LA’s Greatest Morning Treasure Is the Glorious Mexican Breakfast

LA’s Greatest Morning Treasure Is the Glorious Mexican Breakfast

Street tacos, fresh seafood, and whole roast lamb across LA’s Mexican communities

Driving around East LA on a Sunday morning is probably your best chance to experience the most unique, distinct flavors of Mexican street food that Los Angeles has to offer. From backyard gatherings in quiet, residential neighborhoods to the passing down of recipes from generation to generation, families in East Los Angeles have long been preserving cooking traditions from their heritage. Pueblan-style lamb barbacoa roasted in a ground pit, stewed carnitas tacos tucked away in an alley, six-hour cooked goat birria, and a varietal seafood plate are the highlights from this excursion into these one of a kind, “word of mouth” establishments.

Barba Kush

657 S Record Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90023

When you arrive at Barba Kush there are no indications of the wonder that occurs inside this home. Cars are stationary along the entire street, birds are chirping, and dogs are being walked. But on Sunday mornings, Petra Zavaleta and her family host flocks of people in their backyard while constantly chopping away at lamb meat in their garage kitchen. There is something special about going to a place like this. In a backyard, next to the pits, strangers eat together on fold-out tables and plastic tablecloth in a scene that resembles a family reunion.

Barba Kush Mexican Breakfast
The kitchen at Barba Kush
Barba Kush Mexican Breakfast
Barba Kush Mexican Breakfast
Barba Kush Mexican Breakfast
Barba Kush Mexican Breakfast
Barba Kush Mexican Breakfast
Barba Kush Mexican Breakfast
Barba Kush barbacoa taco
Barba Kush Mexican Breakfast
Barba Kush barbacoa taco
Barba Kush Mexican Breakfast
Barba Kush Mexican Breakfast

Birrieria Nochistlan

3201 E 4th St. Los Angeles, CA 90063. (323) 268-0319

You can drive down Fourth Street in Boyle Heights and easily pass by Birrieria Nochistlan. This family operated restaurant specializes in goat birria, a sometimes spicy stewed dish from Jalisco and showcases it with their handmade tortillas. Also, be sure to get some of their spicy, orange salsa.

Birrieria Nochistlan Mexican Breakfast
Birrieria Nochistlan Mexican Breakfast
The team at Birrieria Nochistlan
Birrieria Nochistlan Mexican Breakfast
Birrieria Nochistlan Mexican Breakfast
Birria de chivo at Birrieria Nochistlan
Birrieria Nochistlan Mexican Breakfast
Birrieria Nochistlan Mexican Breakfast
Birrieria Nochistlan Mexican Breakfast

Carnitas El Momo

2411 Fairmount St, Los Angeles, CA 90033. (323) 627-8540

Located just south of the 10 freeway near Ramona Gardens lies Carnitas El Momo, a family ran street taco spot that offers some of the best carnitas tacos around. As soon as I walked in, I was given a makeshift aluminum foil plate loaded with piping hot, mixed pork meat by someone who just introduced himself by saying “here’s a preview.” Much like Barba Kush, Carnitas El Momo really celebrates communal dining. You can choose to order your food to go, sit in the very limited space next to the steel drums of braised pork, or take a seat inside the living room where you will instantly feel like you are at your grandmother’s house.

Carnitas El Momo Mexican Breakfast
Carnitas El Momo Mexican Breakfast
Carnitas El Momo Mexican Breakfast
Carnitas El Momo Mexican Breakfast
Carnitas El Momo Mexican Breakfast
Carnitas at Carnitas El Momo
Carnitas El Momo Mexican Breakfast
Carnitas El Momo Mexican Breakfast
Carnitas El Momo Mexican Breakfast
Carnitas El Momo Mexican Breakfast
Carnitas El Momo Mexican Breakfast
Carnitas El Momo Mexican Breakfast
Carnitas El Momo Mexican Breakfast
Carnitas El Momo Mexican Breakfast
Carnitas El Momo Mexican Breakfast
Carnitas El Momo Mexican Breakfast
Carnitas El Momo
Carnitas El Momo

Mariscos Los Sitios

6010 E Olympic Blvd, East Los Angeles, CA 90022 (323) 608-4091

Going East on Olympic Boulevard takes you to a food truck that is providing fresh, varietal seafood dishes from the Sinaloan city, Badiraguato. At Mariscos Los Sitios it is best to try their fried shrimp tacos paired with their botanas mixta, a platter of abalone tuna, shrimp, cooked octopus, and crab meat. For those wanting a more traditional dining experience, they also have a brick and mortar restaurant just east in Montebello.

Mariscos Los Sitios Mexican Breakfast
Mariscos Los Sitios Mexican Breakfast
Mariscos Los Sitios Mexican Breakfast
Mariscos Los Sitios Mexican Breakfast

Teddy’s Red Tacos

731 Slauson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90011
46 Windward Ave, Venice, CA 90291. (323) 495-9654

In Southeast LA along the train tracks of Slauson Avenue, Teddy Vazquez is hustling towards becoming a top player in Los Angeles’ street food scene. What started about three years ago as a newfound passion has turned into a booming taco truck creating Tijuana-style beef birria tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and mulitas. At Teddy’s Red Tacos on a Sunday afternoon be sure to expect a long line that could go around the corner into the parking lot. In case you are not able to trek over east, Teddy’s Red Tacos just opened up a spot along the Venice boardwalk for all you westsiders.

Preserving and reinstilling culture through food is nothing new to cooks in Los Angeles. But to witness the independence and success of these thriving operations is astonishing, but not surprising. Sure, promotion helps accelerate business but bringing forth a sense of community towards the people you are serving benefits business much more. Sunday mornings are supposed to be easy. And easy is parking your car outside of someone’s house, walking in, and grabbing a plate.

Teddy’s Red Tacos Mexican Breakfast
Teddy’s Red Tacos Mexican Breakfast
Teddy’s Red Tacos Mexican Breakfast
Teddy’s Red Tacos Mexican Breakfast
Teddy’s Red Tacos Mexican Breakfast
Teddy’s Red Tacos Mexican Breakfast
Teddy’s Red Tacos Mexican Breakfast
Teddy’s Red Tacos Mexican Breakfast
Teddy’s Red Tacos Mexican Breakfast
Teddy’s Red Tacos Mexican Breakfast
Teddy’s Red Tacos
Teddy’s Red Tacos
Teddy’s Red Tacos
Teddy’s Red Tacos
Teddy’s Red Tacos
Teddy Vasquez of Teddy’s Red Tacos
Teddy’s Red Tacos
Teddy’s Red Tacos
Teddy’s Red Tacos

Trent Bozeman is a freelance photographer based in Los Angeles.


LA’s Greatest Morning Treasure Is the Glorious Mexican Breakfast.” Eater LA – All. https://la.eater.com/2019/4/19/18272278/best-mexican-breakfast-la-barbacoa-tacos-mariscos-birria-de-res.

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