These Are The Top Mexican Restaurants in Los Angeles (2024)

Explore the ever-growing Mexican culinary delights across L.A., from classic eateries to innovative fusion spots. Forget about Taco Tuesday, let’s get Mexican all week long!

Sofia Delpueche - Staff Writer

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Los Angeles boasts a vibrant culinary scene, with a plethora of dining options, but Mexican cuisine reigns supreme in this city, often referred to as a “Mexican food mecca” thanks to its cultural Mexican heritage. From cozy family-owned eateries to trendy upscale establishments, Los Angeles is teeming with options that tantalize taste buds with authentic flavors and innovative twists. Whether you’re craving traditional tacos, mouthwatering mole, or refreshing agua frescas, this curated list of the city’s top Mexican restaurants promises a gastronomic adventure that highlights its diverse and delicious culinary landscape.

1. Sonoritas Prime Tacos

This neighborhood taqueria in West LA offers top-tier grilled carne asada and a variety of other tacos, all crafted on homemade flour or corn tortillas, complemented by a charming outdoor patio. Their salsas and dishes are all made from scratch and only seasonal, local, and preferably organic ingredients. If you’re craving some tender and juicy tacos, head to Sonoritas, a top Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles

📍 Locations:

  • 2004 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025.
  • 1050 Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90015.

2. Guelaguetza

Since its inception by the Lopez family in 1994, Guelaguetza has established itself as one of the most iconic Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles. Named after a traditional Oaxacan dance, this beloved spot in Koreatown is renowned for its exceptional moles, served alongside hearty plates of tacos, rice, meat, and vegetables. Vibrant music often sets the scene for your dining experience at this Mexican spot in L.A.

📍 Location: 3014 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006.

3. Atla

Nestled on Abbot Kinney, Atla reigns as one of the best Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles, backed by its association with renowned establishments like Damian, Cosme, and Pujol. Its casual vibe and fashionable clientele sporting linen attire create a relaxed ambiance. Delight in comforting classics such as epazote-infused quesadillas or the mouthwatering open-face al pastor gringa, dripping with sweet pineapple butter. This all-day eatery, part of an esteemed fine-dining restaurant group, offers a laid-back setting for a memorable dining experience.

📍 Location: 1025 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291.

4. Damian

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Enrique Olvera’s Damian has quietly become one of the best upscale Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles, since debuting in the area during the lockdown. The restaurant is renowned for its stylish ambiance and seafood-centric small plates, grilled meats, and inventive vegetable mains. Every bite reflects Damian’s commitment to traditional Mexican cooking, with standout dishes like the unforgettable duck al pastor and artful hibiscus meringue showcasing its culinary excellence.

📍 Location: 2132 E 7th Place, Los Angeles, CA 90021.

5. Birrieria Apatzingan

Birrieria Apatzingan, despite its modest size next to a convenience store and recycling center, offers an impressive array of dishes in Pacoima. Their extensive menu features crispy tacos dorados, generous servings of crimson red menudo, and the Michoacan specialty, morisqueta: tender pork ribs in a spicy tomato sauce atop beans and rice, garnished with cotija cheese. Don’t miss out on their exceptional goat birria en caldo, a standout in Los Angeles’ Mexican cuisine scene. Keep in mind that this is a cash-only restaurant.

📍 Location: 10040 Laurel Canyon Blvd, Pacoima, CA 91331.

6. 106 Seafood Underground

106 Seafood, located in a residential South LA backyard, offers mariscos that will revolutionize your palate. The unconventional bathroom setup inside a regular house, will for sure make you feel at home. And the flavors of dishes like shrimp ceviche with tart green apple linger in memory longer than most. Enjoy the laid-back ambiance under a canopy, seated on plastic chairs, indulging in crispy fish chicharrón and langostinos drenched in a tantalizingly complex sauce at one of the top Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles. FYI, this is a cash-only restaurant.

📍 Location: 4302 W 106th St, Inglewood, CA 90304.

7. Madre Restaurant

This Mexican restaurant stands out due to its legendary Oaxacan classics, such as tlayudas layered with quesillo, mole-soaked tamales, and tacos with handmade tortillas. But what makes this L.A. spot unique, is its private mezcal collection, considered one of the largest in the world. Head to Madre for some cecina and tripa, while the cauliflower with quesillo and avocado, as these dishes rank among the city’s best vegetarian tacos.

