arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter tiktok youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin

Favorite Mexican Restaurants in San Diego

Fiesta Flavors!

Given our proximity to the border, it's only natural that San Diego's the place for fantastic Mexican cooking. Find a list of local favorites here!

San Diego's Take on South of the Border Flavors

With Baja right next door, Mexican cuisine has long been a major part of our food culture. These days a fusion of contemporary San Diego and Tijuana cooking styles has led to a unique culinary concept known as Cali-Baja, a blend of California’s zeal for fresh, local ingredients with Mexico’s Baja Med cuisine. While you can still find plenty of places to get your fill of traditional Mexican cooking, you’ll also find an exciting profusion of restaurants devoted to this new food revolution. 

Whatever fare you fancy, taco stands throughout the county offer grab 'n' go dining at appealing prices. For memorable flavors and a fiesta atmosphere, try the following local favorites.

Old Town & Mission Valley

Café Coyote

Savor traditional Mexican food made from authentic fresh ingredients prepared from regional recipes. Relax and select from over 100 tequilas for your fresh frosty margaritas and watch chefs make homemade tortillas the traditional way "a mano" (by hand) to accompany your meal.

Casa Guadalajara

This imaginative menu features traditional and contemporary cuisine, reflecting dishes of the regional villages of Mexico. Signature offerings include award-winning seafood dishes, creative, chipotle chile-inspired entrees and sauces, and guacamole made fresh to order.

Cosmopolitan Hotel and Restaurant

This full-service restaurant and bar, open 7 days a week for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, offers a seasonal menu designed to please, attentive service and carefully prepared meals including American Grill, seafood and Mexican-inspired favorites.

Fiesta de Reyes

Here you will find two authentic Mexican restaurants, festive entertainment and a wide variety of shopping opportunities offered by 19 unique specialty shops. The restaurants at Fiesta de Reyes - Casa de Reyes and Barra Barra Saloon - are known for serving some of the best Mexican food and margaritas in San Diego.

Rockin' Baja Coastal Cantina

Enjoy Puerto Nuevo style lobsters that are split open and flash-fried then presented on big platters and served with piping hot flour tortillas, beans and Mexican rice.

Old Town Mexican Café y Cantina

This lively restaurant draws standing room only crowds for ample platters of tender pork carnitas, pitchers of margaritas, combo plates and a happy party-time vibe. While you wait, watch the hard-working "tortilla ladies" making hand-made tortillas at the front windows. Ideal for families and large groups.

Coronado

Beach & Taco Shack at the Hotel Del Coronado

Tacos by the beach are nice. But how about tacos on the beach? That's the big draw of the Hotel Del's Beach & Taco Shack -- besides, of course, the place's menu of something-for-everybody specialties, from the vegan mushroom poblano taco to the chicken tinga, carne asada, red chile pork and carne asada varieties. Nothing quite like tucking into a taco while sticking your toes in the sand.

La Jolla

Puesto

A Cali-Baja cuisine standout, Puesto got its start in La Jolla and now has sister locations in Mission Valley and Downtown (as well as two stands at the Padres' Petco Park). Puesto elevates the Mexican street taco with sustainable meats and seafood, full flavors and fresh organic produce. The menu is rounded out with a contemporary take on entrees and craft cocktails, all served in a prime location along La Jolla's bustling, beach-close Wall Street

The Taco Stand

The frequent lines at The Taco Stand in La Jolla (as well as the restaurant's popular North Park, Downtown and Encinitas locations) are a testament to taco lovers' passion for this place. And you might become a regular, too, once you try such specialties as the spicy camaron, the grilled pescado or the oozing-with-flavor nopal (cactus) taco.

Downtown San Diego and Hillcrest

Ortega's, A Mexican Bistro

A favorite in San Diego's happening Hillcrest neighborhood, Ortega's brings all the flavors of Puerto Nuevo — a Baja fishing village renowned for its lobster specialties — to delighted diners here. The restaurant, whose recipes draw on the legacy of one of Puerto Nuevo's original culinary families, has been talked up by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. And with such menu offerings as the signature grilled lobster as well as guacamole prepared right at your table, it's easy to see (and taste) why.

Tequila Bar & Grille - San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina

An urban spin on the Baja cantina, this hip restaurant attracts hotel guests and locals alike with live music, one of the world's largest selections of tequila and the freshest menu of culinary creations from their highly talented executive chef.

