Top 12 Mexican Restaurants in San Diego, CA

You’re in luck if you’re seeking some mouthwatering, genuine Mexican food in San Diego. The best 12 Mexican restaurants on our list will surely please your palate and leave you wanting more. Tuck in to explore this guide for a unique and refreshing dining experience in San Diego. From classic to game-changing flavors, here are our teams top 12 Mexican restaurants in San Diego:

1. El Zarape Mexican Cantina

El Zarape Mexican Cantina aims to give a traditional experience while staying low on budget. Since 1995, this family-run restaurant has been dishing up traditional Mexican food and offering a warm welcome and delicious food for residents and visitors who have come to love it.

The diverse menu includes various non-traditional items, including ceviche and grilled octopus, along with familiar favorites like tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. 

The large servings, premium ingredients, and affordable prices at El Zarape Mexican Cantina have earned it a reputation for excellence. Also, the restaurant has a bar with a selection of margaritas, tequilas, and other beverages that go excellently with the tastes of the dish.

2. Miguel’s Cocina

Since 1982, the famous Mexican restaurant franchise Miguel’s Cocina has been offering traditional fare in San Diego, California. The restaurant has multiple sites throughout the city, each with its feel and design.

With Thirty years of steady commitment to artisan cuisine, Miguel’s Cocina has built a loyal following. Everything is prepared daily in Miguel’s kitchen, from chips and salsa to the famously rich, spicy mole. 

There are many options at Miguel’s Cocina, from familiar favorites like tacos and enchiladas to non-traditional selections like grilled fish and prawn meals. The “Original” Carnitas Plate, which comprises luscious pork slow-cooked for six hours in its juices, is one of the restaurant’s hallmark dishes.

Miguel’s Cocina is a lively, friendly setting with bright décor and a busy vibe. A complete bar with various tequilas, margaritas, and other specialty cocktails is also there to make your experience more fun.

3. Super Cocina 

For those looking for affordable, authentic Mexican food, Super Cocina is a must-stop. An ideal place to eat traditional favorites like tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and more unusual dishes like ceviche and grilled octopus.  Check out their bar as well, where you may get a variety of margaritas, tequilas, and other tasty cocktails that go great with your meal. 

4. La Puerta

If you are a person who loves to eat food items prepared with fresh ingredients, La Putera is located in the center of San Diego. The restaurant offers a contemporary take on classic Mexican food focusing on top-notch, fresh ingredients.

Tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and less conventional selections are all served on the La Puerta menu. Creative cocktails, such as several kinds of margaritas and other cocktails, are another restaurant specialty.

La Puerta has an eye-soothing design, a busy ambiance, and a lively and friendly attitude. On warm days, the restaurant’s sizable outdoor patio is a terrific spot to gather with friends for a meal or beverages.

5. Casa Guadalajara

Recently voted Best Mexican Restaurant by readers of San Diego Magazine, Casa Guadalajara has plenty of options for excellent local cuisine and live mariachi music, whether it’s catering for a wedding, organizing a party, or a friends get-together, getting ready to have fun and flavor doubled the amount you have expected. Guest favorites include grilled fish tacos and green chili peppers.

The Events section of the Casa Guadalajara website, which details the restaurant’s live music performances, holiday celebrations, and other special events, is noteworthy. The history of this restaurant tells an intriguing tale of how the building was converted from a blacksmith’s shop to one of San Diego’s most well-known Mexican restaurants.

6. El Agave Restaurant & Tequileria

Mexican restaurant El Agave Restaurant & Tequileria is a family-run business in Old Town San Diego, California. With more than 2,000 distinct brands to pick from, the restaurant is renowned for its enormous range of tequila, making it one of the largest collections in the world.

Their tequila and food selection, along with a lively, upscale, and festive atmosphere, has been voted by the San Diego Tribune as the best of San Diego’s Mexican food. They’re tequileria, so the drink is margaritas, and you will only find a better selection here.

My favorite appetizers are corn masa quiche with corn truffles, Tlacoyos de Huitlacoche, salsa verde, and queso fresco.

7. Oscars Mexican Seafood

Seafood lover? Here is an attractive option: Oscar Mexican seafood restaurant in San Diego, California. They offer a selection of seafood dishes prepared in a Mexican style. This chain restaurant has many locations across the city and is renowned for its tasty, fresh fish meals.

