When I moved from the West Coast to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area of Minnesota, I thought I had left top-notch Mexican restaurants behind. Much to my surprise and delight, however, I have discovered there are some must-visit places right here in the Twin Cities. If you are looking for the best local Mexican restaurants that are not part of a national chain, definitely consider these three:
Pablo’s Mexican Restaurant
Pablo’s is one of my favorite local Mexican restaurants. Not only is the food excellent, the staff is friendly and the restaurant is clean and colorful. And the restaurant is very family friendly. One caveat, though: expect to wait. Because this is such a popular place, it is likely you will have to wait for a table for dinner service. But remember, the wait is worth it.
Located at 230 Lewis Street in Shakopee, Pablo’s is open Monday through Thursday from 11 in the morning until 8:30 p.m.; Friday 11:00 a.m. until 9:30 p.m.; Saturday 4:00 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. Lunch specials are served from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., and happy hour specials are offered from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. 952-445-9218
Theresa’s Mexican Restaurant
Theresa’s offers a casual dining experience for individuals, couples and families. My favorite feature at Theresa’s is that it has a full section on the menu dedicated to vegetarian options.
Located at 20202 Heritage Drive in Lakeville, Theresa’s is open Monday through Thursday from 11:00 am until 10:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; Sunday from 11:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. Happy hour specials are served from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. daily. 952-469-8903
If you are looking for upscale, contemporary Mexican cuisine, look no further than award-winning Masa. With its downtown Target Plaza location, it is easy to grab a dessert, a beverage or a meal at Masa before or after an event. With sophisticated service, impeccable food presentation and modern décor, dining at Masa is a great date night option.
Located at 1070 Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis, Masa is open for lunch 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and dinner from 5:00 until 9:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday hours are from 5:00 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. Happy hour specials are offered Monday through Friday from 4:00 until 6:00 p.m. Reservations can be made through Open Table. 612-338-6272