10 Top Spots for Tacos in San Diego

Tacos el Gordo brings over-the-border flair to its popular Mexican fare.

Whether it’s Taco Tuesday, National Taco Day or any day of the week—America’s Finest City takes their tacos very seriously. Here’s our roundup of some top stops for your taco fix in San Diego.

Edited by Lisa Kelley

Tacos el Gordo de Tijuana
The Tijuana-based taco shop has expanded into San Diego and Las Vegas in recent years and its crazy popularity means you should expect a line out the door at most times of the day. We recommend the adobada with fresh-sliced spiced pork on a corn tortilla; or opt for the carne aside, squared or azteca with grilled beef and cactus. More adventurous diners can opt for tripa (beef tripe), cabeza (beef head), buche (pork stomach) and lengua (beef tongue). Don’t leave without grabbing some helado-the Mexican ice cream comes in tons of flavors but our favorites are coffee, cookies and cream and strawberry. 3265 Palm Ave., Otay Mesa West, 619.575.7280 and 689 H St., Chula Vista, 619.691.8848. tacoselgordobc.com

As one of San Diego’s favorite stops for authentic Mexican food, Barrio Logan’s Salud! knows their tacos. Tuesdays, enjoy three tacos for $5 including their carne asada, carnitas, al pastor, birria and more. Save room for churros and ice cream or their tamarindo apple for dessert. 2196 Logan Ave., Barrio Logan, 619.255.3856. saludsd.com

Brand new to the Pacific Beach neighborhood and only blocks from the beach, Pueblo showcases a Latin coastal menu sourcing local ingredients whenever possible. Enjoy the fish taco plate with seasonally rotating catches topped with green cabbage, pineapple salsa, lime crema and black beans; or opt for the beef cheek taco plate with tender slow-cooked beef, pickled carrots, thai basil, cucumber salad and Fresno chiles. And there’s even a taco for dessert: order the chocolate taco topped with rich chocolate ice cream, candied marcona almonds and chipotle ganache. 877 Hornblende St., Pacific Beach, 858.412.3312. pueblopb.com

Don Chido
The Gaslamp Quarter’s Don Chido is serving up taco Tuesday specials all day long, including $2 carne, chicken or carnitas tacos, $5 margaritas, $4 Mexican beers and $5 tequila shots. 527 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter. donchido.com

Puesto always has a stellar lineup of tacos on Tuesdays in which each taco is only $2.50 and can be paired with $3.50 Modelos and $6 house margaritas. However, for such a special occasion as National Taco Day, they’re showcasing the new Nogada taco for one day only. The limited-edition taco features Picadillo of beef and pork, autumn fruits, nogada sauce, walnuts, pomegranate and cilantro. Enjoy the Nogada taco for $6 ea. 789 W. Harbor Dr., Headquarters, 619.233.8880 and 1026 Wall St., La Jolla, 858.454.1260. eatpuesto.com

For one day only, enjoy Puesto’s special Nogado taco.

Mitch’s Seafood
We would be remiss not to mention the delicious fish tacos at Mitch’s Seafood in Point Loma. The family-owned seafood joint has an outdoor patio overlooking the harbor and the fishing fleet. As far as taco options are concerned, enjoy grilled local fish or wild shrimp, beer battered Alaskan cod, fried calamari, or an octopus tostada. 1403 Scott St., Point Loma, 619.222.8787. mitchsseafood.com

Fish Shop
With locations in both Encinitas and Pacific Beach, Fish Shop is another top choice for fish tacos. Customize your order by first selecting the type of fish, then the marinade and style. Our favorite is the TKO taco with mahi mahi on a corn tortilla topped with tropical salsa. Other popular orders include the lobster tacos, jumbo shrimp, diver scallops, swordfish and more. 1010 S. Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, 760.436.4665. thefishshopencinitas.com and 1775 Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach, 858.483.4746. thefishshoppb.com

This Carlsbad Village staple has a laid-back atmosphere and traditional Mexican decor, perfect matched to enjoy tacos on the outdoor patio. Sip a house-margarita and order a chicken or carne asada taco topped with shredded lettuce, cilantro, guacamole and salsa fresco. 3003 Carlsbad Blvd., Carlsbad, 760.729.0903. nortemexicanrestaurant.menutoeat.com

The Taco Stand
The popular source for authentic street tacos has three locations in San Diego (La Jolla, Encinitas and the Gaslamp Quarter). Sip Mexican Coca-Cola while chowing on their delicious tacos with fresh ingredients assembled “hecho a mano” (made by hand). Almost all the tacos are priced under $4 each, so stock up on grilled pescado (mahi mahi), al pastor (pork), pollo asado (grilled chicken), and camaron (spicy shrimp). For the vegetarians, they also offer the nopal taco with flame-grilled cactus, melted cheese, cilantro sauce, tomato and avocado. 645 B St., downtown, 619.546.0570; 621 Pearl St., La Jolla, 858.551.6666; 642 S. Coast Hwy. 101, Encinitas, 760.230.2061. letstaco.com

Fill up on street tacos at one of The Taco Stand’s three San Diego locales.

Lucha Libre
This funky eclectic eatery has locations in both Mission Hills and North Park and serves up tacos all day long. Grab breakfast tacos from 10-11 a.m. or head over for their creative lunch and dinner options. Arrive early or be prepared to wait in line-the surf and turf tacos put the eatery on the map and remain the most popular item on the taco menu. Other highlights include the flaco taco served with lettuce instead of a tortilla; the undefeated seafood taco or the rolled tacos with guacamole. 1810 W. Washington St., Mission Hills, 619.296.8226 and 3016 University Ave., North Park, 619.487.1520. tacosmackdown.com


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