10 Signs You Grew Up Eating Food in Southern California

If you grew up eating in SoCal, consider it something to pin on your “Awesome Things About My Life” board on Pinterest. It's a badge of honor; when non-natives ask me what Southern Californians do for fun, I list variations of “eat with friends” and “find new restaurants to try.” I'm not a liar, so what makes SoCal food so great? Well…


10. Nothing Beats In-N-Out

Since In-N-Out's founding in Baldwin Park, it's become the pride and joy of our fast food culture, something even fancy chefs can admit to love. Growing up, In-N-Out is the default destination after literally everything. High school dances, concerts, football games, regular school days–you name it. No wonder the UCI In-N-Out is full of Uni High kids all of the time.

9. You Think Mexican Candy is Amazing Candy

When someone says, “Give me the Lucas,” you know they're talking about the oh-so-addicting chili mango Mexican powder. Beyond that, too, you've dabbled in Tamarindo candy, Duvalin chocolate-strawberry candy, Vero mango-and-watermelon-flavored lollipops, and De La Rosa peanut confections–lead be damned.

8. What's Dunkin Donuts?

You've probably never eaten Dunkin Donuts. In fact, you probably didn't hear about the East-Coast-lauded chain until you either went to the one in Vegas and/or know someone from the East Coast. Now they're coming to California? We'll stick to our Cambodian donut shops, thanks much.
7. Taco Tuesday is the Best Day of the Week…

Monday may be a drag, but come Tuesday you have less-than-$1 tacos to look forward to, which by default makes Tuesday the most glorious day of all.

6. Next to AYCE Korean Barbeque Day

The Southern Californian eating experience would not be without evenings spent around gas-fired grills devouring meat until you can no longer move, stand, breathe properly, or talk to someone without declining into food coma. Korean barbecue places dot Orange County like bits of fat dot brisket, and you haven't truly lived the SoCal life if you haven't fallen asleep in your car after dinner.

5. You Know It's Called “Boba” and not “Pearls,” “Tapioca,” or “Bubbles”

The farthest the words “pearl,” “tapioca,” or “bubbles” have made it in SoCal's milk tea lingo is in the name of the joint itself.

4. You Know your Vietnamese Food

Because of your proximity to Little Saigon or the San Gabriel Valley, you've got your Viet food on lock down. Pfft, pho? We'll have some nem nuong, bún bò Hue and bánh mì, please.
3. Your preferred 24-hour food is Pho, Tacos, Fusion Joint, Banh Mi Che Cali, Soondubu, Donuts, Breakfast, or Jack in the Box.

If it isn't one of these, then it's probably all of them.

2. Horchata's fine, oh so fine.

Horchata: a Mexican rice-based drink that is an honor to taste and is graciously available in all throughout Los Angeles.

1. You know that $2 tacos are (Mostly) a Rip

$2 dollars for a taco?! Real taquerias are just around the block, and for just $1.50 (at most) you not only get a taco, but, more importantly, you get the real thing, radishes and all.

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