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Birria tacos topped with cilantro and onion.
Tacos from Tuetano Taqueria.
Tuetano Taqueria/Facebook

Where to Eat Tacos in San Diego

From Tijuana-style street tacos to mariscos, birria, and more

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Tacos from Tuetano Taqueria.
| Tuetano Taqueria/Facebook

San Diegans are lucky to be able to find just about any type of taco imaginable on our local streets. While everyone has their favorite taco spot or neighborhood gem, there are some local standouts that may not yet be on your radar. The following roundup includes stellar tacos from restaurants specializing in everything from mariscos to birria along with some vegetarian versions and upscale chef offerings. From the traditional and beyond, here are some of our must-try, tortilla-bound picks.

Note: map points on this list arranged geographically from north to south.

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The Taco Stand

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With The Taco Stand opening its eighth location on Convoy in late January, the locally based taco outfit is now slinging its sought after Tijuana-style tacos, burritos, fried churros and other goods along one of San Diego’s most bustling food corridors. The most recent arrival doesn’t stray from the tried and true formula, offering the classic proteins and a few veggie-friendly items in taco and burrito form.

An open kitchen and counter inside a taco restaurant.
The Taco Stand on Convoy.
Showa Hospitality

Puesto - Mission Valley

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Puesto set the pace for the luxe taco market in San Diego with tacos filled with fillet mignon, jidori chicken, and lobster, among other upmarket ingredients. Its most recent location in Mission Valley pours house beers to go along with your choice of tacos.

A modern cocktail bar inside a Mexican restaurant.
Puesto Cerveceria.
Jose Lopez

Carnitas Las Michoacanas

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Named after the Mexican state of Michoacan, this City Heights restaurant features carnitas that are as authentic as it gets. Order a pound or half-pound of the succulent fried pork and dig in with the provided tortillas and accompanying toppings. Carne asada and chicken are also available. A sister location in Chula Vista also offers the crispy carnitas out of a spot at Third and Palomar.

Storefront for Carnitas Las Michoacanas Carnitas Las Michoacanas/Facebook

Tuetano Taqueria

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Chef Priscilla Curiel’s Michelin-honored taqueria has moved from its original San Ysidro outpost to a swanky new space at the Old Town Urban Market. Her slow-cooked birra, made with beef shoulder cuts simmered in vibrant broth seasoned with cinnamon, cloves, and guajillo chiles, is the focus of the menu. Try it with her signature touch: a topping of roasted bone marrow.

A covered deck filled with a variety of tables.
Tuetano Taqueria at the Old Town Urban Market.
Candice Woo

Ranchos Cocina

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Find a long list of vegetarian and vegan friendly tacos at this perennially popular North Park Mexican restaurant. Nopales, tofu, seasonal veggies, shiitake mushrooms, and vegan “meats” are among your many filling option. Omnivores fear not, Rancho’s has plenty of traditional taco proteins and homestyle Mexican dishes.

City Tacos

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City Tacos has built up a local empire built on a foundation of fresh takes on traditional tacos. Standouts include the camarón enchilado taco — with grilled shrimp over asadero cheese topped with chipotle aioli and fresh lime — and the Mexicali taco, with skirt steak, potato and poblano peppers wrapped up in a flour tortilla. Veggie-friendly items are available too.

An assortment of tacos and drinks. City Tacos

La Vecindad

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Hillcrest is not without some tasty taco action. Swing by for drinks and Mexico City-style tacos campechanos, al pastor, and nopal with asada before or after hitting the bars. Taco Tuesday specials and Sunday brunch are also quite popular.

A plate of three tacos with a lime.
A trio of tacos.
Facebook [La Vecindad]

Mitch's Seafood

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Fish tacos packed with locally-landed, sustainable product and a pour of your favorite IPA by the bay is as San Diego as it gets. This casual establishment in the Point Loma area offers a great grilled fish taco featuring the catch of the day, while the beer-battered taco features wild cod.

Two fried fish tacos with chips.
Baja-style fish tacos at Mitch’s.
Mitch’s Seafood/Facebook

Pokez Mexican Restaurant

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This downtown restaurant has some of the best vegetarian and vegan tacos anywhere in town. The tofu, potato, and mushroom taco is one of the menu’s standout items, even if you’re an omnivore. Even raw vegans can grab some grub here, as the fresh green taco wraps avocado and cucumber in a crisp lettuce leaf.

