Los Angeles is famously called the City of Angels. The city is also known as the entertainment capital of the world.
While these nicknames still hold relevance, the food scene in Los Angeles has earned a reputation of its own.
LA is home to some of the best and most diverse cuisine in the state of California. Among the most popular is Mexican cuisine, due primarily to the city’s close geographic proximity to Mexico.
From lavish Mexican restaurants to food trucks serving traditional tacos, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Visitors may be overwhelmed by the hundreds of eateries that offer Mexican foods in LA. Fortunately, we have compiled a list of the Best Mexican Restaurants in Los Angeles to help non-locals.
- Guelaguetza Restaurant
- La Casita Mexicana
- Tamales Elena Y Antojitos
- Petty Cash
- Gish Bac
- Madre Restaurants
- Chichen Itza Restaurant
- Mariscos Jalisco
- Rocio’s Mexican Kitchen
- Guerrilla Tacos
- Taco Maria
- El Cholo
- El Compadre
- El Huarache Azteca
- Casa Vega
Whether you are planning a visit to the city or just passing through, be sure to check out at least one of the following Best Mexican Restaurants in Los Angeles!
3014 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006
A couple kicked off the Guelaguetza Restaurant in 1994 after they immigrated to LA. While living in Koreatown, Fernando and Maria Lopez started their business by sharing family recipes featuring Oaxacan cuisine. Oaxacan cuisine is a regional cuisine of Mexico from the city of Oaxaca.
The Lopez’s market their creation as a “restaurant, boutique market, and an advocate of Oaxacan Culture in Los Angeles,” and it is easy to see why.
The building of the restaurant is colorfully decorated and displays beautiful murals. Guelaguetza has received recognition from the LA Times, The New York Times, and The Oprah Magazine.
The Lopez couple has retired since the restaurant’s opening. It is now run by their children, who are just as dedicated to serving authentic Oaxacan food.
Patrons can have a piece of Guelaguetza at home by purchasing the famous Michelada and Mole mix on the restaurant’s website.
4532 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066
If you love seafood, you must check out this restaurant. Coni’Seafood is home to an award-winning menu and Nayarit-style dishes.
The restaurant originated in the backyard of an Inglewood home in 1987 and has two locations. One is right off Imperial Highway, and another is in Del Rey.
Guests share their love for the laid-back vibe and beautiful patio at both locations. I affirm that the seafood is incredibly fresh.
I recommend the “Tacos de Marlin,” or fish tacos. The fish tacos are some of the most loved fish tacos in LA.
4030 E Gage Ave, Bell, CA 90201
Nicknamed the “Kings of Authentic Mexican Cuisine” by Bobby Flay, Chefs Jaime Martin del Campo and Ramiro Arviz are committed to serving guests top-tier Mexican food.
The chefs opened La Casita Mexicana in Bell, a small city in LA county. On the weekends, guests can enjoy dinner and a show with La Casita Mexicana’s live music.
Despite the restaurant’s location in a relatively small city, Jaime and Ramiro are committed to packing a considerable flavor that attracts people across LA.
My favorite meal is the massive poblano pepper filled with meats, spices, and candied cactus.
On top of the stuffed pepper is a heavy sweet cream covered with pomegranates. This signature dish is called the Chile En Nogada.
Guisados has seven locations throughout California. Four of the locations are in LA. The original is in Boyle Heights, a historic Chicano and Mexican-American neighborhood in LA.
Guisados qualifies as a Mexican cuisine fast service restaurant, and locals rave on how the food never disappoints. Guests claim the portions are large and wonderfully priced, and I can attest.
There are proteins available for every guest to put in their burritos or tacos. Vegans can get soyrizo, marinated tofu, and specialty vegan tacos and burritos. Meat-lovers can get anything from steak, chicken, carnitas, scallop, or shrimp in their burritos and tacos.
8101 Garfield Ave, Bell Gardens, CA 90201
Chef Maria Elena Lorenzo founded Tamales Elena Y Antojitos as a family food truck. Now, Elena shares her Afro-Mexican style food at a restaurant in Bell Gardens.
Chef Elena and her family hail from Guerrero, Mexico, known for its Afro-Mexican heritage and cuisine.
The Tamales Elena Y Antojitos food truck is still running, and you can visit from 8 am – 1 pm on Wilmington Ave and E 109th Street near the Watts Tower Arts Center.
The restaurant serves Tamales, and locals claim that tamales are some of the best in town. There are other hot items on the menu, such as the Pozole and fish tacos.
1920 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404
You can find Socalo in the Gateway Hotel Santa Monica, located about two miles away from Santa Monica State Beach.
This Mexican pub is run by Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken, two award-winning cooks. The chefs pride themselves on their locally sourced and organic ingredients.
Socalo offers quick service at lunchtime and full service at dinner and happy hour. Guests report their love for Socalo’s small-batch spirit cocktails, craft beers, and Mexican wines.
