Food & Drink

¡Arriba! 11 Must-Try Mexican Restaurants in San Diego

San Diego is known for its beautiful beaches, stunning sunsets, and delicious food. With a large Mexican population, it's no surprise that San Diego is home to some of the best Mexican restaurants in the country.

From classic taquerias to upscale dining experiences, there's something for everyone.

Mexican cuisine is known for its bold flavors and unique combinations of ingredients. Whether you're in the mood for spicy salsa, tangy guacamole, or savory carne asada, San Diego's Mexican restaurants have it all.

Many of these restaurants use locally sourced ingredients to create authentic dishes that are both delicious and sustainable.

If you're looking for a quick and casual meal, San Diego has plenty of taquerias and food trucks that serve up mouth-watering tacos, burritos, and quesadillas.

These restaurants often have a laid-back atmosphere and affordable prices, making them a great option for a casual lunch or dinner.

For those looking for a more upscale dining experience, San Diego also has a number of fine-dining Mexican restaurants.

These restaurants often feature creative takes on classic dishes, as well as unique cocktails and wine lists. With beautiful decor and attentive service, these restaurants are perfect for a special occasion or a romantic night out.

Overall, San Diego's Mexican restaurants offer a wide range of options for diners of all tastes and budgets.

Whether you're a local or a visitor, you won't want to miss out on the city's vibrant and delicious Mexican food scene.

1. Las Cuatro Milpas

Las Cuatro Milpas
1857 Logan Ave, San Diego, CA 92113 (Google Maps)

Las Cuatro Milpas is a San Diego icon that has been serving up authentic Mexican comfort food since 1933.

The menu is simple but the food is bursting with flavor. The handmade tortillas and beans are a must-try.

The restaurant is always crowded but the wait is worth it. The picnic table decor adds to the charm of this old-school Mexican joint.

If you're in the mood for traditional Mexican food, Las Cuatro Milpas is the place to go.

2. Ed Fernandez Restaurant Birrieria

Ed Fernandez Restaurant Birrieria
2265 Flower Ave D, San Diego, CA 92154 (Google Maps)

Ed Fernandez Restaurant Birrieria is a must-visit for anyone who loves authentic Mexican food. The birria is a standout dish, with flavorful meat and a spicy kick.

The tacos and quesadillas are also delicious, and the homemade tortillas add an extra touch of authenticity.

The service is friendly and efficient, making for a pleasant dining experience. The outdoor eating area is lively and colorful, adding to the overall ambiance.

If you're in the mood for some tasty Mexican favorites, be sure to check out Ed Fernandez Restaurant Birrieria.

3. Baja Betty's

Baja Betty's
1421 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103 (Google Maps)

Baja Betty's is a lively Mexican restaurant that promises a party vibe. With a wide array of margaritas and Mexican dishes, this restaurant is perfect for those looking for a fun night out.

The staff is friendly and attentive, making sure that customers are satisfied with their food and drinks.

The portions are generous, and the nachos are a must-try. The atmosphere is festive and perfect for groups.

With drag shows and happy hour specials, Baja Betty's is a great spot for a night out with friends.

4. JV's Mexican Food

Jv's Mexican Food
1112 Morena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110 (Google Maps)

JV's Mexican Food offers authentic Mexican cuisine at affordable prices. With a massive choice of dishes, there is something for everyone. The friendly and fast service adds to the overall experience.

The portions are generous, and the quality of the food is excellent. The daily specials are different each day, and the full salsa bar is a unique feature.

The menu includes breakfast items and surf 'n' turf items, making it a great spot for any time of day.

The restaurant can get busy, so it's best to arrive early to snag a parking spot. If you're looking for a quality taco shop in San Diego, JV's Mexican Food is worth a visit.

5. Cantina Mayahuel

Cantina Mayahuel
2934 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116 (Google Maps)

Cantina Mayahuel is a cozy and authentic Mexican restaurant with an impressive selection of tequilas and mezcal.

The food is delicious and made with care, especially the Chicken Mole. The margaritas are top-notch, and the happy hour deals are a great value.

The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, making the dining experience worthwhile. The atmosphere is casual and low-key, perfect for a night out with friends.

Cantina Mayahuel is a must-visit for anyone looking for great Mexican food and drinks.

6. La Puerta

La Puerta
560 Fourth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

La Puerta is a trendy Mexican restaurant in the heart of downtown San Diego.

The food is authentic and delicious, and the drinks are top-notch. The decor is hip and gives off a chill vibe, perfect for a night out with friends.

The service can be a bit slow at times, but it's worth the wait for the mouth-watering tacos and margaritas.

La Puerta is definitely worth a visit for anyone looking for a fun and delicious Mexican dining experience.

7. La Dona

La Dona
1852 Bacon St, San Diego, CA 92107 (Google Maps)

La Dona is a must-visit Mexican restaurant for foodies. The chef, Gabby, uses the freshest ingredients to create Baja cuisine that is both unique and delicious.

Vegetarians will be pleased with the variety of options available.

The cocktails are creative and expertly mixed, and the beer selection is top-notch.

The service is friendly and attentive, and the atmosphere is lively and colorful. Don't leave without trying the homemade churros – they are a real treat!

8. Ponce's Mexican Restaurant

Ponce's Mexican Restaurant
4050 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116 (Google Maps)

Ponce's Mexican Restaurant is a must-visit for anyone looking for authentic Mexican cuisine. The food is beautifully presented and bursting with flavor.

The restaurant offers a variety of Mexican beers, margaritas, and micheladas at great prices.

The staff is quick and friendly, ensuring that every customer has a pleasant dining experience. The ambiance is perfect for a date night or casual dinner with friends.

The retro decor adds to the restaurant's charm. Don't miss out on this bustling venue for traditional Mexican eats.

9. Maritza's Mexican Food

Maritza's Mexican Food
3582 Mt Acadia Blvd Suite D, San Diego, CA 92111 (Google Maps)

Maritza's Mexican Food serves up delicious and authentic Mexican cuisine.

The menu features classic dishes such as carne asada, carnitas, and shredded beef, all made with fresh ingredients. The homemade salsa is a must-try and adds a nice kick to any dish.

The staff is friendly and the service is quick. The restaurant is small and unassuming, but the food speaks for itself.

Cash only, but definitely worth a visit for anyone craving some tasty Mexican food.

10. Casa Machado Restaurant

Casa Machado Restaurant
3750 John J Montgomery Dr, San Diego, CA 92123 (Google Maps)

Casa Machado Restaurant is a traditional Mexican eatery with a full bar that overlooks Montgomery Field runways.

The food is made with fresh ingredients and the portions are large. The margaritas are excellent, especially the tamarindo.

The staff is friendly and attentive, and the service is superb. The restaurant also has an enclosed patio area that's good for small and large groups.

It's a great location to watch planes and enjoy some authentic Mexican food.

11. El Indio Mexican Restaurant and Catering

El Indio Mexican Restaurant And Catering
3695 India St, San Diego, CA 92103 (Google Maps)

El Indio Mexican Restaurant and Catering is a must-visit for anyone craving authentic Mexican cuisine. With roots dating back to the 1940s, this restaurant serves up some of the best Mexican food in town.

Their self-serve salsa bar, warm tortillas, and in-house chips are just a few reasons why customers keep coming back.

The friendly staff and sizable outdoor seating area make for a comfortable dining experience.

Prices are reasonable, and the food is cooked to perfection. Don't miss out on this lively cafeteria-style eatery!