Lola 55

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Lola55 in the East Village impresses with a combination of tasty tacos and cocktails served inside a stylish, urban dining space. The pork belly al pastor taco is a winner any day of the week, but don’t sleep on the Baja fish taco and the vegetarian-friendly squash blossom relleno taco. Look out for an incoming location, slated to arrive at the Beacon in Carlsbad.

A battered fish taco on a black plate.
Lola55’s fish taco.
Sam Wells

La Fachada

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One of the neighborhood’s longtime favorites, La Fachada has been the spot for tacos after work or late into the night. While the setting is sparse, one bite of a birria or lengua taco is enough to warrant a second visit. Other Mexican antojitos include gorditas and flautas topped with lettuce, sour cream, and cheese.

A plate of street tacos topped with cilantro and onions.
A plate of street tacos.
La Fachada

Las Cuatro Milpas

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Las Cuatro Milpas is one of San Diego’s most beloved Mexican restaurant for good reason. This Logan Avenue institution cranks out delightful fried tacos and flautas stuffed with pork or chicken along with flour tortillas and refried beans, made the same way they were first made back in 1933, when the Estudillo family opened the doors to this historic restaurant. While lines can get long, your patience will be rewarded at the counter. Cash only.

A checkered tablecloth set with Mexican dishes including tortillas, flautas, and tacos.
The greatest hits at Las Cuatro Milpas.
Ludmilla Zotova

¡Salud!

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¡Salud! continues to please both locals and visitors to Barrio Logan with delicious tacos, solid drinks, and a thumping kickback soundtrack. The Califas taco — a homage to San Diego’s own California Burrito — is a must. The Barrio taco, loaded with braised beef, peppers, nopal and beans is as homestyle as it gets. Vegetarian options are also available.

A paper container holding one fried shrimp taco.
Salud’s Baja shrimp taco.
Salud Tacos/Facebook

El Pollo Grill

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Flame-grilled chicken is the name of the game at this South Bay restaurant specializing in preparing perfect poultry. The signature tacos are packed with tender, juicy chicken, fresh pico, and guacamole. The house take on the California burrito, with pollo asado in lieu of the usual beef, is near-revolutionary.

Tacos El Vaquero

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El Vaquero’s mobile operation has established itself as the go-to for tacos after a few pints in the heart of Chula Vista’s Third Avenue. Find Tijuana-style tacos, quesatacos, mulitas, and more packed generously with your meats of choice, chopped onion, cilantro and delicious salsas. Friday and Saturday night lines can get a bit long.

Aqui Es Texcoco

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Aqui es Texcoco highlights a hyper-regional style of lamb barbacoa slow-cooked in an underground pit oven, a style hailing from the state of Morelos and renowned throughout Mexico. The tacos and dinner plates topped rich, tender meat have earned this restaurant a near-religious following among those in the know. Lamb barbacoa remains the house special but you really can’t go wrong with any item on the menu.

Lamb barbacoa, flautas, fresh tortillas and drinks at Aqui Es Texcoco.
A feast at Aqui Es Texcoco.
Aqui Es Texcoco/Facebook

Tacos El Gordo

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Arguably the most famous taqueria on both sides of the border, Tacos El Gordo has been a Chula Vista landmark since the Tijuana-based taco institution opened its first San Diego location on H Street in the 90s. The original locale still takes drive-thru orders, but the much larger Broadway location features stations for carne asada, adobada, cabeza, suadero, or tripa, as well as long lines at night. 

The storefront of Tacos El Gordo. Tacos El Gordo

Taquería Revolución

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While this upstart taqueria is no longer in border-adjacent San Ysidro, it still slings Tijuana-style tacos that are as real as it gets. Just like many taquerias south of the border, you can get your fill of tacos and even tortas loaded with carne asada, pork, and chicken adobada. If Otay Ranch is a bit out of the way, the popular Bonita location is right off the 805.

El Cacho Fish Tacos

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While many mariscos establishments name themselves in homage to Tijuana’s famous Marisqueria La Cacho, this seafood spot might be the only one on the same level as its namesake. Now at Chula Vista’s Tia Juana Food Court, standouts still include the Taco Culichi, with grilled shrimp and poblano sauce, and the cheesy Gobernador taco. Of course, the classic Ensenada-style fish taco is available too.

