LOS ANGELES - National Taco Day is Tuesday, October 4.
Even better, apparently the top three spots to get your taco cravings satisfied are right here in Southern California.
Yelp released its Top 100 Tacos list in celebration of the holiday, with Yelpers revealing the top taco restaurant in San Diego, and two Los Angeles restaurants following behind to take the second and third spots in the rankings.
Did your favorite make the list?
1. Ed Fernandez Restaurant Birrieria – San Diego
Ed Fernandez Restaurant Birrieria has been offering its specialty birria tacos since 2005.
"There was no birria here back [then]—no one had it," co-owner Jose Fernandez told Yelp. "I wanted to do something different."
Fernandez said what makes their birria different is a secret ingredient.
"It features slow-stewed beef simmered with California chilis and smoky guajillo, a ‘potent’ hot salsa, and a secret ingredient: love. You can’t buy [that] in the store… you either have it or you don’t."
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Aside from the traditional birria in a hot bowl with six warm tortillas, foodies can also delight in their popular tacos stuffed with birria and cheese, crisped on the outside and served with consommé on the side for dipping.
What they’re known for: The Quesataco Extremo, a signature birria taco and fan fave, features handmade tortillas filled with a hefty helping of birria, cheese, onion, and cilantro. Top it with the special house hot sauce.
Yelpers say: "Good god, so amazing. That’s all I can say without drooling. Best birria I’ve had in San Diego. Super fresh, super affordable. Love the aqua frescas, and their hot sauce is amazing." —Nicole C.
2. Taco Nazo – Bellflower
People from all over line up for Taco Nazo's "World Famous Fish Taco"—a battered white filet fried until golden brown, then topped with crunchy cabbage, fresh pico de gallo, and a drizzle of creamy secret sauce.
"We fry in small batches so you’re getting it fresh out of the fryer," Jeric Rivera, operations director at Taco Nazo, told Yelp.
Taco Nazo started as a lunch truck in 1978 by Maria and Gilberto Romero and has grown to six brick-and-mortar locations throughout Southern California. The original is located in La Puente, but the Bellflower location is just as popular.
What they’re known for: Ensenada-style seafood, specifically the "World Famous" fried fish and shrimp tacos topped with crunchy cabbage, fresh pico-de-gallo, and a drizzle of secret sauce. Battered shrimp taco, grilled mahi taco, zesty ceviches, and seafood cocktails are also worth a visit.
Yelpers say: "I live in San Diego, but my husband and I drive all the way up here for the best fish tacos we’ve ever tasted—the best beans, the best rice, the best service. These definitely stand out. The crema sets itself apart from all the other creams you’ve ever tried. We try to come up here every few months. Just can’t fight that best taco craving sometimes!" —Christina M.
3. Taqueria Mi Ranchito – Sylmar
People swear by this cash-only food truck which offers up made-to-order corn tortillas topped with heaping portions of meat—anything from carnitas to cabeza. But it's the carne asada people can't stop raving about.
"If the meat is good and has flavor, you just need a bit of salt," owner Jesus Ledesma told Yelp.
In addition to typical toppings you also have a choice of three housemade salsas. Ledesma recommends a combination of all three on his carne asada tacos.
When asked why people love Taqueria Mi Ranchito so much, Ledesma told Yelp, "I take care of my people, I take care of my employees, and I take care of my customers."
What they’re known for: Carne asada and al pastor tacos on handmade tortillas with fresh, made-from-scratch salsas.
Yelpers say: "Wow! Craving tacos, I went to my trusty Yelp app and found this truck. There were 419 reviews and 5 stars. These reviews are spot on. This place is awesome! I bought a bunch of asada and pastor tacos for the family. The asada tacos were super tender and packed with flavor. The pastor…get out of town! If you get the chance to stop by, I guarantee you will become a fanatic! Hats off to the owner of this truck! You da man!" —Rick M.
Here are some other notable Southern California taco spots that also made the list:
- El Primo Tacos, Venice (#7)
- De Cabeza, Chula Vista (#11)
- Mariscos Mi Gusto Es, San Diego(#15)
- Street Tacos and Grill, Los Angeles (#16)
- Birrieria Little Tijuana, Riverside (#20)
- Str8 Up Tacos, Lakewood (#29)
- Frogtowns Gourmet Tacos, Los Angeles (#35)
- Benny’s Tacos & Rotisserie Chicken, Los Angeles (#47)
To see the full Top 100 list, tap or click here.
To make things even spicier, Yelp is launching its first-ever Taco Trailblazer campaign and is looking for people to join them on the road. Those selected will get $20,000 to travel for four months visiting some taco spots on the list and to produce content for Yelp. Not a bad gig, right?