- Things to Do
Handheld, portable, and flat out delicious, we don't know anyone that doesn't appreciate these small bundles of joy.
Southern California is blessed with a widespread taco scene, but the market is saturated and difficult to decipher through. Not all tacos are created equal, and so we did the hard work for you and rounded up some great spots for all your taco needs. From traditional to fusion, you'll find what you're looking for below. Read on and then pick your poison for Cinco de Mayo and all-year round.
Taco Loco is a no frills, straightforward joint located on PCH that serves affordable and unassuming but outstanding tacos. From their Crispy Calamari to their Chicken, all tacos come in between a soft tortilla shell and are topped with your choice of salsa (mild, medium, or spicy) and fresh guacamole. Don't worry, the guac is NOT extra. These bad boys are addicting and luckily, they are open late on weekends. For Cinco de Mayo you can pick up a couple during the day and come back later for quality late night eats.
Avila's started over 50 years ago when Salvador Avila and his family came from Guanajuato, Mexico. The business remains in the family, keeping the recipes authentic and traditional. At their Laguna Beach location, grab a seat on their bright outdoor patio and go for the Street Tacos, trust us. The carnitas with guacamole, pico de gallo and salsa negra will melt in your mouth.
With a clean, modern and industrial feel, an open concept kitchen with great food, and truly exceptional hospitality, Asada Tacos & Beer has it all. The traditional Soft Tacos are a staple, but also order their Signature Crispy Tacos. For you vegetarians out there, we loved the Jalapeño Potato Veggie, and for meat lovers, that Short Rib was super tender and flavorful. All tacos come with poblano cream, lettuce, jack cheese and pico de gallo, and ordering that crispy shell adds the perfect textural crunch. Don't forget to ask for their homemade salsas which add another extraordinary layer of flavor.
Craving fish tacos? Walk through Laguna Village, and in the back, you'll be greeted to unbeatable panoramic ocean views, and The Cliff's fresh and light fish tacos. They prepare their version with a generous amount of grilled mahi-mahi, shredded cabbage cilantro, red onion, and roasted salsa with a side of Spanish Rice and Mixed Greens.
Chef de Cuisine Javier Perez creates authentic Mexican cuisine at Carmelita's with a deluxe sense flair. He sources fresh ingredients from local vendors at the Laguna Beach Farmer's Market and works to ensure each dish is of high caliber. The evidence is in the bite, and the Oaxacan Steak Tacos come out sizzling in a cast-iron plate with tender, juicy steak on top, and roasted cheese, onions and portabella mushrooms bubbling underneath. Alongside are warm soft tortillas bundled up and exuding steam waiting for you to build your version of a perfectly sized bite.
Originally only a made-to-order mobile catering cart, Rasta Taco blessed us by opening their first brick-and-mortar right in downtown Laguna Beach. This casual spot prepares Mexican cuisine infused with Jamaican influence and flavors in everything they serve. Their signature Jamaican Jerk Chicken Taco with seared marinated chicken thighs, chipotle jerk slaw, onions, cilantro and cotija cheese will 100% satisfy. The Papa Jack with crispy potato, jack and sharp cheddar cheese, corn, jicama, zucchini, squash, cilantro, and onions is a great vegetarian option as well.
Whether you want a fast grab-and-go taco at the downtown location or a sit-down experience with twenty craft beers on draft at their larger space on South Coast Highway, La Sirena Grill has got you covered. Not only are the tacos delicious, but they are committed to nurturing the environment and practice sustainable and eco-friendly ideals in all their eateries.
What are your favorite tacos? Be sure to taco to us about it and share your experiences with us on FACEBOOK, TWITTER and INSTAGRAM by tagging us @VisitLaguna and utilizing our citywide hashtag, #MyLagunaBeach.