10 Best Tacos in Los Angeles

Taco d'dedo at El Coraloense
Taco d'dedo at El Coraloense
T. Nguyen

7. El Coraloense
Owned by a family who hails from the coastal states of Nayarit and Sinaloa, El Coraloense is a fantastic spot that boasts an impressive menu of fresh seafood; thus you'll likely have an excellent platter of aguachile before being completely wowed by its absolutely refreshing ceviches. And then there is a whole menu of tacos to explore: your new favorite seafood taco may very well be the fried shrimp taco d'deto, a hefty four-bite affair topped with a slightly tart tangy carrot slaw that you will remember for days to come. Since you're already here, also try the taco revolcado, with a strip of fish seasoned and grilled al pastor-style. 6600 Florence Ave., Bell Gardens; (562) 776-8800.

Carnitas taco at Carnitas El MomoEXPAND
Carnitas taco at Carnitas El Momo
T. Nguyen

6. Carnitas El Momo
There are many, many places where you can get yourself a terrific carnitas taco, but the one that’s perhaps most transformative is over at Carnitas El Momo, where Romulo “Momo” Acosta has become something of a household name amongst certain taco-crazed folks in the blogosphere. And no wonder: for his Guanajuato-style carnitas, Acosta stews the pork slowly, patiently, in an enormous copper pot, and the results are improbably tender yet absolutely packed in flavor. You can specify your favorite cut, but ask for a taco surtido and you’ll get a fine mix of meat, including prized bits of skin. Whatever you choose, note that one taco will have enough meat for two or three, and that, like most of the tacos on this list, one taco will set you a back just a few crumpled dollars. Like most of the tacos on this list, you’ll realize its true value is far, far greater than that. Check Carnitas El Momo's website for times and locations.

Squash taco at Guerrilla TacosEXPAND
Squash taco at Guerrilla Tacos
T. Nguyen

5. Guerrilla Tacos
Before opening Guerrilla Tacos, Wes Avila worked in some of the finest kitchens in the city (Church & State, Le Comptoir); thus it's perhaps no surprise to find that his ever-changing daily menu includes tacos filled with things like lamb shanks topped with roasted Mission figs and burnt tomato chile, or tasty slivers of squash with feta cheese and a smooth almond chile, or whatever else Avila finds at the farmers market (or Gary Menes's garden) that strikes his fancy. To drink, agua frescas or, because the truck usually can be found outside one coffee shop or another, a cold-brew. Tacos and coffee. Welcome to L.A. Check Guerrilla Tacos's website for locations and times.

The sampler plate at Guisados
The sampler plate at Guisados
T. Nguyen

4. Guisados
Guisados opened in Boyle Heights just under four years ago, but it has become such an integral part of our taco landscape that it feels like we’ve been eating here for far longer than that. At Guisados, thick, thick corn tortillas are filled with homey, richly braised and stewed meats and vegetables; of note, especially for those who tend to be either paralyzed by choice or inspired by it, is Guisados’s equivalent of a greatest hits album: a sampler plate of six miniature tacos for you to compare and contrast. Likely you’ll find a favorite amongst these, whether it be the lovely steak picado with peppers or the tinga de pollo or something else entirely. There are, of course, more tacos on the menu than will be represented on your sampler plate, but when and if you decide to give the others a try, rest assured that everything else on the Gusiados catalog is pretty damn great, too. 2100 East Cesar E Chavez Ave., L.A., (323) 264-7201; 1261 W Sunset Blvd., L.A., (213) 250-7600.

Cauliflower taco at Colonia Taco Lounge
Cauliflower taco at Colonia Taco Lounge
Anne Fishbein

3. Colonia Taco Lounge
Colonia Taco Lounge is right off a stretch of the 605 where the transmission towers that dot the landscape like a row of Iron Giants may or may not affect your reception of the L.A. Kings game on AM radio. But then you’ll exit the freeway, and not much further from where you may see someone riding a horse past a car dealership, you’ll arrive at Colonia Taco Lounge, easily one of the best places in town to watch a game, hockey or otherwise; eat a few tacos; and drink things like margaritas and Allagash Whites on draft. Because the tacos and the drinks here are very, very good; take, for instance, the cauliflower taco, with beautifully battered florets, or the fascinating take on the shrimp taco, where the shrimp is sautéed with aji and served on a bed of creamy rice. The tortillas, too, are terrific, all paired specifically with their fillings: homemade thick-ish corn ones for the guisados; thinner, chewy flour ones for most everything else. The tacos are served individually on colorful plates reminiscent of small Frisbees, which is sort of the point: this is a fun place to have great tacos. Score. 13030 E. Valley Blvd., La Puente; (626) 363-4691.

Fish tacos at Ricky's Fish Tacos
Fish tacos at Ricky's Fish Tacos
T. Nguyen

2. Ricky's Fish Tacos
If you haven’t been to Ricky’s Fish Tacos in, oh, say, the last six months, you might be surprised to find that Ricky Pina is now (thankfully) back on his old location on Virgil, between Sunset Boulevard and SQIRL and, more importantly, has seriously switched up his hardware. Gone are the two shallow fryers that he McGyvered into a taco stand; in their place, a bona fide taco truck that’s the size of a family RV, which makes sense: what else are L.A. taco lovers if not family? Significantly, his tacos did not suffer in the upgrade from 1.0 to 2.0; the shrimp and especially the fish remain as fantastic as ever, both coated in a thick, flavorful batter, then doused in the fryer; they emerge with delicate crunch and are served on a tortilla showered with slaw and a drizzle of pico de gallo. See? It's the same taco you remember, except it's now on wheels. And quite possibly rolling up to a curb near you. 1400 Virgil Ave., L.A. Check Ricky's Twitter feed for days and times.

Raul Ortega of Mariscos Jalisco
Raul Ortega of Mariscos Jalisco
Kevin Scanlon

1. Mariscos Jalisco
Mariscos Jalisco has been slinging its tacos on its stretch of Olympic Boulevard in East L.A. for over ten years now, and if there is a god, it will be doing so for decades more. There are lots of seafood-centric things to order here, but the one constant on everyone's spread are the truck’s taco dorado de camaron, which has rightfully become something of a legend: here a taco is stuffed with a creamy mixture of fresh shrimp and other ingredients that remain a trade secret, then deep-fried wholesale until its edges char just so and its tortilla yields a more than pleasant crunch. The final flourishes — a ladle of thin salsa, a few generous slices of avocado — are added before it’s plated and handed off to you, at which point you will very likely inhale the whole thing on the spot. And then get right back in line for a few more. 3040 E. Olympic Blvd., L.A., (323) 528-6701; 10th Street and Towne Avenue, (323) 309-1622.

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Use Current Location

Related Locations


3544 W. Imperial Highway
Inglewood, CA 90303


Leo's Tacos Truck

1515 S. La Brea Ave.
Mid-City, CA




2100 E. Cesar Chavez Blvd.
Boyle Heights, CA 90033




1261 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026



Colonia Taco Lounge

13030 Valley Blvd.
La Puente, CA 91746


Ricky's Fish Tacos

3201 Riverside Dr.
Los Feliz, CA 90027



Guerrilla Tacos

Los Angeles, CA @guerrillatacos



El Coraloense

6600 Florence Ave
Bell Gardens, CA 90201


Carnitas El Momo

2411 Fairmount Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90023



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