(credit: Loteria Grill)
Grab a sombrero, a margarita or Corona and check out these authentic tacos hot spots for a real Mexican feast. Whatever the occasion, whether it be National Taco Day, Cinco De Mayo or other, diners will find taco fillings from the obvious grilled chicken and ground beef to more obscure cactus, Maine lobster, beef brisket and Mexican-style meatballs. Many of these restaurants also offer lettuce cup tacos sans the crunchy shell – if you want to go protein style. What are you waiting for? Ole!
11222 Washington Place
Culver City, CA 90230
This local joint has been making and serving first-class authentic tacos since 1959. The walk-up taco stand’s tacos are made fresh to order, so waiting in line is worth every second. Known for big flavor, a simple menu and easy-on-the-wallet prices, tacos are prepared with shredded beef, grated cheddar cheese (optional) and sliced iceberg lettuce in a freshly-cooked corn taco shell. Tito’s burritos, tamales and enchiladas also do the trick in satisfying any Mexican food craving.
Blue Plate Taco
1515 Ocean Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Blue Plate Taco comes from the restaurant team who gave Santa Monica and West Hollywood Blue Plate and Blue Plate Oysterette. Blue Plate Taco’s Southern California-style tacos are offered with grilled chicken, beef brisket and cabbage, veggies (roasted corn, mushrooms, leeks, kale, goat cheese and truffle oil), grilled shrimp with pepita salsa, lobster with jack cheese and truffle oil, or Chef Niko’s “taco del dia.” The salsa sampler is not to be missed and includes pico de gallo, tomatillo, house ranchero, fresh mango and mojo de ajo.
Kogi Truck / Alibi Room
12236 W Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066
They may not be traditional Mexican taco’s, but there’s no doubt that these delicious tacos are inspired by the real thing. Whether you feel like tracking down the Koji Truck or want to visit the Alibi Room in Culver City, Kogi’s BBQ taco’s are absolutely ridiculous. And, we mean ridiculous in a great way. The most popular has to be the short rib tacos which are topped with lettuce, cabbage and delicious salsa. Other favorites are their spicy pork, or chicken tacos. Alibi Room and the Kogi Truck also offer a slew of other delicious items ranging from calamari tacos, to their Blackjack Quesadilla. Whatever you choose, you certainly can’t go wrong.
514 W 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Situated in Downtown LA, B.S. Taqueria by Chef Ray Garcia has become a go to spot for great Mexican cuisine as of late. The menu is delicious and offers plenty of options, especially if you’re in the mood for great tacos. From their chorizo & papas tacos to chicken tacos, shrimp tacos, fish tacos and more, everything here is worth a try. On the side, order up their grilled corn to go along with it, and you’re in business.
Leo’s Tacos Truck
1515 S La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90019
If you’re looking for some great al-pastor tacos, Leo’s Tacos Truck has you covered. This Mid-City taco truck is one of Los Angeles’ most popular. The meat on the tacos is unparalleled and flavored perfectly. And, with prices being extremely cheap (just $1), it can’t be beat.
Tacos Super Gallito Truck
Corner Of Santa Monica Blvd And Westwood
Los Angeles, CA 90024
There’s something special about a taco truck, as you know you’re getting tacos without all the glitz and glamour. These are legit tacos, or the type you’d expect to find at a roadside shop in Mexico. So, naturally, Tacos Super Gallito Truck makes our list for offering some of the best tacos in the city. You won’t find any seating here. Instead, order up from a variety of authentic options and eat it on the ledge of their truck. They offer virtually every variety, including maritnated pork, carintas, chicken, tongue, pastor, carne asada and many others. With cilantro, diced onions and great sauce, no matter what you order, it’s a winner.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
It’s all about the flavor at Guerrilla Tacos! Located in different places throughout the week, you’ll need to visit the website to track down this truck. With offerings like roasted sweet potato tacos, sword fish tacos, Puerto Vallarta style crab tacos and much more, the menu is constantly changing and adapting. No two meals are the same here, so when you visit, make sure to get your fill as it may not be there the next time! Their taco offerings are unique, so if you’re looking for more traditional tacos, you’ll want to check out another great taco spot in the city.
6627 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
It’s an authentic bienvenidos at Loteria Grill. With multiple locations around LA, including at the Farmers Market, in Hollywood, Downtown L.A., and at LAX Airport, you won’t have to travel far to get some of the best tacos in LA. Tacos here are filled with the grill’s homemade guisos, traditional regional stews that are known and served throughout Mexico. Each option is prepared with a unique blend of ingredients and flavors. Some standouts include the calabacitas made with a vegetarian guiso of zucchini and roasted corn succotash and the albondigas en chipotle made with meatballs in a tomato and chipotle sauce. The cochinita pibil has achiote and citrus-marinated pork slowly roasted in a banana leaf. And the restaurant’s specialty tacos de camarones (shrimp tacos) are pan-seared in one of two sauces, spicy morita salsa or fresh tomatillo salsa. Also try their tacos with mole sauce for a great dish. Make sure to add rice and beans on the side to complete the dish!
2490 Fletcher Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Frogtown’s Salazar restaurant is one of Los Angeles’ most popular restaurants. Often times, you’ll even find lines and long waits just to get a taste of the delicious food on the menu. Taco offerings here carne asada with avocado, salsa vaquera, cilantro and red onions, as well as vegetable tacos on corn tortillas, and al pastor tacos with avocado, pineapple, red onions, cilantro and salsa vaquera.
Gilbert’s El Indio Restaurant
2526 Pico Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Santa Monica’s family-style Mexican food establishment Gilbert’s serves traditional tacos every day of the week. In hard or soft shells, taco fillings range from seasoned shredded beef and carnitas to grilled chicken and carne asada. An inexpensive and convenient spot for breakfast, Gilbert’s morning menu is extensive featuring an open-face taco — two eggs on a soft corn tortilla with salsa espanola.
Taqueria Los Anaya
4651 W. Adams Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90016
Run by three brothers, Juan, Manuel and Gerardo Anaya, Taqueria Los Anaya is the heart and soul of traditional Mexican fare. The brothers brought their father’s taqueria concept from Guadalajara to Los Angeles more than 30 years ago, and today the restaurant’s Mexican entrees are consistent in outstanding flavor and fresh ingredients. Taco fillings here are diverse, including nopal (cactus), lengua (beef tongue), adobada (grilled chile-marinated pork), carnitas, pescado (fish with Veracruz cole slaw) and grilled chicken.
Related: Best Fajitas In Los Angeles
Petty Cash Taqueria
7360 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Step inside this eclectically designed eatery and enjoy some of the tastiest tacos around. Petty Cash Taqueria offers plenty of options to choose from, including their Baja fresh beer battered yellowtail tacos with pico de gallo, cabbage and crema, as well as grilled shrimp tacos, pork belly carnitas, mary’s organic chicken tacos with pickled cabbage and many more.
7615 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
The first thing you’ll notice upon entering Escuela Taqueria is a ceiling adorned with old wooden shoes. Once you’ve gotten past that, sit down, relax and order up some of the best tacos in town. While all of their tacos are incredible, their most popular are the pork ribs. The slow roasted natural baby back ribs meat is complimented with cabbage slaw and sweet chili sauce and is simply delicious. Other favorites are their carnitas tacos, as well as the shrimp, and lobster tacos. But, really, you can’t go wrong with whatever you order. Burritos, as well as their chips with guacamole are other favorites.
Sheryl Craig is a writer with a passion for interesting finds and treasures in Los Angeles. She has a background in journalism and public relations. A mother of two daughters, Sheryl integrates her healthy lifestyle into raising her children. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.