Villa’s Tacos is set to open a stall in Grand Central Market, according to owner Victor Villa’s Instagram. The already prolific taco restaurant currently operates out of a space on York Boulevard in LA’s trendy Highland Park neighborhood.
Grand Central Market, an upscale food court in downtown Los Angeles, is known for showcasing the best small bites from around the city. Villa’s Tacos is reportedly moving into the space previously owned by Belcampo Meat Company, which vacated the stall in 2021 after a high-profile scandal involving the mislabeling of animal products. The 1,000-square-foot space has been vacant ever since, and its prominent location near the parking garage and elevators had customers speculating about what Belcampo’s replacement would be.
Villa’s Tacos’ meteoric rise on the Los Angeles food scene makes it the perfect candidate to take over the stall. The business started as a pop-up run out of Villa’s grandmother’s backyard in 2018. After seeing increasing demand for his delicious tacos, Villa expanded the business to include more staff, mesquite-smoked griddles, and a salsa bar. The stand became a full operation, blasting music to the neighborhood and gaining a reputation for great service and mouth-watering cheese-encrusted tacos.
In February 2023, Villa opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant in a strip mall on York Boulevard, a hip street in Highland Park packed with young adults shopping, eating, and bar-hopping on any given evening. The restaurant was funded by a $100,000 grant won by Villa after Villa’s Tacos appeared on the Netflix show Taco’s Chronicles and won back-to-back victories in Los Angeles’ annual Taco Madness tournament. The restaurant now has lines of excited customers winding around the block daily. Villa puts out videos on his Instagram informing eaters when the line has dwindled so they can get their tacos quickly.
The new location promises to take some pressure off the Highland Park location and serve more customers from different parts of LA. Grand Central Market is a popular lunch destination for those who work nine-to-five downtown and for tourists. The bustling, 30,000-square-foot warehouse space is home to dozens of classic Los Angeles eateries, as well as many restaurants new to the food scene. With vendors like Broad Street Oyster Co, Eggslut, Lucky Bird, and Sticky Rice, Grand Central Market provides food from all over the city in several different cuisines in one central location.
Villa has not announced an opening date for the Villa’s Tacos stand but announced the project through a video on his Instagram on September 16. The video shows renovations to the space being made, including repainting the stall to include the Villa’s Tacos logo. The cute video depicts Villa taking his two young daughters around Grand Central Market, ending up at the brand-new Villa’s Tacos stand. Villa expressed his excitement for the new location in the video’s caption, writing, “I’m excited, proud, nervous, and more than anything, thankful to announce that WE WILL BE OPENING OUR 2ND VILLA’S TACOS!!!!!!!!! in none other than the world-famous @grandcentralmarketla. It has always been a dream of mine to one day have a Villa’s Tacos in the GCM, and that day is finally here.”