Cinco de Cherokee: An Updated Guide to Restaurants on Cherokee Street

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Cinco de Cherokee: An Updated Guide to Restaurants on Cherokee Street
Jennifer Silverberg

Siete Luminarias (2818 Cherokee Street; 314-932-1333) Owned by brothers Ramon and Luis Garcia, colorful Siete Luminarias is a dazzling example of the depth and breadth of Mexican cuisine, from the gringo-approved staples such as tacos and enchiladas to more exotic fare including goat, lamb, beef lengua (tongue) or tender cabeza (beef head). It's perhaps the only place in town to score a pambazo, a Mexican torta of sorts, stuffed with your choice of meats and veggies and topped with chile sauce. Every meal starts with an order of homemade chips and salsa - they're free, but so good you'd gladly fork over money for them.

See also: - RFT's 100 Favorite St. Louis Dishes: The Pambazo at Siete Luminarias - 2012 Best of St. Louis: "Best Mexican Restaurant"

Taqueria el Bronco (2817 Cherokee Street; 314-762-0691) Without a doubt, there are bigger and splashier places to eat along Cherokee Street than Taqueria el Bronco: There's not much in the way of décor, and the couple of humble televisions are always tuned to a Spanish-language channel. But the taqueria fare is as good as any you'll find in town. Chips are on the house and are served with red and green salsa, but go ahead and spring a few bucks for the beautiful guacamole. The burritos, while not the foil-wrapped footballs we've come to expect from American chain restaurants, are a satisfying size, and the tacos are always crowd pleasers.

See also: - RFT Review: Taqueria el Bronco - 2005 Best of St. Louis: "Best Taco"

Taqueria el Torito (2753 Cherokee Street; 314-771-8648) Unlike many other eateries along Cherokee, not only is Taqueria el Torito spacious, it's also attached to a El Torito Market, a grocery that hawks everything from pinatas to spices to cowboy boots. The restaurant focuses on Michoacan cuisine, a region on Mexico's Pacific coast that's famed for its carnitas, and here, the deeply savory meat doesn't disappoint. Combination platters offer a little of everything, and during the week, El Torito's tequila bar offers $4 specials (wine, margs, well drinks) during happy hour.

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