The 10 Best Vegetarian Tacos in L.A.

Mushroom and garlic taco at B.S. TaqueriaEXPAND
Mushroom and garlic taco at B.S. Taqueria
S. Rashkin

Los Angeles is known for a thriving taco scene as well as a large health-conscious vegetarian scene, but the two worlds are rarely mentioned in the same conversation — unless it’s with a derisive comment for the other side. The words “vegetarian tacos” sound like blasphemy to some taco fans, but greens and vegetables are a traditional part of many regional Mexican recipes, and it's also worth remembering that many of today’s traditional tacos were once fusion tacos. (Consider that several beloved foods, such as tacos al pastor and Oaxacan cheese, arose partly from Arabic influence.) So whether you love traditional tacos, modern taco creations or all of the above — you’re right. And if you love good tacos, you won’t want to miss the tasty veggie options this city has to offer.

For all the veggie lovers out there — but also for the taco lovers — we offer our current picks for the 10 best vegetarian tacos in L.A. (several of which are vegan or can be made vegan).

Cauliflower taco at Colonia Tacos GuisadosEXPAND
Cauliflower taco at Colonia Tacos Guisados
S. Rashkin

Cauliflower Taco at Colonia Tacos Guisados

Meat eaters and vegetarians alike despaired when Colonia Tacos Lounge closed last year, depriving them of access to chef Ricardo Diaz's popular fried cauliflower taco. But since Diaz opened Colonia Tacos Guisados in Whittier, the cauliflower taco has reappeared and fans can once again get their fix. Fluffy breaded and fried cauliflower topped with salsa, cilantro and corn rests in a chewy, freshly made corn tortilla ($2.50). All the tacos here are strong, and Diaz is working on expanding the options, so new tacos continue to appear on the menu. 11114 Whittier Blvd., Whittier; (562) 699-2424, coloniagroupinc.com.

Calabacitas taco at Cacao MexicatessenEXPAND
Calabacitas taco at Cacao Mexicatessen
S. Rashkin

Calabacitas Taco at Cacao Mexicatessen

Not all vegetarian tacos are good for you, but the calabacitas taco at Cacao Mexicatessen is refreshingly healthy. A heaping portion of squash on a fresh, thick corn tortilla helps satisfy your hunger and your vegetable requirements at once ($3.60). Roasted salsa and pumpkin seeds add to the fall harvest taste, while a sprinkling of feta ups the velvety richness (vegans can order the taco without cheese). Compared with some others on this list, the calabacitas taco is subtle in flavor, but its charms will be obvious as you polish it off. 1576 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock; (323) 478-2791, cacaodeli.com

Plant Food for People's jackfruit taco
Plant Food for People's jackfruit taco
Aurora Pringle

Jackfruit Taco at Plant Food for People 

Jackfruit tacos are popping up in vegan and vegetarian joints all over town, since the texture and density of jackfruit make it a, well, meaty filling. Vegan taco truck Plant Food for People marinates its jackfruit for “carnitas style” tacos with terrific depth of flavor ($3). Whenever we order some of these tacos, we find ourselves turning right back around to order more. The tender spiced jackfruit, slightly oily corn tortillas and toppings such as cabbage slaw with chipotle mayo or New Mexico spicy salsa and beans add up to addictive street tacos. Still relatively under the radar for nonvegans, this spot is where vegan taco lovers come to worship. The truck often is set up at the Highland Park Farmers Market on Tuesdays and at events around Los Angeles. Check the website and Facebook page for location updates. Various locations; pffp.org.

Tacos Quetzalcoatl's Omega 2 tacoEXPAND
Tacos Quetzalcoatl's Omega 2 taco
S. Rashkin

Omega 2 Taco at Tacos Quetzalcoatl

Wandering the streets of East L.A. to taste delicious tacos from the trucks and stands on each block is one of our favorite pastimes. While most of the tacos are for meat eaters only, Tacos Quetzalcoatl offers a "taco Omega 2" for vegetarians. It’s filled with spinach, mushrooms and cheese, along with other veggies on hand, which could include corn, squash and peppers ($2.50). This taco tastes substantial and earthy, and you can make it your own with salsas from the condiment bar. East Olympic Boulevard at South Kern Avenue, East L.A., on weekends; South Central Avenue at East Eighth Street, downtown, on weekdays; (323) 392-4444. 

Queso fresco taco at Bizarra CapitalEXPAND
Queso fresco taco at Bizarra Capital
S. Rashkin

Queso Fresco Taco at Bizarra Capital and Tacoteca

The queso fresco taco is a standout on the menu at two of Ricardo Diaz’s eateries: Bizarra Capital in Whittier and Tacoteca in Santa Monica. This decadent taco features fried farmer's cheese on a layer of barely-there sliced potatoes. Fresh avocado slices on top and a freshly made tortilla on the bottom add a healthy but satisfying feel, and a serrano salsa brings some punch. The taco looks simple and plain but tastes fancy and vibrant ($4 at Bizarra Capital, $5.25 at Tacoteca). 12706 Philadelphia St., Whittier; (562) 945-2426;  2460 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica; (310) 828-2115, tacotecasm.com.



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