Welcome to Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, home to L.A.’s High Desert, famous Poppy Field Reserve, Edwards Air Force Base, and the lesser known “Musical Road.” Besides a consistent battery of heat waves and extreme cold, the city has so much to offer its visitors.
For starters, its growing community of taqueros is not to be missed.
After the housing market’s surge in the early 2000s, many Angelenos found themselves establishing roots in the desert, far away from the generations-old Mexican restaurants they grew up with. Decades later, Lancaster’s very own taco scene has blossomed and solidified into one that holds its own, born out of necessity, from a reluctance to drive over an hour in traffic for a nice plate of tacos.
Here are Lancaster’s very own local tortilla heroes.
Tacos Si Señor
Tacos Si Señor is a local gem in the Antelope Valley, surviving in the desert through multiple generations while maintaining a high quality of food, service, and atmosphere. The restaurant is open seven days a week, but it is more active on weekends. On Saturdays and Sundays, the place is jam-packed with families coming to liven up their weekend leisure over machaca, lengua, and asada. On a Sunday morning, you will run into a line of hungover tíos, pots in hand, ready to stock up on crudo-curing menudo, one of the best in Lancaster. Their tortas are also attractive. However, it’s the tacos here that are second to none, featuring meats chopped to order. The restaurant holds a special place in the hearts of those on the west side of Lancaster. It’s an enduring hub cherished by locals that continues to serve some of the most sazón-filled Mexican food in the region.
Drive-thru taco spots that are actually delicious are revered for all the right reasons. In Lancaster, where life moves a little more slowly than in the city, Birria Superior is keeping the population well-fed and on-the-go. Before the birria de res craze hit the streets of Los Angeles, this Lancaster local was lightyears ahead, serving quesatacos with beef and even Gen Z’s trendy birria ramen. For older heads, who stay wary of such fusion, the restaurant also offers classic O.G. birria dishes. A typical order here includes two quesatacos, two regular tacos, and a large agua fresca. The food makes for a satisfying experience as you sip the warm consomé and bite into their meat, saturated with those same ethereal flavors. You can find this drive-thru open late each night and through the week, just as you can count on their dining room being packed with patrons every weekend. For a restaurant that strictly serves birria, the crowds never seem to get enough. Birria Superior ranks as one of the best spots in the High Desert.
44140 20th St. W. Lancaster, CA 93534
Taquería Pepe El Toro
If you are nostalgic for an old-school mom-and-pop taquería experience, head straight to Taquería Pepe El Toro. Make your way over to the small shopping center off of 20th West and Avenue J, right across the street from the Home Depot, and you will run right into the restaurant. Owners Concepcion and David have operated this place for 30 years and kept it within the family. At Pepe’s, they pride themselves on serving some of the most homestyle Mexican food in the Antelope Valley. While the wait may be a bit longer, the family guarantees your meal will be served piping hot. Pepe’s is a hole-in-the-wall, but one where countless families in the desert have made their second home. Lancaster locals will recommend these favorites: a trio of chorizo, adobada, and carnitas. On weekends this place lights up, its dining room full of families and countless workers, making a quick pit stop after a run to the hardware store. The plasma screen television sitting on top of the beverage fridge blares the Spanish news of the morning and maybe a car chase if you swing by just late enough. Welcome home.
44219 20th S. W. Lancaster, CA 93534
El Buen Taco
El Buen Taco truly lives up to its namesake by making solid tacos. Located on the west side of Lancaster, this restaurant has been serving the community for over 15 years, having moved to a livelier plaza after being hidden from the street view. Now they catch local foot traffic from their neighbors at the liquor store and an active Autozone, helping to keep these businesses busy. At El Buen Taco, you’ll find a mix of Mexican food and Central American recipes in a space reminiscent of a puesto in Mexico, even selling your favorite snacks and goodies right at the counter. The staff’s favorite tacos are tied between the king and queens of L.A.’s taco life: al pastor and carne asada. The tacos are full of the juiciest meat, just ready to be sluiced down with their salsa casera de tomatillo. Their red salsa packs a serious punch for those brave enough to try. It adds a depth of hellishly delicious flavor from the roasted chiles.
Ignore the name of this business for a little bit while you indulge in a plate of tacos. This place is regarded as an unsung classic in Lancaster and guaranteed to earn you street cred if you name-drop it and deem them the city’s best. Most days, you will find patrons coming in for the eponymous GDL-style tortas. But for those looking for a quick—er, lighter?—bite, rest assured that at La Ramadita, you can have your torta and eat tacos, too. Their most popular plates include tacos de asada and beef barbacoa. For the kids, there are tacos de pollo. But they are delicious enough that you will find yourself wanting to order them for yourself, too.
A proud San Fernando Valley native, Samantha "Sam" Nuñez is our Director of Marketing and Social Media. She holds a background in Public Relations and has a Corporate Communications focused Masters from USC. When Sam isn't grinding at the Trompo, she is out trying new foods, dancing Mexican Folkloríco or tasting new tequila and mezcal for her collection.