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Lucha Libre Brings the Taco Smackdown to Carlsbad

The first North County location in now open

Sam Wells

On the cusp of the 10th anniversary of its flagship eatery in the Middletown area, Lucha Libre Taco Shop is going the distance with the opening of a new branch in North County that joins previous outposts in North Park and Petco Park. Part of a wave of fresh food options at The Shoppes in Carlsbad, which includes upcoming locations from local Breakfast Republic and Brazillian steakhouse Texas de Brazil, Lucha Libre’s 2,000-square-foot space includes an outdoor patio.

Local brothers Jose Luis, Maurilio and Diego Rojano Garcia, who founded the Mexican eatery with childhood friend Joseph Stewart, have brought their fast-casual menu to Carlsbad which includes signatures ranging from its riffs on a California burrito to a Queso Taco made with grilled crispy cheese, Smackdown Quesadilla, TJ Dog, and Knockout Fries topped with chicken or steak, bacon and mushrooms plus melted jack cheese, avocado, queso enchilado and secret chipotle sauce.

Open weekdays from 10 a.m. to midnight and Friday/Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., the Carlsbad location includes the chain’s colorful hallmarks, inspired by Mexican lucha libre culture, from wrestling masks to custom luchadores artwork by Daniel Chavira.