The Seven Finest Tacos to Strive In Santa Ana ~ L.A. TACO

Situated simply 25 miles south of Los Angeles Santa Ana is a metropolis that is filled with tradition, artwork, life, and nice meals on each nook. It’s the second largest metropolis in Orange County and the meals scene right here is as numerous as its group. Yow will discover something from Mexican meals to Vietnamese meals and extra. However the tacos are the place it’s at, Santa Ana has palms down greater than a handful of taquerías, eating places, meals vans, and meals stands that serve a number of the greatest tacos within the metropolis. Tacos that transport you again to Mexico with only one chunk. Let’s embark on this taco journey, listed below are the most effective tacos to eat when visiting Santa Ana.

Photograph: Janette Villafana for L.A. TACO.
Tacos de suadero, and al pastor at Tacos Las Cabañas Guerrero fashion.

Tacos Las Cabañas Guerrero Fashion

Tacos Las Cabañas Estilo Guerrero is a family-owned meals truck that’s conveniently situated close to two dispensaries which implies you may get greater than tacos when visiting. My go-to order consists of al pastor, carne asada, and what I take into account certainly one of their greatest meats, suadero. They do supply handmade tortillas, so make certain to ask for these, though their common pre-packaged tortillas as simply pretty much as good. In fact, we can not speak about tacos and never speak condiments. Any good taquería has to have good salsa. And Las Cabañas hits the spot. In case you go, it’s important to get each their habanero salsa, a shiny orange and fantastically emulsified sauce, and their inexperienced salsa crammed with a lot taste. Every order of tacos comes with cilantro, onion, and a aspect of grilled onions. In case you are within the temper for one thing tacky, ask for his or her handmade choriqueso, I promise it won’t disappoint.

2300-2498 S Birch St, Santa Ana, CA 92707. Closest transit traces and cease: OC Bus Line 53 – “Most important/Central” or OC Bus Line 72 – “Warner/Birch.”

Open: Monday-Thursday from 10 AM- 10 PM, Friday-Sunday from 10 AM- 11 PM

Screenshot through: Ah Carbon Tacos.

Ah Carbon Tacos

You possibly can ask any Santanero, and they’ll let you know we love T.J. fashion tacos, in any case, Tijuana is about an hour and a half away. However for a very long time, it was onerous to search out good ones within the metropolis. That was till Los Angeles’s personal Ah Carbon Tacos determined to make their technique to Santa Ana. Like many taco companies, Ah Carbon Tacos is household owned and began out as a taco stands each in Los Angeles and Santa Ana. The smoke from their meat cooking over mesquite sends smoke indicators that lure anybody in. The peerlessly charred carne asada and chorizo might be smelled a mile away. Now the stand has upgraded, as any good enterprise does and so they have a meals truck that they now function from and is rather a lot simpler to identify. My private order at any stand will at all times embrace carne asada and al pastor. (If a spot has good al pastor and asada, then the probabilities of their different meats being good are excessive). Their tacos are available in handmade tortillas, topped with a giant scoop of guacamole, and their fireplace salsa, cilantro, and onion all wrapped up in a bit piece of parchment paper, which is the signature high quality of a Tijuana-style taco. One chunk, and you may style the hearth it was cooked in. Their al pastor is lower into thicker items, as is frequent with tacos de adobada in Tijuana (which is the best way tacos al pastor are generally referred to as in Tijuana) whereas their asada is sweet and tender. They’re the proper tacos after a late night time out. And the vibe there’s lit, too, with music blasting cumbias sonideras to place you within the temper when you wait in your order.

1502 E. Warner Ave Santa Ana CA. Closest transit traces and cease: OC Bus Traces 55, 59, and 72 – “Warner/Grand.”

Open: Verify open days and occasions on Instagram: ah_carbon_tacos_santa.ana

Photograph: Janette Villafana for L.A. TACO.
Asada, buche and al pastor tacos at Tacos Lahui Estilo Oaxaca.
Photograph: Janette Villafana for L.A. TACO.

Oaxaca-Fashion Lahui Tacos

If there are any al pastor tacos that I like to recommend when within the metropolis of Santa Ana, it needs to be these tacos Estilo Oaxaca. Their al pastor is marinated in a different way than your common al pastor, and it’s lower completely skinny, a lot in order that whenever you take that first chunk, it virtually melts in your mouth. And they aren’t stingy with their meat. Every taco comes with handmade tortillas and a hefty quantity of meat. Whenever you go to, it actually appears like you’re in Mexico. You’re greeted with a “Que le voy a dar?” “What am I going to provide you?” from the taquero as you method the stand that’s situated close to the parking zone of Meals 4 much less. Their tacos are served plain, however for motive, on the aspect, they’ve a desk crammed with condiments: cut-up cucumber, rábanos (radishes), cilantro, onion, and naturally, their fireplace salsas of which I really useful their habanero one a bit goes a great distance. The mixture of the spicy salsa on the al pastor and pineapple is solely mouthwatering. And though my prime suggestion is their al pastor, I additionally suggest their tacos de buche. They’re completely salty, and if you happen to like your buche crispy, you’ll be able to ask for them to crisp it up on the plancha.

2140 S Bristol St, Santa Ana, CA 92704 (proper earlier than the Food4Less parking zone). Closest transit traces and cease: OC Bus Traces 57 and 72 – “Bristol/Warner.”

Open: Instances differ, 5 PM- 12 AM (open occasions might change relying on climate)

Photograph: Janette Villafana for L.A. TACO.
Tacompadre tacos are served with grilled nopales, grilled onion, and their pineapple habanero chunky salsa.
Photograph through: Janette Villafana for L.A. TACO.
Asada fries from Tacompadre.


