Columbia’s Mexican food: the recommendations

There was a time when Columbia’s Mexican food options were pretty slim. In our conversation on BXR this morning, Simon recalled the 80s, when Los Banditos was about it. El Maguey expanded our options later on, but not by much. Then something – perhaps a critical mass in the Latinization of the United States – happened and Columbia got taquerias. Carlito’s started serving excellent Mexican-style tacos on Business Loop 70. A bit later came Taqueria El Rodeo, which remains one of my favorites. More recently, La Terraza and Taqueria Guadalajara have joined the scene. As any native of Texas will (stridently) inform you, each place has its shortcomings. Truly great tortillas remain elusive; the beans and rice bland and pointless. None are going to replace your favorite place in San Antonio or Austin or Dallas or Corpus Christi. Nor should it. But each also represents a step forward, another really good option if you can look beyond the enchiladas and burritos. Here’s what I like:

Taqueria El Rodeo
805 East Nifong Blvd # G
(573) 875-8048 ‎

Go With: Tacos (lengua, carne asada, pastor). Negra Modelo. Ask for their hot sauce.

La Terraza
128 East Nifong Boulevard
(573) 815-1194

Go With: Molcajete, tacos, anything with shrimp.

Carlito’s
12A Business Loop 70
(573) 443-6370 ‎

Go With: Six-pack of carnitas tacos.

Taqueria Guadalajara
1802 Paris Rd
(573) 441-0883

Go With: Chorizo-anything.

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Author: Scott

I am a married father of two. I graduated from Rock Bridge High School and then Mizzou before spending six years in the Washington, D.C. area. We returned to Columbia, Missouri in 2006.

8 thoughts

  1. Do you know if any of these, or others, make homemade corn tortillas? Or if you have a good recipe for them, that would work too.

  2. La Terraza has had homemade blue corn tortillas in the past – you have to ask for them. If I remember correctly, most come from a lady in Kansas City. They do sell them if you’re looking to buy.

    As for making them, I’ve done okay with the basic Masarica mix and recipe…nothing outstanding though.

  3. Jeff, I can’t get to it at work, but Google Alton Brown corn tortillas. That’s what we use.

  4. Can’t go wrong with the bags of tortilla mix at almost any grocery store. If you want scratch made real corn tortillas from maiz blanco you can buy that at the Mexican grocery on N. Paris Rd. next to Gerbes. But you are in for a lot of work to turn the dime size corn kernels into tortillas.

  5. Thanks for the information.

    Monty – I will likely not be grinding corn. Is the Mexican grocery on N. Paris still open? It does not look like it and I think there is some sort of realtor sign in front.

  6. I was there last Saturday. The windows are rather dark, I couldn’t tell until I pulled on the door. I think the yellow signs are advertising for money xfer and phone services back to Mexico.

  7. Oh, BTW…. the Mexican grocery that was by the Columbia Mall has closed in case you didn’t know. Almost all of the tenants in that shopping center are gone. I think it was a second location for the one on N. Paris.

  8. Non-strident native Texan here. I’m just happy for these four being in mid-Mo. I’d also vote for Terraza’s guacamole mexicano, a portion of which I save to add to the rice-beans leftovers the next day at home.

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