Seafood has been perfected in Maine, but over the years we’ve also learned to do some other foods pretty well. In fact, many of our cities are becoming foodie hot spots in their own right. From Bangor to Bridgton, Portland to Presque Isle you’re never TOO far from some quality places to grab a meal. But, as much as I love the fancy food on offer in Maine, I’m never one to turn down a good taco. For that reason, I thought I’d share some of my favorite spots to grab some quality Mexican and, specifically, the perfection that is a taco.
1. Loco Cocos Tacos, Kittery
Locos Cocos is great if you're looking for a sit down meal, or just something quick. They've got a sit down area as well as a walk-up counter situation. The taco selection is immense and well thought out. There's even a distinction between Mexican-style chicken or American-style. Give the tequila-lime chicken tacos a try if they have them. Visit them at 36 Walker Street, Kittery / 207-438-9322.
2. El Camino Cantina, Brunswick
This cool little place is a hidden gem of a cantina in Brunswick. The menu is great, but the specials board is where you should focus your energy. Their of-the-day meals are always delicious. Visit them at 15 Cushing Street, Brunswick / 207-725-8228.
3. Gringo's, Bar Harbor
Gringo's is a good option in the Bar Harbor area if you're looking for reasonable prices and good food. This is another place with hearty portions. If a taco isn't enough (and we admit, sometimes you just need more than a taco) try the large size burrito. It's great. Visit them at 30 Rodick Street, Bar Harbor / 207-288-2326.
4. Zapoteca Restaurant, Portland
If you're looking for Mexican with a Maine twist, this is it. Zapoteca is well-known for surprising lobster-related dishes - from lobster tacos to lobster guacamole. And, they have a great brunch as well! Visit them at 505 Fore Street, Portland / 207-772-8242.
5. Buen Apetito, Waterville
Buen Apetito reminds us of a typical California taco stand. Great tacos, with a great taste. The portions are typically very large and come at a reasonable price. Be prepared for a wait at times, but once you're seated you'll be glad you stuck it out. Visit them at 4 Chaplin Road, Railroad Square, Waterville / 207-861-4649.
6. El El Frijoles, Sargentville
Not only does El El Frijoles have the most clever restaurant name in Maine, they also serve up a mighty good Mexican dinner. This is definitely not a quick eats taco joint, so you should stop in only if you want authentic and delicious Mexican with a fresh and local feel. They're not open year-round, so get in while you can. Try the soft tacos, which come with perfectly hand-pressed tortillas. Visit them at 41 Caterpillar Hill Road, Sargentville / 207-359-2486.
7. El Rayo Taqueria, Scarborough
Some of you might remember El Rayo as a mainstay on the Portland taco scene. While it seems change can be hard for some, we still really love this location. You'll still enjoy the filling tacos that come in many varieties. Try the fish tacos if you love ceviche - they will remind of a great bowl of it! Visit them at 245 Route 1, Scarborough / 207-494-1000.
8. Taco Trio, South Portland
Taco Trio just might be the most loved taco joint in Portland! Located in an off-the-beaten path location in South Portland, Taco Trio serves up incredible food but they shine when it comes to their salsas. No matter what you're craving, Taco Trio has a salsa to satiate. Visit them
and at 119 Ocean Street, South Portland / 207-767-9055.
9. Las Palapas, Bangor
If you're looking for something in Bangor with more of a sit-down vibe, you'll want to check out Las Palapas. Make sure to visit on a Tuesday for taco specials. You'll be treated to "all you can handle" chicken or beef Tacos for $1.25 each. Also, they've got lots of vegetarian options for those who aren't into meat. Visit them at: 8 Bangor Mall Road, Bangor / 207-947-3500.
10. Taco Escobarr, Portland
At Taco Escobarr, you'll find your typical taco and burrito options, along with dishes loaded with the expected beans and rice. If you're looking for something a bit new, try the puffy taco. If you want to have a real party in your mouth, order a margarita. There are tons of unique infusions, such as toasted coconut. Visit them
and at 541 Congress Street, Portland / 207-541-9097.