Edit ModuleShow Tags

San Diego Fish Tacos


Published:

Deep-fried or grilled fish smothered in crema Mexicana, salsa fresca and slapped between a tortilla … fish tacos just might be San Diego’s prime delicacy. It’s even attracted the likes of the Food Network’s Bobby Flay to have a contest with a local restaurant.

This tasty meal has long been associated as the food of choice for surfers, and legend has it that the recipe crossed the border from Baja California sometime in the 20th century. Thanks those Baja taquerias, San Diego is home to hundreds of satiating fish taco eateries, each offering their own delectable flavor and style.

Mamá Testa Taqueria

When Flay had a fish taco throwdown with the owner of this little Hillcrest restaurant, Flay’s tacos couldn’t compare to Mamá Testa. Known for authentic Mexican taste, Mama Testa churns out a “Guerrero style” (deep-fried, but not quite crunchy) fish taco comprising fried catfish topped with Mexican coleslaw and queso fresco, stuffed into a taco that’s once again deep-fried. The taco is untraditional from the San Diego-Baja style, but the combination is a revelation. Although Mamá Testa doesn’t serve à la carte tacos, the meal comes with black beans and rice. A mandatory visit for any fish taco lover.
Mon.–Thur. 11:30 -9, Fri.–Sat. 11:30–11, Sun. noon–8
1417 University Avenue, Hillcrest
619-298-8226
mamatestataqueria.com

George’s Ocean Terrace

Fish tacos at a fancy restaurant? George’s proves they can make divine tacos that are worth the money. Served during lunch and listed as an appetizer at dinner, this grilled mahimahi fish taco practically melts in your mouth. The fish is first marinated in olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper. Then it’s wrapped with mango salsa, Bermuda onion, cilantro, cabbage, chunky guacamole and jalapeño-lime crème fraîche.
Lunch daily 11–3:45, dinner 5–9:45
1250 Prospect Street, La Jolla
858-454-4244
georgesatthecove.com

South Beach Bar & Grill

If you enjoy watching the beach and drinking a cold one, South Beach’s fish taco is the perfect accessory to the moment. Often listed as one of the best fish tacos in San Diego, the Baja-style taco is a crunchy mahimahi sprinkled with cheese, dripping with sauce and wrapped in a soft tortilla. Expect to use more than one napkin as the salsa fresca and white sauce frequently spill from both ends of the taco. The tacos are a reasonable $3.25 price; however, during Happy Hour, Mon.–Fri. 3–6, tacos are $2.50.
Mon.–Thur. 11 a.m.–1 a.m., Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–2 a.m.
5059 Newport Avenue, Ocean Beach
619-226-4577
southbeachob.com

The Brigantine

The unhealthiest items on the menu always seem to taste the best. This is also true at The Brigantine, which serves both a grilled and a fried mahimahi taco. The deep-fried fish is divine, and they tweak the taco formula by serving it with grated cheddar cheese. Although these tacos are neither authentic nor served street-style, they still pack a flavor punch.
Locations in Coronado, Del Mar, Escondido, La Mesa, Point Loma, Poway and EastLake
brigantine.com

The Tin Fish

Only a block from Petco Park, the Tin Fish is a cheaper alternative to the restaurants nearby. The menu has several different types of fish taco, such as Northern-halibut, salmon or even swordfish. The crunchy halibut, deep-fried and served golden, comes in a large portion for its price. Order the criss-cut fries — a delicious necessity when consuming the tacos. The taco is layered with cabbage, ranch and cheddar cheese. The ranch does Americanize the taco, but it’s probably even better than some Baja-style tacos.
Mon.–Thu. 1–7, Fri.–Sat. 11–9, Sun.10–8
170 Sixth Avenue, Gaslamp Quarter
619-238-8100
thetinfish.net

Rubio’s

As one of the most famous fish-taco eateries, Rubio’s tacos satisfy one’s cravings. Additionally, because many Rubio’s restaurants are stationed all over San Diego County, it makes for an easy option. They might not be the best tacos in the world, but they’re satiating — and only $1.25 on Tuesdays.
Many locations around San Diego County and beyond
rubios.com

The Fish Market

Although it generally serves excellent seafood, the Fish Market downtown also serves a great deep-fried fish taco with a side of ranch. The deep-fried fish even tastes fresh from the ocean and the portions are large.
Lunch daily 11–4, dinner daily 4–10
750 North Harbor Drive, downtown, 619-234-4867
640 Via de la Valle, Solana Beach, 858-755-BASS
thefishmarket.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Celebrating Women Honored San Diego's Most Inspirational Women

Here are all the award winners from last night's event

San Diego Happy Half Hour Podcast: Episode 14

Saffron expands, The New York Times profiles a local chef, Campfire’s bar manager stops by with cocktails, and more

Bottle (re)Cap: Cool San Diego Beer Stuff I Learned About in September

Green Flash's highest ABV beer ever, a beer and ice cream pairing, two new Miramar breweries, and more
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. 27 Secret San Diego Spots
    From hidden caves to dead bodies beneath a public park, here's our third annual guide to all things hidden and hush-hush
  2. FIRST LOOK: False Idol
    San Diego is now home to a world-class tiki bar—False Idol
  3. Best of San Diego 2016
    Our annual and completely subjective guide to SD’s best
  4. The Chilling Facts About Craft Beer
    Why colder is not always better
  5. FIRST LOOK: Decoy Dockside
    San Marcos gets an ambitious, two-story gastro-lodge on the lake with Decoy Dockside.
  6. Top 10 Off-Site Events during Comic-Con 2016
    No badge, no problem—these happenings are free and open to the public
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Win Tickets to Craig Robinson Plus a Hotel and Spa Package

The American Comedy Co. is giving away a hilarious weekend for two

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

Win Tickets to Craig Robinson Plus a Hotel and Spa Package

The American Comedy Co. is giving away a hilarious weekend for two

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags