Special to Bham Now by Noél Espinal: Savory, spicy, authentic and affordable. If you’re looking to switch things up this holiday season, here are a few local Latin cuisines that are a must-try around Birmingham.
Now I’ll admit, my Latin heritage probably makes me more likely to trade in my mashed potatoes for some paella (a Latin dish made with rice, beans, meat and seafood). However, regardless of the season, these hidden gems are bound to make your taste buds sing.
1. La Tía Paisa Taco Shop
La Tía Paisa Taco Shop is right off the corner of Green Springs Highway and Valley Ave.
Owner Maria Manzano moved from San Diego almost 11 years ago. When she arrived in Birmingham she saw the taco shop scene was lacking.
Today, Maria is proud to say her taco shop has been open for three years. Her goal is to bring authenticity to her customers.
“I want people to experience the true California style food that we offer,” Maria explains. “It’s something different since everything here is Tex Mex.”
So what’s the secret? Every morning at 7AM, Maria and other La Tia Paisa employees arrive at the taco shop to begin preparing their homemade corn tortillas.
The California burrito stuffed with steak, fries, guacamole and sour cream, along with the TikTok famous birria taco filled with tender meat bathed in chiles and other spices are both bursting with flavor and fan favorites.
2. Los Dos Hermanos Taco Truck
Now you may have heard of Los Dos Hermanos Taco Truck before, but this restaurant on wheels is just too good not to try.
The Guzman family owns and operates two taco trucks in Birmingham, one off of 1st Ave and the other on Valley Ave.
Another foodie family originally from California, the idea to bring their taco truck business to Birmingham stemmed from the desire to bring authentic Latin food to Birmingham.
“We saw an opportunity for growth in the South,” Jeffery Guzman son of the owner David Guzman says.
The melt-in-your mouth mouth chicken and steak tacos aren’t the only thing this truck has to offer. The Guzman family’s fast and friendly customer service will only add to your taco eating experience.
Jeffery says family that lives in Mexico comes to visit them in Birmingham often, sharing new recipes and keeping the authentic Latin flavor alive.
So what’s the difference from every other taco truck in Birmingham? The flavor. Los Dos Hermanos brings the heat to its meat while maintaining a smoky balance with hints of cilantro.
The taco truck has been around since 2008 and Jeffery says it’s inspiring to see all the food truck growth the city has experienced.
3. Luna Latin Cuisine
Last but not least, Luna Latin Cuisine.
Located in the heart of Avondale, this restaurant comes with a twist. Owners have not one but two taco trucks that frequent the Birmingham area.
Luna’s red crescent moon branding makes it hard to miss.
The idea behind this restaurant is Latin American comfort food.
Luna has a plethora of variety with dishes and drinks from all across South America on menu.
An appetizer you won’t be able to resist is Mexican street corn. Already de-cobbed, just grab a fork or dip your chip and enjoy!