Culture

If You Are Looking For A Vegan Taco Crawl In Los Angeles, We Just Created It For You

There might officially be more veganos than vegans in America, but nobody is really keeping track of Latino-American diets. For all the veganos out there looking for their next food-tour vacation, forget Portland. Los Angeles is where all of the best vegan tacos and Mexican food calls home.

Almost every taco truck would be able to accommodate you, and, yes, know whether their frijoles are vegan, because we’re everywhere in L.A. In such a competitive market for hungry vegan Latinos, we’ve generated a list of the top vegan tacos in Los Angeles. If you’re not hungry now, you’re about to be.

1. Cena Vegan

@grubshots / Instagram

Cena Vegan’s fame is all in their homemade vegan meats. The meats are so good that you can order them in bulk to use at home. At the truck, you can get carne asada, pollo asado, al pastor and a gluten-free carnitas meat option. Then, you add it to tacos, burritos, nacho boats, etc.

This Instagram reviewer puts it bluntly, “literally how are these vegan HOW. @cenavegan you’re magic.”

They’re a winner for obvious reasons.

@veganthisweekend / Instagram

You can try all four taco meats and get four tacos for $11, without having to worry if the beans are cooked in lard, or if the crema is really vegan. It’s all vegan and so good.

2. Vegatinos Food Truck

@vegatinos / Instagram

They love to serve up their vegan shrimp tacos. The few times we can find vegan shrimp are usually at all-vegan Asian restaurants. Shrimp tacos?! Only in Los Angeles.

At Vegatinos, you can get suadero and chicharron tacos before enjoying some vegan flan. ????

@vegatinos / Instagram

Quintin L. had some interesting things to say about Vegatinos in his Yelp Review. “I’m so in love with these freaking rockstar tacos… it feels like cheating on someone because everything tastes so good that it feels like you’re doing something naughty.”

3. Plant Food for People

@plantfoodforppl / Instagram

PPFP isn’t making high-protein vegan meats like Cena, but they’re keeping it classic in a different way with signature jackfruit tacos made four different ways. Plus, you can also get their breakfast tacos made with tofu and potato scramble if you get there early enough.

4. Hijo De Su Madre

@vegnews / Instagram

From left to right, we have a beer-battered avocado, chipotle crema, and pepita slaw; soyrizo, potato hash, and guac; Beyond Meat cabbage, avocado, secret sauce. That’s not even all their options because Hijo is all-vegan.

5. Dear Mama LA

@dearmamala / Instagram

You definitely want to check out this Latina-owned taco spot when you are in LA. Her caption reads, “This hood inspired traditional flavor is just what summer needed. Our citrus marinated chick’n or Hood Chick’n will have you reminiscing on the days you were a kid and you had carne asadas with the family. This hood staple of yellow looking chicken was what most kids enjoyed! So I’m bringing it back to you with a whole lot of love. We marinate it to perfection with oranges and bell peppers and of course love ????????‍♀️????”

6. Trejo’s Tacos Fried Avocado Tacos

@trejostacos / Instagram

Danny Trejo has outdone himself with a chain of authentic Mexican tacos all around Los Angeles. Danny knows his clients well by offering the only version of an avocado toast we want to have for breakfast: Fried Avocado Tacos.

You should also check out their Cauliflower Chorizo Tacos.

@trejostacos / Instagram

Listen, his taco game is on point. Trejo’s alway has at least three vegan options on the menu. As of June 2019, he has Young Jackfruit with avocado crema, Mushroom Asada with pepita pesto, and Cauliflower with cashew cream.

7. Doomies Home Cookin’ and Doomies NextMex

@plantpoweredchica / Instagram

Doomies is best known for replicating America’s favorite meat dishes (like fried chicken, and Big Macs) but vegan. The reviews are in and Next Mex is where it’s at.

8. Gracias Madre

@gmweho / Instagram

This restaurant is reserved for those special nights out. It’s LA prices, but it’s outrageously delicious. You can expect to enjoy all your vegan favorites from sopes to pozole, flautas and tamales. Their jackfruit carnitas tacos are rico. top it off with flan or pineapple upside down cake and you’ll be happy as a vegan clam.

9. Olga’s Naturally

@olgasnaturally / Instagram

All their taco tortillas are handmade using organic blue maiz from Oaxaca. They always strive to source organic and also offer vegan chicken as a protein option, alongside vegan cheese quesadillas. Yup.

