clock menu more-arrow no yes

Where to Eat Tacos in San Diego

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

View as Map

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 wioth some vegetarian versions and upscale chef offerings. From the traditional and beyond, here are some of our must-try, tortilla-bound picks.

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: map points on this list arranged geographically from North to South.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Mi Rancho Market

Copy Link
911 S Escondido Blvd
Escondido, CA 92025
(760) 738-8524

A kitchen inside this popular Mexican market offers home-cooked meals and tacos packed with the classic meats: carne asada, al pastor, cabeza, tripa, and grilled chicken. Beef and goat birria made from family recipes are also on the menu.

2. The Taco Stand

Copy Link
621 Pearl St
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 551-6666
Visit Website

Consistent Tijuana-style tacos fuel an ever-present line at The Taco Stand’s original location. Outfitted to resemble the ubiquitous taco stands found south of the border, you will find the classic cuts and a few veggie-friendly items in taco and burrito form. The Taco Stand also operates outposts in San Diego’s downtown, North Park, and Encinitas with a Convoy location on the way.

3. Puesto Mission Valley

Copy Link
5010 Mission Center Rd
San Diego, CA 92108
(619) 333-2167
Visit Website

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.

4. Carnitas Las Michoacanas

Copy Link
6513 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92115
(619) 229-9574
Visit Website

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 order of the succulent fried pork and dig in with the provided tortillas and accompanying toppings. Carne asada and chicken are also available.

5. Tuetano Taqueria

Copy Link
2458 Congress St
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 995-5510
Visit Website

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. Candice Woo

6. City Tacos

Copy Link
3028 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 296-2303
Visit Website

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

7. La Vecindad

Copy Link
3827 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 501-2885

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.

Facebook [La Vecindad]

8. La 57 Seafood

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

La 57 is run and staffed the same team as the legendary Nine Seas and Ocean 97 Mariscos team, so anyone looking to explore seafood tacos would be wise to visit this South Park truck. The Baja Trio includes battered fish, battered shrimp, and marlin taco, so newbies can sample popular tacos in the genre. Expect a line.

9. Pokez Mexican Restaurant

Copy Link
947 E St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 702-7160
Visit Website

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.

10. Lola 55

Copy Link
1290 F St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 542-9155
Visit Website

Lola 55 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.

Lola55 fish taco
Sam Wells

11. Tacos el Cabron

Copy Link
532 Fourth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 501-7752
Visit Website

Ease those late-night, bar-hopping munchies at this Gaslamp taqueria. The menu offers the full array of meats, from traditional carne asada to perfetly brined shrimp, along with birria and a portobello taco for vegatarians in taco, mulita, and burrito form.

A taco topped with shredded meat, cilantro, and onions. Tacos El Cabron

12. La Fachada

Copy Link
20 25th St
San Diego, CA 92102
(619) 236-8566
Visit Website

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. La Fachada

13. Las Cuatro Milpas

Copy Link
1857 Logan Ave
San Diego, CA 92113
(619) 234-4460

Las Cuatro Milpas is 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 these 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. Ludmilla Zotova

14. ¡Salud!

Copy Link
2196 Logan Ave
San Diego, CA 92113
(619) 255-3856
Visit Website

¡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.

¡SALUD!

15. El Pollo Grill - Bonita

Copy Link
3041 Bonita Rd Ste 105
Chula Vista, CA 91910
(619) 653-1902
Visit Website

Flame-grilled chicken is the name of the game at this South Bay restaurant specializing in preparing perfect poultry. The house chicken 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.

16. Aqui Es Texcoco

Copy Link
520 Broadway
Chula Vista, CA 91910
(619) 427-4045
Visit Website

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.

17. Tacos El Gordo

Copy Link
556 Broadway
Chula Vista, CA 91910
(619) 691-8848
Visit Website

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 1990s. 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. 

Courtesy photo

18. Taquería Revolución

Copy Link
2015 Birch Rd #1201
Chula Vista, CA 91915
(619) 656-0450
Visit Website

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.

19. El Cacho Fish Tacos

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

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.

20. The Birria Truck

Copy Link
271 Quintard St
Chula Vista, CA 91911

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

Two birria tacos with a side of consome.

Loading comments...

