Taco Tour of Marshalltown

Cinco de Mayo is just two weeks away. Plan a day trip of tasting tacos and other south-of-the-border treats in Marshalltown.

Writer: Beth Eslinger

On a recent trip to northeast Iowa, I made a quick stop in Marshalltown to check out downtown and discovered a wealth of Latin American restaurants (Trip Advisor lists nine local spots). The city is known for its large Latino community; in fact, the Latino population is over 30%, according to the latest census. Here are three restaurants and/or groceries to stop by for bites (and maybe a brew or sweet treat).

Ay Caramba (12 N. First St.)
Located right off Main Street in a historic white brick two-story, this restaurant specializes in gourmet burritos and also serves bowls, tacos, nachos and salads. It’s one of those pick your meat and topping places for a customized flavor. The corn salsa looks tasty and oh-so-Iowa.

La Salud Restaurant and Grocery (17 N. First St.)
Painted on the side of this grocery and restaurant, a brightly colored mural filled with flowers and butterflies (painted by Des Moines artist Jenna Brownlee) is a must-shoot image for your social feed. Sample a $2 taco or sopes, a fried tortilla topped with meat and fresh fixings (vegetarian available). Enjoy a brew or fruit Orchata with your snack.

Zamora Fresh Market (4 E. Main St.)
While in town, grab ingredients for your own Cinco de Mayo party at this Main Street store. The grocery has a sit-down dining area serving a la carte items such as tamales, tacos and posole. We think the mangonada sounds amazing. It’s made of mango ice cream, Chamoy sauce and chili powder. There’s also homemade ice cream.

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