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two brisket tacos in a paper boat with cilantro, onions, and green taco sauce
Tacos from Terlingua in Portland are filled with smoked meats.
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16 of Maine's Top Destinations for Tacos

Tacos for days

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Tacos from Terlingua in Portland are filled with smoked meats.
| Terlingua/FB

A slate of new restaurants has brought Maine a long way from its slate of chain Tex-Mex restaurants serving bland, unremarkable tacos. There are now many options for fine tacos in the Pine Tree State. Here are 16 destinations that can make taco fans forget, at least for the moment, that they aren't in L.A. or Austin.

Map points are listed in geographic order.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Loco Coco's Tacos

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Go for the Mexican style — topped with cilantro and onions and served with tomatillo salsa and lime. FiIling choices include chicken tinga, barbacoa, lengua, and fried fish. There's ground beef too, for those who like that sort of thing.

Treehouse Taqueria

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This Instagram-friendly seasonal hotspot serves tacos made with corn tortilla and a variety of fillings from meat and seafood to vegan-friendly options.

Jimmy the Greek's Restaurant

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Authentic they may not be, but the "street tacos" here are sneaky good. Fillings include fried avocado, blackened chicken, pulled pork and battered fish. Tuesdays bring a $2 taco special.

Taco Trio

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This South Portland neighborhood restaurant is the best place to get authentic pollo asada and chorizo tacos, served up with a salsa bar and fruit frescas.

El Corazon

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This food truck expanded to a brick-and-mortar serving up Mexican street tacos. The fish taco is a highlight, perfectly crunchy, and topped with aioli and shredded cabbage.

Taco Escobarr

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Choose from soft, crispy, or puffy (deep-fried corn tortillas) shells and nine different fillings, which include the standbys along with chorizo, chili-roasted butternut squash, and lengua.

El Rayo Taqueria

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The pescado tacos — spiced grilled fish, with avocado, chipotle mayo and slaw — are a favorite here. Meat eaters can go for the carne asada and al pastor. There's also a second location in Scarborough.

Bayside Bowl

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Enjoy tacos from an Airstream parked on the roof of this Bayside bowling alley’s rooftop bar. These tacos are simple, filled with meat or vegetables, and topped with pickled onions, queso fresco, and cilantro.

Terlingua

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The tacos here feature barbecued meats like brisket and carnitas, from pitmaster Pliny Reynold’s on-site smoker. Crispy fried fish tacos and veggie and bean options are also available.

Tu Casa

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The lettuce, tomato, cheese, and salsa-topped tacos at this Salvadoran restaurant won't scare off those used to Americanized tacos, but they are still a cut above most.

El Jefe Taco Bar

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This Freeport taco bar has a simple menu of margaritas, tacos, and burritos. Corn tortillas, cilantro, onions, and cotija top the variety of fillings.

Home Kitchen Cafe

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The Boston Globe called the lobster tacos here "a last-meal-worthy lunch." The haddock tacos are also worth a try. They come on homemade corn tortillas and include cabbage, tomatoes, red onion, pepperjack cheese, sour cream and avocado.

El El Frijoles

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This little Mexican spot does everything from scratch and with so much flavor and care that it earned a perfect five-star rating from the Maine Sunday Telegram. The soft tacos come on homemade tortillas that are pressed to order.

Neighborhood

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Serving up creative tacos with fillings like locally gathered wild mushrooms sauteed with ginger, garlic, and lemongrass, Korean BBQ short ribs, and slow-cooked free-range chicken, this restaurant uses nearly all local products.

Vasquez Mexican Takeout

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The Vasquez family began selling tacos out of an old bus in the nearby blueberry fields to the seasonal migrant workers at Wyman's. Last year, they opened a takeout stand with a commercial kitchen, attached to a house. The tacos, on tortillas made fresh daily by hand, might be the best in Maine. It's open seasonally; check Facebook for the opening date.

The Thirsty Mule

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This sleeper of sports bar has a delicious fish taco as part of its $2 taco Tuesday special. Haddock coated with jalapeño kettle chips comes topped with spicy slaw and cilantro jalapeño aioli.

Loco Coco's Tacos

Go for the Mexican style — topped with cilantro and onions and served with tomatillo salsa and lime. FiIling choices include chicken tinga, barbacoa, lengua, and fried fish. There's ground beef too, for those who like that sort of thing.

Treehouse Taqueria

This Instagram-friendly seasonal hotspot serves tacos made with corn tortilla and a variety of fillings from meat and seafood to vegan-friendly options.

Jimmy the Greek's Restaurant

Authentic they may not be, but the "street tacos" here are sneaky good. Fillings include fried avocado, blackened chicken, pulled pork and battered fish. Tuesdays bring a $2 taco special.

Taco Trio

This South Portland neighborhood restaurant is the best place to get authentic pollo asada and chorizo tacos, served up with a salsa bar and fruit frescas.

El Corazon

This food truck expanded to a brick-and-mortar serving up Mexican street tacos. The fish taco is a highlight, perfectly crunchy, and topped with aioli and shredded cabbage.

Taco Escobarr

Choose from soft, crispy, or puffy (deep-fried corn tortillas) shells and nine different fillings, which include the standbys along with chorizo, chili-roasted butternut squash, and lengua.

El Rayo Taqueria

The pescado tacos — spiced grilled fish, with avocado, chipotle mayo and slaw — are a favorite here. Meat eaters can go for the carne asada and al pastor. There's also a second location in Scarborough.

Bayside Bowl

Enjoy tacos from an Airstream parked on the roof of this Bayside bowling alley’s rooftop bar. These tacos are simple, filled with meat or vegetables, and topped with pickled onions, queso fresco, and cilantro.

Terlingua

The tacos here feature barbecued meats like brisket and carnitas, from pitmaster Pliny Reynold’s on-site smoker. Crispy fried fish tacos and veggie and bean options are also available.

Tu Casa

The lettuce, tomato, cheese, and salsa-topped tacos at this Salvadoran restaurant won't scare off those used to Americanized tacos, but they are still a cut above most.

El Jefe Taco Bar

This Freeport taco bar has a simple menu of margaritas, tacos, and burritos. Corn tortillas, cilantro, onions, and cotija top the variety of fillings.

Home Kitchen Cafe

The Boston Globe called the lobster tacos here "a last-meal-worthy lunch." The haddock tacos are also worth a try. They come on homemade corn tortillas and include cabbage, tomatoes, red onion, pepperjack cheese, sour cream and avocado.

El El Frijoles

This little Mexican spot does everything from scratch and with so much flavor and care that it earned a perfect five-star rating from the Maine Sunday Telegram. The soft tacos come on homemade tortillas that are pressed to order.

Neighborhood

Serving up creative tacos with fillings like locally gathered wild mushrooms sauteed with ginger, garlic, and lemongrass, Korean BBQ short ribs, and slow-cooked free-range chicken, this restaurant uses nearly all local products.

Vasquez Mexican Takeout

The Vasquez family began selling tacos out of an old bus in the nearby blueberry fields to the seasonal migrant workers at Wyman's. Last year, they opened a takeout stand with a commercial kitchen, attached to a house. The tacos, on tortillas made fresh daily by hand, might be the best in Maine. It's open seasonally; check Facebook for the opening date.

The Thirsty Mule

This sleeper of sports bar has a delicious fish taco as part of its $2 taco Tuesday special. Haddock coated with jalapeño kettle chips comes topped with spicy slaw and cilantro jalapeño aioli.