10 Essential L.A. Tacos

Everyone picks favorites in Los Angeles. These are ours—from intense cochinita pibil to fish fried up in a parking lot.

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Photo: Erin Mosbaugh

Tacos are to Los Angeles what pizza is to New York, cheesesteak is to Philadelphia, and pho is to Vietnam. Every Angeleno worth her weight in masa knows the go-to truck for al pastor pork sabered from the spit into warm and pliant tortillas, and each is privy to the fedora’d taquero who fries Ensenada-style fish tacos to order in a parking lot in Silverlake.

What makes L.A. tacos so great? The city is graced with recipes brought north by its more than one million Mexican-born residents and their ancestors—iconic dishes like cochinita pibil from the Yucatán and birria from Guadalajara. L.A. isn’t Baja, D.F., Jalisco, or Oaxaca; it’s all of these places rolled into one glorious city brimming with stewed meat, grilled carne asada, spit-roasted pork, tortillas hecho a mano, and scorching salsa.

Without further ado, we bring you the city’s 10 essential tacos.

Written and shot by Erin Mosbaugh (@JayBlague)

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