Skip to Content
Featured

The 11 Best Tacos In Whittier

From machaca-filled breakfast burritos to tacos filled with juicy, charred whole beef-rib, velvety beans, and thick guacamole, Whittier has become one of L.A.'s best cities for tacos. Here is our vetted neighborhood taco guide to get you started on your own crawl.

Tacos de costilla at Mochomitos. Photo by Javier Cabral for L.A. TACO.

L.A. TACO is embarking on its biggest mission yet: to create a reliable taco and food guide for every neighborhood in Los Angeles! Along the way, we will also be releasing brief histories of each neighborhood to understand L.A. a little more and why each and every neighborhood makes our fine city unique. Check out the rest of our history and food guides on our neighborhood page

These are the best tacos in Whittier.

When you take into consideration the unincorporated communities of West Whittier/Los Nietos, South Whittier, East Whittier, and North Whittier, the task of narrowing down the best tacos in a huge area, roughly spanning the 605/60 connector to the Orange County line, near Beach Boulevard and First Streets to the east, it’s about as daunting a task as House Republicans trying to find the next Speaker. 

But it too, must be done.  

Geographically speaking, Whittier is pretty remarkable.  Driving Colima through the hilly country to Mar Vista and out to Whittier Boulevard and then to classic Uptown Whittier, it’s a fascinating representation of just how diverse the LA area can change on a dime in some places.  Not to mention, on the drive, one is just left wondering, “This is all Whittier?”  

The place to be on Fridays and Saturdays is the corner of Whittier and Washington, as a bevy of vendors set up shop along the side corridor there.  Everything from tacos and pizzas to family operations selling donut holes and hot dogs—truly a mini-night market every weekend with no overpriced potatoes on sticks to be found, which is always an encouraging sign.  

Whittier has an alluring array of tacos, from restaurants to food trucks to street vendors. But don’t take our word for it, have a look at Whittier’s 11 best tacos.

A costilla taco at Mochomitos Asador. Photo by Sean Vukan for L.A. TACO.

Mochomitos Asador

Mochomitos, first covered here on L.A. TACO by Javier Cabral, our jefe and editor, is a truck parked alongside a Whittier Boulevard corridor serving three variations of Sonoran style asada. This truck lights up the dimly lit area at night as a beacon, beckoning hungry diners to fill their bellies with delicious and juicy arrachera, costilla, and sirloin.  Flawlessly grilled, the tacos come with a hefty portion of meat, guacamole, velvety beans, onions, and cilantro.  The flour tortillas are light, pliable vessels of beauty.  

The Lorenza is essentially a fully loaded vampiro. I have to get one with sirloin every time. Going with a group? Get the papas mochomitos, which seems like two baked potatoes worth of cheese with your choice of meat and three tortillas on the side. Ask for extra tortillas and sides, and spoon that delicious, cheesy potato filling for some delicious potato tacos. Wash it all down with one of their stupendous agua frescas.  

12252 Whittier Blvd. Whittier, CA 90602. Closest transit line and stop: Montebello Bus Lines Route 10 - "Whittier/Philadelphia."

(Follow Instagram for updates.  Some days, they have private events and may not be there on originally scheduled days.)

Fish tacos at Tacos Baja. Photo by Sean Vukan for L.A. TACO.

Tacos Baja

For the rest of L.A., it may be Taconazo.  But why would anyone in Whittier go there for tacos de pescado and camaron when they have Tacos Baja in their backyard, especially when there are two locations on Whittier Boulevard? 

Beautifully battered and topped with cabbage, pico de gallo, and crema, Tacos Baja is the best place for fish tacos in Whittier. The famous blonde chiles de güero are still there, too, and you just have to ask. On Wednesdays, fish tacos are $1.59, meaning you can get three or four tacos for the price of a gallon of gas. Not too shabby.  

Feeling experimental? Get a taco de cahuamanta, which is a fisherman soup of braised stingray with shrimp.

16032 Whittier Blvd. Whittier, CA 90603. Closest transit lines and stop: Foothill Transit Line 285 - "Whittier/1st", Metro Bus Line 120 or Montebello Bus Lines Route 10 - "Whittier/Santa Gertrudes."

13320 Whittier Blvd. Whittier, CA 90602. Closest transit lines and stop: Montebello Bus Lines Route 10 or 50 - "Whittier/Painter."

A memela with tasajo and nopal at TAcos El Tio. Photo by Sean Vukan for L.A. TACO.

Tacos El Tio

Posting up in the same side corridor as Mochomitos, Tacos El Tio is at the corner of Whittier and Washington Boulevards during the week and moves down from the crowded corner on weekends.  

