Eat a taco, save a life”—that’s a philosophy we can get behind. Sugar Taco is LA’s latest Latin food concept that allows diners to practice compassion, while also enjoying an authentic taco (or four). This all-vegan restaurant is opening on Melrose, bringing the Latin-heavy street food scene of the Eastside to a brick-and-mortar location in the West.
And while Gracias Madre may be a vegan Mexican staple on the west side, Sugar Taco offers a different vibe entirely. Think Día de los Muertos-themed, with bright pops of vibrant colors, decorated skulls, and a selection of traditional Mexican beers and unfussy cocktails. Come for the tacos, and stay for the party.
Food first: Sugar Taco’s seven different vegan meat options take center stage on the taco menu, but they don’t discriminate against Team Burrito (or Team Nacho, for that matter). Choose from plant-based carnitas, al pastor, carne asada, el pescado, barbacoa, pollo verde, or the ghost taco, which comes with a warning label—it’s only for those who can take the heat! There’s also plenty of add-ons, from basic guac, to “Just F*ck Me Up,” which you’ll figure out when you take the first bite.
Pair your three taco plate, cheesy quesadilla, huge burrito, or bowl of nachos with some libations to keep the night rolling, as beer enthusiasts can sip a classic Corona or Tecate, and the cocktail menu offers everything from margaritas to rum-spiked horchatas. And don’t worry, designated drivers, you’re covered too—cool down with an agua fresca or whole coconut.
Entrees and drinks aside, it’d be a shame to leave Sugar Taco without some sweets; an entire menu page is dedicated to these authentic Mexican desserts. They’ve got dipped churros, sundaes, pan dulce, soft serve, popsicles, and snow cones—all vegan, and all addictive.
While we intend to frequent Sugar Taco to try it all, their variety makes our first order hard to decide on. So we brought in the expert: Jayde Nicole is a founder, investor, and managing member of Sugar Taco. Her advice: “Start with some guac, a side of rice and beans, a hibiscus tea, some carne asada tacos, for desert a horchata and our amazing churros.”
Jayde also gave us a bit of backstory about the restaurant. It’s not just one giant fiesta, though all who step through the doors will certainly have a good time. The restaurant is rooted in a strong sense of social responsibility, partnering with various nonprofits to promote the vegan movement and sustainability.
Jayde explained, “We want to change the way people experience food. This restaurant will be a tool to teach people they can eat amazing food at a great price without harming animals. Just by eating here, you’re not only saving an animal’s life, water, CO2 emissions, rain forests, and more, but you are also supporting local farmers and reducing food waste due to our partnership with Imperfect Produce. For every meal we serve, we are planting a tree with 8 Billion Trees, an amazing company that is working on replanting our forests. Some of our menu items also donate a vegan meal to a child in need through our partnership with Food for Life Global. We are also running programs to teach children how to grow their own food! We are very excited to do business our way, and to make the world a better place.”
With this in mind, we are definitely encouraged to eat more tacos. Of course, Sugar Taco says it best: “Live every day like it’s Taco Tuesday!”