Best-of Guides California

The Best Tacos in Southern California

3 Restaurants
If there’s one thing SoCal is known for (food wise), it’s tacos. Whether it’s birria, barbacoa, or everything in between, Southern California is home to some of the best tacos in the country. So where to start? That's where our famously anonymous MICHELIN Guide Inspectors come in to help. They've scoured the best spots along the Pacific coast from seafood focused dishes in Santa Monica to Moroccan-spiced chicken tacos in San Diego. Below, enjoy the top 7 spots for the best tacos from Los Angeles to San Diego that will have your mouth and stomach thanking you.
Updated on 07 August 2023
Dolores St. btw 5th and 6th Ave. Su Vecino Courtyard, 93921 Carmel-by-the-Sea
$$ · Mexican

Don’t let this hard to find restaurant (its tucked among shops in a courtyard away from the action) deter you from visiting. Because once you arrive, you’re met with house-made Cultura mole with smoked pork, along with a slew of freshly made tortillas and lightly pickled vegetable slaw. Save room for dessert though, because dark Oaxacan chocolate brownies with a touch of chili and cinnamon cloaked in ganache await.

3014 W. Olympic Blvd., 90006 Los Angeles
$$$ · Mexican

The name of the game at this Oaxacan eatery is mole. In fact, even their website address is From rojo moles to mole estofado and mole coloradito, come here for a true taste of one of Mexico’s most beloved sauces.

2850 El Cajon Blvd., 92104 San Diego
$ · Moroccan

Bold and enticing flavors meet Moroccan-Baja cooking at chef Alia Jaziri’s San Diego spot. Dishes here are influenced by the local area and chef’s family heritage, resulting in a fast-casual menu with hits like Moroccan-spiced chicken tacos dressed with preserved lemon and tzatziki-inspired crema and couscous bowls layered with merguez, black beans, queso fresco and toasted pepitas.