Find out for Yourself What’s So Special About One of the City’s Signature Dishes
Simply put, for many Southern California residents, fish tacos are a dietary staple. No matter if you prefer them fried or grilled, fancy or casual, the end result is always a solid bite of deliciousness. If you ask anyone who’s spent a significant amount of time in San Diego where to go for fish tacos, they’ll probably eagerly share their favorites in town—and you’ll more than likely end up with a ton of different suggestions. But look no further, because we’ve managed to find the best fish tacos SD has to offer! Fish Tacos in San Diego
1 | Casero Taqueria Fish Tacos in San Diego
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 between their cuisine’s diverse flavors, the alfresco 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 GM, Robert, insists you try the homemade churros because “everyone is raving about them!”
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2 | JRDN Fish Tacos in San Diego
Must-Order: Grilled Mahi Mahi Tacos
Not only can you eat one of the best fish tacos in town at JRDN (at the Tower 23 Hotel), but you can also catch an epic sunset from their famous beachfront patio in the heart of Pacific Beach. Chef David Warner recently took over as head chef and is committed to creating classic and flavorful foods. His tacos are so light and fresh that you’ll want to return to this hot spot for more.
Must-Order: Fresh Fish Taco
Wonderland Ocean Beach is not only known for its hospitality and rad views of the beach, but also for its killer fish tacos. Chris, the general manager, says their secret to great tacos is “having fresh fish delivered daily.” This place tends to get busy during sporting events since they keep the games on, but it’s a great space for everyone to enjoy.
4 | Tocaya Organica Fish Tacos in San Diego
Must-Order: Baja Taco With Catch of the Day
Tocaya Organica is committed to using natural, sustainable ingredients that are locally sourced, and their proteins are free of hormones, steroids and antibiotics—woohoo! Their “modern Mexican” cuisine is upscale yet fast-casual, so it’s perfect for those on-the-run that want to get something healthy. Be sure to try the Baja tacos, which have a perfect portion of shaved cabbage, cilantro, sweet chipotle sauce, a vegan chipotle crema on a corn tortilla, and topped with the catch of the day. Bonus: they’re gluten-free!
Must-Order: TKO Taco
Since opening in 2010, the Pacific Beach Fish Shop has been known for its customizable fresh fish dishes, so if you haven’t been yet, you’re missing out. You pick your fish, a marinade (for grilled fish), a style (grilled or fried), and obviously, you’re getting it served as a taco since that’s the best way to eat, well, anything. Not feeling creative? Try their award-winning TKO taco marinated in their very own Fish Shop seasoning. It’s beyond tasty.
6 | Lucha Libre
Must-Order: Undefeated Seafood Taco With Mahi
In 2008, the Rojano brothers opened up their first Lucha Libre Gourmet Taco Shop outpost in Mission Hills. Yes, they incorporated their love of professional wrestling and its vibrant and colorful lucha libre culture. Their Undefeated Seafood Taco comes with seasoned Mahi (or shrimp), jack cheese, pico de gallo, cabbage and serrano sauce. Lucha Libre nailed it.
Local Insight: Get extra serrano sauce. The tacos don’t need it, but it’s just that good.
7 | 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, of course, comes with all the proper taco accouterments.
8 | Casa Guadalajara
Must-Order: Ensenada Fish Tacos
At Casa Guadalajara, you’ll immediately feel the fun, fiesta vibes on the colorful and umbrella-dotted patio. “People come from near and far to enjoy our Ensenada Fish Tacos,” says Owner/Operator Diane Powers. “We only use the finest ingredients to create authentic Mexican flavors that make this dish a customer favorite.” The spicy salsa that tops off their Ensenada Fish Tacos is divine and is a huge hit among guests.
Must-Order: Wahoo Grilled Taco
South Beach Bar & Grille has SO many fish tacos to choose from—from grilled swordfish, Wahoo and Yellowtail to Mahi Mahi. Another option is the fried Baja taco, which is always a favorite among fish taco lovers. The service is fast and friendly, and they have ocean views for days. They also offer happy hour Monday-Friday from 3-6p.m. with half-off all appetizers and tacos for $2.95—the kind of taco day spirit everyone needs!
10 | The Brigantine
Must-Order: The Brig’s Famous Fish Tacos
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
Must-Order: Battered Fish Taco
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. Plus, they offer a variety of sauces. Sources tell us the green sauce and chipotle are to die for!
12 | El Zarape
Must-Order: Fish-Battered Fried Taco
First of all, who sells anything for next to nothing these days?! Well, you’re in luck because El Zarape’s Fished-Battered Fried Taco is only 99 cents! Their chalkboard menu and get-your-own salsa bar give this place quintessential taco shop vibes, albeit a bit fancier. The tacos are super tasty and, let’s be real, how can you go wrong for 99 cents?!
13 | The Taco Stand
Must-Order: Baja Taco
There are a few places you consistently see lines out the door. But The Taco Stand is one of them. The ingredients, including the fish, are always super fresh. Their Baja Taco comes battered and is priced at a super reasonable $2.99. Plus, they’re open until 1 a.m. on Fridays, so it’s the perfect late-night delight.
14 | George’s Ocean Terrace Fish Tacos in San Diego
Must-Order: Blackened Fish Taco
George’s Ocean Terrace offers one of the most unique fish tacos in town, and it’s absolutely delectable. Their taco creation is made with achiote marinated yellowtail and is polished off with cabbage, cilantro, onion, salsa and crema. Also, they have one of the most spectacular views of the ocean from their downtown La Jolla rooftop. It’s not to be missed!