San Diego is home to some of the best Mexican food in the country, and the best part is that you don't have to break the bank to enjoy it.
From street tacos to burritos, enchiladas to tamales, there are plenty of affordable Mexican restaurants all around the city.
One of the great things about San Diego's Mexican food scene is the diversity of flavors and styles.
Whether you're in the mood for traditional Mexican cuisine with recipes passed down for generations or a modern twist on classic dishes, there is something for everyone.
The city is known for its street tacos, which are small, handheld tacos filled with various meats, veggies, and toppings. They are typically priced between $1-3 per taco, making them a great option for a quick and affordable meal.
But San Diego's Mexican food scene offers so much more than just tacos. You can find everything from seafood to vegetarian options, all at reasonable prices.
In this blog post, we'll explore some of the best affordable Mexican restaurants in San Diego. We'll cover a range of styles and flavors, from classic street vendors to sit-down restaurants.
Whether you're a local or a visitor, you won't want to miss out on these delicious and budget-friendly options. So, get ready to indulge in some of the best Mexican food San Diego has to offer, without breaking the bank.
1. Las Cuatro Milpas
Las Cuatro Milpas is an affordable Mexican restaurant that has been serving up classic, authentic Mexican comfort food since 1933. The restaurant is known for its freshly made tortillas, served right in front of you.
Customers rave about the homemade salsa, which is closer to Asian "chili crisp" than the typical salsa served in Americanized Mexican restaurants.
While the restaurant is basic and bare-bones, the food is hearty and filling, and the prices are very reasonable.
Expect to wait in line during peak hours, but the friendly staff makes quick work of getting food to everyone. If you're looking for "Old School Simple Mexican Food," Las Cuatro Milpas is worth a visit.
2. !SALUD TACOS!
!SALUD TACOS! is a must-visit Mexican restaurant for anyone who loves authentic and delicious Mexican flavors. They have a varied menu that includes everything from beef tacos to seafood tacos, quesadillas, and soups.
The restaurant has a hip and casual vibe, and the decor celebrates Chicano culture with beautiful murals on the walls.
The service is fast, and the prices are affordable, making it a perfect spot for a quick bite or a different place to experience.
With so many great reviews, it's no wonder why! SALUD TACOS! is considered one of the best affordable Mexican restaurants in town.
3. City Tacos
City Tacos is a must-visit for anyone looking for delicious, affordable Mexican food. With a wide variety of tacos to choose from, including unique house specials and vegetarian options, there's something for everyone.
The service is quick and the atmosphere is cozy, making it a great spot for a quick lunch or a casual dinner.
Don't miss the salsa bar, which features a variety of tasty sauces to complement your tacos.
And if you're in the mood for a drink, be sure to try one of their fruity margaritas. All in all, City Tacos offers a fantastic dining experience that won't break the bank.
4. JV's Mexican Food
JV's Mexican Food is a hidden gem for those seeking authentic Mexican cuisine at affordable prices.
With an extensive menu and daily specials, there are plenty of options to choose from. The portions are generous and the food is delicious, making it a great value for your money.
The friendly staff and fast service add to the overall experience.
It may not be the fanciest restaurant, but if you're looking for quality Mexican food without breaking the bank, JV's Mexican Food is a must-try.
5. La Playa Taco Shop
La Playa Taco Shop is a colorful and festive taqueria that serves classic Mexican fare. The food is fresh, fast, and affordable, making it a go-to spot for locals and visitors alike.
The carne asada chips with four types of cheese and beans are a must-try, and the burritos are fabulous.
The friendly staff provides excellent service, and the fish tacos are some of the best in the area.
If you're looking for a quick and delicious Mexican meal, La Playa Taco Shop is the place to be.
6. Chuy's Taco Shop
Chuy's Taco Shop is a gem of a Mexican restaurant that serves up delicious and affordable food.
Their portions are generous, and the quality of their dishes is impressive. The staff is friendly and helpful, and the atmosphere is casual and laid-back.
Don't miss out on the opportunity to try their Surf & Turf Fries or their Camerones a la Diabla.
This taco shop is definitely worth a visit if you're in the mood for some tasty Mexican cuisine.
