National Taco Day: Best Tacos in Los Angeles

It's National Taco Day so of course we had to put out a "Best Taco" list

October 4, 2019

It seems like someone puts out a new “Best Taco” list just about every day.  Shoot!  I put one out earlier this year back in March.  But, who gets feels overwhelmed by taco lists?  The answer should be no one.  You get to look at beautiful pictures of tacos and you’ll probably find a new spot.  As the creator of the list, the back and forth between readers is awesome.  Yes, no one’s list is completely the same but that’s the beauty.  We all have our favorite tacos and we will defend the hell out of them.

So much changes in LA’s taco scene. One taqueria disappears and ten more pop up.  That being said, today is National Taco Day so I have updated the list I made back in March with my new favorite tacos.  I hope you like them.

L.A. Birria

The self-proclaimed best birria in Los Angeles and I can’t say I don’t agree with them.  There has been a huge birria explosion here in LA which has seen these pop-up vendors multiply all over the city.  You may have heard of Teddy’s Red Tacos who, in my opinion, made birria a thing with the power of Instagram.  Birria isn’t new, growing up the slow stewed goat or beef was a staple at big parties like weddings and quinceaneras.  L.A. Birria popped up out of nowhere on the corner of Adams and Crenshaw in front of a 24-hour laundromat, just as any great taco vendor does.  Since then they have exploded with the help of LA Taco, their legions of fans showcasing their meals on IG and of course the meticulous detail L.A Birria puts into every serving.  As with any birria spot I recommend ordering a sampler; the regular crispy taco, a quesa-taco, a quesadilla and of course the most important part – the consume.  The consume is the broth that the meat is stewed it; and you can dip, douse or chug the tasty juice.  So, if you haven’t tried a birria taco go out and grab one right now, chances are there’s a pop-up in your hood.


Miches De La Baja

Last time I made my list I had Taco Nazo listed as my favorite fish taco but after further research I have changed my answer to Miches de la Baja in Torrance.  Taco Nazo is still holding it down but Miches is where it’s at.  It’s like a party every time you walk in.  Named after their huge and IG worthy Micheladas, their tacos are just as pretty and delicious.  I absolutely love baja-style fish tacos so I’m always on the hunt for the next one.  As soon as you walk through the door you’re transported to another place where it’s always Saturday night.  The OG fish tacos are enormous and topped with the traditional cabbage, pico de gallo and crema.  The fish is super crispy from the first bite to the last.  Check them out whenever you’re out in the South Bay.


Villa Moreliana

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This carnitas-specialty taqueria was on my last list but nothing has changed here.  They’re still some of my favorite carnitas in LA.  Located on the east side of Grand Central Market, Villa Moreliana prepares their carnitas just like it’s done in Michoacan.  Slow cooked in a copper cauldron, the chunks of pork render nicely in oil and its own juices.  As if I’m not at Grand Central for a few tacos already, the cook gives everyone waiting in line or walking by a free taco to bring in business.  Like any good restaurant, once the meat is gone they close so don’t be too upset if you show up and the lights are off.  Good carnitas are not as easy to find as let’s say carne asada, you can’t just hit up any taco shop and expect juicy and delicious shredded pork.  These specialty restaurants really have to know what they’re doing and Villa Moreliana does their job very well.


Cielito Lindo

Another repeat taqueria, but how can anyone leave them off of their World-Famous taquitos off of their list. They’ve served their golden and crispy beef taquitos smothered in avocado sauce since 1934.There’s nothing else to say!


Tacos 1986

Last go around my go to TJ style street taco was Tire Shop Taqueria, but there’s a new Sherriff in town by the name of Joy Alvarez-Tostado and his crew is slinging some of the best damn tacos in LA.  Joy and Tacos 1986 aren’t really new but I really wanted to say “new Sherriff in town” so bear with me.  Tacos 1986 has everything you need; they have carne asada, al pastor and even a dope Vegan mushroom taco.  Early on they were huge on the festival circuit; showcased at Coachella and Stage Coach and for a while only available on a regular basis at Smorgasborg.  But now they have their own brick and mortar on Spring Street in Downtown LA.  The line stays long but their taqueros are kicking some ass slinging tacos like there’s no tomorrow. 



Vegatinos are not on my list as the default Vegan taqueria, they serve some of the best damn tacos and can stand up to any meat taco vendor on anyone’s list.  At the moment they’re only a pop-up but their footprint is huge.  They were the winners of LA Taco’s fan favorite award at last month’s Best Vegan Tacos in LA festival.  Their servings are massive and their food is delicious.  They’re slinging tacos, burritos and nachos de Chk’n, Chicharron, Jackfruit Carnitas and Al Pastor; all Vegan of course but not to the non-Vegan blind eye.  I have to mention their salsa not only is some of the best tasting and suits their tacos perfectly but it is hot as hell.  Like chef’s salsa hot, the salsa isn’t for the regular patrons but for the chefs to top their meals with.  If you don’t know about that pro-tip ask about it next time you’re in a taco shop.


Is my list perfect?  Yes!  Kidding, of course, it isn’t but I’ll be damned if someone can’t agree that these places serve up some damn good tacos.  I would love to hear what you folks think and please feel free to recommend some new ones to me and we can taco bout it.  Sorry, I had to.  

Enjoy National Taco Day.