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Food & Drink

Marsu Piles Pizzas With Birria, Pastor Pork, Carne Asada, and More

The newish Lake Street shop has mastered Mexican pizza.

Em Cassel

There are plenty of places that serve excellent birria along Lake Street in Minneapolis, but only one, to my knowledge, that puts birria on pizza. 

Marsu Pizzeria+Taqueria is situated in a tangerine-orange building on a colorful block that includes the bright-yellow Taco Taxi facade and Ocampo Plaza’s Frida Kahlo mural.

It appears to have been open about two years now, and credit where credit is due: A reader named Alina Trukhina first alerted Racket to the existence of Marsu all the way back in May of 2022, writing, “I was reading the corn article and that brought up a memory of Latinos making killer food. Try this place out: Marsu Pizza on Lake St. by Mercado Central. Holy crap, this pizza is delicious.”

I meant to stop by Marsu all the way back then! But you know how these things go. We’d just been pizza’d out by our definitive local pizza chain rankings; there were sandwiches and such to write about. Marsu receded into memory, popping into my consciousness whenever I biked through the intersection of Lake & Bloomington: Oh right, I’ve been meaning to try that Mexican pizza place.

This February, yet another Racket reader asked if we’d ever tried Marsu, at which point I realized it was time to stop draggin’ my feet. Clearly, this pizza has captured the hearts and minds of (two) readers (possibly more). Three is a trend, which made this… an emerging trend. It was time to see what all the fuss was about. 

Em Cassel

Marsu delighted me from the get-go, when I learned that the shop’s birria pizza is served with an accompanying tub of consomé for dipping. I mean, it wouldn’t be birria without it, right? But I hadn’t considered the sheer delight I’d feel dunking pizza slices into a rich broth of chiles and spice. 

Now, gimme the option to dredge anything through its own rendered fat, and I’m predisposed to like it. But the birria pie doesn’t rest on this delicious gimmick alone, with tender braised beef and a mild but herbaceous mint-green salsa drizzled all over the thing. Birria heads know that part of what makes the meat so good on tacos is the copious heap of cheese, which makes the flavor work well and familiarly on a cheesy pizza. And like oh-so-trendy birria tacos, these slices are awesome by themselves; with the consomé, they’re divine. 

If you’re a pineapple-on-pizza hater you can stop reading here (and also, grow up), because the other two Marsu pies we tried—pastor and chorizo—both balanced their savory elements with sweet and juicy slices of the tropical fruit. 

The pastor boasted more flavor than the birria, with saucy hunks of marinated spit meat, fresh cilantro, and another drizzle of that zesty green salsa; the chorizo offered the most heat of the three, with jalapeño coins in addition to the lightly spicy sausage. Both pies were blanketed in meat, especially the crispy chorizo, on which there was almost a 1:1 ratio of sausage and cheese. And yes, on each pie, the pineapples add an extra element of acidic sweetness.

All of this deliciousness was served on a crispy little crust about an eighth-inch thick—nothing fancy, and it doesn’t need to be. Especially because you’re going to dunk all of your crusts in the birria juice, you little heathen. 

And the prices! The 10” small size of each of these pizzas rang up at $9.99, a smoking deal for such heftily topped, tasty pies. Plus: They’re open until 3 a.m. on weekends.

We’ve written before about the emergence of South Asian pizza in the Twin Cities, and my hope is that Marsu might be part of an emerging trend of its own. (Have you seen other Mexican pizza places around town? Please tell me, I want to go.) With all respect to Doja Cat, this is a far cry from the Mexican Pizzas from Taco Bell—this is Mexican Pizza in its finest form. 

And yes, I will be back to try one of their enormous “Bull Dog Subs.”

Marsu Pizzeria+Taqueria
Address: 1509 E. Lake St., Minneapolis
Hours: 11 a.m-12 a.m. Sunday-Wednesday; 11 a.m. - 3 a.m. Thursday-Saturday

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