4000 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN | Directions 5540644.948473 -93.215160
Neighborhoods: Longfellow, Cooper
Great place for healthy ingredients, freshest ingredients – Delicious food prepared in traditional Mexican fashion. No hidden surprises in the food. No sauces out of a box these are made from scratch.. Tortilla chips are home made and wonderfully crisp and flavorful. Hard to choose a favorite from the menu. The refried beans are the best in town.
Best authentic mexican restaurant! – This sister-owned family restaurant is a local favorite! I love their chips and salsa, casual atmosphere, patio, and flautas! You can't miss with anything on their menu. My sister had their mole and loved it. I also love their authentic deep fried tacos. These three hardworking women man the kitchen, tables, store, and cash register all by themselves - sometimes, if you're lucky, you'll get to see their mother and father from Mexico help out in the kitchen when they are visiting. So, if you're used to being served like a princess, eating at a stuffy, stale American restaurant which is obviously the case with the comment from the review below, then this is not the place for you (and you don't deserve to travel abroad!) This is authentic Mexican fare! Relaxed, casual atmosphere. Warm, friendly, and personable staff. Real Mexican receipes passed down from generation to generation. Pay the extra for an extra basket of chips! Frankly, you won't need one as I'm always stuffed when I leave! Try the margaritas - they're made with wine, not tequila! (And NO, I don't work for them!)
Great food at a reasonable price. – I've lived in this neighborhood for 8 years and always drove past El Norteno until a month ago when I went for a walk and decided to go in. The food was fantastic. It is very much a family run restaurant, so you may need to ask if you want something. But I think people have gotten too lazy when it comes to things like that. You're not dining at a 4 star restaurant with a dress code! If you want something ask! I don't think it is unreasonable to charge for extra chips and salsa either! It's fresh made! Of course other restaurants can afford to give you their canned salsa in unlimited quantities! Stick to Don Pablos in the future if that is what you're looking for. I wanted fresh food at a reasonable price and you get that in abundance at El Norteno.
One more note. Regarding the portions. They are MORE than reasonable as well. More than one person should even eat at a sitting. I am rarely able to finish it. And the free chips and salsa are a good portion as well. No need for a second order!
I will make this a weekly stop for sure!
Everything Bad – After my boyfriend and I read such good reviews, we were excited to try this place for ourselves. It was a huge disappointment to say the very least. After eating there, it is 100% obvious that the other reviews were written by the owners themselves. First off, what mexican restaurant doesn't have free chips and salsa??? The first bowl is free, but then you have to pay $1.99 for refills. Second, the other reviews warn of slow service. I'm pretty sure they mean no service. You see the waitress twice - once to take the order and once to deliver the food. We had to get up and ask for more water. A second time we had to get up and ask for napkins. Even after that, they didn't stop by to see how we were. Also we didn't get everything we ordered, and barely got an apology for it. Lastly, but certainly not least, the food was average at best. The meat was dry, servings were small, and any condiment is an extra charge. I would not recommend this place to anyone.
great tamales – Might just be the best mexican in the city. Reasonable prices, personable, sweet service, authentic food. Even my discerning mexican boyfriend likes the tamales. Cute patio in the warmer months.
A family-run Mexican cafe near the St. Paul-Minneapolis border. – In Short
You can shop the small Mexican grocery store and deli, then sit down in the attached restaurant for a meal. The huge entree combos include the Mil Colores (tamale, enchilada, flauta and burrito, all served with beans and rice). The La Canasta combo dinner serves three to five people. Choose from a variety of fillings for the tacos, burritos and tortas; other options include enchiladas suizas, cactus salad and, on weekends, menudo.
a wonderful find! – my friend and i stumbled across this place this summer and are very glad we did! the food is wonderful and authentic and the price is right!
Authentic great food – This place is great! The ladies that run it are so friendly, and the food is excellent! This is 100% authentic mexican food, not anything like the taco shops. Try it.
viva el norteno – We love this place and go there every chance we get. The food is great and a great value and the service is always personal and delightful. The patio is a wonderful spot to eat on a warm evening.
Fantastic Food! – This is a great authentic neighborhood mexican restaurant. Beer and wine is available, no liquor though. Family-owned and the service is slow, but you get the same waitstaff everytime, and they are friendly. The prices are also right. If the weather is nice, there is a cute patio out back.
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