The Mexican-American Community
The first instance of tacos in Southern California dates back to the early 20th century when Mexican immigrants started moving to the region, bringing with them their culinary traditions like the taco and introducing the dish to the local population. The Mexican-American community was small during this time, so the cuisine was not yet mainstream.
Tacos on the Street
It wasn’t until the 1940s and 1950s that they really started to gain popularity. This was due growing Mexican-American diaspora in Southern California, which helped to spread the word about this delicious and portable food option. Thus, taco trucks and stands began to pop up, becoming a popular and affordable dish for people of all backgrounds.
Tacos Finally Go Mainstream
By the 1960s, tacos had become a popular and mainstream food in Southern California, and their popularity would only continue to grow. Various fast-food chains started offering their own take on the classic dish, but that’s a small part of the story. The real reason tacos became popular in SoCal lies in the region’s diverse cultural heritage and the long-time influence of the Mexican-American community.