The Best Tacos In San Diego
There aren’t too many statements that can be said to be universally true, but “everyone loves tacos” certainly comes close. These deliciously delectable and supremely savory Mexican delicacies come in a truly endless number of varieties and preparations, but every last one of them is just as mouth-watering as the last. And thanks to our close proximity to the border, it’s hard to imagine the city’s culinary scene without tacos. So without further ado, here are some of our picks for the best tacos in San Diego.
Tacos la Mezcla (Everywhere!)
Ask any San Diegan: while there’s a lot to be said for table service, sometimes the best tacos are the ones you order through the window of a food truck. The latest mobile taqueria to roll into the metro is Tacos la Mezcla. The hearty portions at this wonder on wheels are not for the light eater. Among the best are the Shrimp Ceviche, and the breakfast taco loaded with scrambled eggs, cheese, hashbrowns with sour cream, avocado, tomatillo salsa and your favorite protein.
La Doña (3.6 miles away)
We just mentioned La Doña in our rundown of scrumptiously spicy San Diego goodies last month. Still, their tacos are so irresistible, we feel compelled to give them another shout-out. From classic carne asada, al pastor, butterflied shrimp and juicy carnitas tacos, to intriguing offerings like chicken tinga, beer-battered portobello, grilled mahi and even vegan options, La Doña truly offers something for everyone who loves great taste. Best of all, La Doña is just steps from the ocean, so you can get takeout and eat beachside.
1852 Bacon St. San Diego, CA 92107
Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill (5.6 miles)
We feel confident in saying that Blue Water’s fish tacos may just be the best in the metro. They start with a fresh corn tortilla, then add veggies, cheese, and a secret, house-made sauce. Then comes a generous portion of beer-battered cod, shrimp, or lobster. The end result is nothing short of absolutely addictive. If you’re an area visitor, you may find yourself planning a return trip just for these tacos before you even head to the airport. Note: Blue Water recently opened a new location in nearby Ocean Beach — so you can watch the sun set right in front of you as you enjoy your fish tacos.
3667 India St, San Diego, CA 92103
Sandbar Sports Bar & Grill (6.1 miles)
Sandbar’s casual sports-bar vibe provides an easygoing setting, plus a menu chock-full of award-winning tacos you’ll absolutely love. Get yours served Tijuana street-style (with cilantro and onions on a fresh corn tortilla), beach style (flour tortilla with shredded cheese, lettuce, and salsa) or Sandbar’s own award-winning “TKO” style — on a cotija-crusted tortilla with beer-brined slaw, lime crema, onion strings, and fried cilantro.
718 Ventura Pl, San Diego, CA 92109
Las Cuatro Milpas (7.7 miles)
The cafeteria-style Las Cuatro Milpas has been serving delicious specialty tacos in Barrio Logan since 1933. And in that time, they’ve amassed more glowing press reviews than nearly any other local eatery we can think of. Be prepared to wait in line for a mouthwatering reward in the form of their rolled tacos. But trust us, they’re worth the wait. Just be sure to have your order ready once you get to the counter, since the service here legendarily moves at lightning speed.
1857 Logan Ave, San Diego, CA 92113
Oscar’s Mexican Seafood (7.8 miles)
Oscar’s is a well-kept secret for residents of Point Loma and Ocean Beach. Their fantastic Surf & Turf taco — served with a skirt steak and shrimp combo — is a sure-fire favorite. The signature smoked-fish taco is also a unique offering we haven’t found anywhere else in the city. If you really want to go for some mixed-grill magic, try the Taco Especial, which is brimming with the aforementioned smoked fish, as well as shrimp and scallops.
646 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
Lola 55 (8.6 miles away)
We’re firm believers that all tacos are good tacos. But some are simply a cut above. Lola 55 doesn’t just make an amazing taco, they make a taco good enough to show up on the Michelin Guide. In addition to serving stellar examples of classics like smoked carnitas and al-pastor pork, Lola 55 adds in some non-traditional (but no less delicious) choices such as squash blossom, mushroom, and cauliflower. This spot is not to be missed during your stay.
1290 F St. San Diego, CA 92101
The Taco Stand (8.9 miles)
This North Park favorite is notable for its modern surroundings and daily scratch-made salsas. Here you’ll find classic favorites like carne asada and al pastor sharing space with spicy shrimp, mahi mahi, and cactus. Don’t miss out on diving into the rest of the menu during your visit, as the quesadillas, burritos, and even breakfast offerings are all top-notch. And while they may not exactly be traditional, the Mar y Tierra fries (loaded with grilled shrimp, steak, and guacamole) are an experience you shouldn’t pass up.
3000 Upas St. San Diego, CA 92014
Salt & Lime (9.3 miles)
Another taco titan that’s recently made an entrance into the city’s considerable food truck scene is Salt & Lime — a delectable destination that delivers undeniable favorites (like al pastor pork, the vegetarian El Yogi, and grilled fish tacos). They also mix it up with gluten-free options, and the Quesitaco (or marinated steak wrapped in crispy cheese). Pro tip: don’t walk away without grabbing an order of the Nutella Tacos for dessert!
City Tacos (10.6 miles)
City Tacos combines traditional Mexican recipes with a distinctly SoCal twist that has made them a standout favorite among San Diegans. The star of this North Park restaurant is the Chorizo Asado, a spicy-sweet concoction of crispy sausage combined with caramelized pineapple and creamy melted Oaxaca cheese. But City Tacos doesn’t stop there. Their menu offers traditional meat tacos, but has also expanded to include fish, vegetarian, and even paleo tacos for those with unique dietary needs.
3028 University Ave, San Diego, CA, 92104
Tacos El Gordo (18.7 miles)
The closest thing you’ll find in town to Tijuana-style street tacos, Tacos El Gordo’s popular San Diego location is a must-stop on your local taco tour. This favorite local taqueria’s menu features always-fresh handmade corn tortillas, organic ingredients, and savory meats. Favorites include the suadero (beef brisket), adobada (tender spiced pork), and classic carne asada (grilled steak). You also have the option to build your own.
3265 Palm Ave, San Diego, CA 92154
Right Here at Island Palms (just steps away!)
All summer long, Best Western Island Palms will be offering guests some hearty handhelds of our own. Our new on-premise Taco Cart is now situated poolside, and offers tasty tacos, delicious sides, and heat-beating frozen drinks, and even a tempting morning breakfast. So you’re never far from satisfying your taco craving while here!
No matter what your favorite variety of taco, one thing’s for sure: San Diego is ready to serve you some of the best you’ll ever taste. So it’s a good thing that Best Western Plus Island Palms’ central location on Shelter Island is close to all of our picks and more. Not to mention that our competitive rates, guest-first amenities and stellar service afford our guests a memorable stay. When you’re ready to plan your visit, take a look at our Special Offers page, and select the San Diego travel deal that’s right for you.