The 11 Best Tacos Along Metro’s B Line
Reminder: Metro will be offering free rides from 9 P.M. to 2 A.M. on both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve! If you find yourself hungry, here's where to ride for FREE along the B Line to the best tacos, from North Hollywood to Olvera Street.
1:33 PM PST on December 20, 2023
Metro’s B Line keeps it direct, simple, and packed with epic tacos.
One of only two L.A. trains running underground, the B traces the shadow of Pacific Electric’s former train line, bringing you from North Hollywood through Hollywood and KTown before finally depositing you at Union Station, with many of the city’s favorite tacos along the way.
Like the Valley menu with tacos from over seven Mexican states and more than enough margaritas to match them. And the Mid-City taco truck that’s synonymous with L.A. al pastor. Plus, stops at L.A.’s most progressive modern Mexican restaurant in Los Feliz and L.A.’s most time-honored taquito on its oldest street.
These tacos and many more are easily acquired just by jumping on the B Line. Join us now as we explore its taco potential. Let’s roll!
TACOS MANZANO ~ North Hollywood
Tacos Manzano is a small, family-owned Oaxacan spot that first rocked us with their mole rojo at an event for La Feria De Las Moles. Now we can just jump on the B Line, arrive at North Hollywood Station, and enter Socorro Manzano’s tiny Oaxacan wonderland (which looks like it’s housed in a former Wienerschnitzel) after a brisk six-minute walk. They serve everything you expect from a Oaxacan restaurant in L.A., from tlayudas bearing the holy trinity of Oaxacan meats–cecina, chorizo, and tasajo–to handmade chicken tamales slathered in that mole rojo. Its “Tacos Oaxaca” puts the Central Valles between a corn tortilla, offering your choice of chorizo, cecina, or tasajo on an asiento-smothered tortilla de maiz and topping them with Oaxacan quesillo and a plump wedge of avocado. As the aromatic and spicy chorizo meets the salty tang of the cheese, colliding with the creamy avocado, you’ll swear you stepped into some strange kind of Twilight Zone where your pleasure is first priority.
11160 Burbank Blvd. North Hollywood, CA 91601
Roadside Taco ~ Universal City/Studio City
Roadside Taco, a regional taco and margarita concept, just opened a location at Las Vegas’s new resort, The Fountainbleu. But you’ll only need to go as far as the UniversalCity/Studio City stop on the B and walk five minutes to get to this adorable vintage diner set owned by actor Vincent Laresca and former Pink Taco/Rosa Mexicano chef Lanny Marquez. The Valley celebrity magnet offers over 18 styles of margaritas (including a $200 margarita bowl) and over 15 types of tacos from across Mexico to pretty people who sometimes have quite impressive IMDB pages. There are carnitas representing Michoacán, cochinita pibil standing for the Yucatán, Tijuana-style asada, and repping Sonora, a turkey picadillo soft taco. But one composition stands out most to us, in name and flavor, with its claims of being “Salvadoran-Mexican.” It’s a soft flour tortilla stuffed with Salvi chorizo, Oaxacan cheese, salsa de arbol, and avocado salsa with onion and cilantro, balancing fiery and cool elements in a meaty mixed marriage meant for the ages.
10628 Ventura Blvd. North Hollywood, CA 91604
Tacos Neza ~ Hollywood/Highland
You’ve made it to Hollywood. You’re surrounded by tourists in Salty Crew t-shirts and superheroes in increasingly threadbare costumes. You need a taco that will ground you in a better world and fast. Family-owned Tacos Neza shines like a beacon on a commodified hill, having just moved its entire brick-and-mortar operation to The Ovation, the new name for the mall complex at Hollywood and Highland. Once you’ve fought past the Dave & Busters and Hot Topic, you will behold its small space on the third-floor dining deck and enter for handmade food inspired by the Mexico City-adjacent Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl. Soon, you’re tucking into a simple, rich taco filled with luscious chicken mole on a house-made corn tortilla and juicy cochinita pibil wrapped in a comforting blanket of cheese spiked with pickled onions. On the side, there’s a cup full of potato taquitos because you’ve always been powerless to resist a place that serves tacos… with a side of tacos!
6801 Hollywood Blvd. Ste. 314 Hollywood, CA 90028
Leo’s Tacos ~ Hollywood/Western
If “L.A. Al Pastor” was in the dictionary, you’d find a picture of a Leo’s Tacos truck beside it, so synonymous is this Mixe-run business with elevating the care and craft of luscious, adobo-slathered pork for locals. You’ll order two at their truck in Hollywood and Western just to get started, watching closely as the taquero shaves a few slices of red-stained pork shoulder from the trompo and waiting for the instant a small notch of pineapple is nicked off the top and lands in your taco like Gabby Douglas off the pommel horse. This is how any good tacos should be served, straight away from the taquero, hot into your waiting hands.
5525 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90028
Mirate ~ Vermont/Sunset
The city’s most boundary-pushing modern Mexican restaurant is both genuine and eclectic, serving ingredients and inspirations from Mexico in twisted forms like crab esquites; plant-based aguachile with heirloom tomatoes, nopal granita, and ponzu pearls; a koji-cured steak tlayuda; and a “Chicano burger” with mil islas. Regarding tacos, Mirate’s will be the most well contemplated, and likely the best, of your B Line tour. Chef Josh Gil offers a fried chicken taco with tomatillo chutney and a Mexican ranch dressing in a corn tortilla made from in-house nixtamal and a pork belly taco, served with smashed avocado and tepache. Those are the “regular” tacos here. Then there’s the separate trio of “tacos arabes,” enfolded on flour-based flatbreads in the style of Mexico’s Lebanese culture, including a version with grilled rock cod and wasabi crema, one with beef brisket and cactus-tomato vinaigrette, and another with spicy oyster mushrooms and ground esquites that are sure to be revelations for even the most jaded tac-consumer. No matter how many fried chicken tacos you’re used to seeing.
