Ask any local and they’ll tell you: San Diego has the best tacos in the U.S, and they’ll argue with anyone who says otherwise. As you’re exploring the sights America’s Finest City has to offer, leave some room in your belly for touring the best tacos in town. We’ve done the gut-busting research so you can eat the best of the best.
Tacos and tequila
As your wandering through the haunted graveyards and historic missions of Old Town, grab a bite at El Agave Tequileria. The upscale eatery is not only the largest tequila museum in the U.S., its delicious Mexico City-style tacos are too beautiful to eat. (Almost.) Order the cochinita pibil, made of slow-roasted pork with pickled onion in a handmade tortilla smeared with refried black beans. The pulpo a las brasas (grilled octopus) taco is tender and flavorful, seasoned with achiote and topped with pineapple, microgreens, shredded beet and guacamole cream.
Little Italy doesn’t only offer authentic nonna-approved Italian—it also boasts Bracero‘s blend of Mediterranean and Mexican flavor. The crowning glory is their Mexiterranean adobada taco, a gyro-style taco filled with beef, lamb, jalapeño tzatziki, pineapple and beans. It’s rich and savory, with a pop of sweet and a creamy finish: a perfect blend of Greek and Mexican street food.
North Park fuel stop
If you find yourself catching live music or bar hopping through North Park, line your stomach with the puerco agridulce taco from City Tacos, made of pork tenderloin drizzled in spicy sweet and sour demi glace and avocado pulp, and topped with diced Serrano, red onion, cilantro and fried rice noodles. The portobello con vegetables taco is a vegetarian dream of grilled mushroom, caramelized pineapple, melted Oaxaca cheese in a corn tortilla.
If carnitas are your jam, head a bit west of City Tacos to Carnitas Snack Shack. Their carnitas taco is made Michoacán style, marinated in orange juice, Mexican coke and spices. With just guacamole and salsa fresca on top, the carnitas take the spotlight.
TJ Oyster Bar in Bonita is slightly out of the way but worth the trip for the best Baja fish taco experience without crossing the border. Along with the classic fried fish with cabbage and crema, TJ offers smoked tuna, garlic shrimp and stingray.
And finally, we can’t skip the carne asada tacos at Tacos El Gordo. This spot isn’t pretty, but there is a reason why locals from all over flock here. It is the most authentic street taco this side of the border. The simply seasoned carne asada and guacamole on house-made tortillas come topped with whatever you want, from cilantro and onion to nopales.