Mexican food is the lifeblood of San Diego. San Diegans appreciate the heft of a burrito and the ease of tortilla chips. But tacos reign supreme for their sheer variety and a handheld size that allows you to eat several in one sitting. From masterfully marinated pork to pit-roasted barbacoa, here are ten of the best taco spots in San Diego.
More rightly called a taco trailer than a truck, La Fachada might be the best spot in town for tacos. The must try menu item: Carnitas Huarache. Named after a Mexican sandal, the huarache is an oval of pan-fried hominy dough piled with lettuce, cotija cheese, crema, and for our purposes, carnitas, or marinated and lard braised Michoacán-style shredded pork. Think of it as a Mexican pizza.
Having one of Mexico’s most celebrated chefs in San Diego is one of the great things about your taco prospects in San Diego, and chef Javier Plascencia always makes sure to have some incredible tacos at his restaurants. At Bracero, in Little Italy, he has imported the Casa Plascencia beef-cheeks taco, which is an exercise in restraint and simplicity.
This franchise is all about fresh, sustainable local products tossed inside a tortilla—and what could be more San Diego than that? There are a variety of great tacos to choose from Puesto’s menu, but the vegetarian one made with zucchini, corn, and cactus hits all the right notes.
Beloved by locals before Andrew Zimmern helped to put it on the map, this Chula Vista hotspot is all about lamb, slow cooked Barbacoa-style.
Some San Diegans claim these tacos are the closest to tasting like Tijuana that they’ve found. The grilled carne asada tacos are the most popular, and for good reason: real carne asada cooked on mesquite. The steak is delicious, and when its juices mix with the avocado and salsa, it’s over: You’ll never go back to flat-top cooked carne asada again.
The grilled avocado taco is a must try! A grilled California avocado rests on a rich puree of fragrant black beans and is topped with a creamy corn salad; add some salsa and this taco will rock your world!
This Tijuana transplant has two San Diego locations that specialize in quick-service street tacos filled with a myriad of meats. Try the Taco de adobada. The adobada is lightly sweet and well-seasoned marinated pork on a corn tortilla with chopped onions, cilantro, a mild salsa, and a creamy avocado spread Tijuana taquerias are known for.
This food truck has been a San Diego favorite for a long time due to its amazing Tijuana-style seafood cuisine. Besides seafood cocktails, tostadas, and a killer fish taco, this truck is best known for its signature taco gobernador, or governor’s taco (named after a governor of Sinaloa). The gobernador here comes with large slices of sautéed vegetables, shrimp, and melted cheese. YUM!
San Diegans love their fish tacos delicious and cheap, and no one hits that mark like TJ Oyster Bar, which serves a $0.99 fish taco made with a tasty batter—yielding a perfect golden exterior—and dressed with cabbage, pico de gallo, and cream.
Popular caterer San Diego Taco Company recently opened a brick-and-mortar taco shop in Barrio Logan. The go-to taco: Taco de Barrio, which features stewed beef, black beans, and cactus wrapped in a handmade flour tortilla.
We know that San Diegans are passionate about their tacos. If your favorite taco spot doesn’t happen to be on this list, please add it in the comments.