The Best Tacos in Los Angeles

Maybe make it your mission to try them all?

17 min read
Cav Blog: Penca

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With over 3,000 Mexican restaurants, you might call Los Angeles the taco capital of the United States. Whether you’re craving Yucatan specialties like cochinita pibil, a juicy Jaliscan birria, or Tijuana-style tacos, there’s something for every Angeleno on this list (in a range of neighborhoods!). Here are the best Los Angeles tacos you can find on Doordash.

Pollo Asado Tacos, Tacos 1986

In a mere five years, this Tijuana-inspired taco chain has expanded from one humble location in Hollywood to six, spanning from Santa Monica all the way to Pasadena. And if you’ve ever tried the tacos here, you know why. Try the grilled pollo asado tacos made with grilled chicken and topped with chopped onion, cilantro, guacamole, and salsa. The homemade, pressed-to-order corn tortillas are what make all the tacos here exceptional. For the pollo asado, marinated chicken gets finished with a smoky char from the grill and is then spiced up by the fiery chile-forward salsa, and mellowed out by a cooling hit of guac, all on top of those tender tortillas. If you want to add cheese, it becomes a quesadilla, but note it’s served open-face and is about the same size as a taco. You can’t go wrong with either!

Tacos De Pescado, Mercado

This LA taco chainlet, which is a recipient of a Michelin Bib Gourmand, counts four locations across the city. Among popular orders, the fish tacos here are the most exceptional. Made with soft flour tortillas, grilled white fish is topped with Mexican slaw, pico de gallo, lime crema, and chile de arbol aioli. They’re spicy, tart, savory, and crunchy all in one delicious bite.

Pork Ribs Taco, Escuela

This neighborhood standby in Beverly Grove has been a stalwart for years, originally having debuted in Pasadena. The pork ribs taco is a mash-up of American barbecue and Mexican food with its sweet chili-glazed baby back ribs atop a bed of cabbage slaw and onions inside a flour tortilla.

Sweet Potato Taco, Guerrilla Taco

What started as a viral food truck from chef Wes Avila is now a brick-and-mortar institution in LA’s Arts District. If you’ve never had Guerrilla, or just want to see what it’s all about, then order the sweet potato taco, which has been a fixture of the concept for years. Topped with feta cheese, diced onion, almond and cashew chile, and phenomenally good fried corn,  this bite will redefine how you think about vegetarian tacos. It’s iconic.

Suadero Taco, Ditroit Taqueria

In the back alley behind bougie sibling restaurant, Damian, you’ll find this taco window (no connection to the Motor City btw) from chef Enrique Olvera’s Casamata Group. Open for lunch and early dinner, the menu runs the gamut from flautas to tacos to tamales. The suadero taco, made with juicy, slow-braised beef brisket, and topped with radishes, onion, and cilantro atop a corn tortilla is always a crowd-pleaser.

Wood-Grilled Kanpachi Taco, Holbox

Chef Gilberto Cetina Jr.’s South Central food-court restaurant is a destination for Yucatan-style seafood, right next to sibling concept, Chichen Itza. We love the butteriness of the Baja kanpachi, grilled over wood for a slight smokiness. It’s served on a handmade corn tortilla and topped with red cabbage slices, spicy morita sauce, a little mayo, and pico de gallo.

Puffy Tacos, Bar Amá

These delicious fried-shell tacos are inspired by the iconic dish that hails from San Antonio, Texas. Chef Josef Centeno’s downtown hotspot’s famed rendition comes in a DIY taco kit via Doordash which you assemble at home with protein options like ranchero (steak), chicken picadillo, soyrizo, and wild mushroom birria. Each comes with three puffy tacos, cabbage, salsa, crema, onions, cilantro, and lime wedges. Everything is separated to maintain optimal delivery quality (aka it won’t be soggy).

Taco Pollo, Tacos Gavilan Lynwood

Tacos Gavilan started out as a taco truck with a signature charcoal grill. Now 14 locations later (Huntington Park, West Covina, and beyond) and an expanded menu with sopes, tortas, and more, this family-owned restaurant chain has become a SoCal staple. The must-order, throughout all the change, remains the taco pollo — grilled chicken and a choose-your-own adventure of flavor boosters (salsa roja, onions and cilantro, lime, grilled jalapeños).

Quesatacos, Tacos Y Birria La Única

The Tijuana-style tacos at this Boyle Heights food truck always draws long lines. Known for birria-style meat, the quesatacos are by far the favorite. This crunchy-style taco, with a shell made of fried cheese, can house any meat of your choosing including steak asada, birria de res (shredded beef), birria de chivo (shredded goat), lengua (beef tongue), chicken, or cabeza (beef head). Order it “con todo” for all the fixins including cilantro and onion.

Fish Tacos, Playita Mariscos

The team behind Guisados gave the former El Siete Mares stand and menu a significant glow- up after taking it over in 2021. Translating to “little beach” in Spanish, Playita specializes in all things mariscos — namely ceviches, aguachiles, campechana (ceviche served in a cocktail glass with veggies, tomato juice, and Tapatío), and seafood tacos. But the absolute star is the beer-battered fish tacos, served with fresh pico de gallo, spicy salsa roja, and shredded cabbage atop homemade flour or corn tortillas (your choice) with wedges of lime alongside. The light and crispy fish is cradled by a soft, handmade flour tortilla.