📍 Locations:

  • 801 North Fairfax ave#101 Los Angeles ca 90046.
  • 1261 Cabrillo Ave #100, Torrance, CA 90501.
  • 27007 Mcbean Pkwy Santa Clarita CA 91355.

8. Loreto

In Frogtown, this eatery by the LA Cha Cha Chá team attracts locals with its industrial-chic vibe. Chef Paco Moran’s mariscos are the highlight, sourced mainly from Baja and globally inspired. Try the Japanese-influenced ceviches and tostadas, worth the slightly higher price. From decadent tostadas to spicy shrimp aguachile, there’s something for every palate. Enjoy a memorable meal at one of the best Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles with generous zarandeados and flavorful botanas.

📍 Location: 1991 Blake Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90039.

9. Comedor Tenchita

Tucked away in Mid-City, Comedor Tenchita’s backyard dining spot is consistently bustling with patrons eager to savor the culinary creations of 76-year-old Doña Hortensia “Tenchita” Melchor. Renowned for her exceptional Oaxacan cuisine, Tenchita offers a menu that changes weekly, ensuring a fresh and exciting dining experience with each visit. However, one thing remains constant: the presence of piping hot handmade tortillas straight from the comal.

📍 Location: 2124 Cloverdale Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90016.

10.Coni’Seafood

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This seafood hotspot excels in shrimp dishes, offering fried, sautéed, ceviche-style, or the standout agua chile with jalapeño purée. However, the true star is the pescado zarandeado, featuring a whole snook coated in a flavorful paste and grilled over coals. From zesty ceviches to savory marlin tacos and whole grilled snook drenched in a rich house sauce, every bite is a testament to their culinary prowess, which makes this spot one of the best Mexican restaurants in L.A.

📍 Locations:

  • 3544 W Imperial Hwy, Inglewood, CA 90303.
  • 4532 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066.

11. Ka’Teen

Within the Tommie Hollywood, Ka’teen embodies the chic ambiance of Tulum resorts with its reed tunnel entrance and lush outdoor dining area. Spearheaded by Wes Avila, former head chef of Guerrilla Tacos and operator of Chinatown’s Angry Egret Dinette, Ka’teen offers an expansive Yucatan-inspired menu. While crowd-pleasing small plates abound, it’s the standout larger dishes like lamb neck barbacoa and pescado zarandeado that steal the show. The elegantly designed space caters to various occasions, from dressy girls’ nights to stylish date nights, attracting a diverse crowd in the area, and making it one of the best restaurants in L.A.

📍 Location: 6516 Selma Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028.

12. Gish Bac

Gish Bac, owned by Maria and David Ramos, boasts one of the coziest dining rooms in the city, along with being one of the most impressive Oaxacan restaurants. Renowned for its stellar mole and excellent lamb barbacoa served exclusively on weekends, it’s a must-visit spot along California’s barbacoa trail, and also a spot beloved by the legend, Anthony Bourdain. Be sure to pair your meal with their refreshing horchata or jamaica for a complete dining experience.

📍 Location: 4163 W Washington Blvd Los Angeles, Ca 90018.

13. La Casita Mexicana

For 25 years, La Casita Mexicana in Bell has been a culinary haven, led by celebrity chefs Jaime Martin Del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu, cementing its reputation as one of the best Mexican restaurants in LA. This beloved spot is a neighborhood favorite and a sought-after dining destination across the city. The menu showcases the richness of Mexican cuisine, featuring delicacies like rich mole, indulgent Azteca cheese fondue, and flavorful steak atop grilled cactus.

📍 Location: 4030 E Gage Ave, Bell, CA 90201.

14. Mírate

Arriving in Los Feliz in 2022, Mírate offers a relaxed atmosphere and diverse cuisine within a beautifully restored historic venue. The restaurant boasts two bars, including one dedicated to mezcal, and features Chef Josh Gil’s eclectic menu showcasing flavors from various regions. Indulge in Baja-style deep-fried fish or charred octopus tacos, along with savory albondigas and hearty tlayudas, all enjoyed under a retractable roof.

📍 Location: 1712 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027.