The Birria Truck

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Get your fill at this Chula Vista truck specializing in the art of Mexico’s rich, meaty birria. While the traditional birria tacos are always a hit, the crispy quesatacos are also quite flavorful. Uninitiated to birria? A sampler includes a taco, quesataco and mulita so you can explore the many ways of the birria world.

Two birria tacos with a side of consome.
Specialties of the Birria Truck.
The Birria Truck

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The Taco Stand

With The Taco Stand opening its eighth location on Convoy in late January, the locally based taco outfit is now slinging its sought after Tijuana-style tacos, burritos, fried churros and other goods along one of San Diego’s most bustling food corridors. The most recent arrival doesn’t stray from the tried and true formula, offering the classic proteins and a few veggie-friendly items in taco and burrito form.

An open kitchen and counter inside a taco restaurant.
The Taco Stand on Convoy.
Showa Hospitality

Puesto - Mission Valley

Puesto set the pace for the luxe taco market in San Diego with tacos filled with fillet mignon, jidori chicken, and lobster, among other upmarket ingredients. Its most recent location in Mission Valley pours house beers to go along with your choice of tacos.

A modern cocktail bar inside a Mexican restaurant.
Puesto Cerveceria.
Jose Lopez

Carnitas Las Michoacanas

Named after the Mexican state of Michoacan, this City Heights restaurant features carnitas that are as authentic as it gets. Order a pound or half-pound of the succulent fried pork and dig in with the provided tortillas and accompanying toppings. Carne asada and chicken are also available. A sister location in Chula Vista also offers the crispy carnitas out of a spot at Third and Palomar.

Storefront for Carnitas Las Michoacanas Carnitas Las Michoacanas/Facebook

Tuetano Taqueria

Chef Priscilla Curiel’s Michelin-honored taqueria has moved from its original San Ysidro outpost to a swanky new space at the Old Town Urban Market. Her slow-cooked birra, made with beef shoulder cuts simmered in vibrant broth seasoned with cinnamon, cloves, and guajillo chiles, is the focus of the menu. Try it with her signature touch: a topping of roasted bone marrow.

A covered deck filled with a variety of tables.
Tuetano Taqueria at the Old Town Urban Market.
Candice Woo

Ranchos Cocina

Find a long list of vegetarian and vegan friendly tacos at this perennially popular North Park Mexican restaurant. Nopales, tofu, seasonal veggies, shiitake mushrooms, and vegan “meats” are among your many filling option. Omnivores fear not, Rancho’s has plenty of traditional taco proteins and homestyle Mexican dishes.

City Tacos

City Tacos has built up a local empire built on a foundation of fresh takes on traditional tacos. Standouts include the camarón enchilado taco — with grilled shrimp over asadero cheese topped with chipotle aioli and fresh lime — and the Mexicali taco, with skirt steak, potato and poblano peppers wrapped up in a flour tortilla. Veggie-friendly items are available too.

An assortment of tacos and drinks. City Tacos

La Vecindad

Hillcrest is not without some tasty taco action. Swing by for drinks and Mexico City-style tacos campechanos, al pastor, and nopal with asada before or after hitting the bars. Taco Tuesday specials and Sunday brunch are also quite popular.

A plate of three tacos with a lime.
A trio of tacos.
Facebook [La Vecindad]

Mitch's Seafood

Fish tacos packed with locally-landed, sustainable product and a pour of your favorite IPA by the bay is as San Diego as it gets. This casual establishment in the Point Loma area offers a great grilled fish taco featuring the catch of the day, while the beer-battered taco features wild cod.

Two fried fish tacos with chips.
Baja-style fish tacos at Mitch’s.
Mitch’s Seafood/Facebook

Pokez Mexican Restaurant

This downtown restaurant has some of the best vegetarian and vegan tacos anywhere in town. The tofu, potato, and mushroom taco is one of the menu’s standout items, even if you’re an omnivore. Even raw vegans can grab some grub here, as the fresh green taco wraps avocado and cucumber in a crisp lettuce leaf.

Lola 55

Lola55 in the East Village impresses with a combination of tasty tacos and cocktails served inside a stylish, urban dining space. The pork belly al pastor taco is a winner any day of the week, but don’t sleep on the Baja fish taco and the vegetarian-friendly squash blossom relleno taco. Look out for an incoming location, slated to arrive at the Beacon in Carlsbad.

