Seattle, WA – Taqueria El Rinconsito (Mexican)

Restaurant: Taqueria El Rinconsito
Cuisine: Mexican
Last visited: July 26, 2010
Location: Kent, WA
Address: 25914 Pacific Hwy S
Price Range: $10 or less

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 4.5
Service: 4
Ambiance: 2
Overall: 4
Additional comments:

  • Since 1997
  • Mexican fast food
  • Popular to locals and Mexicans
  • Popular and traditional Mexican dishes
  • Very good for fast food joint
  • Good quality and quite authentic for fast food
  • Homemade corn tortillas
  • Homemade sopitas
  • Bang for buck
  • Large menu
  • Self serve condiments bar
  • Self serve drinks
  • No trans fat oil
  • Meat/Seafood
  • Cheap eats / Budget-friendly
  • Quick, casual
  • Open late
  • Online specials and coupons


Taqueria El Rinconsito is a family owned fast food Mexican restaurant with a few locations throughout Washington. It’s rapidly growing expansion is due to their philosophy in good quality Mexican fast food, for a cheap price, in a family atmosphere with friendly service. They offer a large menu from popular Mexican favourites like tacos and burritos to some Mexican specialties like Camarones a La Crema, shrimp cooked with asparagus cream sauce and veggies, and even Mojarra, an entire deep fried fish . They even have traditional Mexican drinks,  homemade Mexican desserts and free self-serve condiments and sauces. The food is not authentic as say the food you would have in Mexico, but it’s a definite bang for your buck and exceeds any level of expectations one would have for cheap Mexican fast food. They even have bottles of Tapatio Mexican hot sauce on the table, which is a sign of a good Mexican restaurant that would attract Mexican locals as well as locals in general.

Being from Vancouver, BC where there is a severe lack of authentic and good Mexican food, I thought Taqueria El Rinconsito was freaking awesome and delicious! I’ve had Tex-Mex and some better Mexican food before and I have been to Mexico, but I can’t say I’m very familiar with the cuisine or that I have it often enough to compare. I did have this meal with a friend from San Diego who really knows his Mexican cuisine, and he too enjoyed the food here. It’s not the best Mexican food out there, but the quality and price is unbeatable and I would definitely come again. It was a late night snack and we ordered the generic stuff just to sample the basics, and now I can’t wait to try their not as popularized Mexican food.

You can eat like a king and order everything on the menu and have it make a small dent in the wallet.

On the table:

**5 Tacos – 5/6

  • Your choice of meat $7.09USD
  • Meat choices: Asada (steak), Adobada (spicy pork), carnitas (fried pork), pollo (chicken), birria (shredded beef), cabeza (roasted cow head), and lengua (roasted cow tongue).
  • I tried all the tacos except the roasted cow head and tongue. I didn’t know what they were and they didn’t have the English translation on the menu. I’ve tried BBQ cow heart before at El Inka Deli and that was good, so I’d be curious to try these other organs although I’m not eager. Cow tongue I’ve tried and that’s not foreign, but the cow head is new to me.
  • The best tacos were the Carnitas (shredded fried pork) and the Adobada (spicy pork). They were the most tender meats and had the most flavour. All the meats were  general well flavoured though and each taco was generously filled.
  • You can get corn or white flour tortillas, but the authentic way is to eat them with corn tortillas. They’re homemade here too and each taco is about the size of a CD so they’re served the authentic way. It’s also two corn tortillas per taco and that’s the traditional way to eat Mexican tacos.


  • Choice of meat, Jack cheese, onions, cilantro, salsa and guacamole (2) $4.38USD
  • It was my first time trying these so I have nothing to compare to, but I enjoyed them! It kind of reminded me a Mexican version of a Shao Bing I tried at Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie.
  • We ordered them with spicy pork (Adobada).

  • It was almost like a quesadilla meets a hard taco.  The stuffing is sandwiched between two crispy white flour tortilla shells. This were the juiciest and sauciest item we ordered and messiest to eat. They’re generously filled and it’s a bit greasy, but still delicious. It’s savoury, slightly spicy from the pork, creamy and sweet from the guacamole and nice and crispy from the tortilla shell.
  • The guacamole isn’t the best guacamole ever, but for the price, it does the job fine and it still tastes fine and I can still taste avocado.

**Sopitos 4/6

  • Choice of meat, beans, onions, cilantro, salsa, cabbage, tomato, Mexican cream & Mexican cheese $5.99USD
  • I was really surprised to see these on here because it’s not expected for a cheap little Mexican fast food joint. Again it was my first time trying them and I enjoyed them, but half of one is more than enough because they’re really substantial and filling. It’s a sloppy mess of deliciousness, but also the key to food coma.


  • Sopitos are thick tortillas with raised edges and they’re homemade here. They kind of make them a batch at a time, so although they’re made fresh it’s not upon order.
  • It tastes like a very thick and doughy tortilla and it’s very bread like and dense. They’re not really soft, but almost like a Mexican style pita.


  • The sopitos are piled high and I ordered 3, one with Carnitas (shredded fried pork), another with steak and the last with spicy pork. My favouite was the pork ones again, it just as the most flavour.
  • The Mexican cheese is almost like a crumbled Feta and it’s nice and salty. The Mexican cream tastes like sour cream or Crème fraîche. It’s slightly runnier and has the same tanginess.
  • The sopitos taste like a burrito piled on top of a Mexican style pita that’s almost like dense cornbread.

**Torta Regular – 4.5/6

  • Choice of meat, onions, cilantro, salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapenos, and mayo $4.79USD (Extra for avocado)
  • Meat choices: Asada (steak), Adobada (spicy pork), carnitas (fried pork), pollo (chicken), birria (shredded beef), cabeza (roasted cow head), and lengua (roasted cow tongue).
  • The only torta I’ve tried was from Las Tortas, and I loved it there; although they make gourmet tortas.
  • These ones were super stuffed with meat and fresh vegetables and it was delicious! The Mexican bun was also very soft and not to thick and I could taste everything. It was tangy with the salsa, and the jalapenos were pickles so it was slightly spicy but not overpowering.

Pollo Ranchero – 2.5/6

  • Chicken cooked in a spicy sauce, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes. Served with rice, beans, salsa, and tortillas $8.49USD
  • This was a pretty big portion, but I wasn’t that impressed with it. The chicken was mildly spicy but the veggies were nice and caramelized and sweet. It was almost like chicken fajitas.
  • The rice was alright, but a little sitting there and the beans were just normal re-fried beans that didn’t look too appetizing, but tasted fine.

Mexican Drinks

  • The also offer a self-serve drink counter with a variety of juices and iced teas like mango juice, Horchata, Agua Fresca, and Hibiscus tea.
  • Horchata is amazing – it the white drink on the very right. It’s made from rice, cinnamon and lemons and it tastes almost like rice pudding made into a drink. it’s very aromatic and sweet and almost nutty in flavour.


They off cheesecake, churros, flan and deep-fried ice cream all for $3. 29USD. The choice for me was obvious…

Deep Fried Ice Cream – 1.5/6

  • $3.29USD
  • The deep fried ice cream was huge, but it wasn’t that good. It was a big ball of vanilla ice cream rolled in cornflakes and them deep fried. This is kind of the lazy way of making it because it’s not supposed to have a cornflake batter.

  • The cornflake batter tasted soggy and stale and we didn’t even eat it. The best deep fried Mexican ice cream I’ve had was from Luna Loca Mexican Cantina where the batter was almost made from graham crackers, cinnamon and sugar. It’s really good when they use ground nuts in the batter too.


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