Los Angeles

LA's Best Tacos

11 Restaurants
San Diego denizens will argue that they have California's best tacos, but Angelenos aren't hurting for places to go. Tuck into street-taco classics like beer-battered cod and cochinita pibil and upmarket vegetarian options like cauliflower al pastor.
Updated on 20 September 2022
Guisados
2100 E. Cesar E. Chavez Ave., 90033 Los Angeles
Mexican

This clean, airy and family-owned spot is open all day, so pop in when the mood strikes to sample their daily specials. Consult the chalkboards for the latest update, then snag a seat at one of the few tables with a view of the grill. Cochinita pibil, shredded pork with sweet achiote spice and creamy black beans, is the very picture of comfort, especially when bested by the warm and toasty tortillas, made in-house, naturally.

Guerrilla Tacos
2000 E. 7th St., 90021 Los Angeles
Mexican

Almost everything on the menu here is worthy—from fish tacos with chipotle créma to taquitos stuffed with all the fixings in a baked potato. For a more unusual bite, try the pan-fried potato taquitos with avocado, tomatillo salsa, cotija, and chives; tailed by scallop aguachile with strawberry-morrita oil and serrano.

Guelaguetza
3014 W. Olympic Blvd., 90006 Los Angeles
Mexican

This distinct Oaxacan eatery knows exactly what its culinary mission is. A grill station fills the room with the scent of blistering peppers and more. Mole estofado is so complex that it is nearly impossible to pick out the ingredients creating such a rich and dark sauce, slathered onto chicken or pork. Everyone gets a taste of mole coloradito, drizzled over gratis chips.

Petty Cash
7360 Beverly Blvd., 90036 Los Angeles
Mexican
30 - 45 USD

This place is all about Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, and gussied-up Tijuana street food. Don’t forget to try the Baja fish tacos, filled with Negra Modelo beer-battered rockfish, crema, cabbage and pico de gallo. Their tacos, folded with house-made blue corn tortillas, may be a few dollars extra but are absolutely worth it.

=
Bee Taqueria
5754 W. Adams Blvd., 90016 Los Angeles
Mexican
40 - 50 USD

This is a simple but sweet setting, with a string of café lights, handful of covered tables, as well as an open-air courtyard outfitted with picnic tables and a blazing fire pit. Tacos, ceviche and tostadas reign supreme on the menu, which draws culinary inspiration from the chef's childhood in Mexico City. Don’t miss the special tender chicken tacos—starring red mole made from bougainvillea and garnished with purple spinach and shaved red onion. 

=
Amor y Tacos
13333 South St., 90703 Cerritos
Mexican
55 USD

Chef Thomas Ortega fuses his specific style of the city’s Mexican cuisine, like handmade tortillas and spicy salsas, with an American twist. Look for that Coca-Cola glaze on his pork belly or the sprinkle of Doritos on chilaquiles, not to mention such luxurious accents as truffles. It’s hard to miss with any of Chef Ortega's tacos, which range from crisp beer-battered cod with smoky salsa de arbol to tender, charred al pastor.

=
Mercado Los Angeles
7910 W. 3rd St., 90048 Los Angeles
Mexican
50 - 60 USD

Margaritas and Mexican food go hand in hand, and the spicy cucumber margarita offered here is a sure thing. Opt for one of the many tequilas or mezcals for sipping while eating tacos. This is not a street taco joint; among the stand-outs are cauliflower al pastor and jicama shrimp.

=
La Azteca
4538 E. Cesar E Chavez Ave., 90022 Los Angeles
Mexican
20 USD

La Azteca is an easy restaurant to find. Just look for the line of people snaking out of its front door. Flour tortillas are made in-house every day in full view of the dining room and boast a kind of richness and chew that others don’t. Take your pick from four options: carne asada, carnitas, chicharron, or the veg option, cactus with pico de gallo. 

Gracias Madre LA
8905 Melrose Ave., 90069 West Hollywood
Mexican
50 USD

The patio here is a lovely destination, surrounded by old shade trees, while a lengthy bar pours an aficionado’s array of some 60 tequilas and 70 mezcals. The addictive tacos naturally feature top-quality tortillas, heaped with astoundingly delicious shredded jackfruit, lightly pickled cabbage and a drizzle of cashew crema. 

=
Coni'Seafood
3544 W. Imperial Hwy., 90303 Inglewood
Mexican
18 - 58 USD

The large and enclosed back patio here is the place to be—pleasantly green and breezy with ceiling fans, hanging plants and potted palms. It's the perfect setting for relishing the kitchen’s Nayarit-style cooking that showcases shrimp and fish—the three taco options (fried fish, smoked marlin, and shrimp with sautéed vegetables). 

=
Rocio's Mexican Kitchen
7891 Garfield Ave., 90201 Bell Gardens
Mexican
25 USD

Hanging on the wall of this stamp of an establishment is a T-shirt that reads, “Better than your grandmother’s mole.” If you aren’t Mexican, the slogan definitely holds true, but if you are it probably still holds true. Taco options are asada, chicken, cochinita pibil, or vegan (corn, chile poblano, and zucchini flower).