10. Sage Vegan Bistro

@thekindsage / Instagram

It isn’t a taco joint but they do have great tacos. Plus, they know to call them street tacos. These are “made w/ marinated jackfruit, garlic aioli, cilantro and onions on an organic corn tortilla are served all day on weekdays and after brunch on the weekends! ????”

11. Organix LA

@organixla / Instagram

They take Taco Tuesday very seriously with $2 vegan tacos and 20 percent off all vegan burritos. All their food is vegan, and you can enjoy anything from deep-fried vegan fish filet tacos to classic carne asada style grilled mushroom tacos like the ones you see above.

12. Chica’s Tacos

Charmaine L. / Yelp

Chica’s vegan tacos are made with spicy cauliflower chorizo and topped with a slice of marinated mushroom, avocado, and cilantro. You know they’re good because Chica’s stands by using only organic, never frozen ingredients to represent an authentic Méxican dish.

13. Un Solo Sol

@unsolosol / Instagram

They essentially offer a vegan version of almost everything on their menu ranging from nopalitos tacos to pinto bean pupusas. You know when you order veggie tacos at a non-vegan taquería and it’s just onions and pico de gallo? These guys load up their veggie tacos with actual veggies ricos.

14. Tacos La Tehuanita

@tacoslatehuanita / Instagram

Follow @tacoslatehuanita to get all the updates on where they’re parked tonight. “Yum! Come one, come all, come with hearty appetites,” are the types of rallying calls you can expect from them. You want to try the butternut squash tacos.

15. Taco Zone Truck

Alex V. / Yelp

Yelp reviewer Helen J. Puts it best. “VEGAN AND VEGETARIANS WELCOME HERE. The tacos are cheap but full of flavor. We came down here after the Griffith Observatory and these tacos hit the spot! Great food truck, friendly service, and fast at that.”

16. El Chato Taco Truck

@_malibudream_ / Instagram

Folks rave about how you can feast and still have a pile of money leftover at El Chatos. While reviewers aren’t posting pictures of the vegan option, there are a dozen reviews about how delicious the veggie tacos are. It can never hurt to check it out.

17. Guisados

@guisados / Instagram

Above are the two vegetarian options listed on the menu. We bet you could ask for it sin cotija, but the off-menu vegan accommodation is reportedly spicy. One Yelp reviewer said, “My friend who is vegan, was able to be accommodated at this place as well! He ended up getting the chiles correados taco. BEWARE!! It is extremely spicy ! But he really loved it !”

READ: 19 Dessert Tacos That Will Make Your Mouth Water

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Nopales, The OG Ancestral Food We’ve Been Eating Since Waaaay Before Plant Based Foods Became Trendy

Culture

Nopales, The OG Ancestral Food We’ve Been Eating Since Waaaay Before Plant Based Foods Became Trendy

I can literally talk food until my babas drip. Don’t judge. The comelón life chose me and I’m not mad at it. Because growing up Latino meant breakfast wasn’t always cereal, and dinner wasn’t always mac and cheese. I grew up con más sabor en mis platillos than most Americans. And, at the time, I didn’t even realize that many of the foods my family was trying to get me to eat were ancestral foods. From chocolate to cocoa and chia to nopalitos, I blame los ancestros for my obsession with food and all the glorious ingredients that have been passed down for generations.

My knees already feel weak, fam, because today I’m gonna be talking nopalitos. Ya me estoy chupando los dedos, thinking back to how I grew up with these babies always in the refri in that Nopalitos jar, ready to be thrown into a sauce or encima de una carne asada. It turns out this soul-feeding food is one of the OG ancestral foods that have been used by our people for thousands of years. Ahí les va un poco de historia:

The Mexica introduced the world to the “fruit of the Earth.”

In Náhuatl, the word for nopal translates to “fruit of the Earth.” I don’t know what the Náhuatl word for “bomb-delicioso” is, but in my opinion, that should also be the name for nopales. And the Aztecs must have felt this way too because one of the most famous cities in the Aztec Empire – Tenochtitlán, the empire’s religious center – was named “prickly pear on a rock.” Iconic.

According to legend, the city was built after an Azteca priest spotted an eagle perched on a nopal plant, carrying a snake in its mouth. The priest, obviously extremadamente blown away by this, ran back to his village just so he could gather everyone to check out this crazy eagle with a snake in its mouth. As they watched, the cactus beneath the eagle grew into an island – eventually becoming Tenochtitlán. I’ll give you 3 seconds to just process that. 1…2…3. Please take more time if you need it. The image of the eagle carrying a snake, its golden talons perched on a nopal growing from a rock, can now be found on the Mexican flag.

Today, we know that the Mexica were right to call nopales the plant of life.

