The 5 Best Mexican Restaurants in Los Angeles

When you’re using Gogobot to plan your trip to Los Angeles, you will soon find that there’s no shortage of Mexican restaurants in the area. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite to eat, or a more upscale yet affordable dinner, you can find the perfect Mexican meal at one of these top five Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles.

Chichen Itza, South Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Photo via Flickr by David Jones

If you’re looking for unique and tasty Mexican fare, Chichen Itza is a definite must when visiting the Los Angeles area. The restaurant, which is family owned and operated, is located in South Los Angeles. Chef Gilberto Cetina, who is recognized as one of the top Latino chefs in the United States, creates dishes stemming from the Yucatán Peninsula. This area is known for its unique take on Mexican food with influences from Spanish, Mayan, and Lebanese recipes. Located near the USC campus, this restaurant boasts its “no frills” approach to its tasty and authentic cuisine.

Mercado, Santa Monica

If you’re in the Santa Monica area, Mercado is one of the places to go for Mexican food. This modern, but casual restaurant offers creations by chef Jose Acevedo, trained by Wolfgang Puck. The restaurant is known just as much for their tequila-crafted cocktails as their Mexican creations such as their “dos gringas.” Just off the Third Street Promenade, it’s the perfect stop during a visit to the Santa Monica Pier.

Casa La Dona, Downtown Los Angeles

If you’re craving Mexican food during lunchtime, head downtown to Casa La Dona. The salsa bar boasts over 15 different types of salsa, and the staff is known for their stellar service. While this place is known more for its affordability than its frills, the tacos will certainly not disappoint. A fan favorite for those living in the area, Casa La Dona is the perfect spot to grab a quick and delicious bite to eat.

Guelaguetza, Koreatown

This locally owned restaurant in Koreatown offers a restaurant and small market focusing on Oaxacan food and culture. Since the owners are natives of Oaxaca, they have a special mastery of this type of Mexican fare. The owners handpick their foods from Oaxaca and specialize in dishes indigenous to the state. The food is both affordable and authentic. Don’t forget to buy some of their authentic and appetizing mole in their market before heading out.

Border Grill, Santa Monica

Mercado isn’t the only local favorite in the Santa Monica area. Border Grill is another top option from chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger of “Top Chef Masters” and “Too Hot Tamales.” Combining dishes from the Yucatán and Oaxaca, the dishes at Border Grill take on a totally new flavor while still maintaining their authenticity. The restaurant also serves organic rice and black beans as well as hormone-free meats and poultry.
Los Angeles is home to some of the best and most authentic Mexican restaurants in California, so make sure that you frequent one or more of these when you’re visiting the LA area. When you’re booking your hotel on, it might be a good idea to see if it is close to one of these tasty restaurants.

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Olivia Watson

Olivia is a world traveler who has been to 27 countries in just over 15 years. She loves to share her knowledge of traveling to help others travel safer, cheaper and have more fun.


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