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Tacos Quetzalcoatl
Tacos Quetzalcoatl
Matthew Kang

The 12 Best Meat-Free Tacos in Los Angeles

Meat-free taco eats across the city.

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Tacos Quetzalcoatl
| Matthew Kang

Vegetarian tacos don’t get a lot of love in Los Angeles, despite the wide overlapping Venn Diagram of "people who like tacos (everyone)" and "people in L.A. who don’t eat meat." Thankfully, great non-meat options abound for anyone who’s willing to seek them out. Below are twelve of the city’s best meatless tacos, available from La Puente to Santa Monica.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Omega 2 at Quetzalcoatl Taco Truck

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Tacos Quetzalcoatl is a popular weekend stop for many in East L.A., who come for the lamb barbacoa but keep returning for the wild greens. Their well-known Omega 2 option pins native Mexican greens like huauzontles and quintoniles inside a tortilla with cheese, spinach and more.

Cauliflower Tostada at Tacos Punta Cabras

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As meat substitute, cauliflower has long had an edge over lots of other vegetables. Its roasts well, without falling apart, and takes to a variety of sauces with ease. It’s all the more surprising then that Tacos Punta Cabras in Santa Monica would choose to go far afield with their cauliflower take, shaving it paper thin overtop of a fresh tostada, alongside a slew of other greens.

Tempura Acorn Squash at Petty Cash Taqueria

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Beverly Blvd.’s “semi-authentic taqueria” throws together a butternut squash mole with some tempura fried acorn squash on top, then folds in pistachio, spinach and manchego cheese. Don’t skip the kale cauliflower nachos either.

Queso Fresco at Tacoteca

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There are a couple of non-meat options on the menu at Tacoteca, the new Santa Monica spot from Ricardo Diaz and AdVantage Partners. but the most fulfilling has to be the Queso Fresco, a cheesy option laced with avocado, fried red potatoes, and fiery serrano salsa.

Dorados de Papa at CaCao Mexicatessen

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Don’t be overwhelmed by the large, colorful menu here. Just skip to the vegetarian taqueria portion and order with ease — though it should be noted that the fried tacos dorados de papa is a stellar hard-shelled potato taco option.

Cauliflower Taco at Colonia Taco Lounge

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Cauliflower is left in large, hefty chunks here at Colonia Taco Lounge, softened just enough to make for an easy bite. It’s fried too, of course, then laced with crema and just a hint of salsa, for a decadently vegetarian bite.

Taco Combination Plate at Gracias Madre

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It’s all vegan everything at Gracias Madre, which means vegetarians can go wild for their three taco plate, comprised of things like asparagus, broccoli and mushrooms. The sopes are popular as well.

Calabacitas at Guisados

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This stewed taco specialist doesn’t rely on meat to make flavors go far. There’s the slightly firm calabacitas taco that works as a blend of squash, peppers and corn, as well as the more mellow frijoles con queso. Other options abound.

Nopales at Taqueria Los Anaya

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West Adams’ Los Anaya keeps things decidedly old school, offering a nopales (cactus) taco that’s every bit as good as the meaty tacos that surround it.

Garlic Bomb at Mondo Taco

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Fusion-y West LA taco spot Mondo Taco has an entire section dedicated to non-meat tacos, many using tempe and soyrizo as suitable replacements. But it’s the Garlic Bomb that loads on mushrooms, crispy onions, goat cheese and garlic aioli, with no need for a meat substitute.

Tacos de Chile Toreados at Bizarra Capital

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If you want a mouth of pure fire, get to Bizarra Capital for the tacos de chile toreados, which offer unabashedly hot peppers as the main ingredient for one of their most popular vegetarian tacos. Of course, if you’re already there, it couldn’t hurt to try the mole fries too, right?

Broccolini and Mushroom at Guerrilla Tacos

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Wes Avila has built a strong reputation on Cooks Ranch pork from his truck Guerrilla Tacos, but he’s never left the meat-free set to suffer. The truck’s broccolini and mushroom taco is worthy of anyone’s plate, regardless of their meat affinity. Other occasional options like potato and leek, or slow-cooked purple potato, are just as magical.

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Omega 2 at Quetzalcoatl Taco Truck

Tacos Quetzalcoatl is a popular weekend stop for many in East L.A., who come for the lamb barbacoa but keep returning for the wild greens. Their well-known Omega 2 option pins native Mexican greens like huauzontles and quintoniles inside a tortilla with cheese, spinach and more.

Cauliflower Tostada at Tacos Punta Cabras

As meat substitute, cauliflower has long had an edge over lots of other vegetables. Its roasts well, without falling apart, and takes to a variety of sauces with ease. It’s all the more surprising then that Tacos Punta Cabras in Santa Monica would choose to go far afield with their cauliflower take, shaving it paper thin overtop of a fresh tostada, alongside a slew of other greens.

Tempura Acorn Squash at Petty Cash Taqueria

Beverly Blvd.’s “semi-authentic taqueria” throws together a butternut squash mole with some tempura fried acorn squash on top, then folds in pistachio, spinach and manchego cheese. Don’t skip the kale cauliflower nachos either.

Queso Fresco at Tacoteca

There are a couple of non-meat options on the menu at Tacoteca, the new Santa Monica spot from Ricardo Diaz and AdVantage Partners. but the most fulfilling has to be the Queso Fresco, a cheesy option laced with avocado, fried red potatoes, and fiery serrano salsa.

Dorados de Papa at CaCao Mexicatessen

Don’t be overwhelmed by the large, colorful menu here. Just skip to the vegetarian taqueria portion and order with ease — though it should be noted that the fried tacos dorados de papa is a stellar hard-shelled potato taco option.

Cauliflower Taco at Colonia Taco Lounge

Cauliflower is left in large, hefty chunks here at Colonia Taco Lounge, softened just enough to make for an easy bite. It’s fried too, of course, then laced with crema and just a hint of salsa, for a decadently vegetarian bite.

Taco Combination Plate at Gracias Madre

It’s all vegan everything at Gracias Madre, which means vegetarians can go wild for their three taco plate, comprised of things like asparagus, broccoli and mushrooms. The sopes are popular as well.

Calabacitas at Guisados

This stewed taco specialist doesn’t rely on meat to make flavors go far. There’s the slightly firm calabacitas taco that works as a blend of squash, peppers and corn, as well as the more mellow frijoles con queso. Other options abound.

Nopales at Taqueria Los Anaya

West Adams’ Los Anaya keeps things decidedly old school, offering a nopales (cactus) taco that’s every bit as good as the meaty tacos that surround it.

Garlic Bomb at Mondo Taco

Fusion-y West LA taco spot Mondo Taco has an entire section dedicated to non-meat tacos, many using tempe and soyrizo as suitable replacements. But it’s the Garlic Bomb that loads on mushrooms, crispy onions, goat cheese and garlic aioli, with no need for a meat substitute.

Tacos de Chile Toreados at Bizarra Capital

If you want a mouth of pure fire, get to Bizarra Capital for the tacos de chile toreados, which offer unabashedly hot peppers as the main ingredient for one of their most popular vegetarian tacos. Of course, if you’re already there, it couldn’t hurt to try the mole fries too, right?

Broccolini and Mushroom at Guerrilla Tacos

Wes Avila has built a strong reputation on Cooks Ranch pork from his truck Guerrilla Tacos, but he’s never left the meat-free set to suffer. The truck’s broccolini and mushroom taco is worthy of anyone’s plate, regardless of their meat affinity. Other occasional options like potato and leek, or slow-cooked purple potato, are just as magical.

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