Mid-City is a neighborhood in Central Los Angeles. Its borders are generally defined as Hoover St. on the East, Robertson Blvd. and La Cienega Blvd. on the West, the 10 Freeway to the South, and Olympic Blvd. to the North. It’s a densely populated area and has numerous restaurants and stores dotting the streets; there are strip malls and small plazas, but many of the real gems are in the nooks and crannies of the roads. These mom-and-pop shops, hole-in-the-wall joints, and only-present-sometimes trucks are among the most adored spots to enjoy meals in the city.
You can find cafes and pizzerias or soul food and burgers, but the taco trucks are what stand out. Indeed, Los Angeles is a food-driven city, and it boasts some of the best Mexican cuisine around. And because of the high population, there’s seemingly no shortage of great eats, no matter what part of the city you’re in.
There’s no singular place in Los Angeles that can lay claim to the best tacos around. Beyond the subjectivity of taste, there are too many factors to consider, and what’s mind-blowing to one will be run-of-the-mill to another. We’d never give you a definitive “best of” list, but we can give you some must-visit spots for tacos in Mid-City.
Have I heard of these taco spots?
Maybe, maybe not. The thing about taco spots is they’re either well-marketed and well-known (think Benny’s Tacos) or they get by entirely on familiarity and word-of-mouth. If you’re driving through Mid-City, you might recognize some of these locations – or you might want to take a trip out to go on a taco tour of the neighborhood. Explore!
Let’s get to it – some must-have tacos in Mid-City!
Lucy’s Drive Thru is a 24-hour establishment on Pico Blvd. and La Brea Ave. It’s more than just a place for tacos, though, as you can get hamburgers and sandwiches there, as well as many other dishes. The allure of Lucy’s lies in its hours – since it never closes, you can always swing by for a meal. Even though the breakfast burrito is highly recommended, you can’t go wrong with their chicken tacos.
Must-have tacos: Chicken Tacos.
Tacos Super Gallito is actually a small chain with restaurant locations in Harbor City, San Pedro, Wilmington, and Los Angeles, but the trucks are present in many more areas. The particular truck in Mid-City is on Venice Blvd. and La Brea Ave. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. during the week, with an extension to 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Given that there are dozens of Super Gallito trucks around, it’s obvious that the food is always good. They’re solid everywhere – the burritos with everything are just as tasty as their sopes and nachos, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find something that isn’t good.
They feature all the standard meats, too, and you’ll want for nothing when you make your taco selection.
Must-have tacos: Asada tacos.
El Chato Taco Truck
El Chato Taco Truck is found at the junction of Olympic Blvd. and La Brea Ave, where it stands from 9 in the morning until 1:30 at night. On the weekends, they’re open late, closing at 3:30 in the morning.
With a wider selection of meats than most trucks, El Chato is sure to satisfy whatever craving you have. Give the Carne Asada a try and pick up some Tripe while you’re at it. They’ve got their recipe down pat.
Must-have tacos: Carne Asada tacos.
Los Gatos on Pico Blvd. and Cloverdale Ave. is one of the more elusive spots for tacos in Mid-City. During the day, the deep red truck is present, but in the evening, the stands and awnings come out, the tables get placed on the sidewalk, and the wafting aroma of the grill travels a block or two away. Sometimes it won’t be there; sometimes it’ll be there until 1 or 2 in the morning. On Sundays, they serve birria from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
What sets Los Gatos apart? Interestingly, it isn’t the choice of meat – it’s what goes below and top. The tortillas are handmade, and unlike other taco spots, the cooks at Los Gatos don’t serve them soft, nor do they serve them hard. They have a perfect half-crunch to them that isn’t found in many other places in the vicinity. Oh, and if you want heat, they have chili oil in addition to the other salsas that will surely make you sweat a bit.
Must-have tacos: Carnitas tacos topped with chili oil.
Tacos Tamix has four locations, but you won’t find the truck on Pico Blvd. and Tremaine Ave. open until 6 p.m. They close relatively late at 1 a.m., but you can find them open until 3 in the morning on weekends (and 2 a.m. on Sundays).
From the lengua to the cabeza to the chicken, every single meat has its own unique taste and cooking style, but what puts Tacos Tamix on the map is their Al Pastor. The marinated pork shoulder is cooked on the traditional vertical spit next to a constantly-flashing flame, and cooks shave slices off for serving. Their salsa roja can be spicy, but their guacamole salsa is smooth and perfectly complements the al pastor. Tamix is one of two spots for renowned al pastor tacos in Mid-City, with the other being Leo’s.
Must-have tacos: Al pastor tacos with guacamole and salsa roja.
Leo’s Taco Trucks are found on Venice Blvd. and La Brea Ave., right across the street from the aforementioned Super Gallitos, in the parking lot of the Sinclair gas station. You order at one window, pick up the food at one truck, and get your accompaniments at the second one.
How do you know Leo’s is good? Well, you’ll often see cars lined up to get into the parking lot, and the street will be filled with everyone eating on their hoods. You’ll notice the same vehicles circling the block, waiting for a gap to park. Leo’s is open all day from 10 in the morning until 2 at night, staying in operation until 3:30 a.m. for the late crowds on the weekends.
Their Al Pastor is perhaps their most well-known serving, and they’ve been featured on numerous blogs and articles. The pineapple slice will nicely complement the marinated pork. If you ever wonder why there are dozens of people waiting, just stop by one day and try for yourself.
On the Lookout for the Best Tacos in Mid-City, Los Angeles?
You can go almost anywhere in Los Angeles and find amazing tacos, but if you’re passing through Mid-City, know there are a lot of options around. And if anyone asks how you found them, tell them you saw the praise from Promotion LA!