October 4th is National Taco Day and Los Angeles celebrates with the Pacific Park World Taco Eating Championship at the Santa Monica Pier. Each year, the world’s top competitive eaters meet outside Pacific Park’s Whac-a-mole Tacos to eat hundreds of LA street-style carnitas tacos in just 8 minutes.
Watch the 2019 World Taco Championship
Joey Chestnut defended his world championship title by eating a record breaking 82 LA street-style carnitas tacos in just 8 minutes. Read more about the taco eating championship including full rankings and highlights.
The 2019 Pacific Park World Taco Eating Championship
Friday, October 4th, 2019
North entrance of Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier
380 Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica, CA 90401
We strongly suggest that visitors to the Pier consider taking metro to Downtown Santa Monica. For more options, including driving directions and tips on parking, visit pacpark.com/directions.
This is a free, public event. Attendees will receive a coupon to enjoy a $1 taco at Whac-a-mole Tacos (while supplies last), that will be open to the public following the event. The Taco Eating Championship will also be live-streamed, so be sure to follow @pacpark for more information.
National Taco Day
National Taco Day is a day of recognition for one of LA’s most ubiquitous dishes, the taco. According to nationaltacoday.com, the origin of the taco is largely unknown, but certainly has history in 17th century Spanish Mexico. National Taco Day has been designated as the day to celebrate this globally recognized dish.
Pacific Park World Taco Eating Championship
In 2018, competitive eater Joey Chestnut won the Pacific Park Taco Eating Championship by eating 62 LA street-style carnitas tacos in just 8 minutes. This set a world-record for carnitas tacos, as recognized by Major League Eating and the International Federation of Competitive Eating. Joey Chestnut holds several world records for eating hot dogs, chicken wings, and tacos. Chestnut is best known for his consecutive record-setting wins at the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island New York.
Major League Eating is the world body that oversees all professional eating competitions. The organization, which developed the sport of competitive eating and includes the sport’s governing body, the International Federation of Competitive Eating, develops, publicizes and executes world-class eating events in all varieties of food disciplines.
LA Street-style Tacos
California can claim to be the origin of several types of tacos, including the crunchy-shell taco made famous by Taco Bell restaurants, and popularizing several other varieties of taco, such as the fish taco. In Los Angeles, the most popular style of taco commonly served by street-side vendors and taco trucks is two 3-inch soft corn tortillas topped with grilled or braised meat, cilantro and onion. The eater may squeeze on fresh lime and add hot sauce or salsa. This style of taco is found all over Mexico and is becoming more popular in other US states and beyond, but in LA, this style of taco is as ubiquitous as bacon-wrapped hotdogs and kombucha. For the Pacific Park World Taco Eating Championship, the LA street-style tacos are topped with carnitas, lightly seasoned and slow roasted pork, but this style of taco is just as commonly topped with chicken, al pastor, or grilled steak.
Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier
The amusement park on the Santa Monica Pier features 12 thrilling rides, open air shopping, and many options for seaside dining including Whac-a-mole Tacos. The park is open daily, 365 days a year when weather permits (which is most days in sunny southern California). The World Taco Eating Championship is one of many events held at the Park each year. Learn more about our events, or start planning your visit today.