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Take an I-5 Taco Tour

The best tacos between here and LA.


The straight lined road. The lack of views. The traffic. The drive from the Bay Area to Los Angeles along I-5 can be a bit of a slog. But it doesn't have to be that bad. Why not turn your next drive into a taco crawl? Here's six places to stop along the way for the best tacos between here and Southern California.

Antojitos Mexicanos
Distance: 77 miles
As soon as the Bay Area is behind you, this family-owned joint is waiting. Exit the freeway and head towards Subway (it’s tucked away next door). Brush up on your Spanish on the way, otherwise you won’t be able to read the menu. 7154 S McCracken Rd. Westley, CA

Cutija Taco Shop
Distance: 121 miles
Keep your eyes peeled for a dinky orange and blue stand along Los Banos’ main drag— classic tacos are two bucks a pop. 5 W Pacheco Blvd Los Banos, CA

El Grullense Taco Truck 
Distance: 211 miles
Ignore the familiar allure of In-N-Out and venture into the “heart” of Kettleman City. The extra few minutes are worth it—three authentic tacos will cost you less than a Double-Double.
Standard Oil Ave. Kettleman City, CA

El Dollar Taqueria 
Distance: 239 miles
As the name suggests, each taco is just over a dollar. The food starts out pretty spicy, so take advantage of that guac and pico de gallo at the condiment bar. Everything’s made to order, so opt for McDonalds if you’re in a rush.
14820 Aloma St. Lost Hills, CA 

Tita’s Papuseria 
Distance: 261 miles
Look out for this full-on restaurant at the end of the scanty strip that is Buttonwillow. It’s delicious, but if you’re just stopping for quick taco as you fill up your tank, opt for their sister truck just next door. It’s got the essentials—tacos, burritos, papusas—not to mention a condiment bar so extensive one could ostensibly make a meal out of it alone.
20643 Tracy Ave. Buttonwillow, CA 

Don Perico Mexican Restaurant 
Distance: 302 miles
Just in time for a seemingly endless food desert (the Grapevine), Don Perico is there for your last bite. It’s a sit-down establishment, but expect the same casual-deliciousness of a taco truck.
9021 W Grapevine Rd. Labec, CA 


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