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Tacolandia Founder Throws a Big New Downtown Food Festival This June

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Taqueando will host an international festival of taqueros on June 15 at ROW DTLA

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Tacos at Guerrilla Tacos
Tacos at Guerrilla Tacos
Matthew Kang
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

It’s unfathomable that Los Angeles has been a bit light on taco festivals lately. LA Weekly’s now defunct Tacolandia used to attract upwards of 10,000 taco lovers at the annual event. But the festival went away in 2017 after event curator Bill Esparza stepped away from his duties when new owners took over the Weekly. Esparza announced a new tortilla-filled venture last week, which is a new food festival at Skylight ROW-DTLA on June 15 called Taqueando.

After creating taco-related events with Tacolandia, Beverly Hills Food & Wine, and The Taste with Roy Choi, Esparza is building a slightly smaller but equally compelling event with up to 45 taco vendors from all over the globe, and will take place in front of the old American Apparel building.

With plenty of familiar and formidable names like Guerrilla Tacos, Taco Maria, Sonoratown, and Tacos 1986, Esparza also hand-selected taqueros including London’s Breddo’s Tacos, a group from Barrio Logan in San Diego, Tijuana’s Erizo Fish House, Barrio Café from Phoenix, Ensenada’s nearly 60-year-old Mariscos La Guerrerense, and one of Mexico’s most prominent restaurants, Pangea.

Esparza expects capacity to be no more than 4,000. And don’t expect carne asada from every taquero. Esparza says there’ll be plenty of variety, including non-meat options.

“I want it to be an experience that focuses on the vendors and the Mexican community,” says Esparza. “Jonathan Gold said tacos should be a verb. He was right to say that. (In Spanish), taqueando is the Spanish verb meaning ‘to taco.’ Eating tacos is an action, it’s a lifestyle and basis from our culture.”

Tickets start at $45, while $75 VIP tickets includes early entry, cash bar, a VIP area for exclusive tastings and special gift bag with a Taqueando t-shirt. Taqueando runs from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. on June 15, 2019 at ROW DTLA, and tickets are available on the Taqueando website.

Full disclosure: Esparza is a regular contributor to Eater. Eater does not currently have any involvement with Taqueando.

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