Tacompadre in downtown Santa Ana can also be a gem you could go to. You possibly can’t miss it, it’s situated contained in the McFadden Public Market, and it’s run by Jermaine Sanchez, his brother, and his spouse. The flavors Sanchez and his household are attempting to convey to their metropolis is the style of Mexico Metropolis, the place they lived for a number of years. Lacking the tacos from Mexico, they determined to embark on their very own journey and opened up Tacompadre. Their menu is easy and straight to the purpose. They’ve cochinita pibil, asada, al pastor, suadero, birria, and extra. Their tacos are served over blue corn tortillas and are served plain, so you’ll be able to gown them with any of their condiments which embrace, cilantro, onion, grilled nopales, serranos charros, grilled onions, and a wide range of chunky and salsa molida. If there’s a taco I can suggest, it needs to be their suadero; the meat for his or her suadero is imported from a distributor in Mexico Metropolis and seasoned right here in Santa Ana. It’s scrumptious. If tacos will not be in your radar, however you need one thing for the munchies, their carne asada fries are what you need to get. They’re loaded with meat, fries, bitter cream, cheese, and guacamole.

515 N Most important St, Santa Ana, CA 92701. Closest transit traces and cease: OC Bus Traces 53 and 553 – “Most important/4th” or OC Bus Traces 83 and 862 – “Civic Middle/Most important.”

Open: Tuesday-Thursday from 10 AM- 9 PM, Friday 10 AM – 1 AM, Saturday 1 PM- 1 AM,

Sunday 1 PM- 8 PM

Screenshot through: Tacos and Birria El Guero

Tacos and Birria El Guero

Tacos y Birria El Guero is the go-to spot for beef birria tacos. Their birria is completely cooked and flavorful, and their different meats are simply pretty much as good. El Guero does have three totally different places, two meals vans, and a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Though I at all times suggest visiting their meals truck places, I’ve to say that you just actually get the identical service and taste in any respect three places. What makes their tacos so good is whenever you get them organized enchilados, in return you get crispy, pink tacos that are excellent for holding the steamy and juicy birria (you may make any of them “enchilados”). And it’s important to double up on their salsa, mix their salsa de aceite with their avocado salsa, and you’re set for the proper chunk.

Meals Truck #1: Bristol Avenue and Wilshire (parking lot- pink truck)

Restaurant: 2330 W Edinger Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92704. Closest transit traces and cease: OC Bus Traces 70 and 150 – “Edinger/Greenville.”

Monday-Sunday from 8 AM- 9 PM

Photograph through: Janette Villafana for L.A. TACO.
Carnitas mixtas from Carniceria Zaragoza's.
Photograph through: Janette Villafana for L.A. TACO.

Zaragoza's Butchers

Zaragoza has been round for years, open since many Santaneros can keep in mind. My household has gone right here to purchase carnitas for years, and it’s important to get it mixto in order that they embrace carnitas, buche, and cueritos to your order. They’re family-owned, and if you happen to aren’t cautious, you could drive by the hidden restaurant. Though they’re on a important avenue, their location is fairly small. Proper right here, you don’t order tacos, you order by the pound, and sure, they at all times provide you with greater than what you order as a result of treating their clients like household is their specialty. The carnitas are by no means dry, the buche is completely scrumptious, and their cueritos are divine. Get them with a aspect of their salsa and go house and make some tacos or tortas with the meat. You realize the meat is nice when all you want is limón and salsa to prime your tacos. Palms down, this place is a Santa Ana treasure.

1229 S Most important St, Santa Ana, CA 92707. Closest transit traces and cease: OC Bus Traces 53, 66, and 553 – “Most important/McFadden.”

Open: Monday-Friday 8 AM- 7 PM, Saturday 7:30 AM – 7 PM, and Sunday 7:30 AM – 6 PM

Photograph: Janette Villafana for L.A. TACO.
Bandito Taqueria TJ fashion tacos.
Photograph: Janette Villafana for L.A. TACO. Pictured is the choriqueso.

Bandito Taqueria

For our final location, we’re heading to Santa Ana’s Little T.J., the place the streets are lined with avenue distributors of every kind: churros, tacos, fish, flowers, and merchandise; you identify it, you’ll discover it there. Meals distributors down this avenue vary from these simply beginning out and testing out the waters to those that have full meals vans and the traces to show how good their meals is. Right here on Broadway and Central, additionally, you will discover Bandito Taqueria. You will not miss them. The road is at all times lengthy, and for motive. They promote, you guessed it, Tijuana-style tacos. The meat is cooked 100% al carbon and served on pink tortillas. The taquero will ask you, “Con todo?” “With the whole lot,” and if you happen to take pleasure in taco, you’ll say sure. You already know what I’m going to suggest, their al pastor, and seeing the taquero serve these up is pure artwork. The best way he dabs the tortilla on the trompo to taste the tortilla earlier than throwing it on the comal is simply the proper contact. Then he goes in to chop the meat, a ability not many taqueros have. To complete it off, the basic flick of the wrist is completed to chop off a chunk of pineapple that comes flying down in your taco. If this does not persuade you to attempt them, know that they had been additionally named one of many 50 greatest tacos in Orange County. And like every good success story, the taquería that started off on the streets of Santa Ana will now have a brick-and-mortar location.

2520 S Broadway St, Santa Ana, CA 92707. Closest transit traces and cease: OC Bus Line 53 – “Most important/Central” or OC Bus Line 72 – “Warner/Birch.”

Open: Thursday-Sunday from 6 PM to 12 AM (test their Instagram for added dates and occasions)

Editor’s Observe: Santa Ana has a mess of completely scrumptious tacos, which solely means we’ll be again for extra. Do not see your favourite taquero on the checklist? Remark your favourite.

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