San Diego’s 10 Most Important Tacos of 2017
Add these to your must-eat list for next year
What’s more San Diego than tacos? Every month, San Diego Magazine’s staff combs through taco shops and restaurants throughout the county in search of our next VIT (Very Important Taco). Here are some of the most masterfully filled tortillas we devoured in the last year.
1. The Beer Batter Palm Tacos at Kindred
Beer-battered hearts of palm and potatoes give this vegan taco the texture of a fish taco, while the seaweed salad topping adds some ocean flavor. A generous dose of chile de árbol crema makes the whole thing surprisingly spicy.
2. The Breakfast Queso Taco at Luche Libre
Under two corn tortillas is a layer of crispy grilled cheese topped with potatoes, scrambled eggs, chorizo, a generous slice of avocado, and a “super secret” chipotle sauce.
3. The Braised Short Rib Taco at Bar by Red Door
The braised short rib filling is topped with feta, shallots, cilantro, and Sriracha aioli made from local hot sauce brand Baby Clydesdale. It’s all wrapped in corn tortillas from Gabriel Tortilleria in Logan Heights.
4. The Jackfruit Taco at Del Sur
Adobo-marinated jackfruit is served on a bed of cabbage and topped with chipotle sauce and a creamy citrus aioli. With the perfect balance of creamy, crunchy, and tangy, it’s a vegetarian taco for meat lovers.
5. The Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp Taco at Karina’s Ceviches & More
Bacon-wrapped grilled shrimp is stuffed with cream cheese and serrano peppers before it hits the fryer for a crunch. It’s then tucked into a flour tortilla and topped with cabbage, tomatoes, cilantro, and a spicy mango sauce.
6. The Banana Peel Taco at Wrench & Rodent
An organic corn tortilla is topped with spicy, rehydrated quinoa and caramelized banana peels that have been slow-simmered in pork adobada broth, alongside charred green cabbage deglazed with kombu broth and sprinkled with tomato salsa.
7. The Avocado Crab Taco at Tamarindo
It's like a fish taco, but flipped. The crab meat lends softness, but the crunch—which typically comes from fried fish—is actually tempura avocado. It’s topped with cabbage, crema, and pico de gallo all wrapped in a corn tortilla.
8. The Carnitas Taco at Cali Street Tacos
A freshly handmade corn tortilla is stacked with a generous serving of pork—a seasoned balance of crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside—and topped with creamy guacamole, diced onions, and cilantro.
9. The Carne Asada Taco at Lola's Seven-Up Mexican Market Deli
Inside a hard shell (a novelty!) is a handful of freshly grilled beef with tomatoes, onions, and cilantro. On top is a hefty dollop of sour cream.
10. The Surf and Turf Taco at Zoe's Place
Seared pieces of beef are sandwiched between chunks of shrimp and a liberal dose of very spicy onions. It’s balanced with a thick dollop of crema and packaged in a flour tortilla.