BETTER DRIVES US. HYUNDAI
It’s no surprise to anyone that Latinos know how to make some seriously bomb food. Eating is our love language, so it’s only natural that we’d want to spread the goodness everywhere we go – and that includes local neighborhoods.
Here are 7 hood spots that totally showcase how Latinos are making things deliciously better in Echo Park.
Guisados isn’t your typical taco joint. While it’s a staple of Los Angeles Mexican cuisine, sprawling throughout the city, its Echo Park location is pretty special. In between taking bites of some seriously flavorful food, you can check out their Featured Artist series, where they celebrate artists and display their art on the walls.
It’s a cool way to shine a light on the arts, and bond the Echo Park community together.
There’s not a bad taco on this menu…with fresh seasonings and pico de gallo, lathered on fresh pescado tacos, you’ll be salivating before you even order anything!
2. Costa Alegre
Starting over 17 years ago, this restaurant is serious about celebrating Mexican culture! This Echo Park joint boasts a huge menu, and (drumroll please) …BREAKFAST. ALL. DAY. It’s a colorful little gem in the neighborhood, and one that is surely beloved. Plus, their outreach to include their customers into their community is pretty amazing. A few years ago, they had a contest for a new recipe that would become a permanent fixture on their menu. A pretty genius way to make things better together, and involve the residents of Echo Park.
Their taco selection is on point…especially these Baja Fish Tacos. YUM.
3. El Cochinito Restaurant
This slice of Cuban cuisine heaven is a must for anyone that craves lechon asado on the reg. The restaurant has also been family owned since 1988, opened by Gladys Gutierrez. The history of the restaurant goes all the way back to 1950’s Havana, Cuba, where Gladys’ father opened his own restaurant. Now in its third generation, El Cochinito keeps the traditions of their abuela alive.
When you step through the door, it feels like you’ve stepped into your abuela’s kitchen and she’s served you up the best plate of Pechuga de Pollo you could ever imagine. The emphasis on family is important – it constantly reminds its customers of what’s important in life: those you love.
4. El Compadre
El Compadre was founded in 1975 by lifelong friends, which makes sense since it’s an awesome place to spend with your own friends. That’s one of the reasons why El Compadre is making the Echo Park hood even better, along with its “old world hacienda” vibes.
The menu is killer, including these lobster enchiladas. Yes, please.
5. Mayas Tacos Market
Lovers of pupusas, unite! Mayas Tacos Market is a restaurant that only ever has one or two people working it; it’s tiny, it’s cheap, and it’s spectacularly delicious. The local joint brings in residents of Echo Park, and is a great example of how food can bring locals together.
If you glance at the Yelp reviews, you’ll see comments like “we come here every Friday” and “I can’t believe I never tried this before!” Food is a love language, and this place is spreading that love with every taco and pupusa they serve.
6. El Paisano
Anyone who tells you that a taco truck isn’t a legit restaurant can see themselves out. If you’re a true Angeleno, you live, breathe, and are obsessed with taco trucks. They’re ingrained into the very fabric of our being, and it’s impossible not to see them on every corner.
El Paisano is a special Echo Park taco truck; it’s been in business since 1974! Nowadays, trendy local eateries come and go, but to have something that has been around for decades is truly astonishing. It shows you that when you’ve got the right formula: good food, good prices, quality service…you really can’t go wrong. Which is why this is definitely staying on our list of places that bring the good to the hood.
The carne asada tacos are to die for, but it’s not the only thing on the menu that’s noteworthy. The buche, the the cabeza, the simple chicken taco..it’s all incredible.
7. Corazón de Jah
An all vegan taco truck – say what?! Yep – this is a fully plant-based and organic source of delicious Mexican food. Plus, they’re also a catering business of personal chefs that do all sorts of inspiring events ranging from fundraisers to charities to artist gatherings. Pretty cool that you can enjoy their dishes and make the world a better place at the same time.
Not only is this food truck improving Echo Park, but it’s also improving the world with its sustainable, organic, and local ingredients.
What’s Good in Your Hood isn’t just about great food, but also uncovering the stories about the owners who pour their heart and soul into what they do. When we look beyond the menu, we see that there is a passion and drive for a better life for their family and a stronger relationship with their community.