Mexican food is not hard to come by in San Diego County. But, only the best Mexican restaurants in San Diego know they are culinary attractions that are a reliable source of flavor and pizazz in their area. These are the restaurants that rise higher than others when it comes to the quality of food and atmosphere they manage to provide! Read along as we list off twelve of the best Mexican restaurants that serve and deliver in the niches they specialize in!
1. Mariscos Nine Seas Seafood
Consider Mariscos as your easily accessible and cheap source for Mexican seafood and fish tacos! Mariscos boasts some of the best fish tacos against many other Mexican restaurants in the San Diego county. It’s a food truck so you order, pick up, and go!
Cotija’s a less known restaurant mainly known for its home-style Mexican dishes. But they also serve modern items, because its carne asada fries are to die for! Their dishes are packed with so many ingredients, none of which overlap the other. Cotija’s offers many of Mexico’s traditional home-cooked dishes.
The staple servings of beans, red rice, and tortillas with a healthy serving of many chicken and fish meats make this an eatery people love.
3. Tacos El Gordo
Want a taste of Mexican street food without the hassle of crossing to and from the international border? Among your contingencies will be any Tacos El Gordo restaurant located across the San Diego county!
Though it’s a lengthy hour wait, try their famous adobada tacos, it’s as authentic as those found in Tijuana’s food trucks/carts. Tacos El Gordo is a well-known restaurant in the San Diego area, so take it with good consideration from the locals that recommend this place to you!
4. Old Town Mexican Cafe
Appetizing Mexican good? Check. Lovely atmosphere? Check. A beautiful, historical backdrop to admire? Check. Old Town Mexican Cafe deserves a spot on this list for utilizing its location and theatrics to win crowds over.
Their Mexican food is the classic, staple line up, but don’t conflate that with plainness! This restaurant also serves with it some tea and coffee that’s sorely missing from a lot of other eateries!
5. Hacienda’s Casa Blanca Mexican Restaurant
To San Diego’s northern province of El Cajon resides Hacienda’s Casa Blanca. And no not the movie, but it certainly does have the same extravagance and repertoire. It just goes further than the movie with so much of its colors.
This restaurant is colorful and popping to the brim with harsh reds and blues. It is a decorative spot that serves large single-person plates. This place isn’t excessive, but it goes all out for its customers to be put on this list!
California Burritos and carne asada fries thrive here at Lolita’s. Let’s be real here, folks. Carne asada fries are a hot ticket item and really shouldn’t just be a SoCal thing, and Lolita’s knows it. Their carne asada fries are possibly the best in San Diego county. Their California Burritos are meaty and distinguished from other places.
Sauces and ingredients like sour cream and cheese are Lolita’s specialty. This restaurant is the master of blasting your taste buds with more flavoring than should be necessary but somehow still is!
7. Rincon Azteca Homestyle Mexican Restaurant
What was once a sequestered, small restaurant is now among the most widely renowned and highly sought after Mexican eateries in all of San Diego county! Their hot sauces and enchiladas are their best feature, and their sides are no slouch either.
While small, and its gravitas not on par with something like Tacos El Gordo’s, what Rincon Azteca does have is flavor and quaint charm. Because at the end of the day, you come to a restaurant for good food, and Rincon Azteca has plenty of that authenticity.
8. Cocina 35
It’s hip. It’s retro. It’s everything modern. Cocina 35 specializes in being the Subway of Mexican restaurants by allowing you to construct a good portion of your meal for a relatively cheap price. It is very much a customizable experience with samplers to boot! Its tostadas are crunchy and packed while its tortillas are soft and always warm. Sides and appetizers like beans, chips, and rice are among this restaurant’s strengths.
9. TJ Oyster Bar
Not all Mexican food in the United States correlates to tacos! Some of the best Mexican restaurants in San Diego county have realized that seafood is a large part of everyone’s diet. We recommend the TJ Oyster Bar as one of the finest examples of Mexican seafood, especially if you’re looking for a taste of that famous Baja California flavoring!
Right off Seaport Village in Downtown San Diego is Puesto, a lovely eatery considered one of San Diego’s best Mexican restaurants. What puts Puestos above so many others is its locale, as being near Seaport’s extravagant market shops and cultural events definitely make for the best combination alongside its signature menu.
Their ceviche? Bomb. Their guacamole is rarely unrivaled by other restaurants and their menu knows it!
11. Galaxy Taco
Galaxy Taco’s menu is aptly out of this world! This restaurant’s tacos are street food-style, so they’ll be plenty juicy and mouth-watery. Galaxy Taco is also most known for its abundance of alcoholic beverages such as beer, mezcals, and tequila! Their drinks and superb dishes paired together can put anyone in the right mood, especially come happy hour.
12. Las Cuatro Milpas
Sure, the food selection is bafflingly small, but does it matter when everything that is on Las Cuatro Milpas’ menu just that good? Everyone else seems to think so because this place is always drawing lines almost every day. Its rolled tacos drenched in sour cream, lettuce, and spices have this writer already drooling!