An Ode to San Diego’s Taco Scene

I would like to take a moment to describe for you the sheer and utter joy that is the taco scene in San Diego. Honestly, I’m not really sure how to put it into words. How does one describe pure bliss in every bite? How does one break down the subtle flavors that combine to make a perfect taco?

Simplicity and fresh, real ingredients is the key. A taco is a thing of beauty and to overload it with too many of the wrong flavors will upset the delicate balance.

A truly spectacular taco won’t necessarily be found in a shiny, glitzy sit-down Mexican restaurant with a hostess at the front and colorful decorations on the walls. In order to experience the truly authentic joy that is the perfect taco, you need to get yourself to the doors of one of the smaller taco shops run by a family business.

Don’t worry if the signage is old and the inside of the building looks like it hasn’t been updated in 40 years. Don’t worry that instead of cushy booths, they have plastic chairs and picnic tables. That’s how you know you’ve arrived at an authentic taco shop. Brace yourself…you’re about to get the good stuff.

San Diego is arguably one of the best places to get tacos in the world (outside of Mexico, of course). It doesn’t hurt that we’re just over the border from Mexico and our many Mexican immigrants have brought over their authentic recipes along with them. We locals take pride in the awesome deliciousness of our tacos. When somebody from out of town comes to visit, I love to take them to some of my favorite taco shops so that they, too can experience the ecstasy of that first bite.

Next time you’re in town, I encourage you to eat like a local…skip the fancy sit downs and find yourself a small, family owned taco shop. Look for a line out the door of surfer-types. That’s how you know the locals love it. Not only will you save a ton of money, but I promise the culinary delights will blow you away.

Step inside, and sample a little bit of everything. You won’t regret it.

Welcome to San Diego.

Photo via Jeffrey W.

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