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Where to Find the Finest Fish Tacos in San Diego

From Baja-style to smoked fish and more

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While the California burrito has deep local roots and some may consider it one of the city’s calling cards, the fish taco is arguably the most iconic of all San Diego dishes. Said to have first been served in Ensenada, fish tacos are staples at mariscos trucks all over town as well as at sit-down spots offering Mexican-style seafood, while many other area restaurants have adopted the fish taco to due its overwhelming popularity.

You’re never too far from a great fish taco in San Diego, and this list highlights some local standouts.

Note: entries on this map are listed geographically.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

El Cacho at Windmill Food Hall

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In need of a solid fish taco in North County? Chula Vista’s famed El Cacho Fish Tacos is now slinging its popular mariscos out of a stall at Windmill Food Hall. The stationary outpost still deals a variety of fish tacos, from classic Baja-battered filets to spicy shrimp and sautéed octopus. South Bay residents fear not, as you can still find El Cacho’s famed mobile operation wheeling around, with location details posted on its Instagram stories.

El Pescador Fish Market

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Only the freshest local seafood passes through El Pescador’s kitchen and onto your tortilla. This La Jolla restaurant and seafood market’s take on the fish taco is simple but elegant, with perfectly grilled local fish topped with a cabbage salad. The burritos include local yellowtail, squid, and sea bass as filling options.

El Pescador Fish Market

El Viejon Seafood

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El Viejon planted its flag in a neighborhood lacking in dedicated Mexican seafood specialists with its arrival on Convoy last summer. Staying true to Baja form, the Ensenada style fish tacos don’t miss, even with the house flour tortilla and crispy cheese upgrade. The smoked fish taco and the mano larga — a mashup taco bringing together birria and octopus — also rank high on a strong line up. A veggie friendly version of the Ensenada taco is available too, with battered cauliflower pinch-hitting for the fish fillet.

Oscars Mexican Seafood

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With two Pacific Beach locations and a Hillcrest outpost, Oscar’s is a popular hangout for casual seafood. Its smoked fish tacos topped with cabbage, avocado and cheese are a standout but the house take on the classic fried and grilled fish tacos are also worth a bite.

Mar Rustico

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Michelin honoree and birria superstar Priscilla Curiel entered the mariscos business with the opening of her Mexican seafood concept at the Old Town Urban Market. While the menu focuses on lime-cured ceviches and spicy aguachile platters, you’ll also find the chef’s take on Baja-style fish tacos. The menu also includes smoked marlin burritos choyeros, reminiscent of road trips from La Paz to Cabo.

Outside Old Town Urban Market
Candice Woo

City Tacos

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While many opt for the borrego or Mexicali tacos, the pescado and Veracruzano tacos should be on your radar for your next visit to City Tacos. The first places a golden fried strip of mahi mahi alongside the usual toppings and habanero strawberries while the Veracruzano takes inspiration from its colonial port namesake, tossing a filet in sauteed olives and garlic. Look out for the Mike Hess beer-battered fish taco at the Imperial Beach outpost.

Karina's Ceviches & More

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This sized-down, walk-up location featured a welcoming shaded patio and offers a condensed menu that includes the all-time classic Baja-style taco along with grilled fish tacos. Looking for something a bit different? The mariscos experts also offer a seared ahi tuna taco. 

Karina’s

Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill

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Known for being a go-to spot for casual seafood, Blue Water’s extensive menu includes tacos stuffed with a variety of fish including red snapper, yellowtail tuna, mahi mahi, and swordfish, seasoned with house chipotle sauce and topped with standard garnishes. Headed to Ocean Beach? Find a sister location just blocks away from shore.

Mi Gusto Es

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Construction the East Village site previously hosting Mi Gusto Es pushed the popular truck to a new location but the move to City Heights did not stop them from continuing to deliver on some of the most honest and, most importantly, delicious mariscos in all San Diego. There is not a bad item on the menu, so take your pick from battered fish, smoked marlin, gobernador, and seafood medley tacos, to name a few. And while this is a fish taco list, we do have to recommend the fresh aguachile tostadas as summer begins to heat up.

Mi Gusto Es mariscos seafood truck
Mi Gusto Es Facebook

The long lines don’t lie, this South Park mariscos truck makes some of the best fish and mariscos tacos around. Pick up a Baja trio with a classic battered fish taco, a smoked marlin taco and a shrimp taco to sample a bit of everything. The seafood mix taco throws all the marine proteins on a tortilla — white fish, octopus, mussel and marlin — seasoned with savory salsa maggi.

