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Authentic Fish Tacos - San Diego

I'm staying in Del Mar for the weekend and am looking for the real deal, Ensenada-style fish tacos. Fried fish, cabbage, pink sauce... I tried searching the boards (I hate redundant posts/threads) but came up without a clear group of winners. Just for the sake of comparison, I'd also love to hear of some other styles of fish tacos in the area (but I don't eat marlin). Near Del Mar is great, but will travel for the best!

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  1. Well, I'll throw in a monkey wrench to this forever ongoing discussion (If you look up fish tacos san diego on the search engine you will find many an opinion) I ate at Chiquitas on Home Avenue two weeks ago and their fish tacos were wonderful. Ample cabbage, savory sauce, and fluffy, crisp fish. And they make a swell margarita.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Dagney

      Is that the place on the right a couple blocks from the 805 as you're headed towards Federal?

      1. re: DiningDiva

        DD-

        Yes, I was pleasantly surprised! The service was friendly and efficient. The clientele was clearly a loyal, longtime group.

        Have you eaten there?

        1. re: Dagney

          No, I have not eaten there. There's an animal supply store over on Federal by the FedEx and Coke depots that I used to go to a couple times a month for supplies. I haven't been down that way for a year or so. I always wondered about it when I drove by.

          Do you think it's worth making a trip down to try, or is it more of an "if you're in the neighborhood stop by" kind of place?

          1. re: DiningDiva

            I have eaten there only one time, so I will place it in the "in the neighborhood" category, for now.

            1. re: DiningDiva

              I'd go with the "in the neighborhood", however there are so many other options I'd probably end up choosing something else.

      2. In Del Mar your best bet for a good fish taco that's close to authentic is probably the Brigantine

        Otherwise for really authentic you should go to Mariscos Godoy or Mariscos German. Is there a reason you don't eat marlin? The smoked marlin really doesn't taste anything like you would expect and you might like it. Other ones to try are the Gobernador (shrimp), Peppered Shrimp, Pulpo Mexicano (octopus), and Cayo (scallops)

        1. I'm a huge fan of bull taco in the San elijo camp ground. Beautiful view and great cheap tacos. They have everything from the traditional fish, carne asada and carnitas to frog legs, bulls testicle and foie. Give it a shot.

          3 Replies
          1. re: SDGourmand

            I had some doubts about a campground concessionaire but I tried Bull Taco Saturday and was pleasantly surprised. Had a good ahi taco and a predictable but large quesadilla. Good salsa.Very good tortillas. Service was friendly but slow (in fairness it was lunchtime.) They also had lobster and crab tacos, abalone, and other interesting things. Ingredients seem to be fresh and of good quality. Someone here knows food.

            I went back this morning to get a breakfast burrito. It was also good and a great deal for $6. Service was not as friendly this morning; not quite rude but the sole employee didn't seem too happy to be there or to see a hungry customer.

            They open at 8:00. I'll brave the early morning attitude for the food. And, as SDG mentioned, the location is as good as it gets.

            1. re: SDGourmand

              I was just north of Swami's on Sunday boogie boarding and the lunch I made wasn't enough since we were out all day and I never knew this place existed..till now..
              Thank's SDG!

              1. re: Beach Chick

                No problem. It's great hidden treasure. I was hooked as soon as I tried it. If you are into exotic ingredients ask if they have anything off menu. The usually have frog legs, bull testicles, escargot, and much more. They love putting things together for foodies.

            2. I'll be in San Diego for the day on a campus tour at SDSU with my family. So what are the usual places known for good fish tacos? Tasty beans and rice would be a plus. Also convenient to the campus or the I-5 would be ideal. Thanks for your help.

              3 Replies
              1. re: curiousgeo

                Very close to SDSU is Taco German. It is a truck located at 3504 University Ave, between 35th St & Wilson Ave. It is all sea food, but no beans and rice. They have picnic tables to sit at. ENJOY SDSU!

                1. re: normalheightsfoodie

                  Calling it close to SDSU would be a bit of a stretch, but the tacos are great. The truck is actually called Mariscos German and it is very close to the 805 which is sort of the 5.

                  1. re: thirtyeyes

                    I was replying to the poster above, curiousgeo who was located near SDSU. I am not sure where sort of the 5 is. It is east of the 805, and west of the 15 and with a car about 5 minutes on University Ave from SDSU. I would consider that fairly close.

              2. Had great fish tacos yesterday in Clairemont (CLAIREMONT!) thanks to Capn. Jack, who had mentioned La Playita "Cockteleria." Fish tacos are not their specialty. Ceviche and seafood cocktails are-- but the fish tacos were delicious. IN fact, they were so good I forgave them their lettuce garnish which normally I deplore. Chef husband wolfed them down. The goberador taco wasn't bad. We loved the ceviche and shrimp cocktail-- but the fish tacos will be what bring us back.

                If you're stuck in Clairemont and have a craving for Mexie fish, this is the place. It's cash only. Tiny. Family run. Open every day but Monday 9-8pm. Next to Smart and Final on Clairemont Mesa Blvd at 805. A real find. Thank you, Captain Jack.

                6 Replies
                1. re: pickypicky

                  The cross street is Limerick.

                  It is wonderful.

                  1. re: Cathy

                    Cathy is the lady who turned me on to this gem so props belong to her. Glad you enjoyed it PP. Hope to see you there soon, I'm hard to miss, lol.

                    1. re: Captain Jack

                      Thanks, Jack.

                      Since it is down to one table inside, I'll know if I see you there...

                      I kind of think of the fish and shrimp tacos as appetizers for the cocteles...

                      1. re: Cathy

                        ooo, I did it wrong. We did the coctel first. Well, I guess any of us wouldn't be hard to miss. We were the only patrons yesterday.

                        Any other Clairemont gems, Cathy? Whatever you do, do not eat at that new Mex. place next to Ba-Ren. Horrific. (I've blocked the name)

                        1. re: pickypicky

                          Have you tried Arely in Clairmont Square (across the parking lot from Outback, sort of next to Woodie's (which is really good if you like coneys and/or pastrami). Next to the Pick Up Stix.

                          The almond croissants are wonderful. The salads, quiche and some sandwiches are wonderful. Three tables, always someone who speaks French walking in when I am there.

                          Back to topic: The Taco Shop at front of parking lot where La Playita is is very good- excellent salsa bar.

                          LaPlayita's soups are really nice in Winter. The fish taco, cooked in that fry pan on a hot plate is something I should be able to replicate,but can't...

                          1. re: Cathy

                            Yes, I am a fan of Arely's almond croissant (the ones without chocolate). And yes, once when I was in, two Frenchmen were buying. Felt like a sign. And yes, we will try that taco shop on your reco! We also enjoy the tacos at La Tiendita on Sun/Sat. For the convenience, good enough. Oh, and Panaderia Chocorol behind the Panda Inn. A few oasises in the desert.