There is no feeling in the world like finally finding your taqueria. I am talking about that moment when you find that hole-in-the wall sort of joint that makes every other Mexican restaurant you’ve ever tasted before pale in comparison. That place for me is Los Pioneros Taqueria Mexicana. Located on Piñero Avenue, Los Pioneros doesn’t look like much on the outside, but don’t judge a book by its cover.
The restaurant has a very casual atmosphere. No waiters, Styrofoam plates, and plastic forks and knives. You order and pay up front at the cashier and are given a number. When your number is called, you pick up your order. Right next to where you pick up your order you will find the salsa bar featuring their four (4) homemade salsas: (1) Tomatillo (not spicy), (2) Jalapeña (mild), (3) Chipotle (medium), and (4) Arbol (hot). I tried all of them, but my favorites were the Chipotle (spicy yet flavorful) and Arbol (full on spice). Also at the salsa bar you will find chopped cilantro, onions and lettuce. Vegetarian? No problem! Los Pioneros offers a variety of veggie tacos and veggie friendly options.
I had heard a lot of buzz about Los Pioneros, particularly from many Mexicans in the island who claim it is one of the best Mexican restaurants in Puerto Rico, so I decided to go there for lunch last week.
As an appetizer, I ordered the queso fundido with chorizo. I think it lasted less than 5 minutes on my plate, since I devoured that glorious melty and cheesy bowl of goodness immediately. The portion was ideal for one, so if you want to share make sure to order an extra one.
For the main event, I ordered the Paisano (pork carnitas, guacamole, pico de gallo, onions and three corn tortillas). The pork carnitas were delicious, juicy and tender. I also ordered a side of refritos (refried beans), which were one of the best I have tasted here in Puerto Rico. Don’t forget to top those tacos with one of their delicious sauces!
Overall, I really enjoyed my lunch at Los Pioneros. The portions are not huge but enough to keep you satisfied. I liked the food so much that a few days later I brought my husband to try it. Needless to say, he loved it! The food is fresh, flavorful and authentic with prices that can’t be beat! Also, I have been told they make a mean margarita. I guess I will have to come back soon to try it.