Skip to Content
Boyle Heights

Taco of the Day: Taco Árabe from Los Originales Tacos Árabes de Puebla ~ Boyle Heights


Tacos Árabes LA is a taco truck that serves up Puebla's street food favorites: Tacos Arabes and Cemitas on the corner of Olympic and Esperanza, in Boyle Heights. Their Taco is our Taco of the day! But what exactly is a taco árabe? We asked the proprietors to explain...

Whenever we get curious or new customers at the truck their initial reaction is, “what is a taco arabe and what is behind such a name?”. I like to answer that the taco árabe is the cousin of al pastor and both preparations are similar, yet vary in taste. However, what is perhaps most interesting about tacos arabes is its history.

Many people argue the origin of Tacos Árabes-- whether a migration of Lebanese or Iraqi immigrants introduced the popular Pueblan street food is a case of debate. It gets trickier-- besides arguing over which family originally introduced the taco style to Mexico, the truth is that even in the state of Puebla many versions have been canonized as the original. I've had encounters where I've ordered the famous taco only to be served a taco al pastor instead of the Árabe style of meat which should not come dressed in red chile.

If one thing is certain, is that both tacos Al Pastor and Àrabes should be cooked over a rotating trompo since the spit is almost a religious relic, and both styles use pork, since its the most consumed animal in Mexico. However, it is also important to note that originally, Árabes were served with cordero (lamb), and this is where we get the word, “Al Pastor”.

Even with the different canonized versions and the debate of who is the original and who isn't, the popular Pueblan street food has witnessed a renaissance of sorts... Where there seems to be a taco arabe stand in every corner of the city, even in small tucked away towns throughout the state and one that is slowly taking notice north of the border. In Los Angeles, where a huge demographic of Poblanos live and have made serious contributions to the landscape of food culture, less than a hundred restaurants, stands, food trucks, and underground backyard operations offer this specialty. That said, the numbers are growing and perhaps, soon enough, a new culture of tacos will be widely known by Angeleños.

-- Arely Villegas


Taqueros, would you like to be featured on LA TACO's weekly "Taco of the Day"? Get in touch!

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from L.A. TACO

‘Not Like Us:’ Kendrick Lamar Unifies Los Angeles In A One-Night-Only Juneteenth Concert, Placing West Coast Unity At the Forefront

“The Pop Out” wasn’t just a showcase of the breadth of talent and music that Los Angeles has to offer—it was a cultural renaissance, a presentation of art bursting with unity and West Coast pride. In a city with so much pain and suffering throughout history, “The Pop Out” showed that community is everything.

These Nayarit-Style, Ceviche-Stuffed ‘MarisCocos’ in Compton Taste Just As Good As They Do On the Beach

Each young coconut is macheted to order and imported from Colima. The tender meat is mixed in with the ceviche and its refreshing coconut water is served in a plastic bag. They are about the size of basketball and weigh five pounds—at least. It's officially summertime in Los Angeles!

June 20, 2024

Ten Architecture Gems to Visit in L.A.: If These Walls Could Talk

Did you know that one of the 11 world's most beautiful post offices in the world is located in Hollywood? And the "skinniest house" in the entire U.S. is located in Long Beach? Plus, Gargoyles. L.A. is for architecture lovers...if you know where to look.

How to Celebrate Juneteenth in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is the place to be this Juneteenth, with a wider variety of free and exciting ways to celebrate, there is something for everyone to attend or participate in.

Announcing the TACO MADNESS 2024 ‘Best in Show’ Champion, Plus All the Tacos and Good Times You Missed Out On!

Thank you to every single of you who came out to support us in our quinceañera edition of TACO MADNESS 2024! This year's winner was a shocker and first-in-its class! See if you spot yourself and your TACO MADNESS crew in our photo recap!

June 18, 2024
See all posts