A staple of Mexican cuisine is al Pastor meat, which is generously seasoned with aji amarillo, or yellow chili pepper, and various other spices, then cooked for hours on a rotisserie.
Introduced to Mexico in the 1930s by Lebanese immigrants, al Pastor is seasoned and roasted vertically until fully cooked through. In the end, it often has a red tint and is usually served with cilantro and onions. Its signature topping is pineapple, which contrasts the savory taste of the pork.
If you’ve been looking for authentic al Pastor meat and a fun dining experience, we’ve tracked down some of the best Mexican restaurants in South Florida to bring you a little piece of hogar.
1380 SW 8th St., Miami, FL 33135
14429 SW 42 St., Miami, FL 33175
3410 Main Hwy., Miami, FL 33133
With three locations over South Florida, El Taquito provides guests with authentic Mexican dishes. Low lighting in close quarters provides a friendly, intimate environment. There are pictures of Mexico hanging on the walls, and the background music ranges from Reggaeton to Salsa. This place is famous for its Tacos al Pastor, which reach the next level. Thin pork slices are marinated in a tangy and sweet pineapple-based sauce. They start at $2.99 each, and for $7.99, you can make it a meal with three plus rice and beans. The restaurant is open Sunday to Thursday until 10 p.m. and until 1 a.m. on weekends and is guaranteed to make your next Taco Tuesday a hit.
Paquitos Mexican Restaurant
16265 Biscayne Blvd., North Miami Beach, FL 33160
Paquito’s was founded in 1990 in a strip mall on U.S. 1, not far from Oleta State Park. Decorated with vibrant Mexican décor and full of friendly staff, this restaurant is bound to be an enjoyable night or afternoon out. Keeping with Mexican tradition, the waitresses wear colorful folklorico dresses commonly worn in Southern Mexico to welcome guests. Known for its accurate replication of traditional cuisine, Paquito’s offers guests a wide variety of menu options. Tacos start at $4.25 and are made following an authentic recipe with multi-dimensional flavor. Open weekends until midnight, Paquitos also offers an open bar.
Mi Rinconcito Mexicano
1961 SW 8th St., Miami, FL 33135
Mi Rinconcito Mexicano, Spanish for my little Mexican corner, was opened in 2005 by two sisters to bring the taste and flavors of their home, Hidalgo, to Miami and its many visitors. The sisters’ dream was achieved in the authentically prepared and served al Pastor, which includes freshly roasted pineapples that add a hint of sweetness to the savory, and red seasoned pork. Customers can have the meat served in three different versions of tacos that come in orders of three for $6.50. Tortas, Mexican sandwiches, cost a bit more. Mi Rinconcito Mexicano stays open on weekends until 10 p.m.
Davie Taco Bar
13040 W State Rd. 84, Davie, FL 33325
Davie Taco Bar, located in Broward County, offers guests a counter-service, taqueria-style experience. With tacos starting at $4.50, this restaurant allows customers to choose from various fresh topping options such as Queso Fresco, juicy Pico de Gallo, piquant jalapeños and a variety of sauce options. Its Tacos al Pastor are the perfect mix of sweet and savory. To complement the meal, Davie Taco Bar also has a wide selection of Mexican drinks such as Jarritos, Aguas Frescas, horchata and Tamarindo.
Open Sunday to Thursday until 9 p.m. and weekends until 10 p.m., Davie Taco Bar is a great place to unwind after a long day to enjoy some excellent tacos and refreshing drinks.
Taquerias El Mexicano
521 SW 8th St., Miami, FL 33130
With its vibrant colors and traditional Mexican norteño songs, or northern songs, filling the restaurant, Taquerias El Mexicano allows customers to have a piece of Mexico right in Miami.
In hopes of sharing their culture with tourists looking for delicious food, cousins Guillermo and Maria Martinez settled in a spot on Calle Ocho after coming from Chicago in the late 1980s. The Tacos al Pastor come with a variety of toppings or as more traditional tacos with a side of rice and beans. The tacos cost $4.50 each. The unique taste of the roasted al pastor topped off with cilantro, onions, and slices of pineapple leaves customers appreciative for the authentic Mexican experience. Taquerias El Mexicano also offers guests a variety of fun cocktails.
Open until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, this restaurant is bound to be a crowd favorite for a fun night out!