The Blind Burro

Located in Downtown’s East Village neighborhood, The Blind Burro specializes in Cali-Baja takes on Mexican street food favorites, served in an urban-industrial setting with communal tables and a corner-spanning bar showcasing over 100 tequilas, mezcals and spirits.

Lola 55

This go-to spot in downtown's East Village, just a few blocks north of Petco Park, has its share of tried-and-true taco varieties, from carnitas to Baja-style fish. But the place's veggie specialties are something else. Make sure to check out the squash-blossom relleno taco with housemade beet soyrizo, almond "cream cheese," poblano salsa and potato chicharrones; or the cauliflower taco with eggplant “bacon” and avocado mousse.

Gaslamp Quarter

Rockin' Baja Coastal Cantina

Just blocks from the San Diego Convention Center, this cantina offers an array of Mexican specialities, and of course, ice cold Mexican beers and pitchers of frosty margaritas!

Point Loma Peninsula

Coasterra

With stunning views of downtown, this waterfront restaurant on Harbor Island serves Cali-Baja inspired takes on classic Mexican dishes and fresh seafood, along with over 70 labels of agave spirits.

East County San Diego

Casa de Pico

Consistently named one of San Diego's best Mexican dining venues, and one of the 50 Best Mexican Restaurants in the U.S. by Hispanic Magazine, this fabled restaurant brings the romance of Old Mexico to diners, along with award-winning authentic recipes, moderately priced cuisine and colorful surroundings.

North County Coastal

Haggo's Organic Taco

A relative newcomer to the Leucadia neighborhood of Encinitas, Haggo's got some national buzz after Guy Fieri featured the restaurant on the popular TV show "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives," calling its tacos "bordering on gourmet." Their fish and shrimp tacos are bound to be among the best you've tasted, but Haggo's also offers creative vegan and meat options, all centered on local ingredients.

Las Olas

Locals swear by this bustling favorite with the great prices, generous helpings and matchless views of the Cardiff shoreline. (Las Olas, Spanish for "the waves," also has a location in Carlsbad.) Try a grilled fish-taco combo or one of the place's inspired variations on chile rellenos, and match it with a house-made marg.

North County Inland

Ponce's

This spare but stylish place in the Del Sur/4S Ranch community serves everything from traditional combos to mini street tacos and such specialties as the spicy Camarones Ala Diabla. The beverage menu also offers an impressive 14 varieties of margarita.

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

Related Articles and Features

Deals just for you

Accommodation

Simple Pleasures Package

Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina
Valid: Nov 13, 2023 - ongoing

LOVE IS IN THE BAY BREEZES OF SAN DIEGO'S HAWAIIAN ISLE! You and that special someone will be treated like royalty when you reserve this pleasurable package. Delight in one of our well-appointed...

Printing Services

Show Your Badge and Save At The UPS Store #7602

The UPS Store
Valid: Dec 6, 2023 - ongoing

You can save 10% off all print and shipping at The UPS Store in Little Italy, CA. Our address is 2020 Columbia St. Please note, this discount is only available at this location. 

Accommodation

Vacay Your Way!

Humphreys Half Moon Inn
Valid: Jul 10, 2023 - ongoing

You deserve your dream getaway this summer! Here at Humphreys, build your own Vacation Package by selecting the perfect guestroom and customizing it with our incredible add-on options. Whether you're...

Events to check out

Event

Port of San Diego Big Bay Boom!

Jul 4, 2024

The Port of San Diego Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show is back, promising another spectacular display over San Diego Bay. Fireworks will be discharged simultaneously from barges placed...

Event

San Diego French Film Festival

Jun 2 - Jun 5, 2024

San Diego Francophone Event of the Year

Event

Annual Over The Line Tournament

Jul 13 - Jul 21, 2024

The Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC) is calling all players, beach-goers, and sports enthusiasts to the biggest summer event in San Diego!

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

Partners

Explore

Plan

Stay

Follow Us

Language:

English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China
Germany
Great Britain
Japan
Mexico
Korea
Switzerland
Brazil
France
Australia
Canada
USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans
Albanian
Arabic
Belarusian
Bulgarian
Croatian
Danish
Deutsch
Español
Estonian
Filipino
Finnish
Francais
Georgian
Greek
Haitian-Creole
Hebrew
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Indonesian
Irish
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Latvian
Lithuanian
Macedonian
Malay
Maltese
Nederlands
Norwegian
Persian
Polish
Portuguese
Romanian
Russian
Serbian
Slovak
Slovenian
Swahili
Swedish
Telugu
Thai
Turkish
Ukranian
Vietnamese
Yiddish