The menu, which has a variety of seafood selections such as ceviche, fish tacos, shrimp burritos, and seafood drinks, is displayed on the restaurant’s website. 

8. Las Cuatro Milpas

Since 1933, the family-owned restaurant Las Cuatro Milpas has been a mainstay of the neighborhood providing traditional Mexican cuisine. With time they have worked on their restaurant’s ambient and added flavors to their menu. 

At first glance at the menu, you might find it simple, with pork and chicken and pork in many styles, burritos, chorizo con huevos, and tamales, but the taste and uniqueness of their dining experience are what every visitor praise a lot. They have specified Saturdays with only menudo. If you are visiting Mexico for the first time or are craving Mexican comfort food, Las Cuatro Milpas is the first place to go. 

With all their delicious dishes and excellent customer service, they only have one limitation: they close at 3 pm, even before that time, often when the food runs out. 

9. Casa de Reyes

Casa de Reyes has everything to soothe your taste buds. Suppose you want an open dining experience with a natural drop-down venue. In that case, it is the right place to visit while having an authentic Mexican experience for all your senses. Featuring traditional Mexican recipes, Casa de Reyes offers a family-friendly dining experience surrounded by lush gardens and a lively cantina atmosphere. Here you will see staff dressed in traditional Mexican attire. 

The restaurant’s interior features murals, artistic decorations, antique chandeliers, and other ornate decorations. Casa De Reyes offers its visitors a varied menu of salads, appetizers, entrees, desserts, and beverages. If you are a music lover here, you can enjoy a music venue adjacent to Casa de Reyes that offers patrons free and entertaining live music.

10. Las Hadas Bar and Grill

Las Hadas Bar and Grill is a convivial restaurant serving Mexican cuisine, seafood platters, and handcrafted margaritas. The family-owned restaurant features live music, bringing San Diego a blend of Southern California and Latin American inspiration. Guests can stop by for lunch, dinner, late-night dining, happy hour, or one of their daily specials. 

They serve soups and salads that go well with the meal. Grilled food, fajitas, a taco bar, and vegetarian options are also on their menu. Las Hadas is renowned for its excellent service and friendly staff, always ready to help. You pay reasonable prices here. Spectacular atmosphere.

For those who want to give a treat to their taste buds while staying on a budget, Las Hadas Bar & Grill is visit-worthy. This traditional restaurant has a varied menu that features seafood, salads, vegetarian alternatives, and classic Mexican fare, including tacos, burritos, and fajitas.

11. Puesto At The Headquarters

Puesto has roots in La Jolla a few years ago and has been a local favorite ever since. The open-air, comfy restaurant has been acclaimed nationally because of its handmade fresh blue corn tortillas, scratch salsas, and crispy melted cheese prepared by Executive Chefs. Puesto has won the People’s Choice for Best Taco in the world-famous Tacolandia contest for the past three years and was named a delicious taco destination by USA TODAY.

There are plenty of cocktail options here: Margaritas come in nearly a dozen delightful flavors, and a curated selection of premium tequilas and mezcals are available by tasting flight or shot.

You can reserve a table online from their site or walk in to catch the best one. 

12. Lola 55 Tacos & Cocktails

In the center of San Diego’s East Village is a chic and expensive Mexican restaurant called Lola 55 Tacos & Drinks. Focusing on fresh and local products, the restaurant delivers a contemporary interpretation of traditional Mexican food.

Their menu offers creative combinations of tacos you will hardly find at any other restaurant, such as squash blossom relleno, baby carrot adobada, and many more.

With exposed brick walls, tall ceilings, and an industrial-chic design, Lola 55 Tacos & Drinks is renowned for its sleek and modern ambiance. 

Lola 55 has a large selection of Mexican must-try dishes for meat lovers to pure vegetarians that may satisfy any taste or desire. There is something for everyone, from traditional Mexican meals to inventive and contemporary renditions.

Takeout salads are usually the least creative here, but you will love their Lola Caesar. Originally styled with crispy whole romaine leaves topped with parmesan cheese, pepper, and anchovy dressing served with toasted bread. Indeed a mouthwatering dish! 

Remember to try Mexican chocolate mole ice cream and crunchy churros while visiting Lola 55.

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Top 12 Mexican Restaurants in San Diego, CA

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