Mitch's Seafood

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Fish tacos packed with local product and a pour of your favorite IPA is as San Diego as it gets. This casual spot by the water offers a grilled fish taco featuring the catch of the day, while the beer-battered taco features wild cod. Looking to take home some of the seafood featured on the menu? Mitch’s co-owner Mitch Connell is also a partner in the new TunaVille Market and Grocery, located just down the way at Driscoll’s Wharf.

Not Not Tacos

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“Asian salmon” may not be what anyone thinks of when they hear the words fish taco, but it’s fish on a tortilla, right? This entry brings salmon, kewpie mayo, jicama and microgreens together atop a flour tortilla. Off the wall? Sure. Delicious? Absolutely.

The Taco Stand

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While the rich carne asada and juicy adobada are two of the local chain’s calling cards, don’t sleep on the fish tacos. The Baja-style tacos top a battered fish filet with the usual fixings: fresh cabbage, pico, cilantro and the house chipotle crema. Wanna go bigger? Get the pescado burrito, loading all these ingredients into a large flour tortilla. The Taco Stand just opened a new location on Convoy too.

The Taco Stand

TJ Oyster Bar

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A South Bay institution, TJ Oyster Bar has been wrapping fish tacos and serving oysters for almost 20 years. A Baja-style vibe and quality ingredients continue to bring customers into this revered mariscos stop. While the original location is packed almost every day, a bigger location nearby has more than enough space for everyone looking to put away a few tacos and micheladas.

Tj Oyster Bar

Mariscos Los Cuates

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Founded by a father-and-son team hailing from Sinaloa — Mexico’s seafood capital — the staff at Los Cuates knows a thing or two about what goes into a stellar fish taco. Specials and lunch plates offer a good chance to sample some of the house tacos along with a small bowl of fresh ceviche. The taco perron, a cheesy taco topped with smoked marlin and spicy shrimp, is a must. 

Yelp

Mariscos El FIli, La Carreta

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As a longtime fixture on Chula Vista’s Broadway drag, this truck draws in mariscos connoisseurs and locals to get their fix of fish tacos and more. While the standard grilled and battered fish tacos are solid choices, the chicharron de pargo taco — with flaky chunks of fried pacific snapper — and the pescado ajillo taco — topped with white fish sauteed in a garlic and onion sauce — are two of the breakout hits. 

El Cacho at Windmill Food Hall

In need of a solid fish taco in North County? Chula Vista’s famed El Cacho Fish Tacos is now slinging its popular mariscos out of a stall at Windmill Food Hall. The stationary outpost still deals a variety of fish tacos, from classic Baja-battered filets to spicy shrimp and sautéed octopus. South Bay residents fear not, as you can still find El Cacho’s famed mobile operation wheeling around, with location details posted on its Instagram stories.

El Pescador Fish Market

El Pescador Fish Market

Only the freshest local seafood passes through El Pescador’s kitchen and onto your tortilla. This La Jolla restaurant and seafood market’s take on the fish taco is simple but elegant, with perfectly grilled local fish topped with a cabbage salad. The burritos include local yellowtail, squid, and sea bass as filling options.

El Pescador Fish Market

El Viejon Seafood

El Viejon planted its flag in a neighborhood lacking in dedicated Mexican seafood specialists with its arrival on Convoy last summer. Staying true to Baja form, the Ensenada style fish tacos don’t miss, even with the house flour tortilla and crispy cheese upgrade. The smoked fish taco and the mano larga — a mashup taco bringing together birria and octopus — also rank high on a strong line up. A veggie friendly version of the Ensenada taco is available too, with battered cauliflower pinch-hitting for the fish fillet.

Oscars Mexican Seafood

With two Pacific Beach locations and a Hillcrest outpost, Oscar’s is a popular hangout for casual seafood. Its smoked fish tacos topped with cabbage, avocado and cheese are a standout but the house take on the classic fried and grilled fish tacos are also worth a bite.

Mar Rustico

Outside Old Town Urban Market
Candice Woo

Michelin honoree and birria superstar Priscilla Curiel entered the mariscos business with the opening of her Mexican seafood concept at the Old Town Urban Market. While the menu focuses on lime-cured ceviches and spicy aguachile platters, you’ll also find the chef’s take on Baja-style fish tacos. The menu also includes smoked marlin burritos choyeros, reminiscent of road trips from La Paz to Cabo.

