. Our hunger was about to get the best of us, but we pulled it together and ordered two tacos, two sopes and a bowl of menudo. We would have ordered tamales as that is one of our "rules" laid out in our intro article, but Taco Taxi does not serve them. I also had my first faux pas in these eating adventures. I forgot to ask an employee for their recommendation. I have a good idea that it might have been the Birria. It is their specialty, a "Jalisco style" soup made with goat meat.

The food is made to order and when we received everything, it was obvious that we were in for a treat. The tacos, one birria (goat) and one lengua (tongue) were perfect looking and the meat was amazingly tender. I immediately started nibbling on the pieces of goat and was blown away by how they came apart so easily, like the most delectable pieces of meat, stewed and marinated with care. This birria was quite rich and extremely well seasoned. The lengua was rich and fatty and like nothing I have had to date. These were definitely the best tacos I have come across so far. By the way, they are topped with a smattering of really hot and tasty salsa so be ready for some spice. Wow.

MenudoMenudoThe menudo was...ummm...interesting. I've only had menudo a couple of times, so perhaps I'm missing something here. It was absolutely jammed with large pieces of tripe, to the point of being a bit overwhelming. There was also no hominy in this bowl, so basically it was tripe, tripe and more tripe. The broth itself was quite tasty and satisfying and in the end, I think gave me a nice boost for the bike ride home. Not sure if I just caught them on an off night, but next time, I may try another of their soups...or just order more tacos and sopes.

Oh, those sopes! They were absolutely top notch. The thick corn cakes were obviously fresh with that perfect combination of crispy and chewy. Then, like all good sopes, they were loaded with refried beans, lettuce and sour cream and of course, that spicy salsa. We had one with al Pastor and one with carnitas. Again, the meats were tender and not overdone with unnecessary seasoning. The meat could definitely stand alone.

There is a reason that I continue to go to Taco Taxi and it is for the simple, straight forward and delicious tacos, sopes and quesadillas. There has never been a question that when I walk in, the food will be hot and fresh, the meat will be very well done and you are left with a feeling that there is no compromise in their methods. I'm sure that the burritos and tortas will follow suit and I hope that you kind readers will confirm that. As for me, I'm stuck. I can't imagine leaving without getting a sope and an horchata and yes, it will probably be midnight.

The DetailsSopes!Sopes!

Taco Taxi

1511 E Lake St, Mpls




Tacos $2

Sopes $3.5

Tortas $6

Burrito $6.5

Quesadilla $7.5

Birria $7.5


Open until 2 am, M-Thurs and 3 am Fri and Sat.

Surprise: Birria (Goat) and just the fact that those sopes are so darn tasty.

Language: Never had a problem

Payment: Cash or credit



Lawrence Black is a writer and editor at Simple, Good and Tasty.  He can be reached at He has lately been consuming large quantities of hot peppers, so it may be advisable to stay at least three feet away...unless you are cold.