Food & Drink

Get Your Barbacoa Fix: 11 Must-Try Spots in San Diego!

San Diego is a city that is known for its diverse food culture. From fresh seafood to authentic Mexican cuisine, San Diego has it all. One dish that has been gaining popularity over the years is barbacoa.

This traditional Mexican dish is made by slow-cooking meat (usually beef, lamb or goat) in an underground pit, resulting in tender and flavorful meat that is perfect for tacos or burritos.

Finding the best places for barbacoa in San Diego can be a challenge, but it's worth the effort. There are many restaurants and food trucks that offer this delicious dish, each with their own unique twist.

Whether you're a local or a tourist, trying out different barbacoa spots is a must-do activity in San Diego.

But what makes a great barbacoa spot? It's all about the meat. The best barbacoa is made with high-quality cuts of meat that are slow-cooked to perfection. The meat should be tender, flavorful, and juicy. Another important factor is the seasoning.

A good barbacoa spot will use a blend of spices and herbs to enhance the natural flavors of the meat. Finally, the tortillas are just as important as the meat. The best barbacoa spots will serve fresh, homemade tortillas that are the perfect vessel for the meat.

In this blog post, we'll be exploring the best places for barbacoa in San Diego.

We'll be highlighting some of the top restaurants and food trucks that offer this delicious dish, as well as providing tips on what to look for when trying out new spots. Get ready to indulge in some of the best barbacoa San Diego has to offer!

1. 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 barbacoa lovers.

Their melt-in-your-mouth birria is worth the wait in line, and the quesotaco options are highly recommended.

The service is fast and attentive, and the outdoor eating area adds to the lively atmosphere.

Don't miss out on trying their consomme and Mexican coke to complete the experience. Just be prepared to tailgate as there is limited seating available.


!Salud Tacos!
2196 Logan Ave # A, San Diego, CA 92113 (Google Maps)

!SALUD TACOS! is a hip and casual Mexican eatery that offers a menu of elevated tacos and beer.

The restaurant has a laid back social ambiance with beautiful artwork and murals on the walls. The food is excellent, and the staff is friendly and provides fast service.

The menu has a fair variety of beers that go well with tacos. The place can get crowded during busy times, but the service is quick, and the food is worth the wait.

The Mexican street corn and the birria tacos are must-tries.! SALUD TACOS! is a perfect spot for a quick bite or a casual hangout with friends.

3. Tacos El Panson

Tacos El Panson
4433 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92115 (Google Maps)

Tacos El Panson is a hidden gem for barbacoa lovers. The authentic Mexican street style tacos are filled with perfectly cooked meat and handmade tortillas.

The adobada, cabeza, and birria are standouts. The salsas are spicy and add an extra kick to the already flavorful tacos.

The menu is simple but the ingredients are high quality and have a distinct taste that sets them apart from other Mexican food places.

The service is excellent and the prices are reasonable. Tacos El Panson is a must-try for anyone looking for delicious barbacoa tacos.

4. Carnitas Las Michoacanas

Carnitas Las Michoacanas
6513 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92115 (Google Maps)

Carnitas Las Michoacanas is a must-visit for anyone looking for delicious barbacoa. The quality of food is fantastic, and the staff provides excellent customer service.

The restaurant specializes in carnitas, which are small pieces of grilled or fried pork that are incredibly flavorful. The menu is in Spanish, but the staff is always happy to help non-Spanish speakers.

The restaurant is informal and offers traditional Mexican dishes, including tacos and chilaquiles.

The prices are reasonable, and customers are even given a complimentary taco while they wait for their order. If you're in the mood for some authentic Mexican food, head to Carnitas Las Michoacanas!

5. Carnitas Uruapan Family Restaurant

Carnitas Uruapan Family Restaurant
7149 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92115 (Google Maps)

Carnitas Uruapan Family Restaurant is a must-visit spot for authentic Mexican barbacoa. With great service and delicious food, this cozy restaurant offers an excellent value for your money.

The carnitas dinner for 1 is a popular option, and the taco sampler is a great way to try a variety of flavors.

The festive decorations and friendly staff make this place feel welcoming and inviting.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to enjoy some of the best barbacoa in town at Carnitas Uruapan Family Restaurant.

6. Cocina De Barrio

Cocina De Barrio
3707 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92104 (Google Maps)

Cocina De Barrio is a must-visit place for barbacoa lovers. The food is delicious and the service is great.

The menu offers a variety of drinks, including a $20 bottomless mimosa deal. The atmosphere is casual, but the plating is artistic and fun.

The staff is warm and welcoming, making the dining experience memorable. The prices are reasonable, with generous portions for the price.

Vegetarian and vegan options are also available. The restaurant serves creative Mexican meals and happy-hour specials.

7. Pozoleria Acapulco

Pozoleria Acapulco
130 S 30th St, San Diego, CA 92113 (Google Maps)

Pozoleria Acapulco is a must-visit for anyone looking for authentic and delicious Mexican barbacoa.

The restaurant offers a small menu with big portions at affordable prices. The green pozole is a standout dish, with a mild yet flavorful broth and a variety of toppings.

The paella for two is also a great option and could easily feed three people. The owner is friendly and welcoming, and the restaurant has a cozy atmosphere.

While the seating is limited, the food makes up for it. If you're in the mood for birria or pozole, this is the place to go.

8. Azteca Taco Shop

Azteca Taco Shop
555 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

Looking for a place to satisfy your cravings for barbacoa tacos in San Diego, CA.? Look no further than Azteca Taco Shop.

Their shrimp tacos are a must-try, and the red and green salsa toppings make them even better.

Although the birria tacos were a bit dry and lacked flavor, the overall experience was still satisfying.

The staff is friendly and efficient, and the prices are reasonable. Stop by Azteca Taco Shop for a quick and delicious meal.

9. El Comal

El Comal
3946 Illinois St, San Diego, CA 92104 (Google Maps)

El Comal is a cozy Mexican restaurant and bar that serves up delicious barbacoa.

The fresh, house-made corn tortillas are a standout, and the barbacoa tacos are a great deal at $4 each.

The vegetarian options are also worth trying, especially the soy chorizo plate. The patio is a nice spot for outdoor dining, and the staff is friendly and attentive.

Parking can be a bit tricky, but it's worth it for the authentic and flavorful food.

10. Miguel's Cocina

Miguel's Cocina
2912 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106 (Google Maps)

Miguel's Cocina is a bustling Mexican eatery that serves up delicious barbacoa.

The menu features California-inspired Mexican eats and the drinks are on point, especially the signature margaritas. The house chips and salsa are served with a must-try white jalapeno sauce.

The atmosphere is lively and friendly, with indoor and outdoor seating available on two levels. The service is prompt and attentive, making for an enjoyable dining experience.

For those looking for a step above plain old Mexican food, Miguel's Cocina is a great spot to satisfy your cravings for barbacoa.

11. Carnitas y Mariscos Las Morelianas

Carnitas Y Mariscos Las Morelianas
2822 Imperial Ave, San Diego, CA 92102 (Google Maps)

Carnitas y Mariscos Las Morelianas is a hidden gem for those who love authentic Mexican food.

The restaurant serves up delicious barbacoa, tacos, and fresh seafood. The menu boasts a variety of options at reasonable prices.

The service is friendly and fast, making it a great spot for a quick bite. The restaurant's unpretentious backdrop adds to the charm of the place.

If you're looking for a no-frills spot to enjoy some delicious food, Carnitas y Mariscos Las Morelianas is definitely worth checking out.