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Tacos Libertad Brings Together Tacos and Charity as the Ultimate Feel-Good Combo

Written By: Isabella Cook
Photographed By: Nick Isabella Tacos Libertad Charity

The motto of San Diego’s Tacos Libertad is “tacos for good,” which pretty much sums up the philanthropic business model behind these delicious street-style tacos. While customers order and eat as usual, the restaurant takes the profits and donates them to an anonymously chosen charity every month. Leslie Cohn, co-founder of the Cohn Restaurant Group, and Jeff Pitroff, operations manager at Tacos Libertad, are the people behind this charitable operation. Anyone looking for a unique and all-around feel-good dining experience needs to get down to Tacos Libertad for both the food and the cause.

The restaurant itself is located on busy University Ave. in Hillcrest, and a line is often seen sprawling out the door and onto the curb. With the delicious smell of street tacos done right, along with a trendy yet comfortable decor indoors, it’s easy to see why Tacos Libertad is a local favorite. 

Customers can order their tacos in the front of the restaurant and eat there or head to the backroom—a glamorous speakeasy that’s perfect for sipping drinks and savoring tacos. Tacos Libertad is also conveniently located near several bars, making it the perfect pit stop for a night on the town! Dig into the customer-favorite Libertad Fries, the duck confit tacos or the classic flan for an unforgettable dining experience. Vegetarians are in luck as well since Tacos Libertad has several tempting meatless options on their menu.

Tacos Libertad was founded nearly three years ago and has since helped over 30 charities. Their mission? To make the world a better place, one taco at a time. “We wanted to focus on one charity each month,” explains Cohn. So each month, a charity is selected to receive a donation of at least $3,000 guaranteed. If Tacos Libertad makes more than the minimum, the excess goes to the charity, and if they make less than the minimum, they still ensure the monthly charity receives its full donation. Other than the cost of running the restaurant and paying its employees, all the money Tacos Libertad makes goes to a good cause. “Once everything is paid off, 100 percent goes to charity,” explains Pitroff. Tacos Libertad has raised over $108,000 for charity so far, and that number is growing larger with each taco sold.

Among the numerous charities benefitting from Tacos Libertad is the Center for Gender Affirming Care, which received almost $12,000 in July 2019 in celebration of Pride. “It was pretty amazing,” declared Pitroff. Since the Hillcrest Pride Parade marches by the Tacos Libertad storefront every year, the restaurant and its team members take the issue close to heart. “With the buzz and excitement, you can tell Hillcrest is very community-oriented,” says Pitroff. “It’s such a fun little spot, and everyone’s got so much life and character!”

The concept of tacos for charity almost seems too good to be true, but Tacos Libertad is as real as the tacos they sell. Anyone out there wondering how they can get involved and help the community need only swing by Tacos Libertad for a mouthwatering meal. And even if a taco or two doesn’t seem like a big donation, rest assured, they add up. “People think they can’t make a difference,” explains Cohn, “but tacos are $4.50!” There’s no better feeling than eating a good meal for a good cause, and it’s up to the hungry people of San Diego to get out there and eat tacos for charity. “We can’t do this without the community,” Pitroff says, “and we’re so appreciative.”

Tacos Libertad
1023 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92103