The Ultimate Guide to the Ten Best Taco Trucks in LA
Few communities do street food like us Latinos. From Brazil bacalhau bolinhos in Cuba pan con lechon, empanadas from Colombia and, of course, world famous tacos from Mexico, Latinos all over the world are dominating the world of street food. So it’s no surprise that Los Angeles, a city of immigrants – and let’s not forget – that was originally part of Mexico, has such an incredible food truck scene.
Today, there are over 4,000 registered taco trucks that have left their mark on LA’s large and diverse food scene. The Taco Truck is a staple in every Angeleno’s diet!
And LA’s wheeled taqueros – also known as loncheros – share their craft with the masses, parking their wheeled restaurants in Echo Park on Dodger Nights, past warehouses tucked away in the Arts District and on street corners in South LA. And wherever they go, the party follows.
To help you get started as you chase LA’s best taco trucks, here are the top 10 taco trucks serving up some of the best food in town. Let the hunt begin.
Mariscos Jalisco is often at the top of many taco truck lists, and for good reason. This Boyle Heights-based seafood truck serves arguably the best Mexican seafood in all of Los Angeles – right from a truck! MJ’s tostadas, shrimp tacos and ceviches are now legendary, thanks to a fiercely loyal following and nearly unbeatable prices. It’s best known for its decadent fried shrimp tacos, but you can’t leave without getting the Poseidon tostada – a perfect mix of shiny shrimp aguachile, citrus ceviche, and meaty chunks of octopus with an avocado and cucumber. sort of always perfect on a crispy corn tortilla.
Where to find it: 3040 E boul. Olympic, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day
Tacos de Barbacoa Estilo Chihuahua
Although it’s only open on weekends and technically it’s a cart instead of a truck, it’s absolutely worth the hike up the valley for taquero Ian Leyva’s barbacoa . He’s helped put the northern Mexican dish on the LA map in a city that has traditionally leaned more towards al pastor and carne asada. Whether it’s tacos, lonche or burros, the must-have rich and buttery is the star of the show.
Where to find it: 8905 Gullo Ave, Arleta, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Ricky’s Fish Tacos
Few things in life are as tasty as a perfectly cooked and dressed pescado baja taco. Soft but crispy fried fish topped with homemade cream, salsas and white and sweet corn tortillas. True to the taquero code, Ricky Piña only serves fish and shrimp tacos; He’s the specialist who re-energized the LA taco scene in 2009, when Ricky’s Fish Taco took the LA scene by storm.
Where to find it: 3061 Riverside Dr, 12 p.m.-4 p.m. Wed-Fri, 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat-Sun
Teddy’s Red Tacos
Teddy Vasquez’s searing birria tacos ($ 1.99) are taking over. The rapid rise of taquero is remarkable, both on the streets and online, and while it may have something to do with the photogenicity of these bright red, dripping Tijuana sauce tacos, it’s really down to the taste. Crispy, hot and full of flavor, these are the birria tacos to beat.
Where to find it: 8 different locations in Metro LA. Get the full list here.
El Chato Taco Truck
Known as the best in downtown Los Angeles, El Chato Taco Truck is the place you want to visit for your fix of late night tacos. Also home to burritos, quesadillas, excellent birria, and an entire table filled with plastic jugs of condiments, this truck has something for everyone.
Where to find it: 5300 Olympic Blvd, 9 p.m.-1:30 p.m. Tue-Thu, 9 p.m.-3:30 a.m. Fri-Sat
Connie Cossio is a second generation cook and seafood enthusiast from Acaponeta, Nayarit – the traditional seafood capital of Mexico and home to amazing ceviches, cocktails, stews, and pescado zarandeado (whole grilled fish). There are plenty of plates to explore at this Inglewood institution, but the smoked marlin tacos with melted cheese are a must order.
Where to find it: 3544 W Imperial Hwy, Inglewood, daily 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Leo’s taco truck
LA’s main purveyor pastor, Leo hands out palm-sized tacos from the window of a bright yellow truck. At $ 2.50 apiece, they’re still one of the best inexpensive bites in town, especially when you stop by after the sun sets – that’s when your price includes dinner and a show.
Where to find it: 7 sites across Los Angeles. Get the full list here.
At El Ruso, the Boyle Heights-based Sonoran-style taco truck (there is now a second location in Silver Lake), it all comes down to the tortilla. Made with flour the owner gets each month from his hometown of Tijuana, these are the kind of fluffy, translucent tortillas that make each bite its own experience. Don’t leave without wrapping a burrito in a sobaquera, a giant Sonora-style tortilla that is one of a kind in town.
Where to find it: 3140 Sunset Blvd, open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (midnight Fri & Sat)
Tacos from Canasta El Abuelo
Surprisingly, there aren’t many well-known places serving canasta tacos in the City of Angels. But this Boyle Heights food truck more than makes up for it. These little corn tortillas are stuffed with their hearty toppings before being dipped in hot oil to create a semi-crisp, semi-soft texture that provides a very satisfying crunch without breaking down on your styrofoam plate. Our favorites are the chicharron presado and the papa con chorizo, which we would happily eat for breakfast or lunch.
Where to find it: 2810 E Olympic Blvd, open daily 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed Mondays)
Did you notice any necessary corrections? Please email us at [email protected]