Less than two hundred years ago all of California was still part of Mexico, and the lingering influence of that nation is still evident in many of the state’s restaurants and eateries, and this is especially true of San Diego. Anywhere you go in the city, you’ll find some great-tasting Mexican food at one of the ubiquitous restaurants specializing in this type of food. Below are some of the best Mexican restaurants within city limits, and you’ll do just fine by stopping in at any one of these excellent establishments.

Best Mexican Restaurants in San Diego

Lola 55 

One of the specialties of this restaurant is its filet mignon taco, and the delectable toppings of jalapeno toreado, smoky pasilla salsa, crispy leeks, and avocado mousse. If you’re ordering takeout, you won’t want to miss the Lola Caesar Salad, which features crisp romaine lettuce, anchovy dressing, and big chunks of roasted bread, all generously seasoned with parmesan and pepper. For the hungry family, there are 10 different varieties of family meals which are sure to satisfy.


If you’re a fan of home-made salsa, superior margaritas, sustainable seafoods and meats, slow-cooked guisados, or stone-ground blue corn tortillas, Puesto is the place for you. When you’re just ordering takeout, you can obtain all the fixins for 20 family-sized tacos, and if you’re having a party, you can order the Cincoteca En Casa Party Kit, and have everything needed for a two-course dinner with cocktails. 

Aqui es Texcoco 

Texcoco is the area of Mexico which is thought to be the birthplace of barbacoa, which involves steam-cooking beef, sheep, or goat meat until super tender. At this restaurant, you can enjoy the finest barbacoa, along with platos that are served family style and which feature rib meat or loin meat, in addition to pancita, sesos, and cabeza. You should also try their home-made specialty moronga, which is very similar to the Spanish sausage known as morcilla. 

Oscar’s Mexican Seafood 

This is a favorite of all San Diego residents, especially those who love Ensenada-style fish tacos. You can also get seasoned seafood stuffed into warm tortillas, as well as shrimp tostadas, crab tostadas, meal-sized salads, and tortas served inside Mexican bread which has been toasted. If you like Mexican food for breakfast, there are three different specialty items you can order for your first meal of the day, to start things off on the right foot.


Anyone who has been to Old Town has probably seen this fine Mexican restaurant, which is the best mezcaleria in the city. You can order three different types of tacos to go, those being mushroom, beef barbacoa, and chicken tinga. If you’re staying for your visit, you can enjoy one of their signature cocktails, or any one of the 30 different kinds of ancestral or artisanal mezcal.

El Comal 

The best homestyle Mexican food in the city is served here. It ranks in the best mexican restaurants, with thick corn tortillas, tacos dorados, barbacoa de chivo, Oaxaca-style tamales which have been steamed in banana leaves, and red or green posole. When Cinco de Mayo rolls around, this place comes alive, and offers a number of different party packs which you can order to host your own Mexican-themed party, for any number of people. All the offerings from El Comal are tasty and filling, and you can be sure that the portions will leave you satisfied, but craving for more.

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