From coffee shops to handmade tacos and millennial lotería, Los Angeles has an abundance of Latinx businesses that not only curate a love and appreciation for Latinx culture but also provide a piece of home for many here in the United States.
There’s no better way to kick off Latinx Heritage Month than with a list full of Latinx owned businesses to hit up for good food and even better pastries around the USC community. Although it seems nearly impossible not to bump into a local business around South Central, if you’re one of those who don’t stray far from campus, the Daily Trojan has you covered.
La Taquiza Mexican Grill
Located right outside of campus, La Taquiza is a taco shop known for its handmade corn tortillas and authentic horchata — ranging from the original cinnamon flavor to a strawberry variety and even horchata lattes — to many other kinds of aguas frescas. Established 16 years ago, the shop remains one of my favorite spots to hit up for tacos.
And, don’t think we’ve forgotten about the vegans and vegetarians out there — La Taquiza has a multitude of non-meat options such as quinoa burritos and fajitas for you.
Tropicana Bakery and Cuban Cafe
If you venture a bit east to Downey, you can find a beautiful dine-in bakery inspired by Cuban and Mexican culture. Established over two decades ago, the Cuban-Mexican Madrazo family opened “Los Pollos” where the food includes a bit of both cultures and has since experienced great success to the point where they added another location of “Los Pollos” in East L.A. and opened Tropicana Bakery in Downey.
Tropicana, also owned by the Madrazo family, opened after in 2006. This shop specializes in authentic Cuban fare like Pastelitos de Guayaba, Mango, Carne and Empanadas along with authentic Cuban coffee and cakes.
If you can’t make it all the way to Downey, there are many more Latinx sweet shops close by like Capuyo Café in Downtown L.A.
Latina owner Daisy Iñiguez makes a range of traditional Latinx drinks and coffee mixes using her Mexican and Guatemalan light coffee bean roasts. Other drinks include organic aguas frescas like jamaica water, vegan horchata and strawberry rose lemonade.
If you’re looking to try a unique take on Latinx drinks that remains authentic, Capuyo is a must.
In Oaxacalifornia, some promote resistance to colonialism and the status quo through the practice of making Indigenous food and keeping Indigenous culture alive. Poncho’s is a traditional Indigenous eatery that specializes in Tlayudas, a Oaxacan cuisine that consists of fried tortillas beans, meat, Oaxacan cheese and much more.
Hector the Barber
Now that you have enough restaurants to feed you for a lifetime, let’s move on to other Latinx business ventures. If you’re in need of a fresh haircut, this is the place for you. In South L.A., not too far from USC, you can find Hector’s barber shop which hosts Trojan customers every week.
Maybe you can’t make it out into the streets of L.A. — don’t fret! In the era of social media, there are tons of small online shops or outlets owned by Latinx community members that you can support virtually. Created in 2016 by Brittany Chavez, shoplatinx.com was made to be a hub for Latinx creators to sell their work to others with the intention of amplifying and centering Latinx entrepreneurship and empowerment.
By now, everyone has surely heard of lotería, a Mexican game similar to bingo, but creator Mike Alfaro saw a chance to recreate this classic game with a millennial take. With cards now including “la karen” and “el sugar papi,” Millennial Lotería can be found on Instagram, TikTok and is now even sold at Target. Celebrating Latinx Heritage Month is also partaking in traditions and games like lotería while also taking time to reflect how time has drastically changed the community and culture, millennial lotería does just that.
These are just a few of the many Latinx owned businesses that can be found online and around USC in L.A. With just a Google search or a five minute walk outside of campus, you can find these and many more places to support this month and every month of the year because come on, what’s better than some pan dulce after a long day on campus?