L.A. TACO is embarking on its biggest mission yet: to create a taco and food guide for every single neighborhood in Los Angeles! Along the way, we will also be releasing brief histories of each neighborhood to understand L.A. a little more and how each and every neighborhood makes our fine city unique in its own way. Check out our neighborhood page to see all our guides so far.
Situated about 26 miles east of Los Angeles and sandwiched between Azusa, Covina, and San Dimas, you’ve probably ventured to the town, voluntarily dragging yourself down the 210 to stand in line for fresh strawberry donuts at The Donut Man. You may have also accidentally ended up here if you missed the exit going to Raging Waters.
Located at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains, Glendora is a perfect spot for unwinding after a day spent hiking its mountain trails. Taco-wise, the pickings are pretty slim. However, with recent additions like the Glendora Public Market and a new outpost from Smog City Brewing, Glendora is starting to cater to a cooler clientele. And, of course, there’s always Donut Man.
Here is the L.A. TACO neighborhood guide to Glendora, the Pride of the Foothills.
Lumpia Mania offers a Filipino twist on burgers inside the Glendora Public Market. Taking the insides of their dynamite lumpia—ground beef, veggies, and seasoning (called the "LM Mix" here)—and forming it into patties, before topping them with American cheese, Sriracha, and mayo then situating that between squishy pandesal buns, resulting in a delicious Filipino spin on a U.S. staple. A double burger is the way to go here. But if burgers aren’t your thing, sinigang with pork spare ribs and the all-day breakfast with tocino-and-eggs are also amazing options. Truly one of the simpler, yet unique, burger options to appear in a while.
905 E. Arrow Hwy. Glendora, CA 91740 (inside the Glendora Public Market)
The Taco Man
The Glendora Public Market is also where The Taco Man, a favorite of the Inland Empire, made its first foray into L.A. County. The simplest tacos are the menu's best: asada, al pastor, chorizo, and their meat combos are flavorful on their own, easily lost when getting the “killer taco” option loaded with cabbage, cheese, avocado crema, and sour cream. Opt for the crema-less taco or keto taco with a cheese shell and the traditional toppings of onions and cilantro. Or the Sonora-style tacos, if you want beans served in the old-school way. Mulitas, quesadillas, and a tacodilla—essentially an open-faced quesadilla—are also popular options.
905 E Arrow Hwy. Glendora, CA 91740. (Located inside Glendora Public Market)
If “Cabo” happens to be in the name of the taco shop, expect to find fish and shrimp tacos on the menu. At Cabo Tacos, that’s exactly what you should order: hearty portions of perfectly fried and battered shrimp, and fish topped with the right ratios of cabbage, tomatoes, and crema. Get the Cabo Burrito with both fish and shrimp, beans, rice, and cabbages to have it all.
853 Rte. 66 Glendora, CA 91740
Empanadas are a wonderful thing, indeed, and Rika’s offers some of the best around. The spicy ground beef (with jalapeños, bell peppers, onion, hard-boiled eggs, and green olives) and the Fatay (with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, and peppers) are some of the better orders. With options ranging from Argentinian pizzas, delicious choripan, and entraña (skirt steak/flap meat) sandwiches to delectable chocotortas and alfajores with dulce de leche, you could realistically eat an entire day’s worth of meals at Rika’s and never look back in regret.
150 S. Grand Ave. Glendora, CA 91741
West Coast Cheesesteaks
Two words: poblano cheesesteak. Philly may have invented the actual cheesesteak, but this small shop in Glendora put a Southern Californian spin on it and the world is a better place for it. Traditional Philly cheese offerings of sliced provolone or cheddar cheese sauce are available, but c’mon, this is Califas, and those can be had at Philly’s Best. Instead come to West Coast for the chipotle or poblano cheese. Combined with mushrooms, bell peppers, grilled onions, and jalapeños, this becomes truly one of the better cheesesteaks around. With a side of onion rings or tots and a Coke, and an outdoor patio on a sunny day with a view of Route 66, we think you'll agree you've landed on your next great afternoon in Glendora.
1832 E. Route 66 Unit B Glendora, CA 91740
Located next door to West Coast Cheesesteaks, this newly opened ramen shop has quickly become one of the area’s go-to spots for hearty ramen soups. At first glance, one might think that they only serve vegan ramen, as “Spicy, creamy vegan ramen” is painted on the windows facing the parking lot. While that is a genuinely viable option in its own right, their servings of torigara (chicken) and tonkotsu with generous portions of chashu pork in a creamy, savory broth is what keeps bringing us back.
1832 E Route 66 Unit C Glendora, CA 91740
This strip mall restaurant's menu focuses primarily on burgers and sandwiches, with some rice bowl and salad options also available. The burgers, and especially the Backyard Classic double burger, which works well with its simple construction of topping classics, helps make this smashburger spot one of the better options in Glendora.
1311 S. Grand Ave. Glendora, CA 91740
Established in 2008 in the downtown area known as Glendora Village, Waffa’s is the neighborhood's best-known name in Lebanese cuisine. Chicken and beef shawarma plates, kabobs, and falafel wraps are popular choices, and the baklava and maamoul cookies are made in-house. Plentiful portions, cooked to order, made from scratch… it’s no wonder Waffa’s remains one of, if not the best, picks for Mediterranean cuisine in the eastern foothills.
221 W. Foothill Blvd. Glendora, CA 91741
House of Tacos and Sandwich
House of Tacos and Sandwich is essentially a one-stop shop for all your handheld food item wants, although there’s no pizza or fried chicken on the menu... yet. But the tacos, burritos, empanadas, and sandwiches are plentiful. I like the milanesa torta, as well as the asada and pastor tacos. Order some of their empanadas to go: deep-fried and stuffed with seasoned ground beef and olives, they're part of a larger menagerie of simple, effective dishes that make this a perfect pit-stop for loading up for picnics in the nearby mountains.
1004 E. Route 66 Glendora, CA 91740
The Donut Man
Glendora's most famous destination is The Donut Man, located directly across from the shopping center that houses House of Tacos and Sandwich. The success of The Donut Man's strawberry donut has spawned numerous attempts at imitation from the competition: strawberry Pop Tart donuts, strawberry and whipped cream-stuffed donuts—but the fresh and simple strawberry donut from this cash-only spot along Route 66 remains a classic. Real ones know that the peach donut should be just as famous. Tiger tails, crumb glazed doughnuts, and the glazed crullers must also be in your to-go box from this Route 66 classic.
Open since 1991 and operated by one of the daughters of Tijuana's famous fish taco gem, Las 4 Hermanas. The fish tacos at Alicia's are so delicious that they are charged to a running tab since most people always order more than they thought they wanted. But the portraits of old bikers on the restaurant's walls tell a deeper story.
Great cheeses do not only come from Europe. It's time to shine a light on the history and wide variety of cheeses made locally with raw milk in Baja and available in Tijuana, from a jocoque reminiscent of labneh to hard, chipotle-infused Real del Castillo.
The Caesar salad, created in Tijuana by an Italian immigrant during Prohibition in the United States, represents hope that a day’s work could eventually result in your own legacy. As Javier Plascencia, the chef and owner of Caesar's Hotel, tells L.A. TACO, the Caesar salad became an icon of Tijuana "by accident." To this day, the restaurant makes an average of 550 tableside salads every day.