Your Guide to the Best Tacos In Los Angeles
With a big city comes a big food culture and there are few quite as big as LA's. For years tacos have been on the forefront of the food favorites. Here are some of the city's best.
Anyone who lives in a mid to large sized city knows that the debate over which food establishment serves the best tacos is serious business. Being the second largest city in the country and comprised of a largely culturally diverse population it is no surprise that the citizens of Los Angeles take their tacos pretty seriously. From red meat lovers to veggie heads, and die hard demanders of authentic cuisine to open minded fusion fans, rest assured that Los Angeles has a taco for you. Check out this summary of the Los Angeles taco scene and the only thing you’ll need to ask yourself is ‘flour or corn?’
Tacos from the Sea
If you’re looking for tacos filled with the fresh taste of the sea you’ll have plenty of desirable options to choose from at Coni’s. Their taco selection includes smoked marlin, fried fish, and shrimp with vegetables. If getting your fill of fish served on tortillas isn’t enough for you, their lengthy menu also includes great seafood options like a variety of ceviche, shrimp cooked in fresh house sauces, and deliciously marinated grilled fish.
Ricky's Fish Tacos
With a fan base as large as Ricky’s it is no wonder that he doesn’t have to keep his truck open long hours to stay in business. Usually only open about 6 hours at a time, this truck sticks to a simple menu of shrimp and fish tacos served up on corn tortillas and both are major crowd pleasers. Batter fried and bursting with flavor you’ll really feel like the three dollars you spent to try one was worth every penny.
Served up out of a minimally decorated food truck, you will easily be able to find dozens of Los Angeles natives swearing the Mariscos Jalisco’s seafood tacos are the best that they’ve ever had. The go to favorite for fans is the taco dorado de camaron which is a delectable deep fried shrimp taco served covered in salsa and fresh avocado slices. For an even bigger kick order the Poseidon which includes a mix of seafood and a very spicy sauce.
A restaurant that is fully dedicated to the art of preparing delicious and fresh seafood, El Coraloense has started to become a major contender in the Los Angeles taco scene. A very popular selection for both first timers and those seeking variety in their meal is the sampler that allows you to choose three different mini tacos. Their shrimp taco called Taco a la Diabla also packs a flavor punch as do their variety of ceviche which is a cornerstone of their reputation as a seafood hot spot.
Pork Fans Unite
If you have an affinity for pork but your wallet is looking a little slim, have no fear; a single dollar will you buy you a taste of the widely talked about al pastor tacos over at Leo’s Taco Truck. They have been in business in the Los Angeles community for over five years and have opened four trucks in the process to meet the demand of hungry customers. They serve their famous pork tacos by slicing from the rotating slab of meat seated on a vertical spit and topped with juicy pineapple. Easy on both the taste buds and the budget you won’t regret giving this LA taco staple a try.
El Chato Food Truck
Often mentioned in the same sentence as Tacos Leo, El Chato Food Truck has built its strong reputation of serving up a mean al pastor taco using the same shawarma-style method. With tacos selling for one dollar and a menu that includes burritos, quesadillas, and horchata to wash everything down there’s no reason not to give this renowned food truck a try. Having a very similar reputation and just as many fans claiming it to be number one, it’s hard to say which reigns king of the al pastor tacos: El Chato or Leo’s. If the two ever did enter a face off over who is the real pork powerhouse, at least we know that everyone would win.
Carnitas El Momo
Carnitas are another style of Mexican pork that results in tender and tasty pieces of pork that taste like they were made to be eaten inside of a corn tortilla. At Carnitas El Momo these delicious kind of tacos are exactly what keep customers coming by. The reason they are so exploding with flavor is because owner Romulo Acosta takes his time appreciate the fine art of slow cooking pork. There are two different trucks where you can get your fill of carnitas tacos and the mixed pork taco surtido is also definitely worth a try.
El Flamin' Taco
Holding its ground in the highly competitive al pastor market, El Flamin’ Taco’s five different food trucks deliver a lengthy menu that is largely accented by vertical spit cooked pork. The classically delicious al pastor tacos are served with slices of pineapple and can also be order gringo style topped with cheese, avocado slices, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and replacing the corn tortilla with flour. Several vegetarian options also have spots on the menu as well as carne asada covered fries and polish sausage filled tortas.
