Mexican spots in San Diego that will make your knees weak


If you come to San Diego and don't try the Mexican food, we put you on a blacklist and you can never come back. So don't be a stooge — put on a bib like a big kid and get ready to gain a few pounds. There are too many kick-ass taco spots to count in this county, and the closer you get to the border the more authentic the food gets. But that's not to say you have to be in Chula Vista to get good Mexican food. If you find yourself in the center of the city you can cover quite a bit of ground (and guacamole) without the horror of parking at each place.

Roberto's #10

We begin our journey to the euphoric epicenter of a Mexican food coma at a place that is dear to my heart. Master of Unidentified Cheeses, 10th of His Name: Roberto's #10. This spot on El Cajon Boulevard in North Park/Normal Heights has been feeding my fix for a decade now. It's tiny and while you can park and walk up, I recommend the drive-thru.

What to Get: Carne. Asada. Fries. They weigh about 18.5 pounds and are worth every calorie.

City Tacos

Just a five-minute walk away, deeper into the heart of North Park, you'll stumble onto City Tacos. The menu is small, but as Billy Shakespeare would say, "Though it may be tiny, it is fierce." The list of things to eat is also true to the shop's name: You came here for tacos and that's all you're gonna get. I can't speak to their addictive quality, but I can say a former colleague came into work one day and sheepishly said "I've been to City Tacos three times already this week... is that too much?"

What to Get: Mahi Al Adobo tacos. I mean, they are covered in something called a smoked chipotle avocado cream sauce. What else do you need to know?

Marisco's Tiburon

Walk a mile and a half north along Texas Street and look for this taco truck. Is it parked in a gas station parking lot? Yes, madams and sirs, it is. Should that deter you? Abso-effing-not. My friend recently waxed poetic about the size of the portions in a way that is usually reserved for discussing the size of something else. The food is good homemade Mexican grub.

What to Get: The fish tacos. Because the law says you can't leave SD without having one and they are $1 on Tuesdays.

Baja Betty's

Now is the part of our story where you hop into a Lyft. Settle down — you're only going a few miles and there is tequila on the other side. Baja Betty's is in the heart of Hillcrest, San Diego's most gay-friendly neighborhood and generally awesome place. I have a few significant memories at Baja Betty's, including chips that were salted to perfection and some sort of chocolate lava dessert that appeared out of nowhere and changed my life. Also, on your birthday they will make a phallic balloon animal hat and place it upon your head.

What to Get: The BLT quesadilla. Yum.

Oscars Mexican Seafood

The first time I visited Oscars was at their Pacific Beach location, and it took me a minute to warm up to them. I walked up, assessed their absent apostrophe, and I admit I gave a side-eye. On the other side of the door, however, awaited a delicious paradise. The lobster burrito I ingested in record time had me won over and then some. Oscars has a location in Hillcrest now, just half a mile from Baja Betty's, so it's the perfect place to cap off your food tour.

What to Get: Smoked fish taco. Fresh to death and worth the wait.

Lara Vukelich is a writer in San Diego who is afraid to eat shrimp and adds sour cream to every Mexican dish.