Mexican food is a staple in the local San Diegan diet. The easiest, and quickest way to satisfy an urge for local Mexican food is by dining at a taco shop. Each shop has their own specialties. From chile relleno, arne asada, fish tacos and al pastor to the legendary California burrito. No choice is a bad one, but we will help you pinpoint which shop to visit in the area for each type of meal.

There are literally hundreds, probably thousands of taco shops located in San Diego county. This article will focus on those located near Mission Beach, mainly so those of you coming on vacation can check out a few of them (or all of them!). Each of these shops are around 5-10 miles from Mission Beach and should be visited as many times as possible.

Taco Surf
4657 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109

A favorite Pacific Beach establishment, you can literally customize any item on the menu and make your own burritos. They also have a delicious surf and turf burrito, a personal favorite in the adobada burrito, amazing carnitas, good fish tacos and awesome hot salsa. Also, don’t miss out on the breakfast burritos or the taco happy hour.

Oscar’s Mexican Seafood
703 Turquoise St, San Diego, CA 92109

If you are in the mood for seafood, and you should be if you are visiting San Diego, make sure to try Oscar’s. There are two separate locations in Pacific Beach, that’s how good the food is. Highlights include the delightful spicy shrimp taco or burrito, the fish stew, ceviche and the fresh catch menu. Also, make sure to try the grilled octopus if available!

2303 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109

Although MXN is a chain around San Diego county, it serves some of the best burritos in the area. The adobada is phenomenal, the carne asada chips or fries are awesome, they have good rolled tacos, but best of all is their salsa bar. They have around six different types of salsa, hot carrots and roasted jalapenos.

Lucha Libre
1810 W Washington St, San Diego, CA 92103

One of San Diego’s finest taco shops, Lucha Libre combines ambiance with amazing food. The shop is decorated to celebrate the luchadores (wrestlers) in Mexico and adds quite a bit of flair to the location. Gormet burritos may sound odd, but they live up to the hype. Don’t leave without someone trying the surfin’ California burrito (shrimp and steak with french fries). Other favorites are the mole burrito, the TJ hot dog (bacon wrapped) and the enchiladas. They also have one of the best salsa bars in the city.

La Playa
3973 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109

This is the closest taco shop to the Mission Beach area, and should be visited if you don’t have the means for further transportation. We haven’t mentioned the classic California burrito much, mainly because it is available at every shop and each one makes them differently. However, La Playa has some amazing carne asada and with that comes a very good Cali burrito (carne asada, french fires, sour creme, salsa). Additionally, they also have the elusive al pastor burrito (marinated pork and pineapple).