Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

It's a slippery, messy delight

Almost anything on the menu can be taco-ized to order

La Vecinidad California burrito-style taco - Image by Matthew Suárez
La Vecinidad California burrito-style taco
Place

Aquí es Texcoco

520 Broadway number 5 and 6, Chula Vista

Aqui es Texcoco

The moniker translates to “Here is Texcoco,” an homage to the Texcoco region of Mexico, largely considered to be the birthplace of barbacoa in that country. The specialty of the house is borrego barbacoa, lamb barbecue, the preparation for which involves the entire animal being covered in maguey leaves and roasted for hours. Assemble-your-own platos come in ⅓- and ½-pound sizes served family-style and feature the familiar rib or loin meat as well as pancita (tripe), cabeza (head), or sesos (brains), ready for dipping in the well-seasoned lamb broth that comes gratis. Lamb isn’t your thing? Not to worry, almost anything on the menu can be taco-ized to order, including moronga (a sausage similar to Spanish morcilla), huitlacoche (corn “truffle”), chapulines (grasshoppers), and the more conventional chicken, pressed pork belly, mushrooms, zucchini flowers, nopales, or poblanos.

Place

Amorcito Corazón

3442 30th Street, San Diego

Amorcito Corazón Mexican Bistro

Homey and unpretentious, Amorcito Corazón recently celebrated its second anniversary in the hotly competitive 30th and Upas neighborhood. Tacos are generously proportioned on six-inch double corn tortillas; two are pretty filling. I’m always tempted by the shrimp taco, three fat pink curls under a bit of cabbage, salsa fresca, and avocado wedges; crisp battered fish gets the same treatment. Just the right amount of rich chili accents the pork adobada; and the carnitas, traditionally topped by cilantro and white onion, reminds me of the taco stands in Loreto. Grab some of the thin, non-greasy chips and salsa from the self-serve station to munch while you wait. And — I know, not a taco — but their California burrito is stuffed with curly fries if you are into that sort of thing.

Place

¡Salud!

2196 Logan Avenue, San Diego

¡Salud!

¡Salud! takes traditional comfort-food fillings ranging from al pastor, carne asada, carnitas, fried catfish, and pollo asado, then tucks them into thickish, sturdy hand-pressed corn tortillas. Two standouts are the Taco de Barrio, sumptuous carne guisada, nopales and long-simmered frijoles, and the birria, shredded pork in mole sauce, its tortilla wrap flash-fried to a crisp. Any morning is a good time for a breakfast taco — an over-easy egg, chorizo, bacon, avocado, and queso folded into a house-made flour tortilla. Try any or all of the fresh, lively salsas, from creamy mild to tongue-scorching. There’s a respectable number of local beers on tap, daily aguas frescas, and a short list of cocktails, including the Hooch Horchata and Vampiro Michelada.

Place

Sandbar Sports Grill

718 Ventura Place, San Diego

Sandbar Sportsbar and Grill

Sandbar Sportsbar and Grill continues to please hungry surfers and students, hippies and hipsters alike. Make a beeline to the sky deck for stunning sunset views and strong cocktails. Don’t miss the flagship TKO style, any filling (my fave is Baja-style white fish) stuffed into a cotija-cheese-dusted flour tortilla along with chipotle aioli, beer-brined escabeche slaw, tobacco onions, and spicy guacamole. Vegetarians favor the fried avocado taco, plump wedges of ripe avocados, battered and fried, slathered in chipotle aioli, lettuce, beans, pico de gallo, sour cream, and cotija cheese in a corn tortilla. It’s a slippery, messy delight.

Place

Vecinidad

3827 Fifth Avenue, San Diego

La Vecinidad

The menu at this casual counter-service spot revolves around tacos served on housemade tortillas. Fillings span the gamut from traditional carnitas, al pastor, and asadas to bacon-wrapped shrimp to homemade longaniza, a spicy pork sausage closely associated with Portuguese linguiça. I love the chile relleno taco for its crunchy batter and Oaxaca cheese stuffed poblano chili, but I can always be tempted by the kitchen-sink-style campechano, DF-style (Distrito Federal Mexico, or Mexico City-style) seasoned steak, longaniza, nopales, onions and asada potatoes. There’s even a riff on the beloved, french-fry-stuffed California burrito, done in taco fashion. Quench your thirst with an agua fresca or choose from the modest selection of draft or bottled beer or any number of margarita flavors.

Place

Cantina Mayahuel

2934 Adams Avenue, San Diego

Cantina Mayahuel

Named after the Aztec goddess of the maguey plant, this dusky cantina is known for its extensive collection of, and expertise with, tequilas, mezcals, sotols, bacanoras, and racillas, but they make a mean taco, too. I’m partial to the tangy, spicy, pineapple-chipotle basted chicken under a zingy tropical salsa. Ono and shrimp also get the al pastor–like treatment before a quick sear on the grill. Try the tender marinated sirloin under a shower of jack cheese or carnitas simply dressed in chopped white onion, cilantro, and salsa verde. Let the knowledgeable staff help you select a tequila tasting or go for a refreshingly tart margarita — the simple ingredients of organic lime juice, agave syrup, and a splash of brandy liqueur enhance your choice of tequila or mezcal.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Sanctified and glorified at Encanto Southern Baptist Church

Life is important on this side of death, but what really matters is eternity.
Next Article

