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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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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Taco Stand

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4646 Convoy St #111
San Diego, CA 92111

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

2. Puesto - Mission Valley

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5010 Mission Center Rd
San Diego, CA 92108
(619) 333-2167
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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

3. Carnitas Las Michoacanas

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6513 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92115
(619) 229-9574
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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

4. Tuetano Taqueria

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2458 Congress St
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 995-5510
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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

5. Ranchos Cocina

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3910 30th St
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 574-1288
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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.

6. City Tacos

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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

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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.

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

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, 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

9. Pokez Mexican Restaurant

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947 E St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 702-7160
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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.

10. Lola 55

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

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

11. La Fachada

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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.
A plate of street tacos.
La Fachada

12. Las Cuatro Milpas

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

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

13. ¡Salud!

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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.

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

14. El Pollo Grill

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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 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.

15. Tacos El Vaquero

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269 3rd Ave
Chula Vista, CA 91910
(619) 678-4177
Visit Website

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.

16. Aqui Es Texcoco

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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.

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

17. Tacos El Gordo

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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 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

18. Taquería Revolución

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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

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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

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271 Quintard St
Chula Vista, CA 91911

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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1. The Taco Stand

4646 Convoy St #111, San Diego, CA 92111
An open kitchen and counter inside a taco restaurant.
The Taco Stand on Convoy.
Showa Hospitality

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.

4646 Convoy St #111
San Diego, CA 92111

2. Puesto - Mission Valley

5010 Mission Center Rd, San Diego, CA 92108
A modern cocktail bar inside a Mexican restaurant.
Puesto Cerveceria.
Jose Lopez

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

3. Carnitas Las Michoacanas

6513 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92115
Storefront for Carnitas Las Michoacanas Carnitas Las Michoacanas/Facebook

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.

6513 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92115

4. Tuetano Taqueria

2458 Congress St, San Diego, CA 92110
A covered deck filled with a variety of tables.
Tuetano Taqueria at the Old Town Urban Market.
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

5. Ranchos Cocina

3910 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

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.

3910 30th St
San Diego, CA 92104

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
A plate of three tacos with a lime.
A trio of tacos.
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. Mitch's Seafood

1403 Scott St, San Diego, CA 92106
Two fried fish tacos with chips.
Baja-style fish tacos at Mitch’s.
Mitch’s Seafood/Facebook

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.

1403 Scott St
San Diego, CA 92106

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

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.

1290 F St
San Diego, CA 92101

11. La Fachada

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

12. Las Cuatro Milpas

1857 Logan Ave, San Diego, CA 92113
A checkered tablecloth set with Mexican dishes including tortillas, flautas, and tacos.
The greatest hits at Las Cuatro Milpas.
Ludmilla Zotova

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.

1857 Logan Ave
San Diego, CA 92113

13. ¡Salud!

2196 Logan Ave, San Diego, CA 92113
A paper container holding one fried shrimp taco.
Salud’s Baja shrimp taco.
Salud Tacos/Facebook

¡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

14. El Pollo Grill

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 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.

3041 Bonita Rd Ste 105
Chula Vista, CA 91910

15. Tacos El Vaquero

269 3rd Ave, Chula Vista, CA 91910

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.

269 3rd Ave
Chula Vista, CA 91910

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16. Aqui Es Texcoco

520 Broadway, Chula Vista, CA 91910
Lamb barbacoa, flautas, fresh tortillas and drinks at Aqui Es Texcoco.
A feast at Aqui Es Texcoco.
Aqui Es Texcoco/Facebook

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
The storefront of Tacos El Gordo. 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. 

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.
Specialties of the Birria Truck.
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.

271 Quintard St
Chula Vista, CA 91911

Related Maps