HOME > Chowhound > General Midwest Archive >
Apr 23, 2007 04:25 PM

[MSP]-- Best Tacos at MGM?

I’m going to be not to far from Midtown Global Market around lunchtime tomorrow. Any recommendations for the best tacos and/or tamales there??


Uncle Ira

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. My vote is for Los Ocampo. I love their al pastor tacos, and I just learned that the chicken tinga tacos are even better. Make sure you get a grilled chile pepper with your tacos.

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/39192... - scroll to the middle of my super-long post

    The goat birria tacos from Bymore meats (in the back) are a close runner-up, in my opinion. And anything from La Serena Gorda is going to be great. Frankly, you can't go wrong with tacos at the MGM!


    1. I think the only place for tamales in MGMkt is Las Lomas and they are pretty ho hum. Stick with Taqueria Los Ocampo (I also like their huaraches al pastor) as per Anne's suggestions below.

      I can't remember if it's a regular on their menu, but if you can get fish tacos at La Sirena Gorda, that would also be a good bet.


      1. Thanks for the tips... I went to Los Ocampo and had the al pastor. My love of pork would have my grandmother spinning in her grave, but I don’t care. Those were some mighty tasty tacos....

        Has anyone been to their St. Paul location on Arcade? That would be a lot more convenient for me.

        Thanks again for the heads up.

        Uncle Ira

        9 Replies
        1. re: Uncle Ira

          They have a location on Arcade? That would be worth investigating!


          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            I didn’t know about it either. I saw it on their take-out menu. It says--

            Seeger Square
            895 Arcade Street St. Paul, Mn.

            1. re: Uncle Ira

              La Loma is "the" place to go for tamales. It's all the way in the back. I love their pineapple ones. All their flavors are great, though. I've never eated at the MGM location, though - only at the Mercado Central location. I would assume they're the same.

              1. re: pgokey

                I don't mean to be a contrarian, but, sadly, I don't think the tamales at La Loma at MGMkt are very good, and I've tried every variety they offer at the MGMkt location over the course of 3-4 visits. I wouldn't say they are awful, just average and uninspired. Very low filling to masa ratio and it all tastes like it's been sitting in a steamer tray awhile. I tried La Loma's tamales at their Mercado Central location once and thought they were better, though, I haven't been back there since they opened their outpost at MGMkt. Maybe they are spreading themselves too thin with multiple locations, etc.

                I think there are much better options for Mexican food at MGMkt than La Loma's tamales--for instance, the al pastor at Taqueria Los Ocampo, any of the seafood dishes at La Sirena Gorda, and the barbacoa chiva at Bymore Meats. I prefer even the "plain" tamales that come as a side to the chicken mole at a la Salsa (also in MGMkt) to any of La Loma's.


                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  You aren't necessarily contradicting me. Perhaps the MGM location is notably worse than Mercado Central and to be fair, it's been a while since I've had them at Mercado Central - a year, or maybe more. But I'll stand by my review of them when I used to eat them with some frequency at Mercado Central - they were quite tasty. But perhaps you're right, maybe they've spread themselves too thinly, and have slipped in recent times.

                  I have not tried all the other places you've mention. Actually, I have eaten at a la Salsa, but the location on Eat Street (it was fine, but I didn't like it as much as others have) and I ate at Los Ocampo once and thought it was good, but I don't recall what I had - some combo plate. It was fine, but nothing that made me sing.

                  Manny's Tortas, at least the Mercado Central location, used to be terrific. I suppose someone will tell me that the MGM location is no good now. :)

                  1. re: pgokey

                    Well, the good news is, I like Manny's tortas at MGM, but, I have to say, I like the tortas at Manny's in Mercado Central better. (I haven't been to the other Manny's stand-alone location on Lake Street)

                    Isn't that weird? Maybe it just "feels" more authentic at Mercado Central and influences my opinion of it?

                    I haven't been back to La Loma in Mercado Central since MGMkt opened--those might be as good as ever. But, that's been at least about a year now... I hope they are still good there!

                    Next time you go to Los Ocampo in MGMkt, try the al pastor. (Anne says the chicken tinga is good too, though I haven't tried it.) We tried the carne asada (huaraches) at Los Ocampo at one of the chowdowns and didn't find it that exceptional...


            2. re: The Dairy Queen

              the los ocampo arcade location is in a small strip-mall north of 7th street across from the large *shudder* rainbow foods. the food is even more fantastic that the mgm location, with expanded menu including a sinful cuban torta. it is among the only decent take-out in the vicinity of the soupkitten mansion, so we've been known to partake of los ocampo treats regularly on weekends.

              *** i must warn chowhounders that this location is pretty much takeout only & not a destination in itself. in addition it is NOT SET UP FOR NON-SPANISH SPEAKERS. like, at ALL-- no english menu, nobody speaks any english, employees/customers alike. great if you speak spanish. the staff is kind to dh when he drops in for takeout, & they know him now, but he doesn't speak spanish and has occasionally had awkward ordering. that said the food is fab &, obviously, popular and authentic.

              1. re: soupkitten

                I've been going to the one on Arcade for awhile. It's really nice and I enjoy eating there. Everything is in Spanish and the staff speaks some English so you'll get by fine. If someone ever feels motivated, I'd love to see a translation of all the menu options. There are a few things I'm unfamiliar with and being a fishitarian makes ordering a bit more difficult. They do have several very nice vegetarian options like nopales con queso as one of the guisados.

                I'd love to hear any recommendations for other restaurants in this area. For example, for awhile there was a bar (The Aquaduct I believe) that was serving Filipino food upon request. Don't know if that is still happening. This is an extremely diverse area so there could be some hidden gems.

                1. re: misterpatrick

                  okay, checked with dh-- he said 3 of the last 5 times at los ocampo no member of staff spoke any english; but the staff helped him along. as i said, he goes in mostly on weekends. i regret that i've found the dayton's bluff area kind of devoid of decent chow options-- trust me, we've been looking! if you know of anyplace, please share.