The Harrison G. Otis House: a Tudor Revival residence

Much of the craftsmanship and styling cues of the era remain
La Vecinidad California burrito-style taco - Image by Matthew Suárez
La Vecinidad California burrito-style taco
Place

Aquí es Texcoco

520 Broadway number 5 and 6, Chula Vista

Aqui es Texcoco

The moniker translates to “Here is Texcoco,” an homage to the Texcoco region of Mexico, largely considered to be the birthplace of barbacoa in that country. The specialty of the house is borrego barbacoa, lamb barbecue, the preparation for which involves the entire animal being covered in maguey leaves and roasted for hours. Assemble-your-own platos come in ⅓- and ½-pound sizes served family-style and feature the familiar rib or loin meat as well as pancita (tripe), cabeza (head), or sesos (brains), ready for dipping in the well-seasoned lamb broth that comes gratis. Lamb isn’t your thing? Not to worry, almost anything on the menu can be taco-ized to order, including moronga (a sausage similar to Spanish morcilla), huitlacoche (corn “truffle”), chapulines (grasshoppers), and the more conventional chicken, pressed pork belly, mushrooms, zucchini flowers, nopales, or poblanos.

Place

Amorcito Corazón

3442 30th Street, San Diego

Amorcito Corazón Mexican Bistro

Homey and unpretentious, Amorcito Corazón recently celebrated its second anniversary in the hotly competitive 30th and Upas neighborhood. Tacos are generously proportioned on six-inch double corn tortillas; two are pretty filling. I’m always tempted by the shrimp taco, three fat pink curls under a bit of cabbage, salsa fresca, and avocado wedges; crisp battered fish gets the same treatment. Just the right amount of rich chili accents the pork adobada; and the carnitas, traditionally topped by cilantro and white onion, reminds me of the taco stands in Loreto. Grab some of the thin, non-greasy chips and salsa from the self-serve station to munch while you wait. And — I know, not a taco — but their California burrito is stuffed with curly fries if you are into that sort of thing.

Place

¡Salud!

2196 Logan Avenue, San Diego

¡Salud!

¡Salud! takes traditional comfort-food fillings ranging from al pastor, carne asada, carnitas, fried catfish, and pollo asado, then tucks them into thickish, sturdy hand-pressed corn tortillas. Two standouts are the Taco de Barrio, sumptuous carne guisada, nopales and long-simmered frijoles, and the birria, shredded pork in mole sauce, its tortilla wrap flash-fried to a crisp. Any morning is a good time for a breakfast taco — an over-easy egg, chorizo, bacon, avocado, and queso folded into a house-made flour tortilla. Try any or all of the fresh, lively salsas, from creamy mild to tongue-scorching. There’s a respectable number of local beers on tap, daily aguas frescas, and a short list of cocktails, including the Hooch Horchata and Vampiro Michelada.

Place

Sandbar Sports Grill

718 Ventura Place, San Diego

Sandbar Sportsbar and Grill

Sandbar Sportsbar and Grill continues to please hungry surfers and students, hippies and hipsters alike. Make a beeline to the sky deck for stunning sunset views and strong cocktails. Don’t miss the flagship TKO style, any filling (my fave is Baja-style white fish) stuffed into a cotija-cheese-dusted flour tortilla along with chipotle aioli, beer-brined escabeche slaw, tobacco onions, and spicy guacamole. Vegetarians favor the fried avocado taco, plump wedges of ripe avocados, battered and fried, slathered in chipotle aioli, lettuce, beans, pico de gallo, sour cream, and cotija cheese in a corn tortilla. It’s a slippery, messy delight.

Place

Vecinidad

3827 Fifth Avenue, San Diego

La Vecinidad

The menu at this casual counter-service spot revolves around tacos served on housemade tortillas. Fillings span the gamut from traditional carnitas, al pastor, and asadas to bacon-wrapped shrimp to homemade longaniza, a spicy pork sausage closely associated with Portuguese linguiça. I love the chile relleno taco for its crunchy batter and Oaxaca cheese stuffed poblano chili, but I can always be tempted by the kitchen-sink-style campechano, DF-style (Distrito Federal Mexico, or Mexico City-style) seasoned steak, longaniza, nopales, onions and asada potatoes. There’s even a riff on the beloved, french-fry-stuffed California burrito, done in taco fashion. Quench your thirst with an agua fresca or choose from the modest selection of draft or bottled beer or any number of margarita flavors.

Place

Cantina Mayahuel

2934 Adams Avenue, San Diego

Cantina Mayahuel

Named after the Aztec goddess of the maguey plant, this dusky cantina is known for its extensive collection of, and expertise with, tequilas, mezcals, sotols, bacanoras, and racillas, but they make a mean taco, too. I’m partial to the tangy, spicy, pineapple-chipotle basted chicken under a zingy tropical salsa. Ono and shrimp also get the al pastor–like treatment before a quick sear on the grill. Try the tender marinated sirloin under a shower of jack cheese or carnitas simply dressed in chopped white onion, cilantro, and salsa verde. Let the knowledgeable staff help you select a tequila tasting or go for a refreshingly tart margarita — the simple ingredients of organic lime juice, agave syrup, and a splash of brandy liqueur enhance your choice of tequila or mezcal.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Interact with Animals, On the Harbor with Hard Kombucha, Interior Design Home Tours

Events July 9-July 11, 2020
Next Article

What San Diego restaurant staffs eat, dumpster diving for dinner

How food critic Naomi Wise started her life in San Diego, how food critic Eleanor Widmer ended hers
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close