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Apr 6, 2010 04:35 PM

Best tacos- Carlsbad or nearby

Phx CH looking for the killer taco shop, taqueria, etc. in Carlsbad or nearby.

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    A few miles south of Carlsbad, on the coast. Located in the San Elijo campgrounds, of all places. Really great stuff.

    There is also Jose's Taco shop off of College and the 78 in Oceanside in the Home Depot shopping center for more standard socal taco shop stuff. Excellently done, though. Carne asada burritos and tacos, superb nachos, chicken tacos (fried), etc.

    If you want some good sit-down Mexican, give a try to Anita's in Oceanside. In the same shopping center with the Target and the 24 hour fitness off of El Camino Real. Garcia's in downtown Carlsbad is good too.

    Pollos Maria, a little hidden off of Carlsbad Village Drive and Harding is excellent for their grilled chicken, carnitas, and all the fixins.

    Pollos Maria
    3055 Harding St, Carlsbad, CA 92008

    3 Replies
    1. re: cookieshoes

      There is another Bull Taco location in Oceanside:

      Bull Taco
      1815 South Coast Highway
      (760) 453-2103

      1. re: cookieshoes

        I second (third?) the choice of Bull Taco.

        1. re: oerdin

          When did you go there the last time ? Our last few visits were just horrible, only the view us still great.

      2. There's not much in North County for Mexican styled street tacos, as most of what you'd see is the standard SoCal taco shop, which I'm sure you're aware, are everywhere. Normally I get my street taco fix further south, in either City Heights or South Bay, and just expect different things when I stay up in coastal North County.

        In North County there are some "killer" sit-down Mexican places, though that's probably not what you're specifically looking for. The best of these is Las Brisas Tacqueria in Fallbrook, quite a drive from coastal North County though as far as it is, the drive to Las Brisas is worth it.. Much closer is Bety's Tacos in Encinitas, which features a cozy sit-down room serving home recipes and is a local board darling, though it's no Las Brisas.

        For a great carne asada I'd send you to Rudy's, first to their original location in the Eden Gardens section of Solana Beach, and second to their new location on the NE corner of La Costa Blvd. and El Camino Real in Carlsbad. (However for their carne asada I think it tastes best in their CA plate or in their CA torta, both of which uses arancherra [outer flank steak].)

        Bull Taco likes to have culinary fun with Mexican basics by experimenting with proteins using cross-cultural ingredients and influences, which can be very hit or miss. They also try to lead their menu with whatever special ingredients they were able to source that day, be it veg from Chino Farms, some live abalone, some locally caught fish, or even some knobs of black truffles.

        If there is any one issue with Bull Taco's menu is that it's usually a $6-9 gamble to try the more exotic tacos, which are no bigger than the standard street taco. (And when they do it right it's arguably worth the fare as in their duck confit taco, but at other times a miss as in their abalone taco, which I thought skimped on the abalone and hence was overwhelmed by the other ingredients.)

        6 Replies
        1. re: cgfan

          cgfan and cookieshoes, awesome info. Just what I was looking for. The suggestions on sit down spots is totally welcome. I am good for both the Socal style and true street Mexican style of tacos.

          1. re: danieli10

            THis is a no brainer and no offense to cgfan or cookie shoes but the topic is street tacos not burrito shop masquerading as a taco shop.

            Los Tacos just over the border(78) in Oceanside is about as authentic as I have found in NOrth COunty and has the only al pastor stacked up on a infrared spit that I seen in the area. Their sister location Senor Grubbies on carlsbad village drive has most of the same menu as Los Tacos. While those names don't strike as Authentic, the food most definitely is.

            As an extra bonus when you go to Los Tacos, right next door is Brooklyn Boyz pizza which has no peer in North County. It is a freak of North county lame food that two really good places are right next door to each other in a strip mall.

            Ps. I love Rudys for carne asada.

            Los Tacos
            2183 Vista Way Ste B9, Oceanside, CA 92054

            1. re: SeanT

              Totally second your post SeanT. Two of the best door to door, I hope they can make it.

              1. re: kitchenhag

                I used to love and champion these places. After my last two meals at each today and yesterday ...not so much.
                Los Tacos Friday - Surf and Turf burrito and 3 rolled tacos. rolled tacos great as always the Burrito (which used to be one of my favorites) 2 bites and in the trash.

                I was a fan of Brooklyn boyz from opening day. Have not been in a while. had two slices Saturday and the stuffed meat slice was good but really greasy. The second Mushroom and cheese again really greasy. I heard the two owners talking about how they are working all the time and the day before they had an order for 50 pizzas as soon as they opened from Camp Penn. also while I was there they had a call in for 25 pizzas. Maybe this is taking a toll.

                Los Tacos
                2183 Vista Way Ste B9, Oceanside, CA 92054

                1. re: chris2269

                  Unfortunately I have to agree with you on Los Tacos, quality has gone downhill, portion sizes have shrunk and the aguacate (previously the best ever taco shop salsa not including Lucha) has been watered down to the level of ... water. It kills me when a place goes cheap.

                  As to BB, I can't get enough of the blackened chicken sandwich .

                  Los Tacos
                  2183 Vista Way Ste B9, Oceanside, CA 92054

              2. re: SeanT

                I have seen an outdoor al pastor spit at La Hacienda Party Hall on Douglas Drive in Oceanside. They set up most nights (closed Monday and Tuesday) and sell street tacos for $1 each.

                La Hacienda Party Hall
                300 Douglas Drive


                La Hacienda Party Hall
                300 Douglas Dr, Oceanside, CA 92058

          2. La Takiza, if you are looking for authentic tacos, then you have to try La Takiza. They are located in Vista. The corn tortillas are made on the spot when you order, and you are watching them make them in front of you. They are true Mexican tacos.

            La Takiza
            1234 N Santa Fe Ave # 119, Vista, CA 92083

            1. I once came across a mexican market making tacos in leucadia on the coast highway one day while I was riding my bike down the coast. They were in the northern part of leucadia, the tacos were nice and straight forward and very tasty. I can't remember the name of the place but it was near the fruit market up there. Anyway, I recommend just finding a mexican market and see if they are making tacos. Usually you can't go wrong with something like this.

              2 Replies
              1. re: chezwhitey

                El torito market is what I think you referring too. The best place in Carlsbad for tacos is easily rudy's in la costa.

                1. re: SDGourmand

                  I concur with the Rudy's La Costa recommendation.

              2. Okay, not a vote for the best taco here, only because I haven't ordered theirs, but by far, Mexico Viejo in the Vons shopping center at El Camino Real & Hwy 78, has the best burritos (especially California and fish).! Mmmm!

                Mexico Viejo
                2508 El Camino Real Ste D, Carlsbad, CA 92008