There are very few perfect foods in the world, but tacos are definitely in the running for top honors. Pairing a hand-mixed tequila cocktail with a plate of tacos is an unbeatable way to enjoy the satisfying flavors that come from below the border, and San Diego is #blessed with an impressive amount of taquerias and cantinas that specialize in both. (After all, this is the city that put the Baja California fish taco on the map.) Make every Taco Tuesday a taco and tequila extravaganza to remember at these local favorites.Read More
The Best Spots for Taco Tuesday (and Tequila) in San Diego
1. Tony's Jacal
Tony’s has been a Solana Beach icon since 1946, when the Gonzales family started slinging tacos and chiles rellenos to patient diners who traveled from far and wide in search of the best Mexican cuisine in the area. The family tradition continues (and so do the wait times), but luckily they’ve gone through several expansions and keep the goods coming out muy rapido. Rebelling against the standard Taco Tuesday crowd, Tony’s is actually only closed on Tuesdays, but is open for lunch and dinner regularly. Don’t miss the daily drink specials and live mariachi music almost every night of the week.
2. Mavericks Beach Club
People flock to P.B. to bar hop, but once they’ve gotten a taste of Mavericks, they tend to stay put. The gigantic complex has five different bars to choose from and plenty of authentic Baja California-inspired bites. Taco Tuesdays start at 5 p.m. and run until 10 p.m., with a $10 all-you-can-eat taco buffet, $4 house margs, and $4 Mexican beers, plus happy hour is every day with even more ridiculous specials to choose from. Pro tip: The shrimp ceviche is el jefe and their brunch is ideal for the start of a day-drinking excursion.
3. Backyard Kitchen & Tap
Every Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. means Social Hour at Backyard Kitchen & Tap. It also means $7 featured cocktails and appetizer specials, but why settle for only three hours? Taco Tuesdays run all day long at this Pacific Beach hot spot, and with a build-your-own-taco bar and late-night DJ, it’s the best fiesta on the beach. Order a starter of Mexican street corn, wash it down with a Cazadores margarita on the rocks, and be sure to keep your eyes on the beachgoers passing by — this busy block is absolutely stellar for people-watching.
4. Miguel's Cocina
Don’t get distracted by the ghost tours and tchotchke shops sprinkled all over in Old Town. (Actually, do stop at the Whaley House; it’s one of the most haunted places in America and the perfect pre-dinner entertainment). The real reason to head to this old-timey district is for the plethora of authentic Mexican cantinas, none of which can hold a candle to Miguel’s. From their chicken tacos smothered in rich house-made mole to their signature jalapeño white sauce, this San Diego staple’s happy hour is to die for and their Taco Tuesday specials cater to a laid-back crowd.
5. Wonderland Ocean Pub
Located a few feet away from the Pacific Ocean along a bustling strip in Ocean Beach (lovingly referred to by locals as “a sunny place for shady people”), Wonderland is known for the best dive bar view in town. Sunset happy hours are every weekday from 3 to 6 p.m. with plenty of live music to keep things rockin’. Tuesdays mean Trivia Night and Thursdays bring karaoke. Basically, Wonderland is a wonderland for those searching for the most mellow spot in town. Be sure to snag a spot on the patio for maximum chillaxing.
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6. El Camino
Little Italy is the hottest drinking and dining neighborhood in town, and El Camino has been a cornerstone of the ‘hood for nearly 10 years. The neon-scrawled sign at the corner of India and West Kalmia is just a hint at the splashy, graffiti mural-inspired interior that awaits in both the sultry lounge and outdoor patio. Expect to see plenty of hipsters, motorcyclists, and other renegades chowing down on nachos El Camino and authentic Tijuana street-style tacos by the dozen. To wash it all down, the El Mexican Mule is a great alternative to the margarita (although they have plenty of those, too), poured with Cazadores Blanco, ginger beer, Angostura bitters, lime, and mint. And #ElTacoTuesday means karaoke and all-night happy hour specials, so come prepared to do your best Selena.
7. El Chingon
Partygoers in San Diego’s Gaslamp District have been scarfing down El Chingon’s tacos al pastor and Ensenada-influenced tacos de pescado since 2017, when the pistolero-inspired eatery opened in the heart of downtown. Don’t let the notoriously touristy location deter you; the cuisine is authentic, the drinks are strong, and happy hour is every Monday through Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. The Badass Margarita is a crowd favorite, but if you can’t decide on just one, try a trio with a mini-margarita flight made with Cazadores. Their version of Taco Tuesday (Forty-Twosday) means specials on taco and tequila flights, plus live DJs to keep the party going all day long.