There’s a guy who drives around Los Angeles selling tacos from the back of his rusty Ford — a literal taco truck — and whose carnitas are so juicy and tender, you’ll be licking your hands and arm to get every last bit. The bad news is, you’ll never find this mystery man twice. Be sure to keep an eye out for this phantom taco angel! In the meantime, check out these earthly taco trucks that will also blow you away:
10. Oaxaca On Wheels
Nothing satisfies like a steaming tortilla filled with…pig head? Yup, the tacos de cabeza at Oaxaca on Wheels make for some of the best bites Los Angeles has to offer. Their tasajo tacos are bomb and their vegan tacos are great, too. Go once and you’ll find yourself driving in that direction without even knowing it. Oaxaca on Wheels has more power to draw you west than the ocean itself.
Oaxaca on Wheels can be found near the Sawtelle district at 11975 Santa Monica Blvd.
9. Tacos Los Güichos
You know this truck is going to be amazing when you drive up because it’s parked at a window tinting shop in the barrio. Go on the weekends when they have their incredible slow-cooked carnitas — and go early because they sell out quick. Pro Tip: Bring your friends and make a tailgate party out of it. It’s BYOB in the parking lot, so you won’t be the only ones swigging Tecate with your meal. Just don’t drink too many; you need to save room for their fresh-made churros.
Tacos Los Güichos parks at 5821 Avalon Boulevard in South LA.
8. El Chato
Beware the rich mahogany chipotle sauce you see above: It’s dangerously addictive. We’d brave the 101 to eat a tortilla filled with that alone. Luckily, they also have incredibly juicy meats, like the kind in their delicious tacos al carbon. They also have burritos and quesadillas that are every bit as tasty as their tacos. Add grilled onions and jalapeños, and wash it all down with horchata, Mexican Coke… or more of that chipotle sauce.
Check them out at 5300 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019 near Mid-Wilshire.
7. Carnitas El Momo
Located in Silver Lake, Carnitas El Momo has hipsters buzzing around the affordable taco truck like bees to a hive. We suspect some of the young, starving artists live on a diet of El Momo alone (and pot brownies, obv). We totally get it. The Guanajuato-style carnitas stew slowly all day in a giant pot and are arguably the best in Los Angeles. Paired with a whole jalapeño and tasty tortillas, you just might lose it. Seriously lose it, just like LA producer and restaurant investor Phil Rosenthal did when he tried these tacos.
Elbow your way through the hipsters to find Carnitas El Momo at 2411 Fairmount Ave.
6. Tacos El Korita
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This little gem is open until 1 a.m. on weekends for all your drunk food needs. Their carnitas and tacos al carbon would be enough to make the list, but it’s their mulitas that really bring you to your knees. Unlike many of the fantastic places on this list, Korita’s tortillas are made fresh daily and you can taste the difference.
Make the trek to the corner of Loma Vista and Fruitland Avenues in Vernon, CA. It’s worth the gas $$.
5. Tacos Tamix
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There’s a long standing battle for best al pastor in LA: Tacos Leo vs. Tacos Tamix. Although we’ve placed Leo slightly higher on the list, it’s really a matter of preference. Seriously, both trucks are worthy of your undying loyalty. Tacos Tamix is an unassuming little truck in a car wash parking lot, serving up chunkier pieces of pork and slightly heftier portions than Leo’s. The difference is minor, like trying to tell identical twins apart. We love that its often less crowded than Leo’s, but you can’t go wrong either way.
Tacos Tamix is waiting for you at 2402 W Pico Blvd in the Pico-Union area.
4. Kogi BBQ
Yup, we’re including a fusion taco. Like every other foodie website in the city, we can’t help but mention these incredible Korean tacos. It’s widely considered the best food truck in LA, period. Something about the spicy, sour, smoky, saltiness of Korean BBQ goes hand in hand with a tortilla. The short rib tacos and kimchi quesadillas are wildly flavorful and truly one-of-a-kind (apart from the Korean fusion places that popped up after Kogi’s success). The burritos with extra meat and kimchi will knock your socks off; just make sure there’s time for a siesta after.
You can find Kogi’s BBQ at Venice, The Brig 1515 Abbot Kinney Blvd, 90291 and all around the city. Track them here.
3. Mariscos Jalisco
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Ok, we know. Some people are going to be pissed when they see Mariscos Jalisco didn’t make #1. Hardcore fans obsess over this truck like it’s Justin Bieber. But give us a break! Choosing your favorite taco joint is like choosing your favorite child — in truth we love them all equally. Mariscos Jalisco is renowned for its tacos dorado de camarón. For these, they place fresh shrimp in a tortilla and then fry the whole dang thing. As one Yelp reviewer put it: “Definitely the best shrimp taco you’ll ever stuff into your Mexican-taco-truck-loving-pie hole.” We couldn’t agree more.
Mariscos Jalisco can be found at 3040 E Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90023 in Boyle Heights.
2. Tacos Leo
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Ah, the pure, simple art of tacoing. Nobody does it better than Leo’s Taco Truck, perma-stationed at a gas station parking lot at the corner of La Brea and Venice. There are few bells and whistles here: a spit roast of the best al carbon meat you’ve ever had, cradled in tender tortillas and topped with sweet and tangy pineapple. Just watching them prepare the tacos will make your day. There’s also a salsa bar featuring fiery pickled onions and several salsa options. The best part? These tasty little morsels are only a dollar each and probably taste better than 90% of what the fanciest restaurants in LA are serving right now. Why would you eat anywhere else? ¡Riquísimo!
Their main location is at 1515 S La Brea Ave Los Angeles, CA 90019, but check their website for other locations!
1. Guerrilla Tacos
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“LA Times” food critic Jonathan Gold has said that if the man who stole his phone swiped through his photos he’d find tacos in lieu of selfies. Not just any tacos, of course: “A startling number of the tacos came from a single source: Guerrilla Tacos.” With complex, consciously-sourced ingredients, it’s a far cry from Leo’s tacos, and incredible in a totally different way. Without flatly calling them the best tacos in Los Angeles, Gold indicated that they are definitely his go-to. Between their oxtail tacos and Peruvian scallop crudo, we can see why.
You can often find Guerilla Tacos near Handsome Coffee Roasters, 582 Mateo St., Los Angeles; but they also frequent Venice and Culver City. For a list of their locations by day (and for mouthwatering taco porn) go to guerrillatacos.com.
What’s Your favorite LA taco? Tell us in the comments below and don’t forget to share on facebook and twitter!