The Tijuana-style mulitas and tacos come fully loaded with meat, guacamole, onions, and cilantro inside flame-kissed tortillas. Standout meats include cecina, chorizo, and asada. The salsa game is also extremely top-notch, and when they warn you that the habanero salsa is spicy, listen. (I can handle spicy and typically ignore the gabacho warning that salsa is hot. This time, I’m lucky I dabbed my finger in the habanero first because I would’ve keeled over with a full bite. Be warned).  

The best thing on the menu though just might be the huaraches: oblong lengths of masa topped with red and green sauce and queso fresco, along with generous servings of cecina and grilled nopal. Tio is fairly new to the Whittier Boulevard taco scene, but this family operation has a strong following, as evident on a recent, busy Friday night.   

12414 Whittier Blvd. Whittier, CA. Closest transit lines and stop: Montebello Bus Lines Route 50 or Norwalk Transit Route 7 - "Washington/Putnam."

Tacos, complete with a crispy cheese skirt at Tacos y Que. Photo by Sean Vukan for L.A. TACO.

Tacos y Que

Initially gaining notoriety as a pop-up, Tacos y Que now has a brick-and-mortar in Uptown Whittier. Flour tortillas, made by La Princesita (according to Tacos y Que’s specifications), are layered with a thin blanket of melted Monterey jack, the whole thing griddled until golden brown. After that, you choose your meat (or hongos), including steak picado, pollo asado, shrimp, and even bulgogi.  The flour tortilla/griddled cheese combo definitely makes these tacos stand out.  

12824 Hadley St. Whittier, CA 90601. Closest transit lines and stop: Norwalk Transit Route 7 - "Greenleaf/Hadley", Montebello Bus Lines Route 10 or 50 - "Philadelphia/Milton."

Huarache de al pastor at Tacos El Nuevo Pedimento. Photo by Sean Vukan for L.A. TACO.

Tacos El Nuevo Pedimento

Why does Tacos El Tio avoid going toward the corner of Whittier Boulevard and Washington on the weekends? Because of the mini-street fair that occurs there with throngs of people lined up for the riblet tacos of El Nuevo Pedimento, which takes up about 50 feet of sidewalk, every inch of it is used by an assembly line of operation.  

The crowd outside Tacos El Pedimento. Photo by Sean Vukan for L.A. TACO.

The smoke billowing out from underneath the canopy in the Whittier night, when mixed with the rays of electric light beaming from their setup, makes for the most enticing sights, begging drivers to find a way into the maze of cars along the corridor and get in line.  And there is a line for delicious chunks of riblet tacos.  

Riblet tacos on handmade corn tortilla. Photo by Sean Vukan for L.A. TACO.

The large yellow signage advertises “TACOS Y COSTILLAS,” but this isn’t just sliced rib meat. These are full-on chunks of riblet. Not enough? They also have delicious Oaxacan memelas, cemitas, and rib plates. \There isn’t a more popular spot for tacos on a Friday or Saturday night in Whittier.

Corner of Whittier and Washington Boulevards. (562) 358-9074. Closest transit lines and stop: Norwalk Transit Route 7 or Montebello Bus Lines Route 50 - "Pickering/Whittier."

Tacos Arandinos. Photo by Sean Vukan for L.A. TACO.

Tacos Arandinos

Posting up a little further down from El Nuevo Pedimento on weekends, Tacos Arandinos is a family-run operation. Suadero, buche, and pollo are the orders to make here. Deliciously tender and savory, this is a great spot to get a taco or burrito, especially if you’re impatient and just can’t imagine waiting for El Nuevo Pedimento at the moment. 

Better yet, to get a taco and eat it while standing in line for Nuevo Pedimento’s riblet taco. Aha! 

Oh yeah, salsas are zesty and thick here, too.

12540 Whittier Blvd. Whittier, CA 90602. Closest transit lines and stop: Montebello Bus Lines Route 50 or Norwalk Transit Route 7 - "Washington/Putnam."

Tacos Los Carnales. Photo by Sean Vukan for L.A. TACO.

Tacos Los Carnales

Tacos Los Carnales is both a pop-up and a truck. The red canopy, with lights dangling from its edges, posts up in front of the food truck, revealing the prep going on inside.  To the edge of the canopy is the grilling, where links of chorizo and slabs of asada warm on the grill, their intoxicating smells wafting through the night sky.  

“What’s the best spot for tacos in Whittier,” I ask a customer while waiting for my taco de pastor. 

“Honestly? This one,” she replies. “I’ve been coming here for years, and it reminds me of LA.”

The line of people rivaled that of nearby El Pedimento and seemed to echo her recommendation. The al pastor, slices of marinated pork with hits of sweet piña, and my refreshing watermelon agua fresca drove that recommendation home even more.   

Near Whittier Blvd. and Broadway, Look for the canopy/truck combo (323) 846-1135. Closest transit line and stop: Montebello Bus Lines Route 10 - "Whittier/Broadway."

Taco de pato at Bizarra Capital
A taco at Bizarra Capital. Photo by Sean Vukan for L.A. TACO.

