Travel Guides for Un-tourists


The Go-To Mexican Restaurants in LA

by Fernanda DeSouza

posted on October 27, 2017

Photo Courtesy: Tai's Captures

Los Angeles has long been known for its Mexican food, but the sheer variety of things to eat within that one cuisine is vast and hard to pin down. From huge Oaxacan parties and high-end experiences to local favorites famed for their infamous pasts, LA Mexican food is never just one thing, so visit all these hot spots to discover its sheer diversity of flavors.

Photo Courtesy: mezcalerodtla

Agave spirits are combined with fresh, farmer's market ingredients in creative, Mexican-style combinations at Mezcalero. Enjoy the cool, casual vibe and the taco-centric menu, which has upscale options like octopus and duck.

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The Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em, Oaxacan The Garden, Unseaworthy, Swipe Right, al pastor tacos, peanut mole tacos, pulpo tacos

Photo Courtesy: downtown_tommy

This hip but traditional Mexican deli serves updated comfort food in a welcoming space covered in Mayan art. They play folksy music and cater to a more upscale crowd than your average LA taco spot, but the food is just as good, if not better.

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Carnitas de pato, Spicy Mexican hot chocolate, Vegetarian tacos

Photo Courtesy: michaelericfox

Since 1923, El Cholo has been serving Mexican-American comfort food and margaritas from a gorgeous, comfortable space that's great for big groups. Check out the dates on the menu. This place has been around for a long time, and they're proud of it.

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Chimichangas, Sonoran enchiladas, table-side guacamole, green corn tamales

Photo Courtesy: elcoyotecafe

For over 80 years, El Coyote has been providing Los Angeles with reliable Mexican food, cheap margaritas, and most importantly, a great place to hang out. Come with a big group of friends and celebrate in style at this truly legendary restaurant.

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Nacho Supreme, Tortilla Soup, Carnitas Burrito, Enchilada Howard, Coyote Burger,

Photo Courtesy: guisados

Guisados has built a mini-empire making Mexican treats you can't find at any old taco truck. Standout eats and casual vibes will make you want to be a regular at this spot, the original location that started it all. Pro-tip: order the horchata.

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Taco sampler platter, mole poblano taco, horchata,

Photo Courtesy: brokenspanishla

LA native Ray Garcia has become one of the most talked about chefs in town. Broken Spanish, the upscale, perfect-for-any-occasion sister to his more casual BS Taqueria, serves modern Mexican cuisine that is as beautiful as the setting itself.

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Pollo prensado, tostada, tamales, chicharrón, and carnitas

Photo Courtesy: lafoodbowl

Located within the Mercado La Paloma, Holbox serves ultra-fresh Yucatan-style ceviches and tacos in a laid-back, fast-casual setting. The tortillas are handmade, the sauces are to die for, and the menu changes seasonally. Order as much as you can.

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Yellowtail ceviche with uni, Mexican blood clams, coctel mixto, almeja preparada, scallop al carbon

Photo Courtesy: tarberri

Options abound at Coni'Seafood, where Mexican and ceviche-style preparations of shrimp, octopus, and marlin take center stage. Though off the beaten path, the large patio, killer energy, and some of the best seafood in LA make it well worth the trek.

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The marlin tacos, ceviche marinero, pescado zarandeado, shrimp cucaracha, and camarones Culichis

Photo Courtesy: laguelaguetza

Guelaguetza may be the best Oaxacan restaurant in Los Angeles. This family-run fiesta is constantly filled with a diverse crowd who come for a mile-long mezcal list, deeply addictive mole, colorful decor, and live music. You should join the party.

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Chapulines (grasshoppers!), Festival de Moles, champurrado, tlayudas, mezcal list

Photo Courtesy: coloniapublica

Fideo, a unique, endlessly customizable Mexican crossbreed between risotto and ramen, is the specialty of this laid-back gastro-cantina. Bring friends, settle in a booth with one of their beer-based micheladas and compare who built the best bowl.

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Grilles ceviche tacos, Botana Publica, chicharrón quesadilla, fideo

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