Miami has had an onslaught of taco shop openings the last few months. I wasn’t surprised by them opening in general, because tacos are delicious! I was surprised however by how many opened right around the same time and with a similar concept- what I’d call a more upscale/trendy/gourmet taco place vs. a more general Mexican restaurant with the common meat, cheese, lettuce taco. Coyo Taco, Taquiza, and Bodega all opened around the same time (followed not long after by BTW). It was a bit hard to differentiate between them and decide which one to visit first.
One day I was scrolling through Twitter and another Miamian I follow was raving about Coyo Taco in Wynwood. I was probably most interested in Coyo anyways because it’s so close to my work. I asked her for more details and she shared that being Mexican she loved the quality of the tortillas especially. It seemed like an endorsement that made a visit to Coyo a must ASAP.
My first visit was with some friends who were in town. We went around lunch time on a day I took off from work and it was pretty packed. You order up at the counter and then sit either inside (only a few small tables) or outside at picnic tables. Looking over their menu I of course zoomed in on their steak tacos. After you order you get a number and your food is then brought out to you. We took part of a picnic table outside that wasn’t occupied.
I went for the alambre tacos (two with each order), which comes with steak, bacon, and chicharron de queso. It’s hard to not love steak, bacon, and cheese. The fillings were good as expected, but what I loved the most was the tortillas. They far outrank other corn tortillas I’ve found in Miami. Soft and warm and a good corn tortilla flavor that adds to the taco without overpowering. The tacos are more small-to-medium sized, but they come decently stuffed. I also got an order of the esquite. A lot of people are familiar with elote, which is Mexican sweet corn covered in spicy mayo and cheese. The esquite is like elote, but shaved off the cob in a bowl. Being in the bowl it’s more covered and saucier than elote. My biggest complaint about corn on the cob is the little strings getting stuck in between your teeth and the mess. Esquite takes care of that problem!
I was still feeling a bit hungry, so I went up to order some more tacos. Luckily there was a break in the rush, because sometimes trying to re-order at Coyo with the crowds would take a long time. This second round I was planning on probably getting one of the chicken taco options, but then noticed the day’s specials for the first time. There was a brisket taco and a chorizo taco. I’m kind of obsessed with chorizo, especially in tacos, so that was a must. And then brisket is one of my favorite foods. I wasn’t planning on getting that much second round food, but it was hard to say no to either… I went with orders of both and am really glad that I did. My biggest disappointment is when the chorizo in tacos are too dry or isn’t very flavorful. This chorizo was saucy (the way I like it) and had a pretty strong flavor inside the tortillas. The brisket was similarly flavorful and saucy. I was a big fan of both. Unfortunately I haven’t seen them again on return trips (or seen any specials in general), but I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled.
My second trip was pretty soon after, when I again had friends in town. These friends were in from New York and they were really excited for Mexican and margaritas in Miami… I shared that neither of those things are really Miami’s specialty over other cities. I also figured in a culinary capital city like New York, they’d be able to find good Mexican. I wanted to focus more on the Latin food where Miami has a natural advantage. They told me that New York doesn’t have very good Mexican food, so we made a plan for a late night Coyo trip. I also had really wanted to check out Coyo’s new bar in the back. A Miami New Times article made the margaritas sound pretty good and it would be a good first stop before checking out other bars in Wynwood.
My friends’ flight got in around 10:30 PM and we went straight to Coyo Taco. We first went to the back bar, which is behind a door and then a curtain. It’s sort of set up like a small lounge, but darker and louder than a lot of lounges. There is one bar and then maybe seating along the walls for 10-12 people I’d guess. The times that I’ve gone there has been a DJ in the middle. This first trip we ordered some banana margaritas and then went back to the main restaurant to order. While waiting in line I realized that almost half of my margarita was gone already… It was kind of like drinking juice and delicious! Their margaritas could get really dangerous…
My friends went for a couple orders of tacos and some guacamole, while I went for the alambre tacos again and the carne asada (didn’t see any specials this time). The alambre continued to be a favorite and the carne asada was also a filling taco with a great tortilla. My friends were raving about their tacos- the cactus tacos and shrimp tacos. They especially liked the cactus taco (a sentiment shared by others I’ve talked to about Coyo).
The chips that came with the guacamole were pretty good- fresh and made from their tortillas. I’d maybe wish for more flavor from the oil on the chips, but that wasn’t a big deal. I was a fan of their guacamole. One caveat is that I’m not sure it’s a type of guacamole I would make myself (if I actually made food…), because it didn’t have tons of a kick and I like spicy! I can’t remember if my friends got it mild, but even when I’ve gotten it medium more recently (compromising with some friends that don’t like as much spice), it hasn’t struck me as having a kick. I’ll have to give it a try HOT. It also isn’t very salty. Those the lack of spicy/salty is what makes me say it’s not initially a guacamole I’d really like. But with Coyo’s I liked it. It just comes off as very fresh, avocado-y, and a bit lighter. Even without a lot of spice and salt I wouldn’t call it bland, even though it’s different from other guacamoles I’ve tried at restaurants.
This Coyo trip certainly seemed to take care of my friends’ Mexican/taco craving that they weren’t getting in New York (+1 Miami!). It was a great first stop on getting them to fall in love with my city!
I’ve been back a couple more times and tried other tacos (venturing into chicken, although I think I still prefer my steak tacos). Local friends also are big fans, so I think it’s a great place to recommend for those in Wynwood. For other visitors that have come into town I’ve recommended a trip to Wywnood to check out the murals and then a stop at Coyo Taco for food (and then Panther Coffee for a cup right next door). Sometimes seating can be hard to find during a rush, but this doesn’t deter me from visiting. Since it’s close to work, Coyo is going to be a go-to for me for lunch and meals. Already it’s been impossible to say no to anyone suggesting a visit, even when I have packed a bomb lunch that day… I think in general Wywnwood is a must for any visitors to Miami and think Coyo Taco is a worthy pit stop for visitors and locals alike!
Coyo Taco- 2300 NW 2nd Ave Miami, FL