Skip to Content
Boyle Heights

Homegirl Cafe ~ Boyle Heights

4:00 AM PDT on July 26, 2006

Homegirl Cafe

1818 E. 1st St. (Boyle Ave.) ~ Boyle Heights (TACO MAP)

It's time to take a trip to Boyle Heights. Next time you're in need of a healthy taco, take that ass to Homegirl Café. Just a tortilla’s throw from downtown, straight across the Los Angeles River Bridge (helping us overcome this massive deluge), Homegirl's hidden gem sits across the street from lively Mariachi Plaza. The strolling songmen and colorful storefront signs which sell cualquier you desire, put you in the center of a Sandra Cisneros novel.

The café operates under the umbrella of Homeboy Industries and the waitresses are true homegirls, on the mend after stints in prison or juvenile centers. What a crew of sweet faces, with script-tatted knuckles and permanent teardrops flowing from the eyes. Their T-shirts reveal the company's name and philosophy, Jobs not Jails. Eating here serves this great cause, but the food is the real reason people...

Homegirl Cafe
Homegirl Cafe

...venture from as far as Little Armenia regularly to fill themselves up.

One such patron considers Homegirl Café the best and healthiest place to eat in East L.A. (There is not much to eat in East L.A. that is vegetarian unless you count bean and cheese burritos.) But Homegirl is not a vegetarian restaurant, per se. It has many chicken and seafood dishes named after women who sure do cook a lot. Enchiladas de me Ama, Chabela’s Fish Soup, Rosa’s Chicken Mole (a favorite of some of the homeboys), and Consuelo’s Sandwich (jalapeno pesto sandwich with chicken), all figure brightly down Taco's hallway. As always, free chips and salsa come for your cheap friends who can;t spend a few dollars on lunch.

But what you really want to hear about are the tacos. There is one taco item on the menu, Tacos Sudados. These are soft tacos served on banana leaves with beans and rice, atruly unique presentation. Although this is East L.A., these tacos are not very traditional and have chicken tinga, roasted poblano peppers, and potatoes, in addition to standard ingredients. If you are looking for traditional messy, greasy tacos, don’t come here. But if you are looking for flavorful, healthy tacos, washed down with fresh mint/spinach lemonade, then this is your spot.

Homegirl Cafe

Which brings us to Homegirl's fresh and natural juices. Besides said mint/spinach lemonade (Angela’s Green Potion) and the mix of rasberry and mango, with a splash of lime that many patrons cite as their favorite (Sarah’s Drink), you can also create your own special mix of tonic herbs and spices.

Added bonus: While you are eating, random street merchants walk in with arms of rosaries or wooden hangers for sale. Much better than the AAA batteries and pencils we're offered in New York. It's like having the 99c Store come to you! And...well, that’s just the way it is, pinche buey.

Homegirl CafeHomegirl CafeHomegirl CafeHomegirl CafeHomegirl Cafe
LINKS:

http://www.homeboy-industries.org/cafe.php
http://www.the-tidings.com/2005/0527/homegirl.htm
http://www.elaguide.org/Peoples/peoples1f.htm

Already a user?Log in

Thanks for reading!

Register to continue

Become a Member

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from L.A. TACO

The Six Best Tacos Along Metro’s C Line, From Norwalk to El Segundo

One of our favorite pastimes in L.A. is searching for great tacos. What better way to do it while zipping along on Metro's C line (formerly known as the green line)?

We Are Almost At Our Goal! Become a Member of L.A. TACO Now!

Memberships start at $5.95 and help us stay alive in this wild new journalism landscape. For the price of a few tacos a month, you can help keep L.A.'s only taco, news, and culture site stay spinning and churning out features about the real Los Angeles. We are 60% to our goal!

February 29, 2024

Ten (Mostly) Recognizable ‘Repo Man’ Locations You Can Visit 40 Years Later

The original film somehow managed to cohesively fuse weathered, jaded repo men, L.A.’s burgeoning punk scene, UFO cultists, generically-labeled food items, and nuclear proliferation into a dark comedy that is both a product of its time and yet feels somewhat timeless.

February 29, 2024

Burglar Steals Safe From East Hollywood Mexican Restaurant, Runs Up $80,000 In Damages and Stolen Gear

The burglar was wearing a white hoodie and spray-painted the lens of the security cameras. Insurance will only cover $20,000. The owner of El Zarape Melrose says he doesn’t know if this was personal or just a delinquent act by a stranger: “I’m sad, I don’t know how I’m going to do it.”

February 27, 2024

Baldwin Park Rapper Lefty Gunplay is Playin’ for Keeps

With witty lyrics, Holladay experiments with storytelling of his times in prison and on the gritty streets of the San Gabriel Valley. He is one of the biggest names in the new L.A. rap scene and the conversation about being one of this generation's biggest Latino rappers. 

February 27, 2024
See all posts