La Tiendita

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The best Mexican restaurant in Tallahassee, like a superhero, wears a disguise to conceal its identity.  Unless you look very closely or are already in on the secret, I would not blame you for thinking that the Tiendita was just a convenience store, quietly minding its business on a busy stretch of North Monroe Street.  To put it mildly, they do not go out of their way to advertise the fact that they offer sit-down dining!

But for those of you who are on the hunt for tasty, authentic Mexican food, this is actually a really good thing.  Despite the delicious meals that are to be found inside, there is never a wait to get one of their few tables.  Once you know this place exists, it is like getting the secret password to a hidden wonderland of awesome tacos hidden right under your nose.

After you walk past the shelves of consumer products and head for the back of the store, you’ll find a small little dining room with a window looking into the kitchen.  The walls are painted bright colors and there are table-cloths to cover the folding plastic furniture.  Sure, it’s not going to win any design awards from Fussy Dining Monthly, but honestly, who gives a shit?  Grab a beer from the cooler, peruse the menu, and get ready to have some excellent food.

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Personally, the tacos are my favorite.  Served on warm, soft corn tortillas, topped with crisp little pieces of raw onion, fresh cilantro, your choice of salsa, and a squeeze of fresh lime, they always put a smile on my face.  I like just about every filling I’ve gotten (although the one time I tried to be cool and get a brain taco, I will confess to regretting it).  But the carne asada, the lengua, or the al pastor (which mingles juicy, spicy roasted pork with tart fresh pineapple) are all delightful.

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They also do burritos, tortas, and a variety of other standard Mexican fare.  If you go for a weekend lunch, you will find that they offer a few extra dishes, including fresh ceviche and savory menudo and pozole soups.  Once you have filled up, grab your cash and head for the register (they do not accept cards), and be prepared to be dazzled again by how cheap such good food was.  There is a good chance that, as you leave, you will feel a little bit like a superhero yourself.

La Tiendita on Urbanspoon

11 thoughts on “La Tiendita

  1. do they have any vegetarian options? Looks like a promising place for great tacos, if so! Also a place to check out if you haven’t already…..El Virolena. El Salvadorian, amazing pupasas! Thanks for your posts, it’s been super helpful so far!

    • We actually have a Viroleno review, if you scroll down! As far as veggie options at La Tiendita, I think you’ll find that it is slim pickings. There is a good chance that even the beans and the tortillas are cooked in lard. If you eat fish, you might try visiting on the weekend, when they have some non-meat specials.

  2. Just up the road is my favorite place in Tally for Mexican, Taqueria La Moreliana. It’s in a trailer outside a grocery store on N. Monroe. You need to give them a try.

    • Yeah, I’ve only had a quick bite at Moreliana, but I thought it was quite good. I’ve been meaning to get back to that place, especially because I saw chilaquiles on the menu!

      • The only drawback is seating is outside. It’s usually not a problem, but if it is windy or during the middle of summer, it can be a bit uncomfortable.

    • I tried their lengua tacos recently and was pleasantly surprised! It was about as good as I used to get in really good California taquerias. I am headed back to try their entire menu!

      • Yeah, I actually don’t normally like tongue, but tried Tiendita’s and was very impressed, nice texture (which is not usually a comment I have after trying tongue)

      • I’ve tried them at La Tiendita and my vote goes to the trailer outside Moreliana’s for lengua tacos-a bit rich but I thought they were excellent. Tongue is amazing! Had lamb tongue in a mustard sauce in Berkeley once that I will never forget!
        BTW have you tried those Jalapeno-cheese tamales they make on weekends at La Tiendita. I am not sure if they still make them? Becareful, the last time I brought some home…they forgot the cheese and they were not good. But when they make them right..amazing! Love your blog!

  3. Eat This Tallahassee: March 30th – April 12th | Tallahassee Food Bloggers Association

  4. I’m not sure they still have them but La Tiendita made great tamales on the weekends- especially the jalapeno-cheese ones, spicy with a lot of masa flavor.

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