Update: The Final Four

* UPDATED, Monday, April 23: Well, that was crazy! 12 seed Macheen barely edged out former champion Mariscos Jalisco by a handful of votes, with thousands of total votes cast in one of the most gripping Madness battles in years. Meanwhile, another first-time entrant, La Venganza, got more votes than any other competitor, joining last year’s champion Sonoratown and perennial contender Carnitas El Momo in the Final Four.

Voting is now open below, (or click here for the direct Facebook link), winners will meet in the finals. Voting ends Sunday, April 29th, at 7pm.

The Bracket

Update: Round 3, Sabrocho!

* UPDATED, Monday, April 16: We started with 32 and now we’re down to 8 delicious tacos that want to make the final four. Two cinderella stories, 12th seeded Macheen and 6th seeded La Venganza will now see if their fairy tale run will continue, or be ended by one of our top seeds. Voting ends Sunday night at 7pm. You can vote below, or on Facebook. Good luck to all competitors!

Update: Round 2, the Spicy Sixteen

* UPDATED, Monday, April 9: Round 1 is in the books, and 16 brave tacos stand ready for the next battle on the road to the ultimate victory. Congratulations to our winners! There were a few upsets, most notably 5 seed Balam, which fell to upstart 12 seed Macheen.  Round 2 voting is now open below, and closes this coming Sunday at 7pm. If you do not see the embedded voting below, click here to vote on Facebook.

It’s time to taco rumble.

L.A. Taco and our hard-working staff is proud to announce the 9th annual return of the city’s only taco competition: Taco Madness 2018. As we approach a decade of service to the taco community of Los Angeles and our tacoscape continues to evolve, we are faced with the most fiercely competitive bracket yet. It’s not only handmade flour tortillas versus organic corn tortillas and fancy tacos versus street tacos this year, but also mesquite-grilled carne asada versus vegan tripas.

The neverending options of tasty things to be had on top of a tortilla these days directly reflects how quickly our city is changing. At the same time, our old spots are thriving with a new generation of residents following the taco lifestyle discovering why the taco is and forever will be the official dish of El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río Porciúncula.

Your usual ride-or-dies and proven champions are all still there: Sonoratown, Mariscos Jalisco, and Burritos La Palma. But will they stand their ground against the voracious Tijuana newcomers like Teddy’s Red Tacos or the pop-up wrecking crew known as Macheen? In a city as vast and diverse as Los Angeles, this year is welcoming a handful of people’s favorites that are proudly unconventional, including All Flavor, No Grease, and the star power of Trejo’s Tacos.

Plant-based tacos are also coming up.

On any given weeknight, in neighborhoods like Highland Park, it’s not unusual to have to wait over 30 minutes or more just for a plate of Taqueria La Venganza’s tacos de vegan chicharrón. Will all 32K-plus of their “intersectional vegan” taco followers on Instagram heed the call of war and vote their veggie taquero to be the crowned L.A. Taco’s first ever vegan taco champion?

We can’t forget the first vegan taqueros who started it all almost ten years ago: Plant Food For People. It’s OK to be a skeptic, but remember that a good taco speaks for itself.

Any pescatarians in the house? We got you. The mariscos powerhouses Mariscos Jalisco and Coni’Seafood will be duking it out. We are also inviting fish taco newcomer L Fish — straight out of Ensenada — to test their seasoned batter skills against the L.A. GOAT, Ricky’s Fish Tacos.

As always, the king or queen will be crowned over micheladas and tacos on the evening of Saturday, May 5th at our FREE annual food and drink event at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, Taco Madness. Everyone is invited and unless you’re not into the idea of miraculously tasting all of the city’s best tacos in one spot while drinking pints upon upon pints of craft beer, we kindly suggest that you mark your calendars now.

The call to action is now. The first rounds of K.O.s are now open and the taco polls are up. Swear that a taquero on this list has the best tacos in L.A.? Tell your friends, family, share on your social media accounts, and help them annihilate their taco rival.

There is only space for one Taco Madness champion, and the race to the final will be no holds barred.

 

 

RELATED: Taco Madness 2017 Winner — Sonoratown!!!