Cheap Eats in LA: Best tacos in LA under $10

The ultimate Los Angeles cheap eat may very well be the humble, endlessly versatile taco. Here are our picks of the best tacos in LA, all for under $10.

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  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Cheap eats in LA: Duck confit tacos at Cacao Mexicatessen

  • Photograph: Molly Cranna

    Cheap eats in LA: Fish tacos at Ricky's Fish Tacos

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Cheap eats in LA: Tinga de pollo taco at Guisados

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Cheap eats in LA: Carne asada taco at El Parian

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Cheap eats in LA: Ham and egg taco at Guerrilla Tacos

  • Photograph: Molly Cranna

    Cheap eats in LA: Fried shrimp tacos at Mariscos Jalisco

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Cheap eats in LA: Scallop taco at Tacos Punta Cabras

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Cheap eats in LA: (From left to right) Lengua, fish and chicken mole tacos at Taquería Los Anaya

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Al pastor tacos at Tacos Leo

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Cheap eats in LA: Duck confit tacos at Cacao Mexicatessen


Los Angeles has the best Mexican food for miles and is, without a doubt, a taco town: Loncheros and taquerías and everything in between can easily be found in every neighborhood of city. With enough cheap eats for less than $10 and leftover change for at least a gallon of gas, seek out the best tacos in LA from East LA to the beach.


RECOMMENDED: See more Cheap eats in Los Angeles.

Guerrilla Tacos

A former sous chef at Chef Gary Menes's Le Comptoir, Wes Avila has branched out to apply his considerable talents and fine dining experience to the taco, a food group all its own in this town. Every Tuesday and Friday morning (9am-noon, 9am-2pm) and Wednesday night (5-8pm) his Guerilla Tacos stand sets up in front of Handsome Coffee Roasters. There's a short menu of tacos ($4-$8) filled with ingredients otherwise found at top-notch restaurants: Weisser Farm potatoes paired with chorizo, braised lamb neck carefully nestled with root vegetables and topped with a fried egg, Bay scallops with a tomatillo and tomato confit. On a plate, any of these would be stellar; but in a taco, it’s perfect.

  1. Downtown
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Ricky's Fish Tacos

When Ricky Piña tweeted that he was temporarily shutting down his Los Feliz fish taco stand, a good segment of the Twitterverse nearly had a meltdown. Ricky’s famed fish tacos ($2.75)— beautifully battered slabs of basa (a catfish), gently fried and topped with strips of cabbage, crema and salsa—are not just the best Ensenada-style fish tacos in Los Angeles, but arguably one of the best tacos this side of the border, period. It was an enormous relief, then, when Ricky began popping back up at various locations around town. Frying up his fish and shrimp tacos in parking lots (and tweeting his locations along the way), it’s business as usual.

  1. Various locations
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Tacos Punta Cabras

The Westside isn't exactly known as a taco destination, but Tacos Punta Cabras is changing LA’s food landscape. Chefs Josh Gil and Daniel Snukal—they also run the popular underground dining club Supper Liberation Front—recently opened this small, cozy space tucked away on Santa Monica Boulevard. The focus here is Baja-style seafood tacos ($3.50). Try scallops, subtly sweet and battered in crispy tempura, on a fresh, chewy tortilla that elevates the bite. Specials like cardoons topped with a "63-degree quail egg" go fast, so come early… and come often.

  1. Santa Monica
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Taquería Los Anaya

This tiny storefront may be every Angeleno's ideal taquería: Easy parking, almost disarmingly friendly service, excellent salsas, and, yes, terrific tacos. Great options include the usual suspects—carnitas, asada— but a few less-than-ordinary items stand out such as the deeply flavorful chicken mole ($1.75) and the beautifully tender lengua ($1.95). All served on homemade tortillas and topped with just the right amount of salsa, cilantro and onions—it's LA comfort food at its best.

  1. Mid-City West
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Guisados

The uninitiated of Guisados' tacos—braised and stewed meats and vegetables fill tortillas for a taste of Mexico City's street food—are in for a treat at this LA institution in Boyle Heights and, more recently, Echo Park. Newbies can opt for the taco sampler ($6.99), which offer six mini-tacos with various fillings: Cochinita pibil, chicken mole, frijol con queso, and so on. Tacos are just $2.50 each and served on Guisados' distinctly thick tortillas, which admirably stand up to the intensity of the stews. Pros pile on the joint’s lethal habanero salsa. A word to the wise: The horchata (small, $2, large $3) works wonders.

  1. Boyle Heights, Echo Park
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Users say

1 comments
Food GPS
Food GPS

Good list, which brings to mind another question: why would somebody pay $10 for a taco when tacos like these are readily available?