Over the course of compiling our nearly 100-location Minnesota Taco Atlas, we’ve had a lot of horchata. It’s our go-to taco beverage, and every place does this rice milk, cinnamon, and vanilla drink a little bit differently—some are thick, some are watery, some are sugar-sweet, some are austere, some are cinnamon-challenge spicy, and others are downright neutral. Some taste strongly of rice, some taste of nothing but sweetness.
Even bad horchata is usually okay, and most taquerias do a respectable version that complements the savory nature of a good street taco. And then there’s Bravis Modern Street Food in Shakopee, where the horchata is made in-house and to a higher standard than anything else we’ve tasted.
What makes it so good? It’s thick, for starters. Not unpleasantly thick, but silken and rich. It’s got a bit of cinnamon kick, but the dominant flavor is lightly sweetened rice, neither so sweet that it sets your teeth on edge nor so austere that it makes you want to set your glass down and push it away. It’s just rich, balanced, and natural-tasting in a way that many horchatas (which sometimes come from packets) fail to achieve. And it goes really well with a plate of carnitas tacos.
THE DISH: Horchata, $3.25
THE PLACE: Bravis, 105 Lewis St S, Shakopee
THE REASON: In a world of workaday horchatas, the housemade rendition at Bravis stands head and shoulders above the rest.