LOS GORDITOS. SE 12th and Division hosts the sit-down restaurant and their cart is located at SE 50th and Division. They have a ridiculous amount of meats to choose from and they also have a vegetarian and a vegan menu. So, so good.
Absolutely, completely agree 100%, PAC.

I used to live Back East decades ago and I can attest that Portland is CHOCK FULL of the best Mexican food I've ever had.

The carts and vans (most of which are run by...shockingly enough...Latinos) are the best bet.
I love the new(ish) los gorditos restaurant on 12th and division. It's got all the great stuff from the cart, plus a bunch of stuff that's exclusive to the restaurant location (breakfast?!?) Also, that amazing hot garlic salsa is serve yourself, so no more begging for extra cups.

The best part is that you can take your food right next door and eat it with some of the best beer available in the city at Apex bar, which allows all outside food in.
Que Pasa Cantina (formally Aqui)at 12th and Hawthorne. Best Mexican in town.
La Superior on N Lombard at Peninsular is superb, as is La Bonita on NE Alberta at 28th. They are legit; there are not vegan white boys in the kitchen.
What I've been saying is that PDX is ass-all-awful for AZN food.

Best Mexican food is Original Taco House on Powell. Fuck yeah!
My fave place to eat in Portland is Torres De Morelos on 33rd/Powell.

My 2nd favorite is La Catrina on 82nd/Otty. Best ever longaniza.

Hell yes!

The Chopollos (sp?) cart on SW 4th and Hall is killer. I eat about 8 veggie tacos (w/ black beans) from there per week.
I agree with what the people above who say Los Gorditos. I love their new store, and taking it across the parking lot to Apex is quickly becoming a habit.
Have you people never been to La Calaca Comelona on SE Belmont? A restaurant so authentic that around Christmas time each year they shut down the whole restaurant so that the crew can visit their extended families in Mexico? The owner makes all of the sauces from fresh ingredients, rather than buy them.

Seasonally they serve Chapulines de Oaxaca (grilled grasshoppers) which apparently in regions of Mexico are as popular as shrimp to our area.

Once, I stupidly went there w/ s/o on Día de los Muertos but we couldn't get in. It is a special event dinner for which they sell tickets in advance and I think sell out each year.
So no love yet for Javiers on N. Lombard? AND they're open 24 hrs a day.
The worst Mexican I've had? Por Que No. hands down.

My asada tacos were bland and runny. All I could taste was salt. Of course there was a line of idiots winding down Mississippi. Of course these idiots were grappling and worming and passive-aggressively bickering over the few tables. And of course it gave me the runs a few hours later.

Seriously, I cannot understand why this place is so hyped. It's gentrified bullshit, and it also taste like crap.
Agreed with Nuestra Cocina (would eat there more often if I could afford to) and Los Gorditos cart (haven't made it to the restaurant yet). La Caretta (McLoughlin & Holgate) and La Bamba (Powell & Foster) aren't too shabby either. Plus, La Caretta makes a stiff margarita.

The Original Taco House scares me.
Que Pasa Cantina has the best fish burrito in the world! Fish tacos in this town suck, however.
How has nobody mentioned the La Jarochita cart on SW 5th and Oak yet? There carne asada burritos bring the work folks out even on rainy days.
If ya'll don't know about King Burrito on Lombard, you better ask somebody.
I haven't lived in Portland for years, but I used to go to La Sirenita on Alberta ALL the time. That place rules. wonder if its still open.
La Superior.

Tienda Santa Cruz-in back of the grocery in St. Johns.

I kinda like Ole Frijoles on Killingsworth and 42nd.

AND attn: PAC-have you tried/heard of Panaderia Mexicana Cinco? 32nd and Johnson Creek blvd SE. There's a tacqueria attached to it. The best tacos I've had. And they're big. Plus, about four or five homemade salsas to choose from, all delicious.

Javiers is ass.
King Burrito is overrated.
I miss Cafe Azul!!!! Real Mexican. Mole, tamales, handmade tortillas, cochinita, barbacoa de chivo, etcm
I love la Bonita on Alberta. And if you're eating at la Sirenita you're doing yourself a huge disservice. Just walk the extra block or 2 to la Bonita. You'll come back here and thank me.
la calaca camelona is absolutely the most underwhelming mexican food I've had in Portland. Bland, bland bland. And over-priced.

I expected so much more.
Bombero, please stop telling people about Los Gorditos. I don't need any more waiting time for my delicious burritos.
Ugh all right I'll bite. You Portland foodie dorks are going to point and laugh at me but whatever.

Cha! Cha! Cha!

There used to be a really good one by my place close to PSU campus that got demolished to due the MAX extension, but now I have to set foot in the Pearl if I want my Cha! tacos.
La Bonita--no question about it. Family-run, great food, awesome prices, friendly people and, for better or worse, very family-friendly.
I seriously don't understand why/how La Sirenita can survive being just a few doors down from La Bonita....
@Jackattak-Cha Cha Cha rocks my world world world.

