Best Mexican Restaurants in San Diego
Mexican cuisine is primarily a fusion of indigenous Mesoamerican cooking with European, especially Spanish, elements added after the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in the 16th century. The staples are native foods, such as corn, beans, avocados, tomatoes, and chili peppers, along with rice, which was brought by the Spanish. Europeans introduced a large number of other foods, the most important of which were meats from domesticated animals (beef, pork, chicken, goat, and sheep), dairy products (especially cheese), and various herbs and spices.
LAS CUATRO MILPAS
The Estudillo family has been serving Mexican food here for three generations. Rice, beans, pork tacos (no beef), pork tamales, chorizo with eggs, rolled tacos — that’s about it. A San Diego classic. Breakfast/lunch only.
TACOS EL GORDO
Tacos El Gordo de Tijuana B.C Inc., is a family owned and operated company. We have been in the food service industry for over 40 years, opening our first business in 1972. In 1998, Tacos El Gordo opened its first location in San Diego, California, and in 2010 opened its first location in Las Vegas.
Before Puesto, we had all left San Diego to chase ambitions in other ventures. Though we found individual success in other places, it was tacos that brought us back together and back to California —Chef Luisteen’s tacos, to be exact. His passion for completely re –defining the taco brought us back to our hometown of San Diego to start a family business, the taco stand we’d never even dreamed of. Now we’re tacoteurs and have never looked back. Located near historic Seaport Village, Puesto at The Headquarters resides in the original San Diego Police Headquarters building between the USS Midway and the San Diego Convention Center. The large patios stagger in and out of towering steel doors, which open to original walls exposing layers of history. Internationally acclaimed designer Thomas Schoos has imagined the space as an industrial homage to the streets of Mexico City. Multiple modern murals from artist Chor Boogie lend award-winning San Diego tacos a vibrant backdrop.
LOLITA'S RESTAURANT - DOWNTOWN
Our founders, Joaquin and Dolores (“Lolita”) Farfan, have over five decades’ experience in the Mexican food business, and all their children work for Lolita’s. Their culinary expertise and love for community is vital to all we do. We seek to be visible and active members of the communities in which we do business. Our customers are our guests, and our employees are our team. When the Farfans started Lolita’s, they sought to support their growing family and serve excellent Mexican food. The top sellers include carne asada burritos, bean & cheese burritos, and rolled tacos with guacamole. Key to their success—then and now—are their one-of-a-kind spices and sauces.
PONCE'S MEXICAN RESTAURANT
If warm tortillas and chips 'n salsa are your idea of a good time, Ponce's Mexican Restaurant in San Diego should be right up your Mexican-food-eating alley. Rave reviews are the norm here, so come ready to eat. Healthier options are featured at Ponce's Mexican Restaurant, including low-fat fare with impressive taste. This restaurant's fully stocked bar is a perk for patrons who enjoy a fine wine (or more) with their meal. Little ones are just as welcome as their parents at this restaurant. Sunny day plus appetite equals the perfect time to head to Ponce's Mexican Restaurant. Ponce's Mexican Restaurant is a prime location to dine with a group. The restaurant accepts reservations, so you can get around the busy crowd. Jeans are just right for a meal at Ponce's Mexican Restaurant, which embraces a casual vibe. This restaurant offers carryout for your convenience. At Ponce's Mexican Restaurant, you can find nearby options for both street and lot parking. If your preferred mode of transit is of the two wheel variety, you're in luck ? there's tons of bike parking outside the restaurant.
¡Hola, we’re The Taco Stand! We’re a family owned taquería inspired by the taco stands of Tijuana and our adventures along the Baja peninsula. With the majority of our time spent in San Diego, we needed an authentic taco stand experience to satisfy our cravings north of the border. With solid family recipes and a fridge stocked with Mexican Coca-Cola, we opened our first location in La Jolla in 2013. In 2016, we opened two more locations in Downtown San Diego & Encinitas. Our authentic taco stand experience features handmade corn tortillas, top grade meats and the freshest ingredients, used to make our guacamole and salsas from scratch daily. Besides amazing tacos and burritos, we also have a great selection of Mexican flavored popsicles, refreshments, imported beer and freshly prepared Rosarito-style churros.
LUCHA LIBRE TACO SHOP
Lucha Libre is an awesome taco shop in San Diego with its original Mission Hills location and a brand new location in hipstery North Park . The place serves the freshest ingredients, top quality meats, and funky delicious new menu items cooked and priced just right!
TACOS, TUNES, & TEQUILA… that’s what we’re all about. We’ve always envisioned La Puerta as a hangout for people who want to be treated with a high level of hospitality while enjoying quality Mexican food and drinks in a fun atmosphere. Our Sinaloa inspired family recipes demand we make nearly everything on the menu fresh daily and we never use artificial flavorings or enhancers. Our specialty drinks are made with the freshest ingredients and juices. We squeeze every lime, and while it may take a few minutes, we strive to make a damn good drink that delivers maximum refreshment. Whether you’re enjoying our Carne Asada tacos or our fresh-squeezed margaritas, you will be shown sincere appreciation for your business and a genuine good time. At La Puerta, we’re committed to offering you an experience that would otherwise be unexpected in the downtown area of a major city. An unexpected spot; where our regular guests and daily affordability always makes for a celebratory atmosphere. You won’t find a better Mexican restaurant in San Diego, and with the tequila flowing, we won’t hold it against you if you can’t remember all the details of your own La Puerta story. We know there’ll be more to come.
OSCAR'S MEXICAN SEAFOOD
Oscar’s Mexican Seafood is prepping to open a fifth location — a first venture into North County that joins existing eateries in Pacific Beach, Hillcrest and the East Village. Its central Pacific Beach outpost was recently featured on ‘Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations’, is now Oscar's is aiming to open in Encinitas by the end of the year. Oscar’s will slot into a 1,400-square-foot space in the Encinitas Village Shopping Center. It will reportedly feature the same casual menu of ceviche and seafood-stuffed tacos, tortas, burritos and more, but this particular location will not offer beer or wine. Owner Juan Bernardo Montes de Oca tells Eater that he also has a mobile food truck in the works that will launch in Los Angeles.
For over 25 years Café Coyote has remained one of San Diego’s Landmark Restaurants located in the Heart of Old Town San Diego’s Historic Walking District. “The Birthplace of California” A friendly staff, loyal patrons delicious Mexican Food and a Festive Atmosphere have contributed to Café Coyote’s being Voted Best Mexican Restaurant 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014!