1712 N. Vermont Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90027
Gogo's Tacos ~ Vermont/Beverly
At Gogo’s, you’ll pick between five basic protein options: asada, carnitas, chicken, mushroom, or shrimp. All of these can be stuffed into a burrito or quesadilla or piled onto a two-bite-sized tortilla from La Princesita Tortillería. For dessert, they have classic ice cream cones and floats. On the surface, Gogo’s is a vibrant-colored, straightforward taco spot in a neighborhood that could use more tacos—Gogo’s opened at the former Tacos Mexico in between Silver Lake and Koreatown and shares a parking lot with a sit-down Mexican restaurant—but beyond that, it’s a concept that its owner Brittney Valles hopes can help people suffering with mental health issues. Twenty cents of every dollar you spend goes to Valles’ charity, the Juan Carlos Cantoni Foundation, which provides resources for young adults aging out of foster care and other social services.
Gogo's Tacos is at 3660 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004
El Tauro Taco Truck ~ Wilshire/Vermont
You might want to power-walk up the escalator to Wilshire and Vermont, then keep going straight to El Tauro for their lengua tacos that melt in your mouth. It's an oldie-but-goodie taco truck with a wide menu of decent traditional standards, including asada, pastor, and carnitas. The menu also boasts the delights of more offal tacos, like buche (cow stomach), tripas (small intestine), cabeza (head meat), along with that very supple grilled lengua (tongue) that seems to be harder to find around town these days in the age of inflation. You stand there blinking at the sweeping lights of your city, hands and belly warmed by your plate of tacos. This is what you live for and why you continue to live and defend Los Angeles as the best taco city in the country.
3108 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA. 90005
Garnachas at Guatemalan Night Market ~ Westlake/MacArthur Park
The streets and intersections around the northeastern corner of MacArthur Park mark L.A.’s epicenter of Guatemalan and Salvadoran street food. There are plenty of places in L.A. to duck into if you want to feel like you’re in the actual country their menus represent, such as the open-air Thai street food market at the Wat Thai Temple in the Valley, or Central and Olympic’s extravagant Mexican street food mercado running through L.A.’s piñata district. If you want the same for the crispy, savory, sweet world of Central American street food, you go to the collective of vendors that some have called the Guatemalan Night Market. Stop at Wilshire and Alvarado for a plate of garnachas, thick tortillas fried until golden brown and crispy on the edges, topped with seasoned ground beef, minced cabbage, and zippy tomato salsa. Fried plantains, unripe green mango sliced and served with lime and alguashte (pepita powder), hand-patted pupusas stuffed with chicharrón and cheese, aguas frescas, and much more. Like any other night market, there are more weekend vendors and offerings than weekdays.
1834-1898 W 6th St. Los Angeles, CA. 90057
Villa Moreliana ~ Pershing Square
In an ever-developing Grand Central Market, one of the biggest comforts is knowing that a taco at Villa Moreliana will still be overloaded with caramelized pork. Many stands have come and gone, but Villa Moreliana has withstood the test of time and food trends (one day, we may chuckle when we remember there was actually a gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwich vendor a few stalls over.) Like any true specialist, carnitas is all they have on the menu, offered in all the ways, including tacos, burritos, and tortas. No matter how you eat them, an order is still one of the best values in downtown L.A. and will forever be. If you have jury duty and must stretch your lunch voucher, this is the place for that. It's also the place to people-watch and realize that you're supporting one of the most accessible stands in the market.
317 S Broadway Grand Central Market Los Angeles, CA 90013.
Pez Cantina ~ Civic Center/Grand Park
Pez Cantina is like your secret, sun-shading, life-affirming palapa stuck right in the thick of Bunker Hill’s steel and glass jungle. After a long day of buying low and selling high, or simply wandering around Jeff Koons' sculptures wondering, ‘What in the hell?’ Pez Cantina offers an oasis of coastal Mexican seafood, cold cocktails, and semi-tropical good vibes, all at a superior level. Speaking of lil’ secrets, the mole amarillo and queso fresco-showered broccoli-and-potato taquitos are so tasty—aligned into a crunchy, cleaved row of brassica-stuffed blunts on a bed of pepita-flecked guacamole—that you’ll be stealing them from your plant-based companion’s plate. Or skipping the oysters and cocteles completely entirely for their crispy, crunchy, creamy charms.
401 S. Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90071
Cielito Lindo ~ Union Station
Cielito Lindo is the triple O.G. flauta-slanging taquería at Placita Olvera, going strong for more than 100 years. The crispy beef taquitos, rooted in Zacatecas, are filled with shredded beef and smothered in avocado sauce and always pack a satisfying crunch. It remains the best taco on Olvera Street and is the pioneer of flautas in Los Angeles. There is usually a line around lunch, but it goes by fast. The secret to this taco's deliciousness is the unapologetically old-school use of velvety lard to attain the famous shatteringly crisp texture of each and every single one. Is that a "Mexican Three-Cheese Blend" sprinkled generously over the beans? Perhaps! This is a Cal-Mex classic, and the owners know what they are doing, so trust the process!
23 Olvera St Los Angeles, CA 90012
One of L.A. TACO's co-founders, Hadley Tomicki is a critic and journalist whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, New York Magazine, and many other places.
Editor for James Beard Award-winning L.A. TACO. Associate Producer for JBA-winning Las Crónicas Del Taco. Former restaurant scout for Jonathan Gold. Co-Author of "Oaxaca: Home Cooking From the Heart of Mexico (2019, Abrams) and "Asada: The Art of Mexican-Style Grilling" (2023, Abrams).
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