Foods of East L.A.

Being a foodie and experiencing different lifestyles around Los Angeles

What is a good way to bring people together? Food!

In the county of Los Angeles, there are many cities that have various cultures and traditions that are incorporated in their dishes.

If you ever want to experience authentic Mexican dishes and desserts there is a city called East Los Angeles or widely known as East L.A.

 El Mercadito

Located in Boyle Heights, El Mercadito, originally named El Mercado which means ‘The Market,’ it is a well known restaurant by the residents of East L.A. El Mercadito is a three-story building with three different entrances. Two of them take you to the first floor and the second entrance to the second floor.

Before actually entering El Mercadito, the first two entrances have clothing stalls and at the same time they have stalls of different types of desserts and Mexican ice cream.

Once entering, the first floor mostly has clothes shops, stores that sell cowboy boots, stalls selling handicrafts and religious crafts.

The second floor is where all the restaurants are. There are three restaurants, two of them almost sell the same dishes but taste different because of the way the dishes are cooked. You can choose from eating seafood, mole, hamburgers, burritos and many other dishes. Once you are done ordering, you can ever pair it up with a Mexican Coke.

The third restaurant specializes in making gorditas, which is a pastry dish made of corn dough stuffed with either cheese, beans or meat. You can either eat it plain or add hot sauce on top to give it more flavor.

If you want to be more fancy, the restaurant on the third floor is for you. With live mariachi music you can choose the same dishes from the other restaurants, but this time instead of a Coke, you can actually buy beer.

El Mercadito is located in 3425 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90063. Parking is free and it is not a hassle to find a spot since they have a big lot for vehicles.

   Tacos Lupita

Street tacos are always a Mexican monument. Either you came from a party or just don’t want to cook, street tacos are always ready to serve you. There are a lot of taco stands around Los Angeles, but not only are Tacos Lupita good, but the workers are always positive and good at making you feel comfortable. They will talk with you like they are your friends.

With different types of meat from carne asada, al pastor and many more, you can either get tacos, each one costs less than two dollars, or a burrito. They also give you a fried small potato with your order of tacos, and you can even ask them if they can give you beans on top of your tacos. For drinks, you can buy any type of soda or their horchata.

They only accept cash, but there is a donut shop next to them that has an ATM. Parking can sometimes be a problem since it is a small lot that is shared with other stores.

Tacos Lupita is located at 2415 Pasadena Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90031. They start setting up around 5 p.m. and stop selling around midnight from Monday through Sunday.

 Whittier Boulevard

Street food runs this boulevard. Not only is Whittier Boulevard the heart of East L.A., but it was also iconic for its lowriders cruising back in the day. In the morning, it is just a normal street with people shopping from store to store, but during the night, Whittier Boulevard is ready to feed the people.

There is not a specific place you can go to. You can walk along the boulevard and you will see street vendors selling bacon wrapped hot dogs, some selling fruits with powder chile, food trucks, churro vendors, and some selling candy.

There are many possibilities and the more you walk, the more your nostrils will get swarmed with the aroma of the plethora of vendors cooking.

It is recommended to carry cash, but there are ATM’s inside the many shops. To get there you just take Whittier Blvd and Arizona Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90022.


Carolina Diaz can be reached at [email protected]