1. Mi Rancho Market

911 S Escondido Blvd, Escondido, CA 92025

A kitchen inside this popular Mexican market offers home-cooked meals and tacos packed with the classic meats: carne asada, al pastor, cabeza, tripa, and grilled chicken. Beef and goat birria made from family recipes are also on the menu.

911 S Escondido Blvd
Escondido, CA 92025

2. The Taco Stand

621 Pearl St, La Jolla, CA 92037

Consistent Tijuana-style tacos fuel an ever-present line at The Taco Stand’s original location. Outfitted to resemble the ubiquitous taco stands found south of the border, you will find the classic cuts and a few veggie-friendly items in taco and burrito form. The Taco Stand also operates outposts in San Diego’s downtown, North Park, and Encinitas with a Convoy location on the way.

621 Pearl St
La Jolla, CA 92037

3. Puesto Mission Valley

5010 Mission Center Rd, San Diego, CA 92108

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.

5010 Mission Center Rd
San Diego, CA 92108

4. Carnitas Las Michoacanas

6513 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92115

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 order of the succulent fried pork and dig in with the provided tortillas and accompanying toppings. Carne asada and chicken are also available.

6513 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92115

5. Tuetano Taqueria

2458 Congress St, San Diego, CA 92110
A covered deck filled with a variety of tables. Candice Woo

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.

2458 Congress St
San Diego, CA 92110

6. City Tacos

3028 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
An assortment of tacos and drinks. 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.

3028 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104

7. La Vecindad

3827 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
Facebook [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.

3827 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92103

8. La 57 Seafood

3030 Grape Street, San Diego, CA 92102

La 57 is run and staffed the same team as the legendary Nine Seas and Ocean 97 Mariscos team, so anyone looking to explore seafood tacos would be wise to visit this South Park truck. The Baja Trio includes battered fish, battered shrimp, and marlin taco, so newbies can sample popular tacos in the genre. Expect a line.

3030 Grape Street
San Diego, CA 92102

9. Pokez Mexican Restaurant

947 E St, San Diego, CA 92101

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.

947 E St
San Diego, CA 92101

10. Lola 55

1290 F St, San Diego, CA 92101
Lola55 fish taco
Sam Wells

Lola 55 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.

1290 F St
San Diego, CA 92101

11. Tacos el Cabron

532 Fourth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
A taco topped with shredded meat, cilantro, and onions. Tacos El Cabron

Ease those late-night, bar-hopping munchies at this Gaslamp taqueria. The menu offers the full array of meats, from traditional carne asada to perfetly brined shrimp, along with birria and a portobello taco for vegatarians in taco, mulita, and burrito form.

532 Fourth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

12. La Fachada

20 25th St, San Diego, CA 92102
A plate of street tacos topped with cilantro and onions. 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.

20 25th St
San Diego, CA 92102

13. Las Cuatro Milpas

1857 Logan Ave, San Diego, CA 92113
A checkered tablecloth set with Mexican dishes including tortillas, flautas, and tacos. Ludmilla Zotova

Las Cuatro Milpas is 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 these 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.

1857 Logan Ave
San Diego, CA 92113

14. ¡Salud!

2196 Logan Ave, San Diego, CA 92113
¡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.

2196 Logan Ave
San Diego, CA 92113

15. El Pollo Grill - Bonita

3041 Bonita Rd Ste 105, Chula Vista, CA 91910

Flame-grilled chicken is the name of the game at this South Bay restaurant specializing in preparing perfect poultry. The house chicken 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.

3041 Bonita Rd Ste 105
Chula Vista, CA 91910

Related Maps

16. Aqui Es Texcoco

520 Broadway, Chula Vista, CA 91910

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.

520 Broadway
Chula Vista, CA 91910

17. Tacos El Gordo

556 Broadway, Chula Vista, CA 91910
Courtesy photo

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 1990s. 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. 

556 Broadway
Chula Vista, CA 91910

18. Taquería Revolución

2015 Birch Rd #1201, Chula Vista, CA 91915

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.

2015 Birch Rd #1201
Chula Vista, CA 91915

19. El Cacho Fish Tacos

1282 3rd Ave, Chula Vista, CA 91911

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.

1282 3rd Ave
Chula Vista, CA 91911

20. The Birria Truck

271 Quintard St, Chula Vista, CA 91911
Two birria tacos with a side of consome.

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

271 Quintard St
Chula Vista, CA 91911

Related Maps