Food & Drink

The 12 best taco spots in LA

Published On 10/27/2014 Published On 10/27/2014

Unlike men, not all tacos are created equal, and after years of chowing down on the city's finest, we've come up with a list of the 12 best slingers of tortilla handhelds that you'll find in LA.
 

Ricky’s Fish Tacos

Silverlake 
Baja native Ricky Piña has been kicked out, ticketed, moved around, and forced underground, but his insanely good fried shrimp and fish tacos refuse to be silenced. These days, his demure silver truck parks back on Virgil Ave in Silverlake, where he pushes out Piña-signature tacos to waiting hipster crowds.
 

Tacos Punta Cabras

Santa Monica
This Westside staple serves up inventive tacos with skilled precision, almost singlehandedly keeping the Westside fed with fantastic Mexican eats, including their delicious scallop tacos.

Liezl Estipona

Tacos Leo

Mid-City
Regional Mexican specialties abound in LA’s taco scene, but few are as enduring as Tacos Leo, the Distrito Federal al pastor assassins who sling thin slices of marinated pork (with a spike of pineapple, no less) from their massively popular gas station parking lot off Venice in Mid-City.
 

Tire Shop Taqueria

South LA
South LA’s burgeoning food scene still feels like a well-kept secret, except when it comes to the bustling Tire Shop Taqueria. A late-night staple on Avalon Blvd, just South of MLK Blvd, these dudes are killer asada specialists.

PAUL BARTUNEK

El Korita

East LA
East LA denizen Tacos El Korita may be the ideal workaday lonchera. The truck is loaded with prized options and they hand-pat their own tortillas -- don't overlook their mulitas, either.
 

Carnitas El Momo

Boyle Heights
A relative carnitas newcomer, El Momo has taken the city’s taco-lovers by storm, serving authentic Mexican pork tacos in true snout-to-tail fashion. Nothing goes to waste here -- it all just goes in the oil.

NOAM BLEIWEISS

Coni’Seafood

Inglewood
The smoked marlin tacos at Coni'Seafood are legendary, served alongside a fiery salsa meant only for the bold. There's a lot to love about this Inglewood-based mariscos operation, but none more so than an order of the marlin tacos.
 

Guerrilla Tacos

Arts District
Just when it seemed like the age of the chef-driven food truck was disappearing, along came Wes Avila's Guerrilla Tacos to save our fair city. These days the Downtown crawler serves inventive (and often seafood-laced) tacos from in front of several Arts District coffee hotspots.

Paul Bartunek

Guisados

Boyle Heights
One of the city's true taco prides, Guisados has done much to move the city away from bland, overpriced carne asada tacos. Their stewed creations, served on thick, pliant tortillas, have expanded the city's taco lexicon, and their business: from Boyle Heights to Echo Park to Downtown.
 

El Coraloense

Downey
As fan favorites (they won 2014's Taco Madness tournament), El Coraloense in Downey is renowned for its handling of all things seafood. Ceviches are popular and well worth the trek, but even the everyday mariscos tacos here shine.

Paul Bartunek

Mariscos Jalisco

Boyle Heights
Longtime taco fanatics don’t view the drive to Mariscos Jalisco in East LA as a hassle -- it’s a pilgrimage towards perfection. Frying up massively flavorful shrimp tacos dorados from a truck along Olympic Blvd, Raul Ortega has built a following that often stretches down the block on weekends.
 

Aqui es Texcoco

Commerce
Expect a weekend wait at Aqui es Texcoco in Commerce, when families, whiskey headache-addled party kids, and taco aficionados all brave the lines for a taste of the signature pit-roasted lamb barbacoa.

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Farley Elliott is a freelance food and travel writer based in Los Angeles. He's been featured in everything from the New York Times to a bunch of photo collages his grandmother used to make and hang on her fridge. Find his stuff at overoverunder.com.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Ricky's Fish Tacos 1400 N Virgil Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027 (Downtown)

The menu is simple -- as a taco stand's should be. Try their fish or shrimp tacos which are always, for lack of a better and more accurate word, perfect.

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2. Tacos Punta Cabras 2311 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404 (Santa Monica)

This Westside staple serves up inventive tacos and is almost singlehandedly keeping the Westside fed with fantastic Mexican eats, including their insane scallop tacos.

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3. Tacos Leo 1515 S LA Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90019

Tacos Leo sling thin slices of marinated pork (with a spike of pineapple, no less) from their massively popular gas station parking lot off Venice in Mid-City.

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4. Tire Shop Taqueria 4069 S. Avalon Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90011

South LA’s burgeoning food scene still feels like a well-kept secret; except when it comes to the bustling Tire Shop Taqueria. A late-night staple on Avalon Blvd just south of MLK Blvd, these dudes are killer asada specialists.

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5. Tacos El Korita Olympic & Herbert, Los Angeles, 90023 (East La)

This taco truck, parked at Olympic & Herbert in East LA, offers some of LA's best tacos. You can expect hand-patted tortillas, delicious al pastor, and most importantly, great prices.

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6. Carnitas El Momo 6015 S Avalon, Los Angeles, CA 90033

Located in Boyle Heights, Carnitas El Momo offers up some of the city's best tacos, including top-notch, authentic, Mexican pork tacos.

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7. Coni'Seafood 3544 W Imperial Hwy, Inglewood, CA 90303

Dont expect "Mexican" food like burritos or nachos. Instead, the chef travels regularly South of the Border and brings back ultra-fresh seafood for super-legit ceviches, smoked marlin tacos, and a whole-cooked snook served alongside stewed onions and tortillas.

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8. Guerrilla Tacos 826 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013 (Downtown)

At this Arts District taco truck, ingredients are always high-quality, seasonal, and from locals farms. The menu also changes daily, which means you have a good excuse to return every day.

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9. Guisados 2100 E Cesar E Chavez Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90033

One of the city's true taco prides, Guisados has done much to move the city away from bland, overpriced carne asada tacos. Their stewed creations, served on thick, pliant tortillas, have expanded the city's taco lexicon.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
10. El Coraloense 6600 Florence Ave, Bell Gardens, CA 90201

As fan favorites (they won 2014's Taco Madness tournament), El Coraloense in Downey is renowned for its handling of all things seafood. Ceviches are popular and well worth the trek, but even the everyday mariscos tacos here shine.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
11. Mariscos Jalisco 3040 E Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90023

Longtime taco fanatics don’t view the drive to Mariscos Jalisco in East LA as a hassle -- it’s a pilgrimage towards perfection. Frying up massively flavorful shrimp tacos dorados from a truck along Olympic Blvd, Raul Ortega has built a following that often stretches down the block on weekends.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
12. Aqui es Texcoco 5850 S Eastern Ave, Commerce, CA 90040

Expect a weekend wait at Aqui es Texcoco in Commerce, when families, whiskey headache-addled party kids, and taco aficionados all brave the lines for a taste of the signature pit-roasted lamb barbacoa.

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