HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >


Aguas Frescas

  • j

I am looking for some freshly made aguas frescas in a variety of fruit flavors, i.e., Cantalouope, Strawberry, Watermelon, Guayaba, etc in and around the L.A. area. Most of the joints i've visited either have the generic Horchata/Jamaica or dispense their so-called aguas frescas via fountain. What i'm truly looking for here is some old fashioned juice drinks brought out in those huge clear plastic jugs a la mexico. The only "great" frescas i've spotted thus far in LA is at the Century City Farmer's Market in the same place they sell those delightful Bacon Hot Dogs.

Any help is appreciated and will travel up to 20 miles for refreshments. I live in Hollywood so the closer the better. Thanks again.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Just had a fresa (strawberry) agua fresca at La Taquiza by USC to wash down my mulitas.

    1. Most aguas frescas made from actual fruta fresca comes only during season -- so you could probably get strawberry now, but guayaba and watermelon and canteloupe you'll need to wait for.

      The same bacon-hot-dog-and-aguas-frescas place is at the Studio City farmers' market on Sunday morning, by the way, and their biĆ³nico is very tasty.

      As for where else to get them, Vallarta Supermarket on Vineland between Vanowen and Sherman (right by the Burbank Airport) usually has a fine selection in the cafe in the east end of the building.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        I've posted this before, but again the agua frescas at Vallarta are the tops. They use fresh fruit and have a selection of 2-3 types as well as Horchata etc. The one I go for is called Agua de Frutas and is a combination of watermelon, cantalope, strawberry and others. Just delicious.

      2. You can actually get these tonight at the farmers market in Eagle Rock. It's in the parking lot of St Dominic's church. There is a Pupusa stand that sells about 5 varieties, and there is a Mexican stand that sells even more varieties. Clear Plastic Jugs and all. I believe it starts at 5 or so and goes up till around 9pm. Good luck.

        1. El Zarape in North Hollywood & Van Nuys serves various flavors from mango, watermelon, cantelope, and more as well as Jaimaca, and other delicious meals. Plus their homemade corn tortillas they make there are amazing!

          Just call 411 for info

          I go to the one on Burbank Blvd by Laurel Cyn.


          1. Alegria on Sunset also has agua frescas all year round--no jugs, but made fresh for you. It's on sunset in silverlake.

            1. There's a place in the Mercado La Paloma (linked below) called Oaxacalifornia that always has a nice collection of fresh made aquas frescas. (I love the watermelon.)

              Different, but in the same vein, Raspados Zacatecas (422 N. Ford Blvd., (323) 264-7651) has absolutely wonderful raspados (Mexican snow cones) made with your choice of a dozen homemade fruit syrups. Really good stuff, studded with big hunks of sweet cooked fruit pulp.

              Link: http://www.mercadolapaloma.com/restau...

              1. Tonny's in Pasadena has five or six on their menu - apple, mango and carrot come immediately to mind - all made to order. A bunch of young guys were in there last night sucking up carrot juice like it was going out of style. The horchata, tamarindo and jamaica there are listed under a different category, whose name I do not at the moment remember.

                Funny you should bring this up; when we first sat down in there last night, Mrs. O commented on the huge stack of trimmed carrots in the big glass-front cooler, and wondered what they were for. We found out pretty soon...

                3 Replies
                1. re: Will Owen

                  The juices at Tonny's are indeed cheap and excellent but unfortunately the agua frescas are made from mixes.

                  1. re: Oro3030

                    One thing I was saying was that Tonny's juices are called "aguas frescas" on the menu, while the tamarindo etc. (which are definitely from mixes, yes) are called something else - "aguas de sabor" or something like that. And those are a bit thin and watery, usually, but they're about half the price of the REAL aguas frescas.

                    1. re: Will Owen

                      Their tamarindo tasted like toothpaste to me - unacceptable at any price.

                      But it doesn't matter as I gorge myself on fresh carrot-orange juice and their carnitas tacos or chiles rellenos. :)

                2. La Torta in a mini mall in studio city had a delicious cantaloupe and an amazing watermelon about 6 months ago. Thanks for reminding me!

                  1. I am definitely a fan of the fresh agua frescas as well.

                    Here is a haphazard collection of my favorite freshly made ones:

                    Huarache Azteca on York on Highland Park has a collection of the standards including an exceptional cantaloupe.

                    Antojitos Guerrero near the above also has good standards (jamaica, horchata, tamarindo)

                    La Parilla (in Silver Lake) has a very good tamarindo as well as horchata and jamaica.

                    Guelaguetza in Koreatwon usually has something like mango or pineapple but stay away from their horchata IMO.

                    Loteria in the Grove/Farmer's market has a good cantaloupe.

                    La Casita Mexicana in Bell has a good lemon agua fresca with chia seeds.

                    Serenta de Garibaldi usually has several good agua frescas during lunchtime.

                    Liliana's Tamales in East LA has the standards

                    Mama's Hot Tamales in MacArthur Park often has them as well.

                    If you think of the El Salvadorian "ensalata" as an agua fresca there are many fine ones around the city but my favorite is La Arca on Figueroa in Highland Park.

                    1. The BEST tamarindo - totally delicious and chunky fresh - is at the little mariscos stand called La Playita on Lincoln Blvd in Venice. The food also rocks, but i really go for the tamarindo.

                      And i like the fresh watermelon agua fresca at the mexican place on Abbot Kinney corner of California in Venice. It's pure watermelon juice. My friend says the canteloupe is delicious, but i don't know because i can't pass on the watermelon and always get that. the food is passable Huge servings.

                      1. freshly made and natural aguas frescas at a new place called sabor a mexico taqueria and grill. they're food is also awesome since all is made at the instant it is ordered, nothing frozen or fake!

                        8940 national blvd
                        la,ca 90016
                        between robertson and venice

                        1. What's the story on the ones at King Taco--real or concentrate or? I usually just get Pepsi.

                          1. Since this topic was reopened... nobody's mentioned the aguas frescas bar at El Gallo Giro (Panorama City, San Fernando, East LA, Huntington Park, Jefferson Village, South Gate, Lynwood, Long Beach, Santa Ana and Fontana)... each has a bar full of fresh aguas frescas.

                            1. Davina posted in May about The Great Taste in Van Nuys for Aquas Frescas:

                              The Great Taste
                              7141 Kester Ave
                              Van Nuys
                              (818) 902-2187


                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Norm Man

                                I highly recommend this place. Little mom n pop storefront that is as fresh as can be. The last time I was there they pulled juicy red chunks of watermelon out of the fridge to make a fresca for me on the spot. There's a sign out in front that says under new management, hope everything is as good or better than before.

                              2. The real aguas frescas is at Oaxacalifornia located near USC at a ralaxing place called mercado la paloma, they also have fresh squeezed juices and vegan ice cream.

                                1. I'm looking to buy large quantities of aguas frescas in the jugs for a party. Somewhere in the L.A/SGV area. Anyone know where they will sell whole jugs to me? Thanks

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Ducksta

                                    Cooks in Monterey Park had some good Aguas Frescas. Not sure if they sell it by the jug. Wouldn't surprise me if they do if you ask them.

                                    1. re: luckattack

                                      Thanks! I just checked their website and they do sell them by the gallons for $19.99