Recognized last year by the Michelin Guide as one of five “new discoveries” in the San Diego area, Tuetano Taqueria has been amassing fans from both sides of the border since it first opened in San Ysidro in 2018. From its modest kitchen, chef/owner Priscila Curiel makes magic with slow-cooked, Tijuana-style beef birria, featured with melted cheese in a quesabirria, a Tijuana classic, or in a headline-grabbing taco topped with rich bone marrow.
After nearly four years in South San Diego, Curiel put her original space up for sale last week and plans to transport her birria palace to Old Town where Tuetano Taqueria will be one of the anchor tenants at the Old Town Urban Market, a mainly-outdoor dining and entertainment complex coming later this fall to the corner of Congress Street and Twiggs Street.
With diners driving from Los Angeles or further north just to get their taco fix, Curiel says she’s excited to move the restaurant to a more central location. Her real, regional Mexican food should also help draw more locals to the tourist hub, which predominately offers watered-down versions of the cuisine. The chef, whose family runs Chula Vista’s Talavera Azul and La Espadaña in Tijuana, also owns Mujer Divina in National City, a coffee and burrito spot that she’s thinking of moving into Old Town or elsewhere in San Diego.
Old Town Urban Market operations director Shannen El-Qasem tells Eater that they’re now finalizing the other eight to nine businesses that will share the 7,000-square-foot space, part of which was previously Miranda’s Courtyard, a longtime gift and trinket store. Primarily focused on food, with some retail, El Qasem said the lineup will include a beer and wine bar along with a mix of new and established concepts, including farmers market vendors. The market is currently scheduled to be completed this November.
- All Coming Attractions [ESD]