Photography By: Karen Winokan
Photography By: Karen Winokan

You’ll Be Hooked on These Top 14 Spots for Fish Tacos in San Diego

Find out for Yourself What’s So Special About One of the City’s Signature Dishes

Where there’s talk of San Diego, there’s talk of tacos—specifically, fish tacos. The fish taco made its first appearance in San Diego in the 1980s and has since become a love for locals and a must-try for tourists. But who holds the crown of best of the best? The iconic dish has been reinvented hundreds of times throughout the years, so we did a deep dive to find the freshest, most flavorful fish tacos you can find in America’s Finest City. Trust us—these are a total catch. Fish Tacos in San Diego

 

Pacific Catch

Must-Order: Taco Guajillo Shrimp

The beloved Bay Area eatery has finally made its way down to San Diego! La Jolla’s new Pacific Catch specializes in serving up fresh seafood in every form imaginable. Snag a seat on the spacious patio or at the open-air cocktail bar and taste the high-quality difference of this buzzy seafood hotspot. From the islands of Hawaii to the Southeast Asian country of Vietnam, each dish on their extensive menu draws inspiration from a diverse array of cuisines from around the world. The founders’ travels and love for the ocean has shaped the menu wholly, ensuring that each dish is ethically sourced with responsibly raised seafood. Now that’s something to taco ‘bout.

Location: La Jolla
@pacificcatch

Fish Tacos in San Diego

Casero Taqueria

Must-Order: Fish Taco (Baja-Style or Grilled)

Casero Taqueria’s founders strive to educate their community on Baja soul through the dining experience, so it’s no surprise that among their cuisine’s diverse flavors, the al fresco dining and the modern Baja decor inside, you feel like you’ve made your way to Mexico. Everything is homemade, which includes cooking proteins on an open wood flame and hand-pressing the tortillas.

Local Insight: Casero’s general manager insists you try the homemade churros because “everyone raves about them!”

Location: Carlsbad
@caserotacos

 

Urbana Del Mar

Must-Order: Lobster Taco

Innovative fine dining meets casual cuisine at Del Mar’s very own Urbana Del Mar. With the official grand opening taking place on Nov. 2 of this year, Del Mar locals and taco connoisseurs alike are invited to experience upscale, award-winning central Mexican cuisine. Located inside Del Mar Highland Town Center’s Sky Deck, Urbana Del Mar offers an extensive selection of tacos—12 to be exact—from lobster to filet mignon. Arrive during happy hour and pair them with unique handcrafted cocktails—what else could you fish for?

Location: Del Mar
@urbanadelmar 

Fish Tacos in San Diego

The Rooftop at Mission Pacific Hotel

Must-Order: The Octopus Taco

Photography Provided By: Mission Pacific

So much more than a rooftop bar, The Rooftop at Mission Pacific Hotel is serving up top-notch Baja-inspired dishes alongside original one-of-a-kind cocktails. As if the cuisine weren’t enough to write home about, your taco experience will be complemented by an inviting and relaxed-yet-stylish atmosphere with coastal views. A taco bursting with flavor savored during a dreamy sunset? Yes, please!

Local Insight: The lead chef and creator of the menu at The Rooftop, Roberto Alcocer, is a famous chef from Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico. You’re in for a treat!

Location: Oceanside
@rooftopbaroside

Exp 12/24

 

Puesto

Must-Order: Baja Fish Tacos

Puesto is the child of first-generation Mexican-Americans who frequently travel back to Mexico City searching for various flavors and family traditions to incorporate into their recipes back here in Cali. Pick a table al fresco or sit inside, where they have a super chic bar and an exhibition kitchen. Their Baja taco comes with a generous portion of battered cod on a non-GMO, blue corn tortilla and all the proper taco accouterments.

Locations: La Jolla, Mission Valley, San Diego at The Headquarters
@eatpuesto

Fish Tacos in San Diego 

Fish Shop

Must-Order: Grilled Ahi Taco With Fish Shop Seasoning 

As the name would suggest, it’s your local one-stop fish shop. Here you’ll find a true build-it-yourself experience with the choice of seven sauces, 12 fresh fish options and your choice of fried or grilled fish atop a corn or flour tortilla. As if that weren’t homemade enough, you can also buy fresh fish (by the pound) at the counter to cook at home.

