Madre West Hollywood
Madre is known for its mezcal, but don’t miss the food either. Photo by Jakob Layman for Madre

GuidesLos Angeles

A Perfect Day of Mexican Food in Los Angeles


Los Angeles is a Mexican city.

A wide array of Mexico’s state cuisines can be found in Los Angeles, in some form, and we are the home to the second largest Oaxacan population on the planet. You’ll even find subregions well represented here, like multiple vendors selling chorreadas, tacos on thick tortillas from Mazatlán.

There’s not even a major city in Mexico that can boast this variety of tacos, antojitos, traditional plates and mariscos trucks that bring a taste of the Pacific to every barrio. It’s no wonder so many travelers make it a point to try some Mexican food when in town.

The fish tempura taco at Damian. Photo courtesy Damian

Besides being the largest Mexican community outside of Mexico in the world, it’s less than three hours away from Baja California, a region often frequented by Angelenos, whether Tijuana for taco crawls, Ensenada for world class ceviches, or the Valle de Guadalupe for destination restaurants and its crisp, mineral Mexican wines.

There are so many other cultural enclaves, restaurants, and bars on your L.A. hot list. Still, it’s prudent to set aside a day just to explore Mexican cuisines in Los Angeles, traveling outside of the touristy neighborhoods to get a glimpse into the many centers of Mexican life and culture.

Pro tip: Start off with a cafe de olla or a horchata latte — you’ll need the jolt to tackle this itinerary.