With a wealth of food culture and Mexican roots, Los Angeles and tacos go hand-in-hand. The city is replite with traditional trucks, fusion bites, and gourmet delights sure to satisfy any cravings. For those looking for the ultimate Shrimp Taco, or Carne Asada with just the right dollop of Guacamole, we’ve compiled a list of where to get the best tacos in Los Angeles.

In making this list we wanted to capture the range of classic and innovative tacos, a mix of fast-casual and gourmet styles, and various vibes that reflect the diversity of culinary flair in Los Angeles. From Jonathan Gold recommended taco truck Leo’s, to the hip tex-mex menu at HomeState, get ready to enjoy some tasty tacos.

And if you’re looking to explore more than just tacos in Los Angeles, click the Daymaker button next to any item on the list below to use it as a starting point to create your own LA adventure.

Downtown $ $ $ $

Chef Ray Garcia is a native Angelino who grew up on the Eastside and cut his teeth as the head chef at Fig in Santa Monica. He's a chef who likes to let his freak flag fly, and BS Taqueria is an operation that lets him do just that. The environs are upscale, yet unpretentious, suggesting a hip, modern LA take on Southwestern Mexican decor. The Lardo and Clam tacos (Jonathan Gold-approved) are only on the dinner menu, but other favorites include the zesty Lemon-Pepper Chicken Chicharrones, and the house Churros. The indoor/outdoor seating is colorful and celebratory, and the bar is stocked with any kind of booze you may desire.

See more about BS Taqueria here
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Mid City $ $ $ $

Leo's is a Jonathan Gold-approved taco truck that sits parked in a 76 gas station on the corner of Venice and La Brea. The truck's affordably priced Tacos are without a doubt, some of the best in town. Be sure to get their Al Pastor (Mexican BBQ Pork), which the chefs cut from a massive, Shwarma-style spit, with just the right amount of pineapple garnish. Taco hounds should however note that the later you arrive at Leo's, the more likely they are to be out of Pastor. Cash Only.

See more about Leo's Tacos Truck here
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Echo Park $ $ $ $

The father-son team behind Guisados wanted to bring the comfort of a home-cooked meal to the public. Guisados works with a simple menu built around traditional homestyle braises and fresh handmade tortillas. Most items gluten-free, vegetarian options, vegan upon request.

See more about Guisados here
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Fairfax $ $ $ $

Petty Cash doesn't look or feel like your average Taqueria: seating comes in the form of tall communal tables, colorful graffiti-flecked murals line the walls, and water is served in Corona quart bottles. The kitchen takes a progressive approach to the standard Taco and Mexican fare, pumping out standards like Carne Asada, and Al Pastor, but also more unusual choices like Grilled Octopus, and Nachos with Pig Ear.

See more about Petty Cash Taqueria here
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Santa Monica $ $ $ $

Santa Monica isn't flush with taco options quite like the Eastside of LA, but for a taste of something eclectic and decidedly different, head on over to Mondo Taco. The menu is divided up in between Crawls (animal proteins), Swims (fish) and Grows (veggie options), plus ambitious offerings like a Moroccan Lamb Taco, the Taco equivalent of a Philly Cheesesteak (the "Yo Adrian!"), and brunch options Saturdays and Sundays. The inside is small, colorful and comfy, and there is a selection of wine, and beer on tap—a draw that many taco joints don't have.

See more about Mondo Taco here
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East Hollywood $ $ $ $

HomeState is a Texas kitchen serving Breakfast Tacos, Queso, Brisket, Austin Roasted Cuvee Coffee and more. HomeState features a new musician-designed taco every month with part of the proceeds going to the Silverlake Conservatory of Music.

See more about HomeSate here
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Downtown $ $ $ $

Sonora is the unofficial capital for Northern Mexican-style tacos, which means lots of mesquite-kissed meats, fluffy flour tortillas and chargrilled veggies. Now Sonoratown, in Downtown LA, is looking to translate that same spirit into their lunch and dinner menus. Decor is minimal and the space small, which proves all the better to focus on the food. The Tacos with a choice of Grilled Steak, Chicken or Sonoran-style Chorizo are aces, and there are also Chimichangas, and Bean and Cheese options.

