When people think of California, they usually think of surfing, Hollywood, beaches and super healthy eats. However, California is one of the best places in the U.S. to have a taco. The state borders Mexico so the influence of Mexican cuisine and culture is very strong. Here are 11 taco places in California to prove that the Golden State has some great tacos.
1. Petty Cash LA
This eatery on Beverly Blvd. in LA is tops on all sorts of treats, including a good assortment of vegan stuff. The big plus is the full bar. The only drawback, it’s normally packed to the gills, so it’s a good idea to reserve ahead of time.
2. Super Rica
CREDIT: Katie T. / Yelp
Delve into reviews of this unassuming place in Santa Barbara and you’ll be floored. Locals may have gone elsewhere, but the tourist bunch still flocks here for their taste, unchanged in over 30 years. Sometimes the wait can be over 30 minutes, but hang in there.
3. Esther’s Taco House
Catering to a changing demographic, they also offer not-so-Mexican goodies such as fried pickles, but it’s the taquitos that make the detour worthwhile: rolled tortillas stuffed with your choice of meat, then smothered in guac. Yum.
4. Tacos El Gordo
If it comes from Tijuana, you know it’s gonna be good. Operating in Baja since the early ’70s, this restaurant chain crossed into neighboring San Diego and swept through town. Now they’ve expanded into Las Vegas with their delectable meats, guac and downright goodiness in the shape of a taco.
5. King Taco
This taco sanctuary began as a food truck in 1974 and it is now grown to 20 locations, but with awesome taste and strict standards for quality. Select your filling from staples such as pastor – spit roasted seasoned pork, lengua – beef tongue, or suadero – slow roasted brisket.
6. La Taqueria
CREDIT: John L. / Yelp
This San Francisco Mission district spot is keeping patrons happy with savory guisos that stuff their tacos since the ’90s. Some reviewers complain they can’t rate the place higher that the max.
7. El Matador Taco Truck
CREDIT: Randoll C. / Yelp
This LA place lives up to the expectations, especially with the carne asada and chicken tacos. The beef is fresh off the grill and the bird has been slow cooked in an assortment of spices and veggies. Don’t expect much in vegetarian options here; maybe the salsa.
8. Pinches Tacos
CREDIT: Yuna H. / Yelp
“Pinche” has a lot of connotations in Spanish, but the well-educated option is chef apprentice. Angelinos flock to this restaurant in West Hollywood for their tacos of all sorts, like the nopalitos – cactus paddles, pastor, asada and, of course being California, fish tacos.
9. Best Fish Taco In Ensenada
CREDIT: Ty W. / Yelp
The Baja style of fish tacos is ever present here with simple options: fish or shrimp. They pride themselves in heating tortillas just right between crisp and soft.
10. Fat Fish Cantina Grill
CREDIT: Kristen L. / Yelp
Located in San Diego, this place serves some mean shrimp enchiladas that are simple and plain good. Worthy of mention also is the carnitas in chile verde burrito in a super-size flour tortilla and all the trimmings. It’s California, so expect champagne along with your tacos, especially during the happy hour schedules that abound here.
11. Tres Hermanas
CREDIT: Yao C. / Yelp
Located midtown Sacramento, the menu here is a mile long, and filled with scrumptious options so good that you’ll need a bib just to read through it. Tacos are both hard and soft shell, with chile rellenos – stuffed poblanos, being another savory opportunity to delve into true Mexican taste.