I recommend reservations for those who wish to enjoy their fare, but they also take walk-ins if available!
7910 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Owner Jessie Gomez and Chef Jose Acevedo introduced Mercado to LA in 2012. The success of Mercado led to the opening of five other Mercado restaurants across neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Mercado has seen openings in Hollywood, Pasadena, and Manhattan Beach.
The Mercado website advises guests to make reservations. They offer a superb happy hour, starting at 5 pm and ending at 7 pm on Tuesday through Friday.
On weekends, guests can enjoy happy hour from 4 pm to 6 pm. It is rumored that Mercado’s fresh guacamole and tortilla chips pair exceptionally well with drinks.
7360 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Everybody loves tacos. If you want to check out a restaurant specializing in tacos with a killer bar, Petty Cash Taqueria & Bar is the place for you.
As the name implies, Chef Walter Manzke, a San Diego native, dreamed of a place where guests could enjoy tasty tacos, good music, and good drinks.
The menu at Petty Cash provides Manzke’s spin on traditional Mexican street food, craft cocktails, beer, and Mexican spirits.
The name “Petty Cash” comes from musicians Tom Petty and Johnny Cash. The restaurant offers a fun, musical vibe that does “Petty Cash” justice.
4163 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018
Gish Bac does not have a website, but the restaurant does have an Instagram account that displays beautiful Mexican dishes.
Owner Maria Ramos and her husband immigrated from Tlacolula de Matamoros, a city in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, in 1992. Maria started her culinary career as a caterer for weddings and special events.
In 2010, she and her family opened Gish Bac. Maria utilized her knowledge of traditional barbacoa methods.
The restaurant is well respected within the community, especially for putting on the Tejate Festival every year in Stoner Park.
Gash Bac’s signature dish, the barbacoa de chivo, has also put the restaurant on the map in LA. This Mexican barbequed goat is said to be tender and flavorful!
419 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Right inside the famous Beverly Hills is Mírame, a contemporary Mexican eatery founded by chef Joshua Gil and Matthew Egan.
The restaurant is hip, colorful, and exciting, primarily because of the craft cocktails and the daily changing menu.
Mírame serves a brunch and lunch menu from Thursday to Sunday and a dinner menu from Tuesday to Saturday.
The restaurant sells Mexican coffee beans that guests can buy by bag and holds various events throughout the month. Patrons can also rent out the restaurant’s beautifully decorated terrace for private dining.
801 N Fairfax Ave #101, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Madre! Oaxacan Restaurant and Mezcaleria is home to the most extensive mezcal collection at about 400 bottles.
This plethora of Mexican spirits makes Madre famous in LA for providing some of the best cocktails.
Guests can enjoy some of the mezcal cocktails during happy hour from 3 pm- 6 pm Monday through Friday.
Madre is also well known for tasty moles and even offers a Mole Sampler on the menu that lets you pick three house-made moles to snack on. Madre also hosts Taco Tuesday all day every week for dine-in only.
Dine-in is the correct way to enjoy Taco Tuesday anyway. After you get hungry from a few cocktails, take a bite out of a signature taco.
3655 S Grand Ave c6, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Mercado La Paloma houses local shops and vendors located in the Figueroa Corridor of South Los Angeles.
The building is like a big warehouse and exudes an industrial feel. The Chichen Itza Restaurant can be found inside the Mercado La Paloma food hall.
The restaurant is family-owned and specializes in Yucatán cuisine. The Cetina family strives to ensure that guests experience the unique flavors you can taste in their native Mexican state, Yucatán.
Some of their most popular dishes include the Cochinita Pibil, which is juicy pork that is expertly marinated, and the Tamales.
3040 E Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90023
I love food trucks, and Mariscos Jalisco has every quality of a food truck that I love. Mariscos Jalisco was started back in 2002 by Mr. Raul Ortega and has received attention from bloggers, writers, and food critics from all over the country.
Called the “Best Old School Truck” by some, Mariscos Jalisco only takes cash. Cash only may seem a bit old-fashioned in this day and age, but the shrimp and fish tacos are worth it.
Mariscos Jalisco has several social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, so be sure to check their pages out for updates.
7891 Garfield Ave, Bell Gardens, CA 90201
Chef Rocio Camacho is nicknamed the “Goddess of the Mole,” and for a good reason. The mole is delicious, flavorful, and authentic.
All the most craved dishes feature the mole, such as the Mole Poblano and Mole Verde, and the menu has a decent-sized vegetarian section as well.
Rocio’s Mexican Kitchen is very quaint. You can find this cozy, old-school eatery in Bell Gardens.
2132 E 7th Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90021
Damian is a more upscale Mexican Restaurant located in the Art District. The design of Damian is trendy and elegant, fitting well with the Art District.
The restaurant is a bit hard to find and is tucked away in an alley, but it is worth the hunt. The food is top-notch, and if you plan on visiting Damian, make sure you make reservations ahead of time.
