Get Your Seafood Fix at These Local Taco Joints
Whether you live locally or are just passing through, there’s nothing quite as quintessential to coastal Orange County than a fresh fish taco. From casual local hangouts to upscale eateries, we’ve tracked down the best of the best to upgrade your Taco Tuesday to Taco Every Day. Best Fish Tacos in Orange County
1 | Playa Mesa Best Fish Tacos in Orange County
Must Order: Crispy Fish Taco
This Costa Mesa hotspot may be known for its selection of smooth margaritas, but their taco game is just as strong. From crispy fish to grilled shrimp, you can’t go wrong with one of their tasty seafood creations! Pair your tacos with a refreshing, ice-cold Corona and don’t look back!
Local Insight: Stop in for Taco Tuesdays—the tacos are just $3.50 a piece from open to close!5/2
Must Order: Blackened Mahi Taco
This family-owned restaurant has been a staple in the OC community since 1966. With mouthwatering family recipes bringing an authentic taste of Mexico to Southern California, Avila’s El Ranchito continues to tantalize the taste buds of its beloved patrons. Everything on the menu shines, but the blackened mahi taco with with cabbage and chipotle sauce is to die for!
Locations: 13 SoCal locations
3 | Coyote Grill Best Fish Tacos in Orange County
Must Order: Shrimp Tacos
Enjoy the taste of Baja-style Mexican food with calamari, shrimp and mahi-mahi fish tacos. Each of these fresh fish creations come with cilantro, cheese, tomato, cabbage and housemade secret sauce. Coyote Grill has been in South Laguna for over 30 years and continues to serve up some of the best tacos in town!
Must Order: Gobernador Taco
Industrial meets funk at the Anaheim Packing District. Dig into URBANA’s Baja fish tacos served with guacamole, pico de gallo, spicy aioli and cabbage or order the marlin, complete with melted cheese and habanero salsa atop a crispy tortilla. Dine in style amidst colorful Dia de los Muertos paintings and skeleton dolls hanging from the ceiling. With its cool atmosphere and delicious Mexican cuisine, URBANA is a no-brainer when it comes to dining out.
5 | Descanso Best Fish Tacos in Orange County
Must Order: Volcano Taco
Descanso is a modern taqueria that celebrates authentic Mexican flavors and recipes executed on a traditional plancha. They prepare your food in front of you in a full-service setting. Try the Volcano Taco with ranchero steak, agave-glazed shrimp, tres quesos, serrano chiles, corn and flour tortillas, habanero pickled red onions, queso fresco, volcano salsa and avocado toreado salsa—your taste buds won’t regret it!
Must Order: Shrimp Taco Dorado
At Newport Beach’s SOL Mexican Cocina, choose the beer-battered fish taco while dining on the bayfront! Other tasty options include the chipotle-garlic Shrimp Taco Dorado, Fish Taco Gobernador and the grilled agave-chile shrimp taco.
7 | Hapa J’s Best Fish Tacos in Orange County
Must Order: Seared Ahi Poke Taco
Taco Tuesdays aren’t just for Mexican eateries. Try tacos with a Hawaiian flare at Hapa J’s, such as the mouthwatering coconut shrimp tacos or the seared ahi poke tacos. Be sure to head in from 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m. on Tuesdays to savor their selection of mini tacos like the Kalbi Short Rib Taco, Kalua Pig Taco and more!
8 | GuacAmigos
Must Order: Newport’o Nuevo Lobster Tacos
Enjoy all-day tequila and taco specials with options like seared ahi tuna, spicy crispy shrimp, fresh halibut and Newport’o Nuevo Lobster tacos. All tacos are served with rice, beans, guac and all the fixings—oh yeah, and a gorgeous bay view!
Must Order: Battered Shrimp Tacos
With eight mouthwatering seafood taco options that come cajun-grilled or fried, you’ll be licking your plate at FishBonz in Costa Mesa! For something extra special, treat yourself to ahi poke taco sliders (sold only on Tuesdays from 4-9 p.m.). Grab a seat on their covered patio and dig in!
10 | Taco Mesa
Must Order: Wild Salmon Taco
Smooth reggaeton permeates this eclectic atmosphere, and with $5 margaritas that pack a punch, you’ll be buzzing over their wild salmon, beer-battered fish and lobster tacos with housemade non-GMO corn tortillas.
Local Insight: The only restaurant in OC to use tiger nut for their original horchatas, Taco Mesa’s founder Ivan Calderon notes how tiger nut is a vegetable legume extremely high in nutrients. If you’re feeling adventurous, Calderon suggests trying either the golden-infused horchata with tumeric and ginger or the aphrodisiac-infused Mayan with maca, ashwagandha and cacao.
Must Order: Mahi Tacos
Normita’s is known for their large, fresh mahi tacos with a perfected ratio of fish to batter. Say hello to friendly and locally loved owner Normita when you grab your Baja-style tacos. Normita’s serves delicious food in a low-key atmosphere, but they are a cash-only establishment, so make sure you have some bills in your wallet before dining at this gem.
12 | Wild Taco
Must Order: Calamari Taco
Created by the owner of Bear Flag Fish Company, this hip taqueria offers lobster and scallop tacos as well as rotating catch-of-the-day options like seared ahi, swordfish and yellowtail. All tacos come drizzled with Bear Flag’s signature Tommy Sauce!
Must Order: Charbroiled Mahi-Mahi Taco
Bite into a Fish House Taco with lightly breaded deep-fried Pacific cod or lean on the light side with a charbroiled mahi-mahi taco with paprika and olive oil. Then there’s their special marigold shrimp tacos topped with spinach, cilantro and onion; it’s made with the family’s homemade Indian spice rub with notes of garlic and ginger!
Local Insight: Head over to Fish House on Taco Tuesday, which is when they use nearly all their seafood to create unique tacos—salmon cakes, crab cakes, scallops and calamari have all been featured.
14 | Taco María
Must Order: Smoked Fish Tacos
Sourcing fish from sustainable farm Passmore Ranch, Taco María’s Mexican-inspired à la carte menu includes a mouthwatering fried sturgeon taco, or you can opt for wine pairings and a prix fixe menu that includes a smoked fish Taco de Esturion.
15 | Fish Camp
Must Order: Wild Swordfish Fish Camp Tacos
When it comes to fresh seafood, nobody has a bigger selection than Fish Camp in Sunset Beach! This counter-serve spot features a rotating board of fresh fish that you can turn into tacos, a plate, a salad or sandwich. We recommend the Fish Camp Tacos with wild swordfish!