Not Your Average Taco
With a mission to use all fresh and locally sourced ingredients, Guerrilla Tacos is a food truck that boasts much more variety that your classic taco establishment. With plenty of vegetarian options - such as broccolini, mushroom, and eggs tacos or sweet potato leek tacos – as well as an ever plentiful selection of meat items, there is surely a taco on the menu for everyone. Some of the more unique options include oxtail, scallops, or lamb kidney tacos, and everything on their menu can be deliciously washed down with one of their fresh fruit aguas frescas.
The menu at Guisados is filled with a variety of meats braised and cooked in delicious stews, and the result is tasting home cooked comfort with every bite. Since 2010 their delicious tacos have been winning the hearts of customers leading to the opening of three additional locations. Their taco selections include expertly prepared flank steak, chorizo, pork rinds, shrimp, some vegetarian options, and more. No matter what you choose know that each bite will make you feel like you’re eating a meal prepared for you in your own home.
Colonia Tacos Guisados
Very recently moved from the original Colonia Taco Lounge location, this newly renovated taco joint might seem a little out of the way for those who reside in the city, but as many will tell you it is well worth the drive. All served on handmade tortillas, their menu options offer more than just your basic staples. Try their doraditos, – crispy potato stuffed tacos – a battered and fried cauliflower taco, or the unique duck carnita option.
Taquerias El Atacor #11
There is nothing incredibly fancy about the taco setup here at Taquerias el Atacor #11 but that is not what allows them to maintain a steady flow of customers. The most talked about item on their menu is the fried potato tacos offering crunchy greasy goodness topped with a creamy sauce. The carne asada tacos also find themselves frequently ordered as well as the arm’s length long super burrito. The most notorious element of this establishment is that it’s open till 4am every day nabbing lots of customers of all sobriety levels late into the night.
Fusion and Breakfast Tacos
Upgraded to a brick and mortar location since their roaming food truck days, the Venice location of Komodo is one of two cafés serving up modern Asian fusion cuisine. Offering vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy free options, the mission of their menu is to create unique tacos inspired by a variety of cuisines that all taste truly delicious. While their tacos take the spotlight, their menu also includes a number of sides, salads, and shareables such as the brutus salad described as an ‘anti-salad’. Try their ‘burgerrito’ taco described as a deconstructed cheeseburger or perhaps the ‘java’ taco filled with Indonesian inspired pork rendang and don’t forget to finish your meal off with some mochi ice cream.
Depending on where you’re from you might be surprised to learn that despite having such an avid taco loving community, it is pretty difficult to find good breakfast tacos in Los Angeles. Thankfully for those who like to start their day with a taco, Homestate joined the LA food scene. Opened by a native from Texas where the breakfast taco culture runs strong, their tacos are served on homemade flour tortillas differing from the corn ones that are much more common around the city.
Starting at 8am you can order their breakfast tacos which are loaded with varying combinations of eggs, cheese, beans, potatoes, and bacon or chorizo. For other tex-mex staples be sure to try their house made chips and queso or their frito pie served in a bag.
The Corner Deli & Grill
Situated in the most unassuming of places, this gas station location has nothing fancy going for it. But despite the slightly rough exterior The Corner Deli & Grill remains one of the rare places to snag a breakfast taco in Los Angeles. Though their large breakfast burritos are a great hearty option as well, they don’t quite land the same feel as a classic breakfast taco stuffed with plenty of eggs, cheese, and a meat option of your choosing. The age old saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ definitely rings true with this establishment.
Kogi BBQ Truck
The Kogi empire, which now includes a total of five food trucks, once started out with a single truck in 2008 when the currently bursting LA food truck scene hadn’t yet come into existence. Owner Roy Choi’s claim to fame is the fusion of Korean barbecue with Mexican style tacos which once sold for just two dollars outside of college dorms. Many years later the food truck fleet has a huge following throughout the city, and with several taco choices and the option of adding kimchi to anything it would appear that they have written the perfect love story between the two types of cuisines.
Los Angeles takes their tacos very seriously, and with a seemingly endless amount of establishments to choose from your perfect taco is waiting for you just about any time of the day. Don't buy into the idea that there is such thing as a single best place to order tacos. Tacos are about variety, and with this list you can try a new one every day of the week.
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