In Mexico, it’s still common to place a handful of nopal flowers in a bath to help relax achy muscles. And nopales are becoming more popular than ever in beauty treatments to help fight aging. But, y’all are too beautiful to be needing them for that, so let’s talk about what’s important — eating them.

There are so many ways you can mix this iconic ingredient into your meals.

We should all be eating our green foods. Your tía, your abuela, your primo, everyone…except your ex. Your ex can eat basura. I said what I said. But, nopalitos are especially important. These tenacious desert plants can be eaten raw, sautéed, pickled, grilled – they’re even used as pizza toppings. Though for some people, nopales – with their spines and texture – can be intimidating. After cutting off the spines and edges, and cutting them into slices, they will bleed a clear slime. But boiling for 20 minutes will take care of that. Or make it even easier on yourself and avoid espinas by buying them all ready-to-go from the brand we all know and love, DOÑA MARIA® Nopalitos.

Check it out, I’m even gonna hook it up with that good-good, because if you’re looking for ways to enjoy your nopales, I got’chu with some starter links to recipes: Hibiscus and Nopal Tacos, Nopal Tostadas, Roasted Nopales con Mole, and Lentil Soup con Nopales.  One of my personal favorite ways to eat them is in a beautiful Cactus Salad, full of color and flavor. Trust. I rate these dishes 10 out of 10, guaranteed to make your babas drip, and when you eat this ensalada de nopalitos, you will remember even your ancestors were dripping babas over this waaay before it was cool to eat plant-based foods.

So let’s give the poderoso nopal the spotlight it deserves by adding it to our shopping lists more often.

Rich in history, mythology, and practical uses, the nopal’s enduring popularity is a testament to its versatility. It’s time to give this classic ingredient the respect it deserves and recognize just how chingon our ancestors are for making nopales fire before plantbase foods were even trending.

Next time you’re at the supermercado, do your ancestors proud and add nopales to your shopping cart by picking up a jar of DOÑA MARIA® Nopalitos. This easy-to-use food will definitely give you a major boost of pride in your roots. Viva los nopalitos bay-beh!

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Taco Bell Is Celebrating The ‘Taco Moon’ With A Free Taco Giveaway Around The World

Culture

Taco Bell Is Celebrating The ‘Taco Moon’ With A Free Taco Giveaway Around The World

We’re only a few months into 2021 and we’ve already seen several special moons. We’ve had the “wolf moon,” the “snow moon” and even the “pink moon,” but the next moon may be the tastiest one yet.

In what maybe one of the best marketing campaigns in a generation, Taco Bell recently announced its plans to take over the night sky on May 4 during the crescent moon phase with its very own “taco moon.” And people around the world will be able to celebrate.

Taco Bell announces free giveaway to celebrate the upcoming ‘Taco Moon.’

“On May 4, the world’s largest and brightest object in the night sky will resemble a favorite indulgence, the taco — a new lunar phase* we are affectionately calling the ‘Taco Moon,'” the company shared in a statement.

It added that important asterisk to note while Taco Bell “does not claim to own copyrights to a lunar phase of the moon,” it “stands behind the fact this really does look like a Taco Bell taco.”

And, when the Taco Moon arrives on May 4, hungry fans in the U.S. craving a treat can score a free Crunchy Taco between 8-11:59 p.m. in-store or all day through the app or online.

Fans will need to head to their local Taco Bell restaurant and simply mention the ‘Taco Moon’ or say ‘I saw the Taco Moon’ to claim a free Crunchy Taco Supreme. This fan-fave Taco features a crunchy shell filled with seasoned beef, sour cream, fresh lettuce, tomato, and cheese. No stress for vegetarian taco-lovers, the Taco Supreme can also be made with black beans.

To help keep track of the special lunar phase, Taco Bell even released a helpful chart.

taco bell graphic

And Americans aren’t the only ones who can score a freebie. Some international locations are getting in on the action, too.

“Taco Bell has been an established brand in the U.S. for nearly 60 years and we are thrilled by the accelerating fandom we’re seeing globally,” Julie Felss Masino, president of Taco Bell, International, shared. “As we’re opening more and more restaurants internationally, we know the May 4 moon will take us to new ‘heights’ as we introduce ourselves to new future fans in a delicious way.”

Participating Taco Bell restaurants include some locations in the United Kingdom, Australia, India, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Puerto Rico, however, in those markets, guests will get a local favorite like a free Crunchy Taco with the purchase of a beverage in Guatemala and the option of a free black bean or seasoned chicken Crunchy Taco in India.

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