Taqueria Las Catrinas

Review by: Jess Dawson

Just past a flea market and right off the freeway, Taqueria Las Catrinas sits in what was formerly a gas station. But it’s the place to go for the juiciest al pastor tacos — so we’re psyched to dig in.

Owner Paloma Berger grew up in Ciudad Juárez, and long dreamt of opening her own restaurant. Her uncles own a popular taqueria in central Mexico (Zacapú, Michoacán). Here, they have perfected al pastor tacos: not too spicy, and fresh off the trompo (a vertical rotating spit). Thankfully, Paloma took the time to learn all their original recipes for Taqueria Las Catrinas.

The juiciest al pastor, ever?

Sliced fresh off the trompo, the Al Pastor is a masterpiece. It’s tender and slightly spicy, with hints of cinnamon that give it warmth and depth. The portion of meat is immense, piled high on top of super fresh corn tortillas. On top, caramelized pineapple, cilantro, bright lime wedges and onion. The Carne Asada tacos, while good, are not as amazing as the Al Pastor. 

There are two types of salsa: one is green (tomatillo?), and the other red. We especially love the green, which is slightly spicy and acidic. We learn the reason everything is so fresh is because Paloma and her family take time to track down all the perfect ingredients. And we’re so glad they do. These tacos are some of the best we’ve had.

Our first torta

We also get our first ever Al Pastor Torta, which as most people likely know is a sandwich. Ours features more of the al pastor meat, and the fluffy sandwich bread is slightly charred, with a buttery taste. As with any good sandwich, it’s extremely messy so you sort of have to eat it quickly. No problem. 

A history lesson and future plans

When we step inside to pick up our order, the first thing we see is a large mural by Robert Azure. Spray-painted by hand, the mural depicts images based on the Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada’s “La Calavera Catrina.” The image was later made famous by Diego Rivera, and La Catrina has since been associated with the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos.

However, La Catrina is a satire of the farmworkers and laborers who became successful and turned their backs on their heritage. These “garbanceras” attempted to pass as white Europeans, dressing to the nines and painting their faces white (hence, “La Catrina” is actually a skeleton). Here, the art is a nod to the spirit of the work of Posada and Rivera. It honors Mexican culture and its hard-working community. 

To complement its current artistry, the taqueria has plans to turn a section of the dining room into a gallery for local artists, and offer part of the restaurant as a studio space. Anyone who gets to create art and eat those al pastor tacos will be lucky, indeed.

What To Eat

Al Pastor Torta

TLC Al Pastor Tacos

TLC Carne Asada Tacos

TLC Chips and Salsa


Taqueria Las Catrinas Recipes


What do you think of Taqueria Las Catrinas?

Nearby Restaurants

Mesilla Valley BBQ

Las Cruces, NM


Las Cruces, NM


Las Cruces, NM

La Posta de Mesilla

Mesilla, NM

Chope’s | New Mexico Spells Chile With an “E” | Las Cruces

La Mesa, NM


Hatch, NM

Article’s & Guides Tagged Sparky’s


Connect with us #Roadfood