HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >


Mexican supermarket to buy fresh carnitas

I'm looking for a Mexican supermarket to buy fresh carnitas. Hopefully they'll also throw in fresh tortillas, salsa, etc. Basically I want to my buy the stuff to make my own tacos. Anyone know of a good place near North Hollywood? Maybe Van Nuys area since that is predominantly Hispanic?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. These stores are excellent for just what you're looking for:


    1 Reply
    1. re: ozzygee

      I like all the meats that are cooked at Vallarta as well as the salsa roja, freshly (machine made) tortillas, telera rolls for tortas, guacamole, both types of flan (regular and napolitano), 3-leches cake is not the best but pretty good..., lots more!

      The newer and larger stores are a culinary adventure that's a lot cheaper than a trip across the border!!!

    2. Aside from the zillion small Latino markets everywhere, some larger chains have prepared carnitas. The Gigante market at 9710 Woodman Ave. in Arleta isn't too far from you. Big Saver at 3000 N. Broadway or 2619 N. Figueroa St. in LA is a little further.
      Certainly search the county health rating site at http://www.lapublichealth.org/rating/ for more options.
      I think Das Ubergeek would have some ideas for your 'hood :-).

      1. In addition to the Vallartas, there is Carniceria Don Juan, located on Vanowen a half-block east of Coldwater. It's a small grocery store/butcher store with a small taqueria. They will furnish you with carnitas, tortillas, rice and beans. They also have very good salsas, particularly the salsa verde, in their refrigerated case.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Jwsel

          The carnitas are better at the Vallarta on Victory and Ethel; the salsas are better at the Don Juan you mentioned. There's also Carnitas Michoacan on Vanowen and... uh... Hazeltine, I think -- it might be Woodman but I'm almost positive it's Hazeltine.

          The salsa at Don Juan isn't so much better that I'd make two stops, though -- go to Vallarta. A pound of carnitas, a tub of rice, a tub of beans, 18 or 24 tortillas (depending on who's giving it to you), salsa, and carrots/jalapenos in escabeche will run you $10. Grab some avocadoes, onions and cilantro from the produce aisle (four medium Hass avocadoes were $1 the last time I needed avocadoes), and some horchata or whatever your favourite fruit flavour is from the aguas frescas bar, and you're good to go.

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            That's exactly what I was looking for. I'll have to give it a try... thanks everyone.

            1. re: cycler15

              Went the Vallarta last weekend. What a bargain! The woman actually gave me 1.3 pounds of carnitas. Guess she was too lazy or it was too busy so she just gave me extra after weighing it. Plus she gave me 36 corn tortillas. Great deal for $10.

        2. I've never tried the carnitas at Vallarta or other Mexican markets but the carnitas at Ralphs are pretty good! They don't give you tortillas or other stuff tho.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ladius

            Ralphs carnitas can't hold a candle to the carnitas at Vallarta... their chickens are OK.

          2. For me, it's all about Cinco Puntos in ELA on Lorena and Cesar Chavez... that is home to me... :)


            1. I agree 100% with you Dommy! Cinco Puntos is it! Love their salsas also.

              Another place in No Ho nobody has mentioned is a little market on the southwest corner of Laurel Cyn and Vanowen called "La Flor de Micheocan" (spelling???) Decent Carnitas and all the fixin's. It got my attention because it has the same name as the famous carnitas restaurant in Rosarito Mex.

              1 Reply
              1. re: alskii

                La Flor de Michoacan. It's not related to the place on Av. Guerrero and Av. Juarez in Playas de Rosarito.

              2. El Giro Gallo with locations in Panorama City and San Fernando. They're specialty is carnitas. You can get the family special: 1 lb. carnitas, package of corn tortillas, rice, beans and salsa for $9.99. Enough to feed 3-4 people.


                1. Grand Central Market in downtown. There from the various taco stands, cooked meats can be purchased by weight. I usually look around first for the one stand with the best looking selection on that particular day in terms of freshness, less fatty, etc. With the meat, you can get salsa, chopped onion and cilantrol and even lime wedges for a little extra. And if you're still hesitant to head downtown, consider this - in the same market, there's a fresh tortilla stand! Try the blue corn tortillas. All very reasonably priced for the fresh, authentic quality.

                  1. Actually, has anyone ever tried this product @ Costco? When I tried a sample, I was impressed, but I reluctantly thought...microwave carnitas? When I need my carnitas fix, I pop one in the nuker, Just as good a Vallarta for lean pulled pork! If at times not better!


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Ollie

                      I've also tried that from Costco. It's actually pretty good. The trick is when you need to reheat it, cover the bowl with a wet paper towel to keep it moist.

                    2. King Ranch on Huntington Drive in Monrovia offers carnitas from their live-food deli. I have yet to try them, but they smell awfully damned good. And the folks buying them by the bucket are not the country-club set...