Duo’s Taqueria Review – Learn Spanish, Eat Tacos

Published by Angie. Last Updated on May 23, 2023.

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Duo's Taqueria in East Liberty is a fun and delicious concept restaurant by Duolingo, where you can eat delicious Mexican food and also learn and practice Spanish. This spot has a colorful, upbeat, casual vibe that serves up delicious tacos on homemade tortillas as well as other Mexican specialties.

Duo's Taqueria was just a walk-up taco stand at the Duolingo building. We visited many times and judging by the long lines, we knew this concept was going places. And rightfully so, with Chef Marcella Ogrodnik at the helm. Chef Marcella was the owner of Cafe Agnes, an El Salvadorian pop up that served amazing pupusas and tamales at farmers' markets around the city. We are so excited that she is now at Duo's, bringing her skills for making fresh masa for tortillas and her knack for creating amazing flavor combinations.

Duo's recently built out an interior space in the building to change the restaurant to a sit-down concept (the walk-up window is now, sadly, closed). We visited shortly after re-opening to check it out and practice our Spanish.

Learn Spanish, Eat Tacos at Duo's Taqueria

Cocktails at Duo's Taqueria

The restaurant has a fun system where you can indicate with your drink coaster if you'd like to interact with your server in Spanish – just flip it to the green side that says “En Espanol, por favor.” No worries if you don't know Spanish; you can keep the coaster flipped over. Another option for practicing Spanish is with a heads-up-style app that you can get by holding your phone to a sign on your table.

We love all of these features of the restaurant, but of course, the main reason we love this spot is for the food and drinks. The former taco stand didn't have a liquor license, so we were excited to try the cocktails. We tried several ranging from the fresh and fruity Reina del Sur (mezcal, gin, prickly pear, lime) to the more spirit forward, and our favorite of the night, Platano Macho (anejo tequila, overproof rum, banana, and lapsang). The Platano Macho was perfectly balanced with just a touch of banana and smokiness.


The food menu, while still on the smaller side, has expanded from just tacos to include appetizers and larger entrees. We started with the tostadas de remolacha, served two per order, with crispy fried homemade tortillas topped with a beet puree, greens in a citrus vinaigrette, pickled onions, pepitas, and feta. The contrasts in textures between the crunchy pepitas and tortillas and the smooth beet puree was excellent, as was the combination of earthy beets and bright citrus flavors.

Other starter options included salsas, guacamole, salads, and ceviche. We also snacked on chicharrones before our entrees came out. Crispy with chili salt, they were excellent dipped into the trio of house made salsas served alongside.

Taco options on our visit included suadero (brisket), lengua (tongue), al pastor (roasted pork), and hongos fritos (fried mushrooms). Having tried most of these amazing fillings when Duo's was a walk-up window, we stuck to the entree portion of the menu that included tamales and roasted meats.

Duo's Taqueria Barbacoa

We tried the barbacoa, which was lamb from Elysian Fields served with guacachile (a green chile sauce), escabeche (pickled veggies), lamb jus, and house made tortillas. The lamb was so tender and juicy, and it was even better wrapped in a tortilla with all the toppings. Finished off by dipping the taco in the lamb jus, it was so rich and meaty and satisfying.

Pollo Asado at Duo's Taqueria in East Liberty

The pollo rostizado was equally on point – a roasted half chicken was served with smoky, earthy salsa pasilla; smooth and creamy bayo beans; and, of course, house made tortillas. We just love making our own tacos, especially when the tortillas are as amazing as they are here. If you've never had fresh made tortillas, you really must try them here – they're so sweet, tender, and flavorful.

We really should have ordered extra tortillas to take home along with our leftovers!

DIY Taco

Duo's Taqueria gets so much right: we love the emphasis on teaching Spanish in a welcoming way, the fun atmosphere, the solid cocktails, and the mix of traditional taco options plus meaty main dishes. If you're looking for a unique date night option, an opportunity to learn or practice Spanish, or just some downright delicious Mexican food, definitely give Duo's Taqueria a try!

Duo's Taqueria is located at 5906 Penn Avenue in East Liberty within Duolingo's office buildings. The former walk-up window is not being utilized at this time.

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