7. El Tianguis Rolled Taquitos
El Tianguis Rolled Taquitos is a great place to satisfy your craving for authentic Mexican food without breaking the bank. The menu is simple, but the food is fresh and flavorful.
The staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and efficient. The taquitos are the star of the show, especially the vegetarian options.
The restaurant is clean and well-maintained. The prices are fair and the portions are generous. It's a great spot to grab a quick bite or to enjoy a casual meal with friends.
If you're looking for delicious Mexican food that won't empty your wallet, El Tianguis Rolled Taquitos is definitely worth a visit.
8. Lola 55 Tacos & Cocktails
Lola 55 Tacos & Cocktails is a must-visit for anyone looking for delicious and inventive tacos.
The menu features a variety of vegan and non-vegan options that are all flavorful and perfectly executed. The fish taco and carnitas taco were particularly standout dishes.
The atmosphere is trendy and industrial-chic, with both indoor and outdoor seating available.
Prices are reasonable for the quality of food, making it a great option for those on a budget. Don't miss out on Lola 55 Tacos & Cocktails!
9. Maritza's Mexican Food
Maritza's Mexican Food is a must-try for anyone looking for authentic and affordable Mexican cuisine.
This family-owned restaurant offers no-frills, homestyle dishes that are sure to satisfy your cravings.
Their carne asada and shredded chicken are standouts, and their homemade salsa is a must-try.
While the wait time can be a bit long during peak hours, the friendly staff and delicious food make it worth it. Just remember to bring cash as they do not accept cards.
10. El Indio Mexican Restaurant and Catering
El Indio Mexican Restaurant and Catering is a San Diego institution that has been serving traditional Mexican fare since 1940.
The restaurant offers a wide variety of dishes that are cooked to perfection and served with a smile. The in-house tortillas and chips are a must-try and are some of the best in the city.
The salsa bar provides an array of flavors to complement your meal. The restaurant also offers outdoor seating and a sizable parking lot for customers.
With quick service and reasonable prices, El Indio is a great option for anyone looking for delicious Mexican food.
11. Mauricio's #1 Mexican food
Mauricio's #1 Mexican food is an affordable gem for those craving authentic Mexican cuisine.
With generous portions and well-seasoned dishes, this restaurant offers great value for money.
The staff are friendly and the service is quick, even during busy times.
Whether you're in the mood for tacos, burritos, or a classic chorizo plate, Mauricio's has got you covered. Don't forget to try the homemade salsa, it's a must-try!
12. Super Cocina
Super Cocina is an authentic Mexican restaurant that serves up delicious, homestyle cuisine.
The food is made fresh to order and there is a great selection of dishes to choose from.
Although the restaurant has a cafeteria-style feel, the quality of the food is excellent and the prices are reasonable.
The staff are friendly and always happy to help. If you're looking for a taste of Mexico, Super Cocina is definitely worth a visit.
13. El Rodeo Taco Shop & Grill
El Rodeo Taco Shop & Grill is a great place to grab delicious and authentic Mexican food without breaking the bank.
The menu offers a variety of combination plates, tacos, burritos, and enchiladas, as well as potato options.
The staff is friendly and the service is quick. The portions are generous and the flavors are spot on.
The restaurant is a hidden gem that is definitely worth a visit for anyone who loves good Mexican food at affordable prices.
14. Benny's Mexican Food
Benny's Mexican Food is a must-visit for anyone looking for delicious and affordable Mexican food.
This neighborhood spot offers simple yet scrumptious burritos and tacos, with fresh ingredients that are sure to satisfy your cravings.
The friendly and attentive staff make the experience even better, and the portions are more than enough to fill you up.
Don't miss out on the surf and turf burrito, chicken quesadilla, and carne asada fries. Benny's may not be the fanciest restaurant, but it's definitely a hidden gem that's worth the visit.
15. Don Tommy's Mexican Food
Don Tommy's Mexican Food is a casual eatery that offers a variety of Mexican comfort food.
The restaurant serves up burritos, tacos, tamales, and sopes that are made with fresh ingredients and housemade tortillas.
The customer service is friendly, and the prices are reasonable for the location. While parking can be a challenge, the food is worth the effort.
If you're looking for a quick bite of authentic Mexican food, Don Tommy's Mexican Food is a great option.