Damian is run by one of Mexico’s most famous chefs, Enrique Olvera. Olvera is known practically all over the world.
He calls Damian the “twin brother” of his restaurant Cosme in New York, which earned itself a spot as the 22nd best restaurant in the world in 2021.
2000 E 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90021
Guerrilla Tacos is another LA restaurant that is in the Art District. Guerrilla Tacos originated in a food truck and was started by Chef Wes Avila in 2012.
Now, it has its own building that features a complete bar. The tacos are exquisite, especially the Sweet Potato Taco and the Octopus Taco.
The menu is known to change often, and the vibe is fast and casual. The diverse nature of LA influenced Chef Wes to incorporate multicultural flavor, making his dishes unique.
3313 Hyland Ave Ste C21 Costa Mesa, CA, 92626
Chef Carlos Salgado opened Taco María in 2013, naming the restaurant after women in his family. Chef Salgado combines Mexican cuisine with an American flair.
Taco María was such a hit in LA that it was featured on the Emmy award-winning “Alta California” episode of The Migrant Kitchen.
The menu is a little more on the pricier side, but the Prix Fixe Dinner and Beef Steak Tacos are worth it.
Reservations book fast on the weekends, so do not hesitate to book your own! You do not want to miss out.
208 E 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Located in Downtown LA is a casual restaurant specializing in Northern Mexican-style cuisine called Sonoratown. The service is notoriously fast and delicious.
The name pays respect to a small community of Mexican immigrants called “Sonoratown” that traveled to the US after the gold rush.
The owners, Teodoro Diaz-Rodriguez, Jr., and Jennifer Feltham, deliciously keep the traditions of Sonoratown alive in their tacos and handmade tortillas. If you are looking for a quick and tasty Mexican bite in Downtown LA, look no further.
Have you ever wondered where the first U.S. burritos originated? Well, legend has it that burritos were fashioned at El Cholo.
El Cholo was founded in 1923 and has since expanded across California. The original El Cholo can be found at 1121 S. Western Ave and is credited with being the first Mexican-style restaurant in LA.
Best of all, El Cholo is family-run. The grandsons of the founders currently own the restaurant. They keep the original El Cholo flavor alive with the favorite house dish, Green Corn Tamales Est 1923.
Another local favorite with history, El Compadre, has been serving LA since 1975. The style of the restaurant still represents a 1970s vibe.
There are two locations. One is on the Eastside and another on the West, with the original located in Hollywood on Sunset Blvd.
People say that El Compadre gained popularity within the entertainment industry in its heyday. El compadre is a great place to eat and drink.
The Flaming House Margarita is fantastic, and the food is flavorful. Try the free chips and salsa before your meal. What more can you ask for?
2490 Fletcher Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90039
Salazar opened in 2016 in Elysian Valley, or what the locals call Frogtown. Elysian Valley got the name “Frogtown” due to western toads invading the LA neighborhood in the 1930s and 60s.
Do not worry. There are no frogs on Salazar’s menu. However, delicious Sonoran-style Mexican dishes, including craft cocktails and house-made flour tortillas, are up for grabs.
The Breakfast/Brunch menu available on weekends is lovely, and so is Salazar’s weekly Taco Tuesday.
Salazar’s Instagram page illustrates the restaurant’s patio and trendy décor. You will surely enjoy Mexican barbeque, cocktails, and draft beer in style.
5225 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042
El Huarache Azteca has been around for over 20 years and is a fan-favorite quick bite spot in LA. The Restaurant is family-owned and is located in Highland Park.
El Huarache Azteca offers excellent vegetarian and vegan options and traditional meats for those who are not dietarily restricted. The menu is famous for its Carne Asada, Super Huarache, and Tortas.
The Huaraches are truly lovely. You cannot beat the fried masa dough, pinto beans, cheese, and signature cream. You can choose whatever meat you want to go in the dough.
13301 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Casa Vega has been around forever, and chances are you are familiar with the restaurant’s famous sign.
The restaurant is truly iconic and has been featured in several Hollywood Films. You may even spot a celebrity or two if you go out to dinner at Casa Vega.
Just make sure you make a reservation. Casa Vega is a big tourist attraction and fills up quickly!
The food, nightlife, and margaritas are just as famous as Casa Vega’s celebrity guests. The Cheese Enchilada, Lobster Quesadilla, and Carne Asada are to die for.
We know that many tourists visit the City of Angels because of its reputation as the world’s entertainment capital.
While you are exploring the beauty of LA and the incredible art scene, make sure you take a moment (or a few moments) to enjoy LA’s authentic Mexican cuisine.
You will not experience food as delightful as LA’s Mexican fare anywhere else, so take advantage!
If you will be in LA for a while and want to explore more of the city’s food scene, check out these awesome brunch spots and get to eating!
Did we miss something on this list? Let us know your favorite LA Mexican restaurant in the comments below, and we’ll check it out.
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