Mexican culinary traditions are founded on the ubiquity and versatility of corn. El Burrito Mercado, with its warm-weather corn roasts in the parking lot, stone-ground corn chips, and homemade masa dough, is firmly built on this foundation. You can taste it in the sopes—springy corn cakes topped with your choice of meat, from a tangy shredded pollo and peppers to an unctuous, tender pork in green sauce. Can’t stay long? There’s a quick-service counter for fast-casual meals (including breakfast!), as well as a section of prepared, grab-and-go servings of braised meats, quesadillas, burritos, sopes, and salsas. Attached to the restaurant, browse a full Mexican grocery with a deli counter and produce section, plus a gift shop of artisanal items imported from Mexico. And for all of you Minneapolitans feeling a little jealous: This St. Paul institution will soon open a second location in south Minneapolis, in the former Pepito’s on Chicago Avenue.
Readers’ Choice: El Burrito Mercado