These 14 Mexican restaurants around San Diego are a total must-try if you’re looking to enjoy some of San Diego’s finest.
If there’s something San Diego doesn’t kid around with is its Mexican food. From tacos to enchiladas and birrias, Mexican food in San Diego is readily available everywhere. And with California having been part of Mexico up until less than 200 years ago, you know you can’t go wrong when looking for a place to enjoy Mexico’s scrumptious dishes!
So if you’re looking to get your fill of tacos, barbacoa, and more, make sure to check out these 14 incredible restaurants around San Diego. We’ve also created a neat little map you can save to see which restaurant is closest to you; just keep scrolling down!
1. Aqui es Texcoco, Chula Vista
This Mexican restaurant specializes in lamb “barbacoa” as a homage to Texcoco, the Mexican region considered to be the birthplace of barbacoa–lamb covered in maguey leaves and slow-roasted for hours. Make sure to wear your stretchy pants when you visit Texcoco. This spot serves family-style dishes featuring loin, rib meat, as well as Cabeza, sesos, and pancita (tripe), with a complimentary cup of seasoned lamb broth to dip into!
Location: 520 Broadway, Chula Vista
2. El Indio, Mission Hills
This Mission Hills landmark has been serving some of the best Mexican food in town for over 70 years now. El Indio is known for its taquitos, which many say they invented. These crispy rolled tacos come in several flavors, including beef, chicken, and potato topped with guacamole and cheese. They have plenty of other delicious dishes to try, like burritos, chimichangas, enchiladas, tamales, and quesadillas!
Location: 3695 India S, San Diego
3. Tuétano Taquería
Chef/owner Priscilla Curiel is the chef and owner of this favorite local taqueria. The taqueria opened in 2018, but you wouldn’t know that by the recognition and respect it has acquired. The star of the show is her tuétano, a hefty beef shank bone that’s slowly roasted until the marrow is buttery soft. A simple taco with tuétano is incredibly delicious and something you have to try! She also offers a wide variety of dishes like cochinita pibil, a Yucatan delicacy. The dish is a marinated pork shoulder that is slowly roasted in citrus juice and achiote and is then pulled and piled onto a tortilla under pickled onion and cilantro!
Tuétano Taquería closed down its original San Ysidro location and will be moving to Old Town Urban Market.
Location: 2548 Congress Street, San Diego- Coming Soon
4. Café Coyote, Old Town
If you’re looking for some excellent margaritas to pair with your food, then your best bet is to head over to Café Coyote in Old Town. This popular San Diego spot serves giant, freshly-made margaritas alongside overflowing plates of burritos, tacos, and other incredible Mexican antojitos. Café Coyote offers more than 20 different margaritas, including spicy watermelon, pineapple-chipotle, and a Chamoy sauce one in a Tajin Rim Glass topped with a Tamarind Chile Treat.
Location: 2461 San Diego Ave.
5. Puesto Mexican Bar & Kitchen, Seaport Village
Puesto Mexican Bar & Kitchen serves up some of the best Mexican food in the city. We love their delectable mango shrimp ceviche, which we recommend you eat on their beautiful outdoor patio. Their artisanal blue corn tortillas are fantastic and really elevate their tacos. You also have to have one of their refreshing Agua Frescas.
Location: 789 W Harbor Dr. Suite 155, 5010 Mission Center Rd
6. Tacos El Gordo, Chula Vista
This Tijuana-inspired taquería is best known for its wide variety of street tacos and meats. At Tacos El Gordo you’ll find plenty of tempting taco options all the way from adobada (spiced pork) to cabeza (head) and buche (stomach). At this popular eatery, you’ll also find other Mexican traditional dishes including sopes, tostadas, mulas and decadent fries loaded with your favorite choice of meat, cheese and other fresh toppings. Yum!
Location: 689 H St, Chula Vista
7. Fernandez Restaurant
At Fernandez restaurant, you’ll find some of the best birria or Mexican beef stew this side of the border. Their famous dish is cooked overnight to let the beef, chiles, and spices create a flavorful and hearty stew that pairs perfectly with warm corn tortillas. The staff provides excellent customer service, and they’ll answer any questions you might have about the menu.
Location: 2265 Flower Ave # D, San Diego
8. The Taco Stand, Downtown San Diego
This incredible spot has multiple spots across the city, and all its tortillas, guacamole, and salsas are freshly made daily. Plus, it opens at 9 am, so if you wake up craving something extra tasty, make sure to check out TacoStand’s killer breakfast burritos!
Location: 645 B St, San Diego
9. Mujer Divina
Mujer Divina Burrito and Coffee House serve up delicious Tijuana-style burritos of various outstanding flavors like birria, chorizo with potatoes, chicharron in salsa verde, machaca ranchera, along with weekly specials. Their coffee is made from organic beans from Chiapas, Mexico! They have many great drinks like drip brews, tons of lattes, and the coziest choice- cafe de olla!
Location: 310A E 8th St, National City
10. Lola 55, East Village
This East Village spot serves some modern yet traditional-inspired dishes. Tacos steal the show at Lola 55 with their juicy filet mignon tacos with avocado mousse, smoky pasilla salsa, crispy leeks, and jalapeño tornado. Other tasty filling options include achiote pork belly, local fish–stuffed jalapeño and housemade vegetarian beet soyrizo.
Location: 1290 F St, San Diego
11.Tahona, Old Town
Located in the heart of Old Town, Tahona is San Diego’s best mezcalería. The more than 120 mezcal kinds and dozens of cocktails options steal the show. Still, this incredible restaurant offers tasty Oaxacan-inspired dishes like quesabirria tacos (beef barbacoa, Oaxacan cheese, cilantro, onion, and tomatillo salsa) and decadent churros’ moress made with sugar-coated cinnamon churros, chocolate ganache, marshmallow fluff!
Location: 2414 San Diego Ave.
12. TJ Oyster Bar, Bonita
TJ’s OysterBar’ss name might be a bit confusing, but this Bonita spot offers some seafood options in the best style of Baja. AtTJ’ss, you’ll find tostadas piled high with mouthwatering ceviche and agua chiles, and tacos loaded up with fried fish, smoked tuna, garlic shrimp, octopus, and stingray. Wash it all down with a michelada, margarita, or a Mexican beer for a totally awesome meal.
Location: 4246 Bonita Rd, Bonita
13.Corazón De Torta
Antonio “Tony Tee” Ley and his food truck, Corazón de Torta, are a popular sight in Logan Heights. His short rib guajillo tacos are delicious. The meat develops a rich flavor from being slow-cooked and makes this taco a must-try.
Location: 2490 Commercial St, San Diego
14. Las Cuatro Milpas, Barrio Logan
The no-frills taquería has a small-but-mighty menu of traditional Mexican dishes so popular that you could always find a huge line outside in pre-COVID times. The cash-only Barrio Logan spot is famous for its carnitas and is open Monday through Saturday until 3 pm.
Location: 1857 Logan Ave, San Diego
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