@Ansel and @JakeM La Sirenita is delightful and unpretentious- a hundred times better than La Bonita (which is overpriced for nothing special) my opinion of course.
Los Gorditos, La Bonita, Don Panchos, Cha Cha Cha all top my list.

Por Que No is for rich people who like expensive margaritas and tiny portions of food.
Get known. El Nutri-Taco at Woodstock & 84th.
I'm an omnivore but Los Gorditas' soyrizo burrito is very good and tastes just like the real thing. Plus the red salsa is really good. La Jarochita has long lines for very good reasons. I love there tacos and the cubano torta (it includes hot dogs but it works). The king burrito at King Burrito kicks ass. La Bonita is good too but the only bad thing I can say about them is the chips. I like the ones that come from a fryer and not the bag.

But I do have a question. In Georgia, all the mexican places would have this awesome white cheese dip. Every place had it, in Atlanta, Athens,and even in the suburbs. But out here my sister and I can't find one place that does it. We even have gone to some places in Gresham. It's not hard to make. All you have to do is melt some cheese. But it is so good. Does anyone know who serves this or even know what I am talking about?

Also, Por Que No is overrated and overpriced yuppie food. I like my Mexican food large portions and cheap. Not the other way around.
i dont understand bonita? That place is terrible! Also agree with how bad porque no places are superior and the taco truck on 34th and division...home made tortillas please!
Bonita is in the same relm as Cha!Cha!Cha!. It's not the best but it is good enough if you live close by. The bean, cheese, rice, and add some guac burrito is good and it is cheap. Now that I am no longer in walking distance to the place I never go there. Now I'm stuck with Nuevea Mexico and that is never open nor is it good and cheap. It just gets press because the Ex Shins runs the place.
I defend PQN on a few fronts. I know the owner and he's the rare kind of restauranteur who isn't an insane, self-important ass; he appears to treat his employees well and is genuinely invested in using quality ingredients. There are some good tacos on the menu BUT many of them are WAY overpriced. Charging 4 bucks for a seafood taco is egregious.

Although their tortillas are homemade, they are almost always lukewarm to cold, never properly warm. I don't like their texture, either. Homemades shouldn't feel/taste like Old El Pasos or any other store-bought tortillas.

Seriously, Chopollo's by PSU. Get the huarache -- fresh made masa frybread topped with tons of stuff, including huge slices of guacamole.

I just ate tacos and now I want more.
Puerto Marquez, located next to a 7-11 on SE 122nd Ave near Main St. Very inauspicious location, but probably the best mexican seafood in the entire city. Almost nobody knows about it because, well, it's east of 82nd, in the blasted lands, where chuds and hobbits like me rent domiciles.

But it is pure gold.
Lindo Michoacan is the name of the place in between 33rd and 34th and Division and I think it's really good. Authentic tacos that are flavorful and reasonably priced.

If you want the most bang for your buck without sacrificing too much flavor/quality, stroll down the Hawthorne strip and check out the 99¢ taqueria tacos at Pepino's on 38th and then order a burrito asada from Cha Cha Cha for $4.50 or so. Now that's a lot a of food.

One place that I'm glad hasn't been given praise is Taco del Mar. Way over-priced and the ingredients are low quality and not fresh.

Unfortunately, that's the hazzard of heading out your way. Chuds and hobbits easily embed themselves in potholes and stick under the tires. Makes for a difficult trek. Don't ever start riding recumbent bikes or it'll decimate your population.
@ Lifer12 -

Word. Taco del Mar is disgusting.
Here's another vote for La Calaca Comelona. The service can be a little spotty but I've never had anything that is less than delicious. I usually stick with the quesadillas, tortas and happy hour menu items.
I second Sanchez Taqueria. Best Mexican food around.
I guess some people would have the same complaint about La Calaca as the (closed years ago) La Cruda: because they use real food ingredients and make healthy dishes without loads of MSG and other concentrated flavoring agents, to a lot of palates the food would be "bland." To me it's the best stuff ever, but I don't damage my taste buds with artificial food so I guess I experience foods differently than an average person.
I wouldn't know what good Mexican food is, having never had it before moving here. I can tell you what good Cuban food is, and it doesn't exist in Portland, regardless of what others may think.
Well this was a nice list but you missed one of the best and most unknown carts in Pdx. Right off the corner of Mississippi and Fremont, across from the awful Por Que No is a set of four carts. There is one Mexican food cart there call La Chefi’s. This by FAR the best Mexican food in Portland. I was raised in a Mexican family. My mom pasted away a few years ago and this cart has been filling the hole in my heart caused by her passing. The wonderful little lady has the only place I know of in Pdx that makes the tortillas BY HAND and TO ORDER. I mean she cooks the tortillas, made from fresh masa, while she cooks your fillings. And at a $1.50 a piece you can’t go wrong. I try to eat there as much as I can. (Sometimes two to three times a day.)
She is the sweetest, most caring person I have met in a long time. Please check out her cart!

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