See more about Sonoratown here
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In the heart of South LA, Norteno-style Mexican cuisine is alive and well at Tire Shop Taqueria. The specialty of this lauded Taqueria is Norteno Puro: Carne Asada tacos grilled over mesquite until they have a nice char, then topped with Guacamole. The ambiance is standard in relation to many of LA's outdoor Taco-eating experiences, with long communal tables, a lively after-hours vibe, and plenty of salsa,and sliced onions with cilantro to go around.

See more about Tire Shop Taqueria here
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Boyle Heights $ $ $ $

Raul Ortega's legendary Mariscos Jalisco truck is considered by many to be the home of LA's premiere Shrimp Taco. While the jury is still technically out on this claim, there's no denying that Ortega's version of a Shrimp Taco—lightly fried in oil with perfectly succulent Shrimp, and topped with a mouth-watering combination of sliced Avocados and Tomato-and-Cabbage salsa—is a thing of divine beauty. If you're not into Shrimp Tacos, try the Poseidon Tostada (Ceviche, Octopus, and Shrimp Aguachile), or one of the fresh-shucked Oysters. Located in a truck on a corner of Olympic Boulevard in Boyle Heights. Cash Only.

See more about Mariscos Jalisco Truck here
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Elysian Valley $ $ $ $

Salazar prides themselves on their tastefully barbecued meats like Carne Asada, Porkchops, and Catch of the Day, but their ambiance takes center stage with an open-outdoor dining area decorated with cacti and desert plants. This spot is filled with hip factor from the artsy-industrial location, to the specialty cocktails, and the sometimes hour-long wait for a table.

Salazar has a minimal menu with tacos served on freshly made flour tortillas, shared plate entrees, and a brunch menu on weekends with dishes like the Chorizo Plate. All in all, this new Mexican BBQ is worth a trip. It's not for everyone, but when it does click, guests find themselves coming back every week.

Be warned: the street parking is hard to come by.

See more about Salazar here
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Mid City $ $ $ $

There are far more old-fashioned taco joints in LA than Sky's Gourmet in Mid-City, but what this fusion operation lacks in tradition, it more than makes up for in culinary ingenuity. Service is fast casual, and Tacos are filled with tasty and unusual fillings like Crawfish, Filet Mignon, and buttery Lobster. Be sure to try the Veggie Nachos with some "sassy sauce," and take them out to the picnic tables on the patio.

See more about Sky's Gourmet Tacos here
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Culver City $ $ $ $

Loqui began in 2014 as a weekly pop-up that operated out of the back of San Francisco's Tartine Bakery. They're known for taking a fast casual approach to Norteno-style cooking, which involves lots of mesquite-roasted meat, hand-rolled house-made Tortillas, and some Baja flair. The Tacos here are called "Primos," and they are much larger than your average taco. The Molcajete is also delicious, though it's more of a bowl (replete with Guac, Cheese, and Salsa) than a traditional Molcajete.

Loqui also has an excellent beer and wine selection, and is located on the Culver Junction Platform complex, within close walking distance to several other cool spots.

See more about Loqui here
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East Hollywood $ $ $ $

Ricky's Fish Tacos has always been on-the-go, operating out of a food truck, but it's here to stay. Parked in it's original lot on a regular basis, Ricky's Fish Tacos serves neighborhood favorite seafood tacos with casual tables and chairs on the lot for seating.

See more about Ricky's Fish Tacos Food Truck here
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Hollywood $ $ $ $

This orange and green shack in the heart of Hollywood started it all for Cactus Taqueria, which has since expanded its modest operation into the Valley and Little Bangladesh. Cactus serves Mexican food with a California twist like the juicy Carne Asada Burrito with avocado, or one of their lime-enhanced Shrimp Tacos with shredded cabbage and sour cream.

The place stays open late and can attract a colorful cast of characters after hours, but don't be discouraged: Cactus is great for both a cheap mid-day bite or a post-bar crawl snack. Cash only, though there is an ATM on site.

See more about Cactus Taqueria #1 here
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Chinatown $ $ $ $

Mexicali Taco & Co started as an unassuming Taco Truck near the 110 Freeway. Now, the operation has upgraded to a small counter-service space that specializes in authentic, Baja-style comfort Mexican food. Be sure to try the Vampiro Taco (a Taco-Quesedilla hybrid slathered in Garlic Sauce) or the Chorizo Cachetada, oozing with molten cheese and a perfectly-fried egg.

See more about Mexicali Taco & Co. here
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