Bizarra Capital

The Whittier taco scene cannot be mentioned without discussing Chef Ricardo Diaz. A co-founder of L.A. taco chain Guisados, Diaz originally put Uptown Whittier’s taco scene on Jonathan Gold’s map with Colonia Tacos Guisados and later with Bizarra Capital and Colonia Publica.  

Bizarra will forever hold a place in this writer’s heart as it was the setting of many an outing with a few teaching credential program classmates and where I was dubbed “not an asshole after all” by the group (Yes, we’re still friends.)  It’s also where I was fortunate to learn that mole fries existed.  

Standout tacos include the pato (duck) taco with a hefty heaping of duck carnitas and orange-chocolate salsa inside a puffy chalupa. There’s also a citrusy asada taco topped with avocado salsa, and a taco de queso, with a thick slice of grilled farmers cheese, sauteed potato, and avocado.  

The crispy pork belly tacos and fideo that were once standouts at Colonia can now be found at Bizarra. And coming soon to the cold, wintry months at Bizarra? Menudo and pozole.

12706 Philadelphia St. Whittier, CA 90602. Closest transit lines and stop: Montebello Bus Lines Routes 10 or 50 - "Philadelphia/Milton", Norwalk Transit Route 7 - "Greenleaf/Hadley."

Arturo's Puffy Taco. Photo by Sean Vukan for L.A. TACO.

Arturo’s Puffy Taco

There can’t be a list of Whittier’s best tacos, maybe L.A.’s even, without mentioning the Tex-Mex classics made for decades at Arturo’s.  A deliciously, crispy, puffy shell surrounds a filling (my personal favorite has always been the picadillo), topped with lettuce, tomato, and shredded cheese.  Sluice it with green sauce.  Snap a quick pic.  Eat it there and eat it fast, before the shell turns soggy.  Perfection, even if it’s Cash-only. For a more in depth review of Arturo’s, read Jonathan Gold’s classic write-up of the spot from 2008.

15693 Leffingwell Rd. Whittier, CA 90604. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 120 - "Santa Gertrudes/Leffingwell."

Burrito Track. Photo by Sean Vukan for L.A. TACO.

Burrito Track

Breakfast burrito options are numerous at Burrito Track.  Chorizo and egg, machaca, salchicha… which is why L.A. TACO dedicated an article to it and featured Burrito Track on our guide to the best breakfast burritos in L.A. Other popular options include the crunchy tacos and, get this, apple burritos! 

10027 Mills Ave. Whittier, CA 90604. Closest transit line and stop: Montebello Bus Lines Route 50 - "Mulberry/Mills."

La Bodega Chicken Tinga. Photo by Melissa Mora Hidalgo for L.A. TACO.

La Bodega Brewing Company

Mexican comfort food and butcher-quality proteins are the name of the game at Whittier's newest brewery and Mexican-inspired gastropub, opened by the same people behind Tapia Brothers Food Distribution Co, which explains why the ingredients used for their guisados are all the best you can get. Expect tinga de Pollo, but served not shredded, so you can make your DIY tacos between sips of their brew. "Bodega Fries" with Prime-grade flatiron steak is a best-seller, too. If doing a taco crawl, starting or ending your taco adventure, here is a sharp move.

6711 Comstock Ave, Whittier, CA 90601. Closest transit lines and stop: Montebello Bus Lines Routes 10 or 50 - "Philadelphia/Comstock", Norwalk Transit Route 7 - "Greenleaf/Hadley."

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from L.A. TACO

New In the L.A. TACO Shop

We've restocked some of your favorite items and added some great new ones. If you can't become a member, buying our merchandise is also a great way to support our inclusive street-level journalism! All of our t-shirts are hand-printed in Los Angeles.

May 21, 2024

Open Thread: What Is L.A.-Style Food?

What is L.A. food to you? Which cuisines, restaurants, or chefs have defined our city's uniquely good eats? Tell us your thoughts.

Money Has Run Out for Fruits and Vegetables for Low-Income Californians. Elected Leaders Are Silent.

The fresh food rebate pilot program delivered on its promises, but politicians won’t promise to put it in the budget.

May 20, 2024

Protester Whose Testicle Exploded After LAPD Officer Shot Him with ‘Less Lethal’ Firearm Receives $1.5 Million Settlement

Benjamin Montemayor had been protesting on Hollywood Boulevard for several hours on June 2, 2020, when at least 50 police officers descended upon his group and began firing munitions at the crowd, according to his civil rights lawsuit filed in Los Angeles federal court.

May 17, 2024

Westlake’s Oldest Gay Bar Set to be Demolished

Opened in the early 1960s, the Silver Platter has long been known as a safe space for immigrant gay and transgender communities in Westlake. The building dates back to the 1920s.

May 17, 2024
See all posts