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Let's Taco-bout LA's Best Vegan Tacos

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I'm an Angeleno who grew up eating traditional street tacos in Lincoln Heights. I'm also a vegan. So I'm on a constant search for the perfect combination of corn tortilla and plant-based filling.

Most often, you'll find this pop-up in Highland Park and the San Fernando Valley, selling vegan versions of Mexican classics. Grilled chunks of soy replace chicken and al pastor. Their tinga tacos, made with cooked hibiscus flowers instead of shredded chicken, are served on blue corn tortillas. On any of these, a drizzle of avocado salsa is a must. Vegatinos also makes dairy-free flan, meatless pozole and spicy birria with marinated jackfruit instead of goat.

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Cena Vegan
Whether you order a single taco or splurge on the platter, you have your choice of soy-based proteins. The al pastor with pineapple rivals the "real thing" while the gluten-free jackfruit barbacoa replicates the texture of the traditional shredded beef dish. The standout is Cena Vegan's carne asada, seared to a smoky crisp. Whatever you pick, ask for a scoop of guacamole on top and order a nacho boat -- a pile of tortilla chips topped with mashed beans, cashew-based cheese sauce and your favorite protein.
Various locations. Click here for their event calendar.

Plant Food for People
With its signature blue food truck, Plant Food for People has been bringing tacos to L.A.'s streets since 2011 and they remain a Highland Park favorite. Their best and most popular taco is filled with jackfruit carnitas and topped with coleslaw, vegan chipotle mayo and pico de gallo. If you crave a little A.M. action, track them down for breakfast tacos filled with grilled potatoes and chorizo or scrambled tofu.
Various locations. Click here for their event calendar.

This vegan deli in Eagle Rock offers tacos filled with barbacoa, chicken and marinated mushrooms the weirdly mimic the flavor and texture of grilled beef. The mushrooms also top Organix's killer carne asada fries. The fish tacos feature a crisp soy-based fillet piled high with fresh red cabbage and drizzled with cashew cream. Their breakfast tacos are the perfect blend of scrambled tofu, soy-based chorizo and tater tots.
1731 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock. 323-254-0284,

Gracias Madre
This upscale, plant-based Mexican restaurant has a broad menu that includes tortas and green chili enchiladas. When it comes to tacos, try the barbecued jackfruit carnitas, the potato chorizo or the stewed nopales. They're perfect with one of Gracias Madre's creative mezcal cocktails or maybe a straight-up pour of the smoky liquor.
8905 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood. 323-978-2170,

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