Don Carlos Taco Shop
Touting the T-shirt slogan “Ugly, gaudy, and looks like Mexico” — a quote from a neighbor complaining in 2005 about the shop’s myriad banners — Don Carlos is a well-kept hole-in-the-wall that has been a staple ’rito joint in La Jolla since 1984 and is purportedly the oldest in the area. Thirty-four types of burrito include the utilitarian Hungover (breakfast meats and eggs), Scripps (Soyrizo!), a few variations on the classic California, and what just might be the greatest shrimp burrito on the planet. They offer plenty of veggie options with no lard or chicken stock. Salsas come in smoky red, complex green, and the occasional stray bottle of Cajun Power garlic sauce. Choose from a selection of Mexican and craft beers in the bottle, and post up on the patio overlooking Pearl Street.
— Chad Deal