Top 7 Go-To Taco Spots in LA
One of the perks of living in L.A. is that you are always within a short distance of a taco. Everyone has their favorite spot, the place they always hit up when in need of a serious taco fix.
But the real question I ask myself, where are the true taco aficionados go-to spots?
But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ve narrowed it down to the absolute best bites that the City of Angels has to offer. No specific order.
Taco crawl, anyone?
- Guisados: Guisados opened in Boyle Heights just under four years ago, but feels like it’s been open far longer than that. At Guisados, thick, thick corn tortillas are filled with homey, braised and stewed meats and vegetables. For those who can be indecisive, Guisados offers a sampler plate of six miniature tacos for you to compare and contrast. I am positively sure you will end up finding a favorite here; whether it be the lovely steak picadillo with peppers or the tinga de pollo, or maybe something else entirely different but this is definitely one of the joints that can’t be missed when in LA.
Location: 2100 East Cesar E Chavez Ave., L.A., (323) 264-7201; 1261 W Sunset Blvd., L.A., (213) 250-7600.
- Ricky’s Fish Tacos: When it comes to fish tacos, Ricky Piña’s Baja-style versions are the go to. Serving golden, fried fish filets, fresh pico de gallo, and shredded cabbage in a homemade tortilla; they embody the best of Mexican cuisine in one bite. Covered in white sauce and fresh hot salsa; get ready to enter Mexican-food heaven.
Location: 1400 North Virgil Avenue (near De Longpre Avenue)
- Carnitas El Momo: There are many places where you can get yourself a terrific carnitas taco, but the one that is going to have your taste buds dancing is over at Carnitas El Momo. For their Guanajuato-style carnitas, the owner, Acosta, stews the pork slowly, patiently and the results are tender yet absolutely packed in flavor. You can specify your favorite cut, but ask for a taco surtido and you’ll get a fine mix of meat, including bits of skin. Whatever you choose, one taco will have enough meat for two or three people. And most importantly, it will save you a buck or two on what expected to spend.
Location: Check website for location.
- Leo’s Taco Truck: The spinning trompo at Leo’s Tacos is what makes the juiciest Al Pastor, probably all over the world. This spot is specifically located in the parking lot of a gas station in the middle of the city. Once you order, a taquero will shave off a few thin slices of that Al Pastor right off the trompo and onto a warm, oiled tortilla; the meat will be followed by a chunk or two of pineapple. Yes, you read that right. Finally a Pastor taco with pineapple. You can add salsa to this if you’d like, but there is really no need for that. The taco itself is a terrific masterpiece.
Location: 1515 South La Brea Avenue (at Venice Boulevard)
- Pinches Tacos: You’ve probably driven by Pinches Tacos dozens of times without realizing you’re missing one of the best stands in town. This L.A. institution serves up classic tacos like pollo mole, Al Pastor, and asada. Plus, you can’t miss favorites like elote and horchata. What a classic.
Location: 2311 Santa Monica Boulevard (near Cloverfield Boulevard)
- Aqui Es Texcoco: Barbacoa fans know that when it comes to pit-roasted lamb, Aqui es Texcoco is the king. Simple and traditional, their lamb-centric menu ranges from fried-lamb’s-brain tacos to lamb soft tacos that have become a hit. Only downfall is that they usually run out so fast so be sure to get there before the midday lunch rush!
Location: 5850 South Eastern Avenue (at Slauson Avenue)
7. Guerilla Taco: Before opening Guerrilla Tacos, the owner Wes Avila worked in some of the finest kitchens in the city. Here you will find that his ever-changing daily menu includes tacos filled with things like lamb shanks topped with roasted Mission figs and burnt tomato chile, or tasty slivers of squash with feta cheese and a smooth almond chile, or whatever else Avila finds at the farmers market that strikes his originality. And what you will find surprising is that the truck is usually found outside a coffee shop, so you can have agua fresca or tacos and coffee. Why not? Live a little.
Location: Check website for location.