Are you looking for the best Mexican restaurant in San Diego that offers a true taste of Mexico? With so many restaurants available, it can be tough to choose the right one. This article is here to help you find the best Mexican restaurant in San Diego that serves authentic Mexican cuisine. We’ll be discussing the best restaurants, their specialties, and the factors that make them stand out from the rest. So, let’s get started and explore the best Mexican restaurant in San Diego.
Mexican food is a favorite cuisine in San Diego, with a wide variety of restaurants to choose from. Whether you’re looking for street tacos, burritos, or traditional Mexican dishes, San Diego has something to offer.
Best Mexican Restaurants in San Diego
Mexican dish is known for its rich flavors, aromatic spices, and unique taste. San Diego is home to some of the best Mexican restaurants that serve traditional Mexican recipes with a modern twist. Here, we will be discussing the best Mexican restaurants in San Diego that offer delicious Mexican cuisine.
1. Lola 55
First on our list of the best Mexican restaurants in San Diego is Lola 55. Locals love Lola 55’s juicy, mesquite-grilled Steak Tacos with avocado mousse, crispy leeks, smoky pasilla salsa, and jalapeno tornado.
The Cauliflower taco, packed with eggplant bacon, roasted cauliflower, avocado mousse, golden raisins, almonds, and Morita dulce salsa, is particularly delicious.
Lola Caesar is an exception, created in the original form with whole crisp romaine leaves dressed in traditional anchovy dressing and showers of parmesan and pepper, topped with hefty hunks of Manteca croutons.
2. Cocina 35
Cocina 35 one of the best Mexican restaurants in San Diego is mostly known for its huge, plates of chilaquiles, which range from modest Chilaquiles Regulares topped with a half-dozen salsas to the best-selling Los Rancheros coated in ranchero salsa, sunny side up eggs and beef chorizo.
A variety of sweet and savory menu dishes, including beef machaca, chilorio, tamal gratinado, and cajeta toast, are showcased on three sampler plates, while omelets, scrambles, and enfrijoladas complete the breakfast menu.
Burritos, tortas, tacos dorados de papa, chile rellenos, and creamy chicken enchiladas are popular lunch items. Save room for the Concha Rellena, a French-toast concha filled with strawberries and horchata whipped cream and topped with cajeta.
The new Barrio Logan location is only for takeout and features an enlarged menu that includes burritos a la lnea, breakfast tacos, antojitos, tortas, and sandwiches.
Valle, a sister restaurant to chef Roberto Alcocer’s notable Malva Cocina de Baja California, is one of the best Mexican restaurants in San Diego.
In dishes like Barbacoa de Pato—Liberty Farm duck, green pea puree, grilled onion, and King Oyster with celery root “fettuccine” and porcini butter, the eight-course tasting or the four-course prix fixe menu uses Southern California sourced ingredients.
Enjoy a variety of Valle de Guadalupe wines, bottle or by glass, or a lively agave-based cocktail, alongside three zero-alcohol options.
4. Mar Rustico
Mar Rustico, led by Priscilla Curiel, focuses on Baja Sur-influenced meals like fresh oysters in salsa verde, chipotle shrimp tacos, battered fish or La Paz-style burritos filled with smoked marlin, array of ceviches, beef machaca, and a bright, citrus-spiked Clam Chowder.
The fiery Ceviche Sonora, a blend of seafood soaked in pickled veggies and fresh salsas—add oysters for an additional flare—is the most popular ceviche bowl. Mar Rustico intends to relocate to an unnamed Chula Vista location later this year. Some of the most popular items will remain on the menu at Tuétano Taqueria.
5. Camino Riviera
At Camino Riviera, one of the best Mexican restaurants in San Diego, chief chef Brian Redzikowski’s menu incorporates upscale take on classic recipes as well as creative, Southeast Asian-influenced meals.
Stand out menu includes the Taco, a lengthy filet of tempura seabass gilded with edible gold leaf, and Sonoma Lamb Shoulder Barbacoa with onion, cotija, rattle tail chile aioli, cucumber, and salsa borracha.
Don’t pass up the Brentwood Corn Ice Cream, which resembles a fresh cob of sweet corn but has been dessertified. If you are looking for the best Mexican restaurants in San Diego, try the Camino Riviera.
6. Las Cuatro Milpas
Petra and Nati Estudillo founded Las Cuatro Milpas in 1933, and there has always been a huge queue outside their door since then. But don’t worry, they’ve mastered the art of keeping it moving.
The menu is straightforward, including chicken and pork tacos (rolled or regular style), chorizo con huevos, tamales, burritos, and menudo on Saturdays only. This is the spot to go if you are searching for the best Mexican restaurants in San Diego.
Just don’t wait for the queue. Find your way in as they close by 3 p.m. or when the food runs out, whichever happens first. Sundays are closed and only accept cash.
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The Puesto experience is exceptional thanks to handcrafted stone-ground blue sustainable meats, corn tortillas, and seafood, slow-cooked homemade salsas, guisados, and Mexican lagers brewed in their Mission Valley cerveceria.
Tacos can be ordered a la carte or in trios—Maine Lobster, Tamarindo Shrimp, and Filet Mignon are a terrific surf-and-turf combination.
There are also lots of beverage options, including margaritas in a variety of exciting flavors, and a good range of high-end tequila and mezcal available on taster flights or by the shot. Local paletas provide a cool finish, making Puesto of the best Mexican restaurants in San Diego.
8. The Taco Stand
A good restaurant can easily be identified by how it treats its side dishes and condiments. Every meal at The Taco Stand is cooked to order, including the guacamole, tortillas, and salsas.
Hand-carved al pastor has just the right amount of tangy/sweet pineapple and seafood options like spicy shrimp, grilled mahi mahi, and batter-fried white fish are light and fresh.
Fillings can also be folded into burritos or grilled as a quesadilla, and refreshing paletas round out the meal. So The Taco Stand goes on our list of best Mexican restaurants in San Diego.
9. Tahona Bar
Tahona Bar, one of San Diego’s top mezcalerias, is located just close to El Campo Santo cemetery. Shareable antojitos, tacos with eight different fillings, and a couple larger meals are on the menu.
Everything is delicious, but the fantastic lineup of tequila and mezcal drinks and samples is the true draw. Cocktails are available in a half-dozen inventive variations, ranging from a twisted Paloma to a smoky Old Town Fashioned.
There are thirty artisanal and ancestral mezcal bottles, a dozen or so agave varietals, three mezcal sampling kits, and live Spanish guitar music every Sunday.
10. Oscar’s Mexican Seafood
Oscar’s Mexican Seafood is one of the best Mexican Restaurants in San Diego. Nobody does Ensenada-style fish tacos like this place.
Breakfast burritos, tortas loaded with meat, crab and shrimp tostadas, or seafood served on toasted Mexican bread are all on the menu. There are also zesty ceviches, large salads, and supper plates with all the sides.
California was part of Mexico less than two centuries ago, so it’s no surprise that excellent Mexican food is available in almost every neighborhood in San Diego.
San Diego’s Mexican restaurants keep us well-fed with our favorites, serving everything from fish tacos to tasty bread.
We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 Mexican Restaurants in San Diego so you can spend less time Googling and more time enjoying San Diego’s best tacos, burritos, and quesadillas.