A battered fish taco on a black plate.
Lola55’s fish taco.
Sam Wells

La Fachada

One of the neighborhood’s longtime favorites, La Fachada has been the spot for tacos after work or late into the night. While the setting is sparse, one bite of a birria or lengua taco is enough to warrant a second visit. Other Mexican antojitos include gorditas and flautas topped with lettuce, sour cream, and cheese.

A plate of street tacos topped with cilantro and onions.
A plate of street tacos.
La Fachada

Las Cuatro Milpas

Las Cuatro Milpas is one of San Diego’s most beloved Mexican restaurant for good reason. This Logan Avenue institution cranks out delightful fried tacos and flautas stuffed with pork or chicken along with flour tortillas and refried beans, made the same way they were first made back in 1933, when the Estudillo family opened the doors to this historic restaurant. While lines can get long, your patience will be rewarded at the counter. Cash only.

A checkered tablecloth set with Mexican dishes including tortillas, flautas, and tacos.
The greatest hits at Las Cuatro Milpas.
Ludmilla Zotova

¡Salud!

¡Salud! continues to please both locals and visitors to Barrio Logan with delicious tacos, solid drinks, and a thumping kickback soundtrack. The Califas taco — a homage to San Diego’s own California Burrito — is a must. The Barrio taco, loaded with braised beef, peppers, nopal and beans is as homestyle as it gets. Vegetarian options are also available.

A paper container holding one fried shrimp taco.
Salud’s Baja shrimp taco.
Salud Tacos/Facebook

El Pollo Grill

Flame-grilled chicken is the name of the game at this South Bay restaurant specializing in preparing perfect poultry. The signature tacos are packed with tender, juicy chicken, fresh pico, and guacamole. The house take on the California burrito, with pollo asado in lieu of the usual beef, is near-revolutionary.

Tacos El Vaquero

El Vaquero’s mobile operation has established itself as the go-to for tacos after a few pints in the heart of Chula Vista’s Third Avenue. Find Tijuana-style tacos, quesatacos, mulitas, and more packed generously with your meats of choice, chopped onion, cilantro and delicious salsas. Friday and Saturday night lines can get a bit long.

Related Maps

Aqui Es Texcoco

Aqui es Texcoco highlights a hyper-regional style of lamb barbacoa slow-cooked in an underground pit oven, a style hailing from the state of Morelos and renowned throughout Mexico. The tacos and dinner plates topped rich, tender meat have earned this restaurant a near-religious following among those in the know. Lamb barbacoa remains the house special but you really can’t go wrong with any item on the menu.

Lamb barbacoa, flautas, fresh tortillas and drinks at Aqui Es Texcoco.
A feast at Aqui Es Texcoco.
Aqui Es Texcoco/Facebook

Tacos El Gordo

Arguably the most famous taqueria on both sides of the border, Tacos El Gordo has been a Chula Vista landmark since the Tijuana-based taco institution opened its first San Diego location on H Street in the 90s. The original locale still takes drive-thru orders, but the much larger Broadway location features stations for carne asada, adobada, cabeza, suadero, or tripa, as well as long lines at night. 

The storefront of Tacos El Gordo. Tacos El Gordo

Taquería Revolución

While this upstart taqueria is no longer in border-adjacent San Ysidro, it still slings Tijuana-style tacos that are as real as it gets. Just like many taquerias south of the border, you can get your fill of tacos and even tortas loaded with carne asada, pork, and chicken adobada. If Otay Ranch is a bit out of the way, the popular Bonita location is right off the 805.

El Cacho Fish Tacos

While many mariscos establishments name themselves in homage to Tijuana’s famous Marisqueria La Cacho, this seafood spot might be the only one on the same level as its namesake. Now at Chula Vista’s Tia Juana Food Court, standouts still include the Taco Culichi, with grilled shrimp and poblano sauce, and the cheesy Gobernador taco. Of course, the classic Ensenada-style fish taco is available too.

The Birria Truck

Get your fill at this Chula Vista truck specializing in the art of Mexico’s rich, meaty birria. While the traditional birria tacos are always a hit, the crispy quesatacos are also quite flavorful. Uninitiated to birria? A sampler includes a taco, quesataco and mulita so you can explore the many ways of the birria world.

Two birria tacos with a side of consome.
Specialties of the Birria Truck.
The Birria Truck

Related Maps