With Los Angeles being the top city in America for Mexican food, there’s no shortage of places serving up delicious tacos. Food is undoubtedly one of the best ways to learn about a destination, and these top spots speak to the heart of what makes eating a taco a rite of passage for any visitor to LA.
Fried shrimp tacos dressed with mild salsa and slices of avocado are what it’s all about at this 17-year-old taco truck that’s worth chasing down to its location in Boyle Heights. It also dishes up refreshing shrimp and fish ceviches or aguachiles.
Mexico City-style al pastor (marinated pork shoulder) tacos with a sliver of pineapple is the specialty at Leo’s, and witnessing each slice of meat being carved straight into the tortilla at lightning speed is half the fun. Leo’s now operates out of four food trucks, expanding its reach from its original locations in Venice and La Brea, and the city is all the better for it.
3. BS Taqueria
This modern, sit-down taqueria packs a lot of flavour into each of its inventive tacos – with fillings like pulled pork and shrimp – so don’t expect any watered-down renditions here. The festive vibe and comprehensive cocktail menu provide the finishing touches to a great meal.
Ricky Peña came to Los Angeles from Ensenada in Mexico, bringing with him authentic, delicately batter-fried fish and shrimp tacos that now rank among the best in the city. Each taco here comes topped with cabbage and a super-fresh, finely chopped pico de gallo salsa peppered with jalapenos. Drizzle crema (Mexican sour cream), red and green salsa on these crunchy masterpieces and you’re all set.
5. Carnitas El Momo
You’ll find some of the most delicious pork you’ve ever had in the tacos at Carnitas El Momo. Romulo “Momo” Acosta has served up Guanajuato-style carnitas (pulled pork) for decades; it’s cooked in a copper pot for hours at a time, resulting in a confit pork stew that’s unmatched in flavour. You can state which cut of the pig you prefer (skin, belly, shoulder or a combination called “aporkalypse”); do also try the pickled chile (chilli), which makes for the perfect accoutrement.
2411 Fairmount St