Best-of Guides San Diego

Best Mexican Restaurants in San Diego

7 Restaurants
Just 30 minutes from the US-Mexican border, San Diego has some of the most delicious Mexican eateries in California. For Here's where to go for carnitas, tamales, adobada and, of course, tacos.
Updated on 12 September 2022
Oscar's Mexican Seafood
703 Turquoise St., 92109 San Diego
$ · Mexican

This south-of-the-border gem is a classic surfer snack shack—laid-back, breezy, and set just blocks away from the beach, so you won’t need to brush the sand off your feet to eat here. Dine on seafood-centric Mexican food, where tacos take center stage—with crispy fish and shrimp, grilled octopus, and adobo-marinated tuna.

1290 F St., 92101 San Diego
$ · Mexican

The taco variations on offer here lean more sophisticated with creative combinations such as baby carrot adobada and squash blossom relleno. Ribeye carne asada cooked to order on the mesquite wood-burning grill or achiote-rubbed pork belly with grilled pineapple are just some of the winners. 

Tuétano Taqueria
143 W. San Ysidro Blvd., 92173 San Ysidro
$ · Mexican

With the Mexican border just minutes away, you might be tempted to skip this homey spot for a more “authentic” meal in Tijuana. Chef Priscilla Curiel’s guisados are every inch the equal of Baja’s—down to the fair prices and hefty portions. Chef Curiel has amassed a cult following for her rich beef birria, crowned with a bone for scooping buttery marrow atop the taco.

Lucha Libre
1810 W. Washington St., 92103 San Diego
$ · Mexican

This is a kitschy shrine to the masked warriors hailing from south of the border. Tacos filled with steak and seafood are incredibly heartwarming, with a secret chipotle sauce adding just the right amount of heat. Their burritos are for true competitors—bursting at the seams, these beasts are big, fat and quite delicious.

1026 Wall St., 92037 La Jolla
$ · Mexican

The cuisine here has a restrained heat that emphasizes the fresh, bright flavors of Mexico, beginning with the pure pleasure from thin, crisp chips and fire-roasted salsa. Come on Taco Tuesdays, when prices are slashed, to explore their array of tasty fillings, many of which show artisanal flair through market-sourced grilled fish, garlicky mushrooms or zucchini and cactus.

The Taco Stand
621 Pearl St., 92037 La Jolla
$ · Mexican

One of three locations, this family-run taqueria is inspired by the taco stands located just an hour away in Tijuana. The tacos, burritos and elote with mayo, parmesan and chili powder are all deliciously messy. The marinated pork in the al pastor taco is pure bliss; grilled mahi mahi is appetizing; and flame-grilled nopales are just right for vegetarians.

2850 El Cajon Blvd., 92104 San Diego
$ · Moroccan

This self-described “Moroccan-Baja kitchen” might sound unusual, but it’s full of bold, enticing flavors. Inspired by both her local environs and family heritage, Chef Alia Jaziri turn outs a fascinating fast-casual menu. Delicacies include Moroccan-spiced chicken tacos dressed with preserved lemon and tzatziki-inspired crema, or couscous bowls layered with merguez, black beans, queso fresco and toasted pepitas.