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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 staple 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.

1. El Cacho at Windmill Food Hall

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890 Palomar Airport Rd
Carlsbad, CA 92011
(760) 214-9127
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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.

2. El Pescador Fish Market

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

3. El Viejon Seafood

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4619 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 737-9192
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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.

4. 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.

5. 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. 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

6. 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.

7. 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

8. 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. Headed to Ocean Beach? Find a sister location just blocks away from shore.

9. Mi Gusto Es

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4425 Home Ave
San Diego, CA 92105

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

10. 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.

11. 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. Looking to take home some of 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.

12. 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.

13. The Taco Stand

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

14. 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

15. 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

16. 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 two of the breakout hits. 

1. El Cacho at Windmill Food Hall

890 Palomar Airport Rd, Carlsbad, CA 92011

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.

890 Palomar Airport Rd
Carlsbad, CA 92011

2. 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 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.

634 Pearl St
La Jolla, CA 92037

3. El Viejon Seafood

4619 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111

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.

4619 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111

4. 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

5. 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. 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

6. 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

7. 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

8. 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. Headed to Ocean Beach? Find a sister location just blocks away from shore.

3667 India St
San Diego, CA 92103

9. Mi Gusto Es

4425 Home Ave, San Diego, CA 92105
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.

4425 Home Ave
San Diego, CA 92105

10. 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

11. 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. Looking to take home some of 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.

1403 Scott St
San Diego, CA 92106

12. 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

13. 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

14. 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

15. 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

Related Maps

16. 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 two of the breakout hits. 

652 Broadway
Chula Vista, CA 91910

Related Maps