downtown los angeles

Norma’s Tacos (Formerly Taco Station) Now Open Near Pasadena City College (PCC)

Norma's Tacos is actually a real vintage gas station from 1924

Serendipity is all I can say. I had just finished a meeting with a colleague and had a lengthy discussion on the topic of the proposed Pasadena streetcar that would hopefully run down Green St one day. After the meeting, I decided to drive down Green St just to imagine what it would be like to ride in a streetcar one day (hopefully all the way down to PCC). To my pleasant surprise, the vintage and historic gas station at the corner of Green and Chester had large red umbrellas out and people eating at dining tables outside! I was so excited that I immediately pulled into the parking lot and wanted to find out more info.

I met the owner, Norma, who explained to me while I munched on a delicious steak quesadilla that her eponymously named restaurant  just opened on April 17th and is a 20-year dream come true. Born in Sonora, Mexico, she has been a Pasadena resident for 21 years now. Her dream of owning her own business led her and her husband Ulises to this unique historic gas station (built in 1924) because of the charm inherent in the vintage gas pumps and lamp poles among other bygone qualities the station offered.

All the vegetables are picked up fresh daily (by Norma herself) and the tortillas are home made.

As I left Norma’s Tacos, I couldn’t help but think maybe one day I would be able to take a streetcar all the way down Green St to this cute restaurant.

Because there isn’t a website yet, here’s more info:

Norma’s Tacos
1265 E Green St
Pasadena, CA 91106
626-795-1224 (To Go Orders)

M thru Sat — 11AM-9PM
Sundays — 11AM-6PM

Norma's Tacos Menu (Click on menu to enlarge)

Orders can also be called in ahead of time by calling 626-795-1224

Norma's husband helps run the restaurant

The steak quesadilla I had was delicious

Norma's Tacos is open for both lunch and dinner


  1. It’s great to see old gas stations and other roadside buildings preserved, as it’s very difficult to convince people they’re worth historical status. Green St. and Walnut St. are both very rich in vintage automotive buildings (Walnut could be designated as a historic automotive district it has so many).

    I wish them luck. The last taco place to occupy the site didn’t last too long and it’s been empty for years. I think that part of Green has a little more activity now, though. We’ll check it out.

  2. Cindy says

    I just walked by this old gas station a week ago and the taco stand wasn’t there… but I was thinking how sad it was sitting there empty. I think it used to have a retro clothing store for a while. Can’t wait to go visit the taco stand!

  3. @ Chris and Cindy – please let us know what you thought of the food, ambiance, etc. afterward!

  4. Cindy says

    I tried out the Taco Station yesterday. A couple of things to note: They take credit cards, and they make their own tortillas! I have to say, their tacos were easily as good as the Border Grill taco truck, at a fraction of the price & local! I was particularly impressed with the cochinita pibil, the frijoles puercos (has sausage & cheese!) and the carne asada. It was really nice sitting out on that end of Green on Sunday – very quiet and peaceful. The guy I chatted with there (in your pic #4) said they haven’t done any advertising yet, but they were really impressed with the turnout. I really hope it succeeds! They should totally make sure they advertise at PCC and Caltech!

    • Thank you Cindy for sharing with us your experience at Taco Station. I went there myself this past Saturday and loved it!

  5. Jason lee says

    I am a tacomania. I will visit soon.
    But I like Vietnamese pho soup too.

  6. We sent by over the weekend and really liked it. It’s a great location and a nice place to eat lunch.

  7. I ate there last evening after having dinner at Daisy Mint. I walked by there to see if it was open and there was a line of 20 people. After scanning the menu I ordered the Taquitos “para llevar” I saw that they were making and griddling their own tortillas. As I walked away eating the taquitos, I back tracked and wanted to try more. This time I got the Tacos Dorados (hard tacos) and the cochinita pibil. I was in heaven! I called friends to join me before they closed at 9pm and immediately fell in love w/ the place, atmospere, and flavore. I will definately come back to explore more of the menu! The reason to come here is for those fresh hand made and griddled tortillas. It really makes a difference in taste and overall texture. A funny thing to add is while I was chowing down, this young couple came and viewed the menu, then the gal goes “They don’t even have nachos, what kind of place is this?!” and convinced her man to go to McDonalds! The best time to go is after 4:30pm when the sun is settling down for the evening. Bring your own drink to save money. There is no restroom, so go beforehand!

  8. BTW the trolley idea down Green Street is such a great idea! More Restaurants/Cafes/Shops/businesses would set up on Green beyond Lake if there was a trolley. Old time nostalgia is such a good thing make Pasadena stand out among all the cities in the SGV.

    • The Pasadena trolley streetcar feasibility study is supposed to be completed this month (May). So stay tuned!! (Crossing the fingers it’ll be great news)

  9. Clare Scott says

    Thanks for the recommendation, Brigham. I stopped by tonight on my way to a concert at PCC and enjoyed a soyrizo taco – excellent. Great to meet and chat to Ulysses. Glad they’re doing so well.

  10. Pingback: American Superior Vintage: Another Sign of “Neighborhoodification?” | Pasadena Real Estate [Blog] with Brigham Yen

Comments are closed.