San Diego is known for its extensive selection of authentic Mexican food, and because of its proximity to the Mexican border, Taco Tuesday is somewhat of a religion. One day a week, San Diegans gather in local taco shops, bars, and authentic Mexican restaurants, united by one thing: cheap tacos. Navigating through the diverse and at times overwhelming list of Mexican restaurants in San Diego can be a hard task, but once you find the right spots to enjoy cheap tacos and cold drinks, it’s worth it. If you’re still struggling to find the best tacos in San Diego, here are five places in that make Taco Tuesday worth it.
Located in the heart of downtown, Las Hadas Bar & Grill is a must for any San Diegan on a quest to conquer Taco Tuesday. Blending Latin American and southern California influences, the tacos at Las Hadas are packed full of flavor and provide options for vegetarians. Because of its location downtown, the atmosphere is lively and upscale, allowing Taco Tuesday goers to experience the restaurant at fraction of the cost. At Las Hadas, $2 can get you a taco, a Tecate draft, or a frozen margarita, but with prices like that, why not get all three?
The tastiness of South Beach Bar & Grille’s tacos in Ocean Beach is no secret, which has been made apparent by the increasingly large crowds heading to this bar on Tuesday nights. As one of the best taco spots in San Diego, South Beach offers a wide variety of tacos for $2.50, with unique options like fried oyster, shark, or fried zucchini for vegetarians. It’s tempting to order one of each, but be careful, the tacos at South Beach not lacking in substance. Beware: South Beach is cash only and you must be over 21 to partake in this Tuesday tradition.
While there is a routinely long waiting period at World Famous in Pacific Beach, their shrimp tacos are unbeatable. For just $1.25 you get an incredible blend fresh ingredients, making the long lines justifiable. Taco Tuesday runs from 4-11pm, and because of its ocean-front location, I would recommend going early if possible. At World Famous, the prices draw people in, but the quality of tacos is what brings people back to this San Diego favorite.
At Fred’s Mexican Cafe, Taco Tuesday is all about the drink specials, with $2.50 Busch drafts (14oz), $3.50 Busch drafts (20 oz), $4.50 house Margaritas, and $5.00 Patron shots. Fred’s also offers a variety of authentic tacos, including Crispy Chicken, Buffalo Chicken, Calamari, Texas, Shrimp, Carne Asada, Pescado, Baja Fish, and Veggie. It’s hosts a vibrant atmosphere with an authentic vibe and is located in the historic Old Town. If you can’t make it to Old Town, Fred’s has two other locations, one in downtown, and one located in Pacific Beach.
At Las Cuatro Milpas, it doesn’t have to be Tuesday for prices to be reasonable and food to be traditionally authentic. Las Cuatro Milpas is what Mexican food should taste like, and this family run San Diego staple offers everything from burritos to chorizo bowls. If you’re looking for a different type of taco than your average Taco Tuesday selection, try the rolled tacos, topped with sour cream, lettuce, salsa, and queso fresco. Be prepared to wait, however, as there is always a long line. But ask any San Diegan with knowledge of Mexican food and you’ll get the same response: it’s worth the wait.