Outside Old Town Urban Market
Candice Woo

City Tacos

While many opt for the borrego or Mexicali tacos, the pescado and Veracruzano tacos should be on your radar for your next visit to City Tacos. The first places a golden fried strip of mahi mahi alongside the usual toppings and habanero strawberries while the Veracruzano takes inspiration from its colonial port namesake, tossing a filet in sauteed olives and garlic. Look out for the Mike Hess beer-battered fish taco at the Imperial Beach outpost.

Karina's Ceviches & More

Karina’s

This sized-down, walk-up location featured a welcoming shaded patio and offers a condensed menu that includes the all-time classic Baja-style taco along with grilled fish tacos. Looking for something a bit different? The mariscos experts also offer a seared ahi tuna taco. 

Karina’s

Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill

Known for being a go-to spot for casual seafood, Blue Water’s extensive menu includes tacos stuffed with a variety of fish including red snapper, yellowtail tuna, mahi mahi, and swordfish, seasoned with house chipotle sauce and topped with standard garnishes. Headed to Ocean Beach? Find a sister location just blocks away from shore.

Mi Gusto Es

Mi Gusto Es mariscos seafood truck
Mi Gusto Es Facebook

Construction the East Village site previously hosting Mi Gusto Es pushed the popular truck to a new location but the move to City Heights did not stop them from continuing to deliver on some of the most honest and, most importantly, delicious mariscos in all San Diego. There is not a bad item on the menu, so take your pick from battered fish, smoked marlin, gobernador, and seafood medley tacos, to name a few. And while this is a fish taco list, we do have to recommend the fresh aguachile tostadas as summer begins to heat up.

Mi Gusto Es mariscos seafood truck
Mi Gusto Es Facebook

La 57

The long lines don’t lie, this South Park mariscos truck makes some of the best fish and mariscos tacos around. Pick up a Baja trio with a classic battered fish taco, a smoked marlin taco and a shrimp taco to sample a bit of everything. The seafood mix taco throws all the marine proteins on a tortilla — white fish, octopus, mussel and marlin — seasoned with savory salsa maggi.

Mitch's Seafood

Fish tacos packed with local product and a pour of your favorite IPA is as San Diego as it gets. This casual spot by the water offers a grilled fish taco featuring the catch of the day, while the beer-battered taco features wild cod. Looking to take home some of the seafood featured on the menu? Mitch’s co-owner Mitch Connell is also a partner in the new TunaVille Market and Grocery, located just down the way at Driscoll’s Wharf.

Not Not Tacos

“Asian salmon” may not be what anyone thinks of when they hear the words fish taco, but it’s fish on a tortilla, right? This entry brings salmon, kewpie mayo, jicama and microgreens together atop a flour tortilla. Off the wall? Sure. Delicious? Absolutely.

The Taco Stand

The Taco Stand

While the rich carne asada and juicy adobada are two of the local chain’s calling cards, don’t sleep on the fish tacos. The Baja-style tacos top a battered fish filet with the usual fixings: fresh cabbage, pico, cilantro and the house chipotle crema. Wanna go bigger? Get the pescado burrito, loading all these ingredients into a large flour tortilla. The Taco Stand just opened a new location on Convoy too.

The Taco Stand

TJ Oyster Bar

Tj Oyster Bar

A South Bay institution, TJ Oyster Bar has been wrapping fish tacos and serving oysters for almost 20 years. A Baja-style vibe and quality ingredients continue to bring customers into this revered mariscos stop. While the original location is packed almost every day, a bigger location nearby has more than enough space for everyone looking to put away a few tacos and micheladas.

Tj Oyster Bar

Mariscos Los Cuates

Yelp

Founded by a father-and-son team hailing from Sinaloa — Mexico’s seafood capital — the staff at Los Cuates knows a thing or two about what goes into a stellar fish taco. Specials and lunch plates offer a good chance to sample some of the house tacos along with a small bowl of fresh ceviche. The taco perron, a cheesy taco topped with smoked marlin and spicy shrimp, is a must. 

Yelp

Related Maps

Mariscos El FIli, La Carreta

As a longtime fixture on Chula Vista’s Broadway drag, this truck draws in mariscos connoisseurs and locals to get their fix of fish tacos and more. While the standard grilled and battered fish tacos are solid choices, the chicharron de pargo taco — with flaky chunks of fried pacific snapper — and the pescado ajillo taco — topped with white fish sauteed in a garlic and onion sauce — are two of the breakout hits. 

Related Maps