8 Contenders for Best Taco Shop in San Diego

Tacos are to San Diego what oxygen is to humans. Essential. Every year there are a handful of great taco shops that all deserve top nod. This year, I named Lola 55 the best taco shop—for quality of ingredients, chef Andrew Bent’s talent, price point, everything. It moved the needle. Here were the other contenders:

 

Las Cuatro Milpas

A past winner. The cash-only, matriarch-driven taco shop in Barrio Logan fries the shells in front of you. A legend.

 

Aqui Es Texcoco

Past winner. A massive pot in the kitchen is smoking all day with traditional lamb barbacoa. If you like lamb—it’s my all-time favorite indulgence—this is your place.

 

Puesto

The griddled cheese is their not-secret weapon, as are the craft tequila cocktails. But under chef Katy Smith, quality has hockey-sticked up every year.

 

¡Salud!

It’s hip, but you can’t survive on ambience alone. From that al pastor with avo crema to the birria taco, the taste matches the look.

 

Galaxy Taco

This is an offshoot of George’s, which has one of the country’s top chefs in Trey Foshee. Almost unfair. Galaxy chef Christine Rivera is sourcing non-GMO blue corn masa, pressing in-house, and applying four-star techniques. Get the grilled yellowtail.

 

The Taco Stand

Their carne asada fries are everything (thus why I named them Best Fries), but their Sonora steak taco justifies the always-long lines at their La Jolla location.

 

Tacos el Paisa

Another Barrio mainstay. Those adobada (chile-marinated pork) and machaca tacos on their covered patio make for a day well spent.

 

TJ Oyster Bar

The Bonita icon. Every day, you’ll see the chefs working with dozens of octopi in the back for their famed pulpo taco.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.