There are few better places to find authentic, high-quality Mexican food in the United States than in Los Angeles. Whether it’s a margarita, mariscos, tacos or tamales, the City of Angels has everything on offer. Your taste buds will not be disappointed and for that matter, neither will your wallet!

Here are our top five picks for the best Mexican food in L.A., broken down by dish. Now all you have to do is sit through the famous traffic to get there.

Where To Go For The Best Mexican Food In Los Angeles

1. Chips and Guac at Escuela Taqueria

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This hip and delish BYOB establishment's signature look is all the shoes on the ceiling, and it has some pretty excellent tacos, too. But what really can’t be beat are Escuela’s Chips and Guac. Their homemade corn tortillas are deep fried to crisp perfection right when you order, so they get to your table warm and crunchy. Their guacamole is fresh and chunky. Other favorite dishes here include the pork rib tacos, OG hardshell tacos, and shrimp burrito. If you don’t want to bring booze, try one of their agua frescas and, of course, never skip the churros for dessert!

Address: 7615 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles 90036

Phone: 323-932-6178

2. Tacos at Dolce Isola

Image credit: Dolce Isola

For the best fresh tortillas in town (by a MILE), and consequently the best tacos, head to Dolce Isola, the smaller, cheaper branch of L.A.’s iconic Ivy restaurants. These corn tortillas are addictive, made-to-order, fluffy, and with just the right thickness. The fillings are just as tasty. Choose from barbecue pork rib, spicy fresh swordfish, or classic chicken. The tacos come with guac, beans, rice, and cabbage slaw, so you’ll leave fully sated and ready for round two as soon as your stomach will allow.

Address: 2869 South Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles 90034

Phone: 310-776-7070

3. Margaritas at Gracias Madre

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While vegan Mexican food may not sound like your thing, you should still give Gracias Madre a try -- even if it's just for their awesome margaritas. Whether you go with a classic ‘La Purista’ or their spicy or mezcal versions, with or without salt, rocks or frozen, you will drink your icy cold marg faster than you should. All of the ingredients are fresh and organic. It’s not too sweet and not too sour: margarita perfection.

Address: 8905 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles 90069

Phone: 323-978-2170

4. ‘Poseidon’ at Mariscos Jaliscos

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This food truck is a seafood treasure. If you’re hungry, get to Boyle Heights immediately and try it out. The fried shrimp tacos (tacos dorados de camarones) and any of their fresh ceviches are tasty, but the big fish of this pond is definitely their house specialty, the ‘Poseidon.’ A crispy tostada topped with all of the truck’s signature ceviches (shrimp, fish, aguachiles and octopus), this dish is spicy...but you know what they say: if you can’t stand the heat get out the kitchen! An added bonus: it's very inexpensive.

Address: 3040 E. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles 90023

Phone: 323-528-6701

5. Tamales at La Mascota Bakery

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We're saving the best for last because La Mascota tamales are simply divine. This family-run bakery, also in Boyle Heights, serves up authentic Mexican breads, cakes and pastries too, but the tamales are just on another level. It's a good idea to order several to go and freeze some, and you'll thank yourself later! The cheese tamales are phenomenal, but you'll be happy with any filling. The dough is flavorful and moist, the fillings perfectly spiced, and the smell as you unwrap them is just tantalizing.

Address: 2715 Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles 90023

Phone: 323-263-5513


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Although this dish is not of Mexican origin, our list would not be complete without including these Salvadoran pupusas from Delmy’s Pupusas!

For those who haven’t tried these delicious grilled parcels, pupusas are like a double-sided taco. The masa goes all the way around the filling and the finished product is round like a tortilla. You can find them at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market on Sundays or track where their various stands are, as they have multiple locations.

Try the zucchini flower and bean and cheese options, which are particularly tasty. They come with ‘curtido,’ which is a pickled cabbage that adds a great crunch to the eating experience.

Delmy’s also offers delicious typical drinks like horchata and hibiscus tea, which are perfect on a summer day.

This article was written by India Irving.