Breakfast Tacos, HomeState

Austinite Briana Valdez opened Homestate 10 years ago in East Hollywood after staging pop-ups in her backyard. Today, the chainlet has exploded to six locations across LA. Known for Texas-inspired breakfast tacos, what sets Homestate’s apart are its handmade tortillas, which are inspired by Valdez’s grandmother's own recipe. You can’t go wrong with any of the breakfast tacos here, individually foil-wrapped, just like they are at any Texas taco shack or gas station. The Comal, made with eggs, black beans, and Jack cheese, and the Trinity (smoky bacon, crispy potato, eggs, and cheddar, are both excellent. For the former, the beans are slow cooked with a hint of spice and smoke which offsets the creamy pasture-raised eggs and cheese inside the tortilla. Fun fact: All of the breakfast tacos are named after rivers in Texas!

Chorizo Taco, El Condor

This Silver Lake Mexican staple is known for its homemade chicharrones, laidback vibes, and killer margaritas. The fiery chorizo taco is the winner here, made with crumbly, spicy pork sausage which is balanced out by milky panela cheese, a bit of heat from the chopped onion, grassy notes from the fresh cilantro, a lime wedge, all on a corn tortilla.

Chicken Tinga Pollo Roja, Guisados

Originating in Boyle Heights in 2010, this braised-taco specialist has since expanded to eight locations across LA including one in Echo Park. All the tacos here — with handmade corn tortillas — are stand-out, but especially the chicken tinga. It’s a delicious mix of spicy shredded chicken breast braised with tomatoes, cabbage, chorizo, and chipotle and served with chipotle chile and avocado.

Chorizo Tacos, Tacos Villas Corona

This humble Atwater taco window, made famous by Anthony Bourdain, is known for its no-frills, teensy tacos and burritos. Because the tacos are so tiny, you can easily try all of the options like pollo, carne asada, chorizo, or nopales. The fiery spicy chorizo taco packs a flavorful punch, accented by the hint of juicy onion and cilantro, atop tiny, delicate white-corn tortillas.  Upon delivery, expect a gratis bag of homemade corn chips (that look like Fritos) and tomato salsa as well. 

Highland Park/Glassell Park/Eagle Rock/Pasadena

Guisado Chile Verde, Pocha

This female-owned Mexican restaurant is known for its SoCal take on Mexican classics. The guisado chile verde taco — made with slow-braised pork and smothered in a homemade tomatillo-based green chile sauce — pairs nicely with a crispy Topo Chico or a fruity margarita. 

Beef Birria Taco, Teddy’s Red Tacos

What started as a pop-up in front of bars in South LA, is now a full-on chain with eight locations around the city. On the Westside, this is one of the better taco delivery options from its location on the Venice boardwalk. Known for its birria tacos (hence the name), these deep-red beef tacos are juicy, spicy and flavorful with notes of adobo spice, tomato, onion, and chiles. They might be messy to eat but worth it!

Carnitas Soft Taco, Tacos Por Favor Santa Monica

The Sanchez family has been doling out textbook-perfect Pueblan recipes on the Westside since the 1990s, and it’s still going strong. Hector Sanchez has expanded his father’s restaurant to West LA and Venice, and with him, he’s brought the iconic carnitas, fatty and crispy in all the right parts, crowned with onions and cilantro, and nestled into pliable corn tortillas. 

Vegan Mushroom Taco, Tacos Tu Madre West LA

At this mini chain of vibrant taco shops, with outposts in Los Feliz, the mushroom taco is a must-order. It’s a study in flavors and textures: chewy corn tortilla, seared marinated oyster mushrooms, a cooling pile of pickled daikon, carrot, and cucumber, and, to finish, a sprinkle of fermented fresno chiles.

Pescado Taco, Pinches Tacos Culver City

Legend has it that relatives of the Anaya family were the cooks for Pancho Villa, the revolutionary general in Mexico. Whenever Villa was hungry, he’d shout “Pinche, traime unos tacos!” or “Cook, bring me some tacos!” Now the Anaya family has continued to heed that call with their mini chain of taquerias, with locations in West Hollywood and Santa Monica. We imagine even the general would approve of their perpetually popular beer-battered and fried pescado taco topped with a Veracruz-inspired slaw.

Dos Tacos De Barbacoa De Chivo Con Consomé, Sabores Oaxaqueños Restaurant

At this Koreatown restaurant, brothers Valentín and Germán Granja showcase the food of Oaxaca from rich mole to this complex taco. Goat meat is simmered in a heady broth of dried chiles, avocado leaves, and herbs until tender and dripping with flavor. Then it’s rolled up in handmade corn tortillas and eaten with a little bowl of that bright red broth.

Cochinita Pibil Tacos, La Flor de Yucatan

Mayan food is the specialty of this Pico-Union restaurant, and the jewel in its crown is the cochinita pibil. Pork shoulder is marinated in citrus, then slowly roasted overnight until it’s spoon-tender (no knife necessary). It’s then piled atop grill-marked tortillas and finished with pickled onions and cilantro. 

Grilled Shrimp Tacos, Fishing with Dynamite

Pristine seafood is the reason why diners love chef-owner David LeFevre’s Manhattan Beach restaurant, and it shows in this textural taco. In one bite, you get charred shrimp, crisp red cabbage slivers, crunchy chicharrones, spicy harissa crema, and verdant salsa verde, all on freshly made corn tortillas.

4 Tacos, Tacolicious

San Francisco graciously shared its California-inflected Mexican food with this Manhattan Beach outpost. Create your own little tasting menu of tacos with this order of four: Choose from guajillo-braised beef, chicken tinga, pastrami, mushroom carnitas, spicy shrimp, and more, all served with salsa on corn (or flour) tortillas. The spicy shrimp is a local favorite for its mix of spicy habanero-pickled onions, cooling crema and smoky chipotle, all atop an organic Mi Rancho corn tortilla.