Los Angeles County: The Epicenter of Mexican Cuisine in the U.S.

Los Angeles County has been recognized as the leading county in the United States for the number of Mexican restaurants, according to a recent study. This remarkable achievement underscores the county’s rich cultural diversity and its significant role in promoting and preserving Mexican cuisine.

A Culinary Milestone

The Pew Research Center’s study revealed that Los Angeles County is home to over 5,000 Mexican restaurants, the highest number in any U.S. county. This represents a significant portion of the county’s dining landscape, highlighting the popularity and influence of Mexican cuisine in the region.

The National Context

Nationally, Mexican food constitutes a significant segment of the American culinary scene. About 11% of all restaurants in the U.S. serve Mexican cuisine, with 85% of counties across the country having at least one Mexican restaurant. This widespread presence underscores the cuisine’s popularity and its integration into the American culinary fabric.

Regional Dominance

California and Texas, the two most populous states in the U.S., account for 40% of all Mexican restaurants in the country. In this context, California slightly edges out Texas, with a 22% share compared to Texas’ 17%. Within California, Los Angeles County stands out, accounting for 30% of the state’s Mexican eateries, significantly more than any other county in the nation.

Diversity in Culinary Offerings

Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles County serve a diverse range of dishes, from street food staples like tacos and burritos to more sophisticated offerings such as mole and pozole. This variety reflects the region’s Mexican-American population and its rich cultural heritage.

Comparison with Other Counties

Los Angeles County’s dominance in Mexican cuisine is even more evident when compared to other counties. The second-highest total of Mexican restaurants is found in Harris County, Texas, which has 2,362 establishments, less than half of Los Angeles County’s total.

Cultural and Historical Significance

The prevalence of Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles County is a testament to the enduring cultural and historical ties between Mexico and the United States. It reflects the influence of Mexican gastronomy and culture in shaping local tastes and preferences.


Los Angeles County’s status as the U.S. county with the most Mexican restaurants is not just a culinary distinction but also a cultural one. It highlights the county’s role as a melting pot of cultures and its contribution to the diversification and enrichment of America’s culinary landscape.

This report on Los Angeles County’s position as the top county in the U.S. for Mexican restaurants is based on a study by the Pew Research Center and has been reported by various sources including Yahoo News, The East County Gazette, Century City News, and SkyscraperPage Forum​​​​​​​​.