15. LA Cha Cha Chá

Experience the vibrant flavors of Mexico City at this captivating Arts District patio, adorned with palm trees and cacti. Chef Paco Moran’s seafood-centric share plates and addictive housemade tortilla chips, make this restaurant a true gem in the city. Precision and seasonality shine in the restaurant’s upscale co*cktails and desserts, such as the crystal-clear strawberry milk punch and arroz con leche topped with puffed rice and mango passion fruit gel.

📍 Location: 812 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013.

16. Rocío’s Mexican Kitchen

Although modest in size and easily missed on the first drive-by, Rocio’s in Bell Gardens offers an unparalleled mole experience in Southern California. Chef and owner Rocio Camacho, known as the “Goddess of Mole,” serves up exceptional varieties like the rich oaxaqueño mole and the creamy rosa santa prisca, each showcasing distinct flavors.

📍 Location: 7891 Garfield Ave, Bell Gardens, CA 90201

17. El Coraloense

At this cozy eatery, the culinary influences of Nayarit and Sinaloa blend seamlessly, resulting in a diverse seafood menu that reflects the flavors of both coastal regions. The owners infuse their expertise into each dish while their children, trained in culinary arts, contribute their own innovative twists, such as the taco revolcado (fish seasoned like pork tacos al pastor) and the taco a la diabla (battered shrimp on a bed of cheese with cream sauce and fresh slaw). In addition to their renowned ceviches, lobster nachos, and soups, seafood enthusiasts will find plenty to satisfy their cravings.

📍 Location: 6600 Florence Ave, Bell Gardens, CA 90201.

18. Birrieria Nochistlán

At this cozy establishment in Boyle Heights, you can forget about the menu as its specialty here is, you guessed it: birria! Prepared with a prized Zacatecas-style goat recipe passed down through three generations, it’s a culinary gem akin to the Colonel’s secret blend of herbs and spices. Accompanied by thick house made corn tortillas, chile de arbol salsa, onions, cilantro, and limes, it’s a symphony of flavors waiting to be savored. Don’t forget, they only accept cash.

📍 Location: 3200 East 4th St, Los Angeles, CA 90063.

19. Playa Amor Mexican Cocina

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Since its establishment in 2016, this Long Beach eatery has been delighting diners just a block away from the Long Beach Marina. Offering Mexican dishes with a unique twist, their menu is a fusion of traditional flavors and innovative creations. Indulge in their ceviches, Mexican clam chowder featuring roasted pasilla chiles, a tantalizing mole tot poutine, and a flavorful Mayan hummus crafted with pumpkin seed. It’s a dining experience that promises to captivate your taste buds and leave you craving more.

📍 Location: 6527 E Pacific Coast Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90803

20. El Compadre

For a taste of comforting Mexican-American cuisine paired with fiery margaritas, look no further than El Compadre in Hollywood or Echo Park. This iconic spot, dating back to the ’70s, exudes the charm of a traditional Mexican hacienda, with clay roof tiles, wrought iron lanterns, and stained-glass chandeliers. Indulge in every imaginable combination of cheese, tortillas, rice, beans, salsa, sour cream, and guacamole while enjoying endless chips and salsa.

📍 Locations:

  • 7408 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90046.
  • 1449 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026.

21. Casa Vega

Since 1956, this beloved family-run establishment in the San Fernando Valley has been a go-to destination for families, groups, and couples alike. The ambiance is set with dim lighting and spacious seating, featuring a main front bar and two dining rooms adorned with red leather banquettes. Dive into Tex-Mex classics like sizzling fajitas, queso fundido, and Mexican pizza, alongside a diverse menu offering lobster enchiladas, combination plates, and even a burger.

📍 Location: 13301 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423.

22. El Huarachito

This old-school gem at Lincoln Heights offers what could easily be considered the best Mexican breakfast in LA, known as El Campesino. This hearty dish features spicy chilaquiles topped with carne asada, a fried egg, and all the fixings you could desire. From the comforting frijoles to the aromatic café olla, every bite here is a taste of home. For lunch, don’t miss their cheese-filled chile relleno, crispy taquitos de papa, and the daily guisado specials.

📍 Location: 3010 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90031

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These Are The Top Mexican Restaurants in Los Angeles (2024)
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