One of the best things about sharing a border with Mexico is the exceptional cuisine that is available in our very own city. There are countless restaurants where you can enjoy delicious, authentic Mexican dishes, both the traditional way and with a modern twist! Whether you are dining in or ordering out, our region offers a vast array of the tastiest eateries at various price points throughout San Diego. Wherever your mood takes you, here are 10 of the best Mexican eateries in San Diego you need to visit.
1. Tacos El Gordo: No food list could be complete without Tacos El Gordo, originally from Tijuana and now Chula Vista’s famous taco shop. With over 40 years specializing in high-quality tacos, they are known for bringing people from all over San Diego County for their coveted authentic tacos. Tacos feature handmade corn tortillas, top grade meats and the freshest ingredients, used to make guacamole and salsas from scratch daily.
2. Serrano’s Street Tacos and Bar: Whether you want to sit down for a nice dinner or walk up and have fresh Mexican food served to you from their outdoor grill, Serrano’s Street Tacos and Bar located in the San Diego Gaslamp Quarter is the place to go. Specializing in new Mexican cuisine, their seafood tacos, carne asada tostadas, and other fare is always delicious.
3. TJ Oyster Bar: Get seafood without crossing the border at TJ Oyster bar. Located in Bonita, they offer fresh ceviche, fish tacos, garlic shrimp tacos, and all sorts of Mexican seafood. The menu offers traditional Baja seafood with a new take like Smoked Tuna Fries and Machaca Style Stingray. Their bar serves wine from Valle de Guadalupe and local craft beer, all in a relaxed atmosphere.
4. King and Queen Cantina: Looking to combine a night out with mouth-watering Mexican food and a margarita flight? King and Queen Cantina in Little Italy is your kind of Mexican restaurant. Fill up on stand-out dishes like bone marrow tacos, Hot Cheetos fries, or classics like a surf and turf burrito. No reservations are needed – walk ins only.
5. Oscar’s Mexican Seafood: With two locations in Pacific Beach, they have the perfect coastal location for serving up fresh Mexican seafood. A casual, local shop serving up flavorful Mexican seafood delights which guests rave about including the battered shrimp and octopus tacos as well as their fish stew. You can also visit them in Hillcrest!
6. Lucha Libre Gourmet Taco Shop: Like your tacos with a side of excitement? With three locations in Mission Hills, North Park and at Sycuan Casino, head over to Lucha Libre which is wrestling themed, including a mock wrestling ring you can sit in. Enjoy delicious food in a fun environment, you will not want to miss out on their cilantro crema salsa.
7. Café Coyote: Old Town is well-known for its Mexican cuisine, especially the fresh-made tortillas, which have made headlines for years. They are so good, that almost anytime you pass by, you will see people waiting for some. Whether you go for taco Tuesday specials or want these tortillas fried up as sopapillas, you are sure to leave satisfied.
8. Aquí es Texcoco: This place in Chula Vista is all about barbacoa, traditional Mexican lamb barbeque, which is slow roasted for hours. They take pride in maintaining authentic flavors and traditions with all their food, so you know your meal will be memorable. Their focus is 100% on the food, preparing it as it has been for hundreds of years – no flashy gimmicks or chef’s interpretations. All pure, authentic lamb barbecue.
9. Cocina 35: Located in bustling Downtown and in Otay Mesa, Cocina 35 is a comida corrida restaurant, which means build your own plate, allowing you to create a dish that suits exactly what you are craving. Known as the best Mexican Breakfast Restaurant that has the “best chilaquiles in town,” you cannot go wrong with their menu.
10. Casa de Pico: Located in Grossmont Center, with its hacienda-like archways, hand-crafted, wrought iron fixtures and beautiful landscaping reminiscent of Mexico, this restaurant offers the most authentic Mexican cuisine. The festive atmosphere, strolling mariachis, and world-famous Birdbath Margaritas make it a great location for a festive gathering with family and friends in La Mesa.