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Posted by on Jul 5, 2015 | 3 comments

Best of Akron: Rancheros Taqueria

Best of Akron: Rancheros Taqueria

RancherosTaqueria-Akron-OHWe’ve all eaten at ‘em…those oddly-identical Mexican restaurants that are pretty much everywhere. Order combo #1-887, get your cheese-slathered food exactly 25.9 seconds later, and go home 30 minutes later with a nice food baby.

{Question: Is there some convention that Mexican ‘restaurateurs’ go? How is it that they have identical menus, recipes, and even candy machines by the cashier?}

Moving on. My hubs, Futureman, is a San Antonio native, so naturally he knows and loves authentic Mexican food. After my own numerous visits to SA, which have involved inhaling tacos and margaritas like I have “a problem,” I know and love great Mexican food, too. So, we’ve made it our little project here in Northeast Ohio to find the real deal. And let me tell you, it has not been easy.

After much Googling and venturing into unfamiliar neighborhoods, we found Rancheros Taqueria in the North Hill neighborhood of Akron. It’s pretty much the opposite of your neighborhood “El Fill-in-the-Blank.” No vats of already-prepared ground beef and shredded chicken – you have to WAIT for your freshly made food. Yelp, Urbanspoon (RIP), Trip Advisor & Google Reviews all come in with user reviews of 4.5/5 or higher.

We’ve been going to Rancheros Taqueria for years, back when it was just an open kitchen, three tables, and some bar stools. We’ve gotten to know the owner/chef, David, who’s of course from Mexico and an all-around great guy. More importantly, he can cook up a storm. Admittedly, these photos don’t do the food justice:

What to Eat: After eating through entire menu, Futureman and I agree: order the Mexican chicken enchiladas. Boring, you say? Forget about it, they’re amazing. David’s ranchero sauce is the best I’ve had – so dark and full of depth and flavor you’ll find yourself wondering what’s in the stuff. He adds crema and crumbled cheese to put ‘em over the top. The Mexican burritos and tacos al pastor are also stand-outs, and David even manages to elevate a chicken quesadilla to something you’ll want to steal off your kid’s plate. Futureman loves the Mole special – chicken cooked in a smooth, dark, smoky, bittersweet sauce of peppers, spices and chocolate.

David does offer ‘American’ versions of his dishes, but don’t do that. Please don’t do that.

For more adventurous eaters, he offers Lengua, or beef tongue, tacos. I tried them once, but just couldn’t get past the texture. They’re there if it’s your thing.

What to Drink: Mexican beer by the bottle, margaritas, tequila, and non-alcoholic Mexican drinks like horchata and Jarritos, in addition to the usual soda and stuff.

What’s the Vibe: Super-casual. Pretty much anything goes in this storefront location. The neighborhood leaves a little to be desired, but it’s not unsafe. They expanded a few years back and now have a dining room that’s clean, a little overly bright, and decorated with some Mexican knick-knacks on the walls and fake flowers on the table. Service is attentive. But it’s really all about the food.

What About Kids: Kiddos are welcome. Not that I’d know from personal experience, but if someone at your table spills a drink twice in one meal, it’s the type of place where it’s no biggie.

Rancheros Taqueria
286 E Cuyahoga Falls Ave.
Akron, Ohio

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  1. Authentic! So delicious. All tacos should be judged by David’s. Over 100 tequilas! We cannot wait to return and try all the food. Please, please, please, do you yourself a favor and go now.

  2. The hubby and I gave it a try shortly after reading your post and really enjoyed it. There’s something for everyone, the prices were reasonable, and we got lucky enough that at the end of the meal the owner came out with samples of tequila ice cream. If you haven’t tried this place, you should!

  3. YUM – totally trying this place out and going with your meal suggestions! My Will loves all foods Mexican so he will be my sidekick

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