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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 might unofficially be the signature dish of San Diego, we can still be called a fish taco town. Said to have first been served in Ensenada, fish tacos are now a staple at mariscos trucks as well as sit-down spots offering Mexican-style seafood while other area establishments have adopted the fish taco due its overwhelming popularity.

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

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

Note: entries on this map are listed geographically.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. El Pescador Fish Market

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634 Pearl St
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 456-2526
Visit Website

Only the freshest local seafood passes through El Pescador’s kitchen. This La Jolla eatery’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

2. Oscars Mexican Seafood

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746 Emerald St
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 412-4009
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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.

3. Mar Rustico

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2540 Congress St
San Diego, CA 92110

Michelin honoree and birria superstar Priscilla Curiel entered the mariscos business with the opening of her Mexican seafood concept at the Old Town Orban Market in December. 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

4. City Tacos

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3028 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 296-2303
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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.

5. Karina's Ceviches & More

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3731 India St B
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 255-5900
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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

6. Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill

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3667 India St
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 497-0914
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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.

7. La 57

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3030 Grape Street
San Diego, CA 92102
(619) 703-7121
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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.

8. Mitch's Seafood

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1403 Scott St
San Diego, CA 92106
(619) 222-8787
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Fish tacos packed with locally-landed 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.

9. Not Not Tacos

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550 W Date St Suite B
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 269-6725
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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.

10. Brigantine Seafood & Oyster Bar

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1360 N Harbor Dr
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 719-4960
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Enjoy the view with some tacos and a cocktail at Brigantine’s newest dining room. the Portside Pier location offers the classic fish tacos along with a Sonora-style marinated swordfish taco, both making for a great dinner after a day out on the waterfront. 

11. The Taco Stand

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645 B St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 546-0570
Visit Website

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

12. TJ Oyster Bar

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4410 Bonita Rd
Bonita, CA 91902
(619) 434-4780
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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

13. Mariscos Los Cuates

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217 3rd Ave
Chula Vista, CA 91910
(619) 816-5042
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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

14. Mariscos El FIli, La Carreta

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652 Broadway
Chula Vista, CA 91910

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 breakout hits. 

15. El Cacho Fish Tacos

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1282 3rd Ave
Chula Vista, CA 91911
(619) 770-5053

Moving from its popular corner on Main Street, El Cacho now anchors the Tia Juana Food Court on Chula Vista’s Third Avenue. This mariscos truck slings some of the best fish tacos and seafood anywhere, but specialities like the Taco Popotla with battered fish and octopus and the smoked marlin Taco Cabo are two of the must-try items.

El Cacho

1. El Pescador Fish Market

634 Pearl St, La Jolla, CA 92037
El Pescador Fish Market

Only the freshest local seafood passes through El Pescador’s kitchen. This La Jolla eatery’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.

634 Pearl St
La Jolla, CA 92037

2. Oscars Mexican Seafood

746 Emerald St, San Diego, CA 92109

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.

746 Emerald St
San Diego, CA 92109

3. Mar Rustico

2540 Congress St, San Diego, CA 92110
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 Orban Market in December. 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.

2540 Congress St
San Diego, CA 92110

4. City Tacos

3028 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104

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.

3028 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104

5. Karina's Ceviches & More

3731 India St B, San Diego, CA 92103
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. 

3731 India St B
San Diego, CA 92103

6. Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill

3667 India St, San Diego, CA 92103

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.

3667 India St
San Diego, CA 92103

7. La 57

3030 Grape Street, San Diego, CA 92102

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.

3030 Grape Street
San Diego, CA 92102

8. Mitch's Seafood

1403 Scott St, San Diego, CA 92106

Fish tacos packed with locally-landed 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.

1403 Scott St
San Diego, CA 92106

9. Not Not Tacos

550 W Date St Suite B, San Diego, CA 92101

“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.

550 W Date St Suite B
San Diego, CA 92101

10. Brigantine Seafood & Oyster Bar

1360 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101

Enjoy the view with some tacos and a cocktail at Brigantine’s newest dining room. the Portside Pier location offers the classic fish tacos along with a Sonora-style marinated swordfish taco, both making for a great dinner after a day out on the waterfront. 

1360 N Harbor Dr
San Diego, CA 92101

11. The Taco Stand

645 B St, San Diego, CA 92101
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.

645 B St
San Diego, CA 92101

12. TJ Oyster Bar

4410 Bonita Rd, Bonita, CA 91902
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.

4410 Bonita Rd
Bonita, CA 91902

13. Mariscos Los Cuates

217 3rd Ave, Chula Vista, CA 91910
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. 

217 3rd Ave
Chula Vista, CA 91910

14. Mariscos El FIli, La Carreta

652 Broadway, Chula Vista, CA 91910

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 breakout hits. 

652 Broadway
Chula Vista, CA 91910

15. El Cacho Fish Tacos

1282 3rd Ave, Chula Vista, CA 91911
El Cacho

Moving from its popular corner on Main Street, El Cacho now anchors the Tia Juana Food Court on Chula Vista’s Third Avenue. This mariscos truck slings some of the best fish tacos and seafood anywhere, but specialities like the Taco Popotla with battered fish and octopus and the smoked marlin Taco Cabo are two of the must-try items.

1282 3rd Ave
Chula Vista, CA 91911

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