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Meet L.A.’s O.G. Birria King Competing At Our Live Event This Saturday

From driving Uber with a trunk full of birria de res. To his humble beginnings at the “inoperable rails on Slauson off Central.” To now, more than a half dozen trucks and brick and mortars with his name. Teddy Vasquez of Teddy’s Red Tacos has built a birria empire.

TACO MADNESS, Presented by Bud Light Chelada, is L.A.'s first and biggest taco festival. All of L.A.'s heaviest hitting taquerías will be in one place for one day only! The 21 + event is happening this Saturday, May 6, at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in downtown Los Angeles. Ticket sales proceeds will support L.A. TACO's award-winning street-level journalism.

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From driving Uber with a trunk full of birria de res. To his humble beginnings at the “inoperable rails on Slauson off Central.” To now, more than a half dozen trucks and brick and mortars with his name. Teddy Vasquez of Teddy’s Red Tacos has built a birria empire.

Vasquez learned how to make birria at the Tijuana-based Birrieria el Paisa, a respected local taco cart. After witnessing a “terrible fight” outside of a club in T.J., Vasquez took his talents to South L.A.

Vasquez made a name for himself, selling his famous “red” tacos from a taco truck parked near the abandoned train tracks that run parallel to Slauson Boulevard in South L.A. While at the same time building up a thriving catering business that earned him the praise of celebrities like Chrissy Teigen. Vasquez played a pivotal role in introducing birria de res to the masses of Los Angeles.

Now almost four years later, at a time when birria seems to be on everyone’s menu, Teddy’s famous chili de árbol-stained tacos still stand out among some of the best birria de res in Los Angeles.

And Vasquez has the hardware to prove it.

Teddy's Red Tacos. Photo from L.A. TACO archives.
Teddy's Red Tacos. Photo from L.A. TACO archives.
Photo via @teddysredtacos/IG.
Photo via @teddysredtacos/IG.

In 2022, Vasquez was crowned the undisputed birria champion at L.A. TACO’s inaugural BirriaMania festival at Santa Anita. Teddy’s Birria Mania victory earned him a number-one seed at this year’s TACO MADNESS. Voters pushed the BirriaMania champs to the third round before The Valley underdogs, Taco El Vampiro, beat them in an upset.

Despite their enormous social media following, Teddy’s has yet to win a TACO MADNESS. But that could change this Saturday.

On May 6, Teddy’s Red Tacos will join past TACO MADNESS champs, Sonoratown and Macheen, as well as seven of L.A.'s top taquerias—including Vegan TACO MADNESS champs Gogo’s Tacos—at L.A. TACO’s TACO MADNESS live event at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes. There, a panel of experts will judge each taco and determine who our “Best In Show” winner is.

Will this be the year one of L.A.’s favorite birrierías earns a TACO MADNESS trophy? Join us for a night of music, tattoos, drinks, and of course, tacos, and find out.

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