Local Insight: Bring your own wine along to pair with your tacos for only a $5 corkage fee!

Locations: Pacific Beach, Point Loma, Encinitas

@pbfishshop, @plfishshop, @encinitasfs

 

Lola 55

Must-Order: Baja-Style Fish

Photography By: Sam Wells

Elevating the famous Tijuana street taco and classic Baja California eats is East Village’s very own Lola 55. Lola’s menu offers a modern twist on the classics with options every age can enjoy. They even offer a tantalizing vegan menu that has stolen even the most loyal of carnivore’s hearts and bellies—just ask the cauliflower taco.

Location: East Village
@lola55_sandiego

Fish Tacos in San Diego

City Tacos

Must-Order: Pescado Taco

City Tacos stay true to its name by serving up unique tacos all over the city of San Diego—all the way from Imperial Beach to Encinitas. Specializing in combining traditional recipes with a hint of SoCal inspiration, no taco here is created equal. Grab yourself an innovative street taco loaded to maximum capacity in a casual, upbeat atmosphere. Spice up each bite with a variety of creative homemade salsas; the more flavor the merrier!

Local Insight: Cruise over on Taco Tuesday for $2.50 Mexican beers and 10% off all food!

Locations: Multiple San Diego locations
@citytacossd

 

El Pescador

Must-Order: Classic Fish Tacos

Located in the heart of La Jolla among the city’s finest beaches, El Pescador has proudly served up fresh fish for over 40 years. Plating locally sourced catches daily, there is no question that the quality of the tacos you’ll find here are a catch above the rest. Looking for a night in? Grab a fresh fillet from the market case to throw on the grill at home.

Location: La Jolla
@elpescadorfishmarket

EXP 12/26

 

Mariscos Mi Gusto Es

Must-Order: Camaron Enchilado Taco 

Ain’t no taco like a food truck taco. Taste the authentic touch of Mariscos Mi Gusto Es, a top-tier taco truck located in San Diego’s very own East Village. Loaded with fish and flavor and topped off with the classic fixings, it’s a true classic-meets-classic experience that we can’t recommend enough. Take your taco to go and wander for a true downtown San Diego experience.

Location: East Village

Fish Tacos in San Diego

TJ Oyster Bar

Must-Order: The Stingray Taco

Photograph by Rosalind Chang on Unsplash

What started as a modest taco shop has become an award-winning locals’ hideaway with several locations. Specializing in baja-style fish tacos in a casual atmosphere, TJ Oyster Bar prides itself on offering a simple, authentic take on the fish taco. Prepare for a fresh, flavorful experience—that is if you can patiently wait in the typically long line out the door! 

Locations: Bonita, Chula Vista
@tjoysterbar

 

¡SALUD TACOS!

Must-Order: Shrimp Diablas

Stumble upon stellar tacos just outside of Barrio Logan’s historic Chicano Park at ¡SALUD TACOS! With a menu of Northern Mexican street food and ambient Southern California vibes, it’s been the taco spot in the town since opening its doors. Complete with vegan taco options and a variety of craft cocktails, come take a bite of tradition and experience a touch of Chicano flair from taco to tattoo-inspired murals. 

Location: Barrio Logan
@saludtacos

Fish Tacos in San Diego

The Brigantine

Must-Order: The Brig’s Famous Fish Tacos

Photography Provided By: Brigantine

They don’t call their fish tacos “famous” for no reason. The Brigantine’s tacos are consistently listed as a favorite among SD locals. They serve this gluten-free goodness grilled and topped with cabbage, salsa fresca, cheddar and ranch. You’ll love this spot for a seafood fix!

Locations: Multiple locations throughout San Diego
@brigantinesd

 

Oscar’s Mexican Seafood

Must-Order: Battered Fish Taco

Photograph by Jessica Tan on Unsplash

The first thing you’ll notice about Oscar’s is their generous portions. The veggies are just as crisp as the fish and make for the perfect lunch or dinner. They also offer a variety of sauces; sources tell us the green sauce and chipotle are to die for!

Location: Pacific Beach
@oscarsmex

About the author

Jaclyn is a sunshine chasing San Diego native with an extensive writing background. When she isn’t word-smithing, you can find her playing beach volleyball, skating the boardwalk, or on a rooftop enjoying a drink in the sunshine with her pals.

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